This comedy centers on a struggling screenwriter, a down-on-his-luck actor, and a theater diva, whose lives all intertwine while trying to make it in Hollywood. John Duggan (John Rafter Lee) is a hapless playwright shopping around an IRA script that nobody wants, so he decides to dive headfirst into staging his Third Reich production entitled "Hitler's Head," which is speculated to have been funded with laundered drug money. His best pal, also named John (John Billingsley) is unable to land any acting work, moonlighting at a psychic hotline and as a chauffeur to theater diva Emma (June Claman), a job he eventually shares with Duggan. Emma, a spiteful, racist bigot, hears of John's play and decides she must have a role in it, but only if she is able to tailor the material to her advantage. Breathing Hard first screened at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival in the market territory.