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Comedian Jim Gaffigan Channels a Darker Side in 'American Dreamer'

Actor and comedian Jim Gaffigan is flipping the script with his new role playing a down-on-his-luck rideshare driver.
American Dreamer is a new thriller that follows Gaffigan's character, Cam, as he looks to make some extra cash by chauffeuring around a drug dealer. When Cam finds himself late on child support payments and losing his family, he decides to kidnap the dealer's child.
Gaffigan's dramatic turn in this film is something many may not have expected. "There's this misconception, it's commonly held that, like, comedians are not serious people, but if anything we are very serious and we have to alleviate it with horsing around," Gaffigan told Cheddar Friday.
The character Cam, who once was a computer programmer, suffers an emotional breakdown and now yearns to be the successful individual he once was. Gaffigan says he "always craved" acting in a film like this.
"There were things about this character that I had in mind. In terms of, he had to be someone that regardless of the horrible decisions that he makes and the very tragic consequences, you had to really still feel for him and be there with him," director Derrick Borte told Cheddar Friday.
Who better to get the job done than the iconic comedian?
"Talking with Jim and seeing his take on the character," Borte said, "and his willingness to being able to go so dark for this movie, and so against type for this film, it just seemed like a perfect fit."
The film explores the gig economy, race relations, mental illness, and class division.
"I would do, you know, 10 more *American Dreamer*s before I would do another comedic role, just because it's far more fulfilling," Gaffigan continued, "There's a complexity to the character that you can't necessarily find in a four-camera comedy."
American Dreamer opened Friday in New York and will open across the country and on-demand on September 20th.
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