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The Albino Code

Alyssa chamberlain & Dennis Hurley

Jocelyn S. Neptune, Mark O'Leary, and Justin Gadsberry

Jeffrey B. Phillips & Dennis Hurley

Brian Silliman & David Engel

Aaron Howland & Dennis Hurley

Paul DiMilla

Dennis Hurley

Images © 2006 Emre Safak
Used by Permission



When May 19, 2006, rolls around, Ron Howard's The Da Vinci Code will hit theaters (well, barring any legal difficulties). For those of you who haven't read the novel, there's a heavily featured character named Silas, who's not only an Opus Dei monk and an assassin, he's also an albino. As someone with albinism, I can tell you that albinism affects the pigment of the eyes, skin, and hair; vision problems are a key part of the condition—probably the most important part. In The Da Vinci Code novel, Silas has red eyes, shoots people from far distances, and drives in a high-speed car chase at night. Putting aside the fact that people with albinism do not have red eyes, the activities that Silas engages in are nearly impossible for someone with albinism (at least for any that I've met, and I've met a lot of folks with our trademark paler-than-pale skin).

Dan Brown supposedly did his research in the area of religion, but he seemed to skip the albinism research entirely when he created Silas. Silas is a full, rich character in the book, I admit, but he bears no resemblance to a real-life person with albinism. As a result, Mr. Brown perpetuates the negative and fictional stereotypes of the evil albino with red eyes and/or supernatural powers that Hollywood has perpetuated for years (e.g. End of Days, The Matrix Reloaded, Powder).

Admittedly, I did try my best to audition for the role of Silas, not to further the stereotype, but to bring my own sense of realism to the role (not to mention, landing a part in a Ron Howard film would have been a pretty big break for a struggling actor). Of course, that plum of a role went to Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind, Wimbledon) a non-albino from Brooklyn.

So, instead of complaining endlessly, I wrote a short film parody, entitled The Albino Code, with the following premise: "What if the story of The Da Vinci Code could be told from Silas's point of view? And what if Silas were an actual person with albinism thrust into a world of secret codes, mystery, and assassination?" The film will be shot in early April, and will be available here on May 11, 2006 (one week before the release of The Da Vinci Code).

In closing, I'd like to discuss my worry about the upcoming release of The Da Vinci Code. When it debuts, its portrayal of albinism is sure to have a negative impact. No doubt, children and adults with albinism will be harassed by insensitive people who see the movie and decide to make fun of people with albinism. For those of you who think I'm overreacting, let me just say that when both Powder and Me, Myself & Irene were released, it was often an adventure for me to walk down the street.

The Albino Code is my way of mocking certain novelists and Hollywood filmmakers who continue to spread stereotypes of all kinds. At the same time, I want my film to give movie-lovers some insight into what having albinism is really like.

To learn more about albinism, as well as the upcoming theatre production Diamond in the Rough (an albinism awareness benefit) visit www.albinism.org or www.positiveexposure.org.


Dennis Hurley

Don't let this picture fool you. Dennis really is an "evil albino."


Alyssa Chamberlain & Aaron Howland
Image © 2006 Emre Safak

Director Aaron Howland hires "Alyssa the Albino Slayer."


Dennis Hurley

Warning: "albino" actors will often use black-and-white head shots to conceal their true nature.


About Dennis Hurley

Dennis Hurley, writer/executive producer/star of The Albino Code, is originally from Hingham, MA. He holds a B.F.A. in Acting from Ithaca College and studied with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City. He also co-founded Down Cellar in 2005 with fellow "Hinghamites" Paul Villanova and Anthony Knasas. Dennis's recent work includes Running With Scissors (Tri-Star) starring Gwyneth Paltrow; Law & Order (NBC), and Saturday Night Live (NBC). He is also a member of The Tribe Theatre in Boston's Theatre District. More information about Dennis is available at www.dennis-hurley.com.



About 7 Fluid Oz. Productions LLP

Seth Howland, producer, and Aaron Howland, director, founded the Boston-area production company 7 Fluid Oz. Productions LLP in 2001. In 2004, they founded the Boston Motion Picture Awards, a short-film competition that rewards up-and-coming independent filmmakers with money and resources for future work. Seth and Aaron's recent work includes Interrogation, directed by John Chase, and executive produced by Jeff Most (The Crow); On the Way, a DVD documentary about musician Peter Mulvey, and Jack Milton: Fairy Tale Detective, a short comedy that won two awards at the Boston International Film Festival. More information about Seth and Aaron is available at www.7fluidoz.com.

7 Fluid Oz. Productions LLP


Contact Info

7 Fluid Oz. Productions LLP
Attn. Albino Code
PO Box 401
Reading, MA 01867