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Haley Lu Richardson Joins Oscar Isaac in ‘Operation Finale’

The Nazi-hunting thriller adds a wonderful ingenue to its cast.
By  · Published on September 15th, 2017

The Nazi-hunting thriller adds a wonderful ingenue to its cast.

Haley Lu Richardson was one of the best things about the film world in 2016. She burst onto the scene with The Edge of Seventeen and M. Night Shyamalan’s Split and is continuing on a trajectory to stardom. The Hollywood Reporter announced that Richardson is joining Oscar Isaac in the World War II thriller, Operation Finale.

Isaac will star as Nazi-hunter, Peter Malkin, opposite Ben Kingsley‘s antagonist, Adolf Eichmann — one of the chief architects of the Holocaust. After World War II, Eichmann fled to Argentina, where he remained in hiding until Malkin tracked him down. Richardson will play Eichmann’s son’s girlfriend, Sylvia Herman. Sylvia is characterized as a loving but conflicted love interest who eventually has a hand in bringing the Eichmann family to reckoning. The film will be penned by Matthew Orton and is said to be in the vein of other political thrillers such as Argo.

Operation Finale seems primed to tap into qualities Richardson has mastered in her budding film career. Her experience on a Shyamalan film facing off a myriad of James McAvoys will undoubtedly serve her well in something as emotionally demanding as a war thriller. She has also played a phenomenal best friend character, providing balance and kindness to a more volatile Hailee Steinfeld in The Edge of Seventeen.

Most recently, Richardson can be seen in a lead role opposite John Cho in indie festival darling Columbus. She delivers a more sobering performance as an aspiring architect bogged down by the responsibility of caring for her mother, who is a recovering addict. Together, Cho and Richardson dissect architectural feats in Columbus, Indiana while figuring out where they wish their lives to go.

Richardson has received universal praise for her performance in Columbus since the film had its premiere at Sundance earlier this year. Collider calls her “a revelation,” and that’s just the tip of an iceberg of admiration. Peter Travers calls her “sublime.” EW gushes:

“Richardson, an actress who brings to mind a young Kathleen Turner and whose smile, when it comes, is like a rainbow after heavy weather, is a real discovery.”

Praised for her naturalism in dramatic settings, Richardson could be a powerful counter force to the intense revenge plot of Operation Finale. The film begins production in Argentina on October 1 and is just one of several projects she has lined up for a 2018 release, be it comedy or period drama. The year of Haley is upon us, and we’re very stoked about it.

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Sheryl Oh often finds herself fascinated (and let's be real, a little obsessed) with actors and their onscreen accomplishments, developing Film School Rejects' Filmographies column as a passion project. She's not very good at Twitter but find her at @sherhorowitz anyway. (She/Her)