On the heels of smash hits "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off" and "Purple Rain", Summit Pictures was looking to create a hybrid film that combined the charming comedy of the former with the spellbinding musical sequences of the latter. To pull this off this high wire act, the studio needed a lead who could combine the laid-back charisma of Matthew Broderick with the musicianship of Prince. No small ask. Follow Fan Social
By chance, James Ryan, Director of the film, stumbled upon an Accountant moonlighting as a Musician at an open mic night at a dive bar in West Hollywood. Impressed by a deft medley cover of Squeeze’s “Pulling Mussels From a Shell” and Prince’s “When You Were Mine”, Ryan decided to invite the unknown artist, known mononymously as “Ernest”, to a screen test. Studio Execs were impressed by novice actor, but were unsure if we was ready to carry a feature film. Deliberations on his casting ran on for 2 months.
Determined to secure the role and forge a career in music, Ernest independently wrote, recorded, and mixed a soundtrack for the movie based on the early script. After one listen, the studio offered him the part. After cancellation of the film, Ernest faded into obscurity. His whereabouts in 2022 are still unknown.