Synopsis: Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling), a hotshot prosecutor, is about to leave his post for a lucrative job at a private law firm when his boss (David Strathairn) hands him a seemingly open-and-shut case. Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins) tried to kill his wife with a shot to the head and is defending himself in court. All hope for a quick and easy trial fly out the door when Ted proves to be a more cunning and devious adversary than Willy anticipates.
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Ted Crawford - Ryan Gosling, Willy Beachum - David Strathairn, D.A. Joe Lobruto - Billy Burke, Rob Nunally - Rosamund Pike, Nikki Gardner - Embeth Davidtz, Jennifer Crawford - Bob Gunton, Judge Frank Gardner - Valerie Dillman, Peg Gardner - Monica Garcia, Tina - Zoe Kazan, Mona - Xander Berkeley, Judge Moran - Kate Clarke, Mrs. Lee Gardner - Yorgo Constantine, P.D. Constantine
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune FILM REVIEW: FRACTURE By Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune Movie Critic 3 stars Effective dialogue doesn't necessarily mean witty dialogue, but wit certainly helps, and you tend not to get much of it in a low-key legal thriller. "Fracture" is an exception. It features some pungent exchanges between, among others, Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling, playing a murderous smoothie and his adversary, a hotshot assistant district attorney. Like Michael Caine, Gene Hackman and plenty of other pros, Hopkins is at a point in his career where the on-screen effort expended has become practically subliminal (and sometimes frankly lazy). The difference between a less-good and a good Hopkins portrayal is the difference between fighting boredom, and fighting it and winning - transcending the fatigue through sheer, wily craftsmanship. Hopkins is more engaged here than he has been in other recent assignments ("Proof," "All the King's Men"). Even when he indulges in a bit of courtroom hamming, it's selective and purposeful hamming. As for Gosling (very good in "Half-Nelson"), he may turn out to be his generation's William Hurt in terms of pauses and tics and ... taking his sweet ... time with even ... the simplest ... rejoinder. But he's playing an arrogant young pup, and his naturalistic flourishes work for the character. All his behind-the-beat grins make an interesting contrast to Hopkins, who's like a rabbit, darting from one place to another. The strengths of director Gregory Hoblit's drama may well have nothing to do with what gets filmgoers off the couch and into the multiplex. Its story begins with the steely engineer played by Hopkins shooting his wife (Embeth Davidtz) point-blank in their isolated L.A. palace, the husband having confirmed his wife's affair with the very detective (Billy Burke) who arrives on the scene of the attempted murder. This is a whopping plot point to swallow, and its improbability acts like fingers on the windpipe of the story. I liked "Fracture" despite this whopper. It looks good, for one thing. Hoblit (who directed "Primal Fear") and cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau shoot L.A. wisely, honoring both the relentless sunshine and the background smog, as well as the nocturnal atmospherics. The supporting cast includes David Strathairn as a wise owl of a D.A.; Rosamund Pike as Gosling's avid-eyed introduction to corporate law and to sex with a corporate lawyer; and Bob Gunton as Pike's father, who helps guide Gosling through his character's central question: Am I a corporate sleazebag or a man of the people? Any promotional attempts on behalf of New Line Cinema to make "Fracture" look like a grabber or a thrill ride or whatever are strictly misleading. When the story arrives at checkmate you may feel a bit let down by its machinations. Getting there, however, screenwriters Daniel Pyne and Glenn Gers keep the talk lively. I enjoyed the exchanges between Strathairn and Gosling's increasingly desperate prosecutor, whose case against the Hopkins character lacks a shred of hard evidence. "What if I find new evidence?" Gosling asks. "From where?" comes the reply. "The evidence store?" "Fracture" Directed by Gregory Hoblit; screenplay by Daniel Pyne and Glenn Gers; photographed by Kramer Morgenthau; edited by David Rosenbloom; music by Mychael Danna and Jeff Danna; production design by Paul Eads; produced by Charles Weinstock. A New Line Cinema release. Running time: 1:52. MPAA rating: R (language and some violent content). Ted Crawford - Anthony Hopkins Willy Beachum - Ryan Gosling Nikki Gardner - Rosamund Pike Joe Lobruto - David Strathairn Jennifer Crawford - Embeth Davidtz
- Notes provided by New Line Cinema. -
I used to candle eggs at my grandfather's farm; hold an egg up to a light and look for imperfections. The first time I did it, he told me to put the ones that were cracked or flawed into a bucket for the bakery.
He came back an hour later and there were 300 eggs in the bucket. I found a flaw in every single one. Thin places in the shell, fine hairline cracks.
Look closely enough and you'll find everything has a weak spot where, sooner or later, it will break.
Anthony Hopkins as "Ted Crawford"
When Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins) discovers that his beautiful younger wife, Jennifer (Embeth Davidtz), is having an affair, he plans her murder...the perfect murder. Among the cops arriving at the crime scene is hostage negotiator Detective Rob Nunally (Billy Burke), the only officer permitted entry to the house. Surprisingly, Crawford readily admits to shooting his wife, but Nunally is too stunned to pay close attention when he recognizes his lover, whose true identity he never knew, lying on the floor in a pool of blood. Although Jennifer was shot at point blank range, Nunally realizes she isn't dead. Crawford is immediately arrested and arraigned after confessing -- a seemingly slam-dunk case for hot shot assistant district attorney Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling), who has one foot out the door of the District Attorney's (David Strathairn) office on his way to a lucrative job in high-stakes corporate law.
But nothing is as simple as it seems, including this case. Will the lure of power and a love affair with a sexy, ambitious attorney (Rosamund Pike) at his new firm overpower Willy's fierce drive to win, or worse, quash his code of ethics? In a tense duel of intellect and strategy, Crawford and Willy both learn that a "fracture" can be found in every ostensibly perfect faade.
New Line Cinema, in association with Castle Rock Entertainment, presents the dramatic thriller, Fracture, starring Academy Award®-winner Anthony Hopkins, Academy Award®-nominee Ryan Gosling, Academy Award®-nominee David Strathairn, Rosamund Pike, Embeth Davidtz, Billy Burke, Cliff Curtis, Fiona Shaw and Bob Gunton.
Directed by Gregory Hoblit (Primal Fear, Frequency) from a screenplay by Daniel Pyne and Glenn Gers and a story by Pyne, Fracture is produced by Charles Weinstock and executive produced by Liz Glotzer, Hawk Koch and Toby Emmerich. The co-producer is Louise Rosner.
Among the talented production team are cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau, editor David Rosenbloom, A.C.E., production designer Paul Eads, costume designer Elisabetta Beraldo and composers Mychael Danna and Jeff Danna.
New Line Cinema will release Fracture (M.P.A.A. rating pending) in theaters nationwide on April 20th, 2007.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
The genesis of a seamless thriller is never simple. Its growth from inspiration to the page to production usually follows a long, circuitous route. Fracture is no different.
"Thrillers are tough," says producer Charles Weinstock. "And when they start with a nice twist, as ours does, they're particularly tough -- because at the end of the movie, you need to top that. We didn't want to close with some witless car chase, or a fight to the death on an abandoned pier. Throughout, we tried to construct a story that was grounded in character, which is always the solution: keep your characters honest, and sooner or later they'll give you the next twist."
Fracture began its lengthy gestation at Castle Rock Entertainment, where Weinstock had an overall deal in place and was working with the studio's head of production, Liz Glotzer. For years, Weinstock had wanted to do something with writer Daniel Pyne, and when they finally met, Pyne told him he had the beginnings of an idea. "Daniel said he wanted to make a movie about a guy who represents himself in court," Weinstock says, "but with this catch -- as a writer, he didn't want to be in the courtroom much."
Weinstock spent another six years working on the story and eventually the project picked up speed with the addition of screenwriter Glenn Gers, director Gregory Hoblit and New Line Cinema, and together with Weinstock they continued the painstaking process of refining the story through to production.
"I was attracted by the notion that Chuck Weinstock and Greg Hoblit intended to make a `courtroom thriller' in which most of the fight between the antagonists is not in the actual courtroom," says Gers.
"The hard work for me was getting out of the perfect crime because Dan Pyne made it a little too perfect," Gers laughs, "and we had to protect that at all costs, even while working on character development and strengthening the plot. Dan's triangle of Crawford, Jennifer and Nunally, the clever set up, the crime, this intense puzzle that starts the story -- that's what made me want to work on the film."
As luck would have it, Gers' sister was working as a prosecutor in the Kansas City D.A.'s office when he began working on the project. A year later, life imitated art and she took a job in the private sector at a corporate law firm. Gers took the opportunity to use his sister as a reference guide, asking procedural questions and running story ideas by her.
"It was a strange little side light into Willy's moral quandary," says Gers, "so I probed to learn what it was like making the transition into the private sector. But Willy is so wrapped up and enthralled with getting what he's always wanted in terms of this new job that he doesn't notice Crawford, so Crawford takes advantage of that weakness and sets his trap."
Director Gregory Hoblit is well known for keeping the screenwriter within arm's reach during production, and Gers was no exception, spending months on set with the cast and crew.
"The script is the blueprint for the movie," asserts Hoblit. "Once it gets on its feet in the hands of gifted actors, it becomes organic and takes on a life of its own. If the blueprint is good, you stick to its intentions pretty closely, making sure you hit every specific point."
"This script is also a puzzle piece in terms of the emotional life of the characters," Hoblit continues, "so we had to be very careful, yet still give the actors room to move. Glenn was great at understanding that. I don't think going in he anticipated that a scene could take such a left or right turn, but he quickly realized the special things that can happen with a story with when you let the moments happen with good actors. Our blueprint was first rate."
Hoblit read more than 100 scripts before agreeing to direct Fracture. "It was the surprises you don't see coming," he says when asked what made this script outshine the many others. "I knew this one was going to be fun and I knew what to do with it, how to make it," he says succinctly.
Similar to Hoblit's debut film, Primal Fear, the director likens Fracture to such smart murder mysteries as Jagged Edge and The Verdict, calling them "brainy popcorn thrillers."
The characters jumped off the page into Hoblit's consciousness, especially the scene in which Crawford and Willy first meet. Crawford has confessed to his wife's murder, and Willy, feeling all the power of his position as an assistant district attorney, questions Crawford believing his case to be a neat slam dunk. "When I read that scene, I couldn't wait to shoot it," Hoblit acknowledges. "Everything else just radiated from the confrontation between them. Being able to shoot the creative dynamic of that sequence was probably the single most exciting day I've had in 25 years in this business."
Anthony Hopkins portrays Ted Crawford, an engineer and scientist who specializes in fracture mechanics, analyzing aeronautical malfunctions and plane crashes. He prides himself on being able to spot even the smallest defect or weakness in any system, mechanical or otherwise.
It took only one read for Hopkins to sign onto the project. "It's a smart, sophisticated, well-written script," explains Hopkins. "You don't get many of those today. Being asked to participate was a stroke of luck."
But do not ask Hopkins about his character's motivations -- he's quick to direct you elsewhere for an answer. "I'm not a film scholar, so I never analyze the ingredients of a good film. I never go into a character's subtext," he says. "Ask the writer for the reasons why someone does something. I just let it emerge."
Producer Charles Weinstock laughs at the ease with which Hopkins dismisses any attempt to psychoanalyze his character. "Tony just plunges right in," he says, describing his take on Hopkins' acting style.
"This was one of the most enjoyable experiences I've had on a movie in a long time," says Hopkins. "The part is very wittily written. Crawford is like Iago, he's got cards hidden up his sleeve. If it's written well, it's easy to play."
"I've played two criminals in my life," he continues, "Hannibal Lecter and this guy. He's a control freak. He's fascinated by precision but that's the very flaw in his nature. He likes to toy with people, he likes walking on the edge, and he's a little too smart for his own good, which eventually undoes him."
"People make a big deal about acting," Hopkins says, "but I never treat it like a mathematical formula. The character is an engineer -- OK, I'm a smart criminal; they put me in nice clothes and give me an expensive car to drive -- OK, I'm a rich criminal. It's as simple as that."
"The character of Crawford has all kinds of colors," Gregory Hoblit says. "From being a cold sociopath, to a charmer, to a game player, to being funny, to being deadly. There aren't many actors who can cover that territory with ease. Anthony's an interesting guy; he doesn't mind going to that dark center he has tucked away, and he's able to convey bitterness more elegantly than any actor I know."
Given that Hopkins only appears in six or seven scenes for a total of about 25 minutes of the film, "the cumulative impact of those scenes is imperative," explains Hoblit, emphasizing the actor's impact. "His delivery of those scenes is what makes the movie."
The filmmakers were determined to avoid the pitfalls of the robotic, one-dimensional antagonist. "Ted Crawford could have been a one-note, heartless bad guy," says Hoblit. "But Tony being Tony -- a man with such depth you don't know where it will end, or even if you want to get to the bottom of what's lurking beneath the surface -- he's graced with such intelligence and his gifts are so formidable, you can imagine Ted Crawford is the type of man who would love to have a normal relationship, but just can't do it. He's blocked, and so we find Crawford jammed, with a cold, mechanical look at the world and a need to abuse. Even when he shoots his wife, as ruthless a moment as that is, you get the feeling that he's conflicted and confused. He's a sad character."
Producer Charles Weinstock agrees. "Ted is wounded and because he's so intelligent and complicated, he's been able to dress and hide those wounds."
"He's the classic tragic character," agrees screenwriter Glenn Gers. "He thinks he can step outside the law and the bounds of decent human behavior, and for a while he's astonishingly successful at it, but then his crime haunts him and in the end he's brought low by his own arrogance."
"I'd written a few notes that were very `Hannibal Lecter,'" adds Gers. "But to his credit, Tony's response was that he'd already done it before and wanted to make this guy different; Tony brought humanity and grace to this character which made for more than just a cold, nasty villain."
Ryan Gosling admits that an actor's reaction to any script depends heavily on their frame of mind at the time they read it. "I was living in a tent for two months, so when I talked to Greg Hoblit from my tent, it definitely sounded interesting," he laughs. "But I honestly wasn't sure what I could bring to the table," he says on a more serious note. "I just knew it was something I should do. I liked the suspense, I liked that I couldn't figure it out when I first read it, and I liked that Anthony Hopkins was playing Crawford. It's not every day you get to work with one of your heroes."
Hoblit believes the stars were in perfect alignment for destiny to seemingly guide the casting process as it did. "We cast by dent of some good luck and persistence," he says. "There is not a single role I would cast differently had we the chance to do it all over again." Good fortune for the filmmakers because every actor felt exactly the same as Hoblit, expressly mentioning time and again their respect for him and their enthusiasm at being able to work with the director of Primal Fear.
Hoblit first noticed Gosling when he saw The Believer, which premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. "What's perfectly clear right off the bat is that Ryan has an abundant talent," declares Hoblit. "The kind of focus and intensity he has can't be taught -- you just have it or you don't. That, coupled with his off-beat good looks and natural charisma, made it a pretty easy call."
"The minute you lay eyes on the character of Willy, you know he's a smart guy," says Hoblit. "Ryan embodies that. His intelligence is completely apparent and because he's such a facile actor and has so many gears, I find him compelling to watch. I honestly can't name another actor in his age range who's as engrossing. Shooting was endlessly interesting because nothing was ever the same from take to take because Ryan tries to find the truth in each moment. I knew he'd be a beautiful foil for Anthony."
Gosling sees his character in a simple light. "Willy wiggles like a worm on Crawford's hook," he says. "He basically tortures Willy, and Willy gets caught up in something totally out of his control. There's no relationship between them from Willy's perspective; it's all created by Crawford."
"But Willy can't lose this case because it will jeopardize both of his jobs," continues Gosling. "Either the job he has or the one he wants to have. So losing is not really an option. And on a fundamental level, he doesn't want to see a murderer set free, especially someone who's enjoying outsmarting the law, and him, as much as Crawford seems to be."
"This story is about growing up and growing a soul," says screenwriter Glenn Gers. "Willy's a little slick at the beginning, but he has no choice but to mature as he encounters tragedy and real loss. He's a little careless with other people and he discovers the cost of that carelessness."
"The movie is like a chess game," says Gregory Hoblit. "It's got moves and countermoves and finally a checkmate. Crawford is the chess master who's thought out every possible move, from beginning to end, and Willy is like one of those speed players you see in Central Park, an Energizer bunny up against this stolid, methodical guy. I liked the striking difference between their physiognomies; one is grown up, and clearly, the other is not. But Willy goes from being a callow youth to being a man at the end of the day."
The differences were not only apparent between the characters, but also between the actors and their approach to the material. The cast and director rehearsed for two weeks before start of production.
"Tony is extremely precise and economical," describes Hoblit. "There's no wasted motion anywhere, while Ryan's engine wants to warm up and get going in order to find itself. He goes from being good to being quite extraordinary when everything clicks."
Hopkins appreciated the director's economical style of shooting using several cameras at once to get the most out of every moment, rather than making his actors shoot take after take, in effect draining the scene of its very essence and flavor. "Greg is smart and very prepared, which is always best for the production. But he also has good instincts. We didn't do a lot of takes, which was a relief," says Hopkins.
Acknowledged for a wicked sense of humor, Hopkins would tease the assembled crew by barking like a dog and then sit innocently as a production assistant frantically searched to quiet the errant hound.
"He really does sound like a dog," declares Gosling. "He just one of those people who's good at everything -- he paints, he writes music, he directs and he does great imitations of cats and dogs. He's a lot funnier than I thought he'd be, just a regular guy."
"You've got to have some fun," Hopkins says mischievously, "otherwise it's not worth getting out of bed in the morning."
"Tony is very collaborative," says Charles Weinstock, "and he doesn't exploit the anxiety that most people feel in his presence. He just isn't interested in that."
Weinstock reports that Hopkins has the energy and stamina "of a 20-year-old at four or five in the morning, just roaring to go."
Billy Burke, best known for his role as Firefighter Dennis Gauquin in Ladder 49, plays Detective Rob Nunally, a married man in the midst of a torrid affair with Crawford's wife, Jennifer.
"Nunally falls in love with the wrong woman at the wrong time," says screenwriter Glenn Gers. "And the sad thing is, it's real love. They're trying to find a way out, even if it's going to be difficult, and once Crawford mixes in, Nunally is just doomed. You really feel for him."
"I knew going in that Nunally was going to be the hardest role to cast," says Gregory Hoblit. "He's a guy who goes from A to Z. Happy in love, optimistic and then in despair, and not a whole lot of scenes to get there. The role demanded a range that was considerable. I also needed to believe he was a cop who could attract a woman like Jennifer Crawford, who comes from a lofty station in life."
"Billy had the chops to make those transitions," Hoblit continues. "He's handsome and believable as Jennifer's lover, as someone who had some humanity along with the physical power, that kind of `don't mess around with me' demeanor."
As luck would have it, Burke had recently completed a project during which he worked with professional hostage negotiators, so the actor was already up to speed when it came to his character's profession. For Burke, the challenge was keeping up to date with his character's moods.
"It's rare in a movie like this, where the audience sees only bits and pieces of a character, yet that character has an entire arc, so it's a great role, the kind I usually lose to a bigger name," jokes Burke. "But I was licking my chops at the thought of getting this movie."
"I don't often find myself coming to work, trying to figure out what's going on in the story," he explains. "I would work for a few days, be off for a few, come back and have to get back into the plot which wasn't always easy, so consistency was everything. Was this guy in a period of revelation? Depressed? Desperate? Resigned? It was a definite challenge, but it was also fun."
"Billy had the most difficult part," concedes Ryan Gosling, "but he handled it beautifully. It was a pleasure to work with him."
Anthony Hopkins is concise and enthusiastic in his praise for his co-star, calling Burke "a wonderful actor" and "one to really watch."
Gregory Hoblit, who has a long and respected history with the police genre in film and television, understands the chaos of a cop's life on the street and at home. He is attracted by the dichotomy of that life and by the dangers they face each day in making life choices.
Although Hoblit was blown away by Burke's initial audition, he wanted to be sure his performance was not a fluke and asked him to read a second time, making sure Burke could hit every emotional note of this complex character. "He was every bit as good, if not better," reports Hoblit. "For me, hiring Billy was a no-brainer."
"It was the same with Rosamund Pike and Embeth Davidtz," he says of his two leading ladies. "They were roles that you don't know quite what to do with. At one point, there were some pretty big names being bandied about. The role of Jennifer Crawford, for example, is small, but it's a dramatic moment that no one will forget."
Hoblit had previously worked with Embeth Davidtz on Fallen, starring Denzel Washington, and was eager to repeat the experience. When he and casting director Deborah Aquila came up with the idea to call Davidtz at the same time, Hoblit saw it as another positive omen.
"Embeth has this fragile, butterfly quality to her," he says. "While she is very strong underneath, she has a delicate demeanor and wonderful, emotional eyes, never mind the fact that she's very talented. I didn't expect her to say `yes,' because the role is so small, but her response was immediate. It was gratifying. Bingo! We couldn't have made a more perfect choice."
One of the most difficult aspects of the film was introducing a woman who is cheating on her husband, while at the same time, getting the audience to feel for her and care about the adulterous couple.
"Embeth's quiet grace helped in that regard," says screenwriter Glenn Gers. "She only has two scenes to become sympathetic and then the audience needs to care about her for the rest of the story. That's not easy."
"Jennifer Crawford exists in a stone-cold marriage," Hoblit says, defending Davidtz's character. "She's married to a sociopath, a brilliant but bloodless guy, who is an emotional abuser who shuts her off and belittles her. But this is the back story that we only discover as the movie moves forward. There is only one moment between Jennifer and her husband to convey all the dynamics of their relationship. The audience has to empathize with her and understand that this is not a person who is out having trysts in hotel rooms for fun."
"I don't believe for a minute that Jennifer married Ted for money," says Gers. "She thought he would treat her well and she truly loved his strength. She wasn't betraying him, she was changing, and he couldn't stand that. This is not a woman who enjoys her immoral act, she's simply afraid to leave her husband."
"The one scene between Crawford and Jennifer took a while to write," Gers continues, "because we had to make it shorter and shorter, strangely enough. People who have been together a long time have less to say, but each sentence has to have more weight, and Tony and Embeth knew exactly what to do with the scene."
"She's very beaten down," says Embeth Davidtz about her character, "but I loved the fact that Jennifer is trying to make her way back into the world and takes matters into her own hands in a way."
The actress was delighted to work opposite Hopkins, but the role she thought would be a walk in the park turned out to have unusual challenges. "Of course it was challenging to act opposite Anthony Hopkins, trying to match him line for line," says Davidtz. "Because his delivery is insanely good. And acting with Billy Burke was great fun -- I don't know where he's been hiding all these years. But the real work was lying in bed, pretending to be in a coma day after day. I thought it was going to be fabulous and easy, but I found it much harder than I expected."
On the other side of the female spectrum is Nikki Gardner, played by British actress Rosamund Pike. The polar opposite of Jennifer Crawford, Nikki is intimidated by no one.
"Nikki is a siren," says Gers. "She tempts Willy. She is the personification of the job that he has wanted all his life and she seduces him away from the Crawford case towards a really attractive alternative, but he has to decide if he can pay the price."
"I don't think Willy has ever met anyone as narcissistic as he is," says Ryan Gosling about Pike's character. "There's something attractive about that initially, and they recognize a familiar ambitious quality in one another. I wouldn't categorize Willy and Nikki as a love story; it's more that they're challenged by one another. They're both alpha and the struggle to be on top is what's more interesting than the two people in the relationship."
"Nikki is not used to being disarmed by people," agrees Rosamund Pike. "Willy is not what she expected. He intrigues her and frustrates her at the same time."
Rosamund Pike first came to Gregory Hoblit's attention when he saw a trailer for Pride and Prejudice. The actress happened to be in Los Angeles on a promotional tour for the film while making rounds at the major studios at the same time. The filmmakers were thrilled when she was able to find time in her hectic schedule to meet with them, and as soon as she left the room, Hoblit began a tireless campaign to convince production executives that although a Brit, Pike was the perfect choice for the role of the ambitious career woman, Nikki Gardner.
"Rosamund was a find," says producer Charles Weinstock. "She has that cool blond perfection that Grace Kelly had, which served us well when her character had to be seductive and aloof. Nikki represents temptation in all its forms, romantic and professional. She's the carnal expression of Willy's ambition. But the role was harder than that, because Nikki also warms up, and exposes a weakness or two. Rosamund did a wonderful job of straddling those two ends of her character."
Surprisingly, Pike found the role somewhat disconcerting. "I actually found it difficult because Nikki is someone I don't personally agree with ethically, politically, or even stylistically. She's one of those incredibly driven women who have chosen a career at the expense of family, relationships, a love life and anything outside her job, which is admirable in its way, but I can't relate to her."
"Nikki goes out on a limb for Willy," Pike continues. "She's let him get under her skin and goes head to head with her boss for him and humiliates herself in the process."
"I did try to humanize her a bit," the actress admits, "to show a glimmer of the kind of woman she used to be. I went a bit against the script to try to soften her, but when I did, Greg would ask me to drive the moment forward and give it more power and I'd think to myself, `well, that's the sympathetic side gone again,'" she laughs.
Rounding out the cast is David Strathairn as Willy's boss and persistent conscience, District Attorney Joe Lobruto; New Zealand native Cliff Curtis as Nunally's partner, Detective Flores; and Bob Gunton as Nikki's father, Judge Gardner.
The filmmakers were surprised but delighted that Strathairn would consider the supporting role of Joe Lobruto, especially as he accepted the part on the heels of his 2006 Oscar® nomination for Best Actor for his portrayal of Edward R. Murrow in Good Night and Good Luck.
In discussions with Hoblit, Strathairn explained that he envisioned Willy Beachum being tugged in different directions, as though from a series of bungee cords, each held by people in his life pulling from the other end. Always up for a challenge, Strathairn thought it would be interesting to be a character manipulating one of those cords.
"Lobruto is a small part," says Glenn Gers, "but it's a powerful one. He is the opposite of Nikki and he's pulling Willy in the other direction. He is Willy's conscience waiting to be found.
"David is one of my favorite actors," says the writer, who was only too thrilled to watch Strathairn interpret his lines. "It's wonderful to see him being celebrated at last. He brought a real decency to the part, which is what Willy needs to see when he's dealing with the consequences of taking the wrong path."
"Lobruto likes to think of himself as Willy's mentor," says Strathairn, "not just as his boss. He's proud he made the choice to be a D.A. and not go for the big bucks at some huge firm, so there's a flint edge between Willy and him that motivates Lobruto's behavior."
"Willy and Lobruto have each other all wrong," says Ryan Gosling. "Willy thinks Lobruto is a self-righteous public servant and Lobruto thinks Willy is a sellout, a punk. Their relationship is about figuring out how right or how wrong each is about the other."
Strathairn is another of Gosling's acting heroes. "I love David's work," says Gosling. "It was an honor to work with him. He's very inclusive in terms of his process, which was great for someone like me. He's a gardener in real life and that describes exactly how he works; he rolls up his sleeves and really gets his hands dirty."
"I've never done a role like this where you're essentially a messenger," says Strathairn. "There's a lot of exposition brought to bear through the D.A.'s office about the case, about Willy and his journey. The challenge is in adding to the mix and not being a boring, utilitarian information center."
Cliff Curtis portrays Rafael Flores, the detective on duty fated to catch the Crawford attempted-homicide case. Unfortunately for Willy, the only people Flores dislikes more than criminals are lawyers. Known for his role in Whale Rider, Curtis is used to playing a wide variety of ethnicities and nationalities. A chameleon, Curtis is quickly becoming a master at different regional accents. His dedication to acting and his curiosity to learn more about his character enticed the filmmakers to expand the role.
"Cliff is electrifying," says Gregory Hoblit. "His presence and personality are unusual, and he has this deadpan way about him, but because his accent is pretty distinct, we had to really work on that. He didn't really have a frame of reference in terms of being a cop, so he was ferocious about getting it right. No actor was as intent about the process."
By all rights, Detective Flores and Willy Beachum should be comrades in arms, strategizing to put the criminal behind bars, but they soon find themselves in a stalemate, frustrated at the lack of hard evidence for what should be a clear-cut conviction.
"Flores and Willy are completely different personalities," explains Ryan Gosling. "They're from different backgrounds with different life perspectives but they have to work together on this case. They kind of blame each other for the situation they're in."
Another small but important role is that of Nikki's father, Judge Gardner. Hoblit remembered Bob Gunton from his performance as the warden in The Shawshank Redemption and knew that casting director Deborah Aquila was old friends with the actor. "Bob is stolid," describes Hoblit. "We needed someone who was credible and like Jennifer Crawford, memorable. When Deb brought up Bob, it was an easy choice."
Since his days working with Steven Bochco on "Hill Street Blues," Hoblit has strived for verisimilitude when it comes to telling stories about the law. "I want to make it right," he says plainly. "I want to get all the cop stuff right, the courtroom drama, the law. Over the years audiences have become sophisticated and they know if you are playing fast and loose with them, or not."
Obviously laws are different in every state, but the filmmakers took great pains to be authentic in their depiction of the action. Not only is Hoblit experienced in crime drama, producer Chuck Weinstock is himself a "lapsed attorney" who worked as a lawyer under Mayor Koch and Mayor Dinkins in New York City. The filmmakers also relied on the services of attorney Bob Breech, who previously worked for Hoblit on the popular series, "Hill Street Blues" and "L.A. Law." According to Hoblit, Breech has "great story sense."
"Bob knows the law inside and out," says Hoblit, "and he understands how to get the best out of a scene dramatically while attending to all the legal aspects at play."
"The politics, the etiquette of the courtroom, it's all very complicated," says Ryan Gosling. "Bob was a big help."
The filmmakers also took advantage of technical advisor Peter Weireter, a chief hostage negotiator with the Los Angeles Police Department, and his colleague Sgt. Lou Reyes, who helped with several of the opening scenes. While the filmmakers did take some license, Hoblit is quick to point out that bending some rules can work, but only if filmmakers take care not to go so far as to do a disservice to the profession being depicted on screen, which in the end, does an even greater disservice to the script.
A major focal point in the film is the Rube Goldberg-like machines, big and small, which adorn Ted Crawford's home and office. These brass and wood pieces serve as dramatic metaphors for the story as well as for the intricate workings of the sociopath's diabolical mind.
Writer Glenn Gers came upon the idea of using a rolling ball machine in the story while playing with his five-year-old son who likes marble mazes. The marbles roll through a labyrinth of confusing tracks only to come out in unexpected places.
According to several versions of Webster's dictionary, a Rube Goldberg machine is a device that "accomplishes by complex means what seemingly could be done simply;" or something "having a fantastically complicated, improvised appearance."
"These toys, along with the stunning piece of machinery that's Crawford's GT Porsche, even his house, they are all reflections of his personality and his inner wiring," agrees Gregory Hoblit, likening Crawford to a surgeon or Swiss watch maker.
On the written page, the mention of a Rube Goldberg-like device requires the reader to call upon a vivid imagination, but it is an entirely more complicated endeavor to recreate such an apparatus for practical use. No computerized visual effects here.
"It's always best when you can find an external sign to show the inner person," says Gers, "but when I wrote the paragraph, I never really imagined the complex machine they would have to build. When I saw it on stage, I kept apologizing to the guys who had to build it," he laughs.
Producer Charles Weinstock and production designer Paul Eads began the search for any kind of gadget that might fill the bill by scouring the Internet. To their amazement, they discovered a variety of clubs and rabid fans all over the world whose hobby it is to design and build their own adaptations on Goldberg's theme.
After long examination and discussion, the filmmakers settled on using Dutch artist Mark Bishoff's sculptures as Crawford's work. It had taken Bischoff, a music teacher, over ten years of loving labor to complete his intricate rolling ball machine.
"His work was stupefying," says Hoblit. "To think he worked after giving cello lessons all day to create the caliber of piece he did, with the size of the tracks, the quality of the wood, the complexity of the pieces, all of us sat in my office, looking at his video, oohing and aahing. But then the question became `how are we going to get something that big out of his basement and across the Atlantic?'"
"We asked him to send us some samples of the rings, the balls, anything to use as a template," recalls Weinstock. "He acted as a consultant through the manufacturing and assembly process. Whenever we had questions, he was there to help."
The filmmakers and Bischoff reached an agreement in which Bischoff would furnish the movie with his designs in order to construct a smaller version of his much-admired piece. The artist even sent the production a small table-top piece to borrow for the shoot.
Executive producer Hawk Koch hired special effects coordinator Larz Anderson to build several configurations of Bischoff's designs. Anderson and his team were honored and excited to step outside the normal realm of their duties of pyrotechnics, explosives and mechanical effects to build the 8-foot sculpture along with a same-size "stunt double" version. Together with Eads they designed the kinetic brass sculpture and its wooden base to compliment the dynamic architecture of Crawford's unique house.
The large sculpture measures 8 feet high x 8 feet wide x 2 feet deep and uses two 12-volt electrical motors operated via remote control. The manual desktop version is about 14 inches x 32 inches x 12 inches wide.
"Working on this project was like being a kid again," reports Anderson. "Everyone wanted to contribute their ideas. It's not often you get asked to build a giant puzzle. It wasn't an easy piece to move, especially once it was assembled, because it weighs about 250 pounds. But the hardest part was keeping people from touching it and playing with it or taking the balls once it was on set."
But no one could keep Hoblit, his cast and crew from spending long breaks between set ups, staring at the rolling balls as they made their way through the intricate maze.
"Greg would stand in front of any of those machines, start watching and that was it," jokes executive producer Hawk Koch. "I'd say, `Come on, Greg, we have to work,' but he couldn't move. The machine has its own kind of rhythm; it lulls you into a meditative state. It's pretty amazing."
Hoblit imagined a giant erector set when he first read Gers' description in the new script, but even he was unprepared for the beauty and immenseness of Anderson's creation.
Hoblit admits that he decided to "swing for the fences" in making Fracture. In the hope of not "playing it too safe," he attempted a pace and tone more "daring" than his previous work. In doing so, he has tried creating a contemporary film noir.
"For me it was unexpected," Hoblit says of tackling a darker, more mysterious style. "As the script evolved my ideas became more pronounced, but I was not interested in doing something strictly noir. I wanted something sleek, to use refracted light, and I wanted to be specific in my use of color."
Hoblit referenced the work of various photographers he's admired throughout the years. An avid fan of Bruce Davidson, whose book Subway made a huge impact on the director, Hoblit pays homage to Davidson's muted backgrounds, the neutral faces of his subjects and the unusual, iconic pops of color he uses in each frame.
When Hoblit began his search for a director of photography, it was imperative to find someone who could think outside the box, but not too far outside so that Hoblit would have to spend valuable time reining the cinematographer back in line. After discussing his ideas with some colleagues he found a daring new talent in Kramer Morgenthau, who had made a mark in commercials and low-budget films. Hoblit also saw a level of frustration in Morgenthau that could work to the film's advantage.
"His juxtaposition of colors was great," Hoblit says of Morgenthau's work, "I had never seen anything quite that bold. And I liked the fact that he was eager to move out of the box he'd found himself in, which happens in our business. But he's off and running now," Hoblit says proudly.
"In terms of the look, Fracture is a story about class," says Morgenthau. "Willy's world is gritty, in the trenches, more like the D.A.'s office and even the courtroom to a certain extent. Crawford exists in a world of wealth and big, beautiful spaces. So we talked a lot about color versus a gray scale to create a contrast between the two."
Once Morgenthau and Hoblit met with production designer Paul Eads, set decorator Nancy Nye and costume designer Elisabetta Beraldo, they developed the film's overall look.
There are a preponderance of low-lit scenes and a good deal of night work both interior and exterior that the filmmakers would light with different hues of color to set the tone of each scene.
"The movie is fairly dark," Hoblit explains, "but we also used vivid greens, oranges, reds and yellows. I wouldn't say that there's a color palette so much as there is a vibrancy of color always cutting through the darkness so that it's unexpected and we don't know where the color is coming from. Kramer and I were always negotiating with ourselves to make sure we didn't tip over the edge into self-indulgence or idiocy," he jokes.
"Greg is first and foremost about the story," says Morgenthau. "He wants it to be truthful and logical. I think that's why he's been so successful. He doesn't take anything for granted and feels as though it's an insult to the audience to cheat or not have the environment or action as it would be in real life; that's become a stylistic trait of his. Yet, at the same time, he'll take the lighting to an expressionistic level, which is also my approach."
Hoblit credits his producing partner Hawk Koch with the ease of the shoot. "Hawk puts together a brilliant game plan for getting a movie done," the director says.
It was important to the filmmakers to shoot in Los Angeles for a variety of reasons, not only because of proximity to home, but also with the desire to help keep production in Hollywood. Despite a pack of naysayers at his heels, Koch was able to create a cost-effective budget without sacrificing quality.
"My challenge was to make our film look like a 60 or 70-million dollar film and not spend anywhere near that kind of money," says Koch. "I'm proud that we could make a rich-looking movie, work decent hours and do it for a good price. We owe thanks to our D.P., Kramer Morgenthau, who can light fast and made every scene look exquisite. He's going to have a name as one of the best in the business for a long time to come."
Hoblit likes to make movies that look as though they are set in Anywhere, USA so that audiences can more easily identify with the characters. He credits production designer Paul Eads and location managers Richard Davis and Mike Fantasia with helping to make that happen.
Despite the fact that southern California is home for most of the production team, shooting Fracture in Los Angeles presented many surprises and offered Hoblit and his crew a new look at the city.
"L.A. is an amazing place once you get past the bias about its being flat, sprawling and architecturally uninteresting," jokes Hoblit. "L.A. is usually shot in harsh light, very washed out, but I loved giving it a three-dimensional, rich quality, even in some of the more rundown sections of town. It has so much color and personality."
"It's a bit of a forgotten city for the moment," says Ryan Gosling. "It's rundown, but there's some amazing architecture and beautiful buildings that have been ignored since they were built at the turn of the century. But it's beginning to be renovated and re-gentrified, so it's an interesting time to be down there because it's still a bit of a ghost town and it will never be like this again."
Gosling was particularly thrilled to shoot at Disney Hall because, try as he might to find tickets to the any of the sold-out performances since the hall's opening, he came up empty-handed. "I was so irritated because I could never get tickets," he says in mock despair, "but not only did I get in this time, I got to walk on stage, explore backstage, sit in the best seats, see the view from the roof," he laughs. "I got a really unique tour, so I feel pretty lucky."
Fracture was the first motion picture to utilize the main stage and auditorium of the Frank Gehry-designed performing arts center, where the company filmed mezzo soprano Vivica Genaux and her accompanist, Paul Floyd. They also shot several pieces of the sequence where Willy and Nikki first meet in the foyer area.
The Crawford home was another architectural wonder located in the Encino area of the San Fernando Valley, where the company spent several weeks shooting at a private estate. "The house sits behind these big gates like a cement and glass bunker with a buttressing overhang," recalls Hoblit. "It must be 80% glass, supported by struts, but you can see from one end of the house all the way to the other, all the way through it, side to side, end to end, anywhere you go. It would be a little unnerving to live in a house like that, but fortunately it's pretty well-hidden."
The Sherman estate is protected on all sides by giant hedges, walls, gates, and a formidable hill that leads to a guest house and tennis court which perch high above the pool and backyard. It is also surrounded by a small orchard of orange trees, rose bushes, lavender and blooming flora. It has been used in films before, but has never been showcased to this extent.
Hoblit and Morgenthau particularly liked the reflections and double images that occurred when shooting through the house and its many layers of glass, a circumstance usually considered a mistake in traditional camera work. They frequently placed their cameras outside the house to film scenes going on inside, another rare occurrence for Hoblit, who calls himself a "stickler" when it comes to being close to the action, but in this case took advantage of his ability to use his cameras as the eyes of a voyeur.
Hoblit calls the house "camera-friendly" and says "it was just made to order; a real gift," while Morgenthau believes the opposite, but attests to how good the house looks on camera.
"It was very film-unfriendly, but it was worth every bit of effort and heartbreak and stepping on top of each other," the cinematographer says. "It was a classic, Schindler-influenced building, where the interiors and exteriors flowed from one to the other, but it was not easy," he laughs.
Other locations used include the prestigious law firm, Jones Day, The Standard Hotel Downtown LA rooftop bar, Los Angeles City Hall and the now-vacant women's prison, Sybil Brand Institute. The company also spent time at a private residence in Hancock Park, at RFK Medical Center in Hawthorne, in Santa Monica at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and at Steelcase Furniture Showroom and Sales Office, and in Long Beach at St. Mary's Hospital and West Coast Aircraft Charters, among others sites.
Hoblit hopes Fracture entices the same audiences who loved Primal Fear. "I think the film has wide appeal," he says. "It's entertaining, it's got a brain, and it showcases a lot of wonderful actors who will probably expand their fan bases because it's a different look into what they can do."
Anthony Hopkins agrees. "It's a well-made movie of the old school," he says. "You want to know if Willy's going to nail Crawford, but you're more fascinated by the process of getting there."
And even though executive producer Hawk Koch knows the ending, he vows, "I still can't wait to sit in the theatre with my popcorn, watch the movie and just escape for a couple of hours. Hopefully audiences will agree."
# # #
ABOUT THE CAST
Anthony Hopkins (Ted Crawford) Anthony Hopkins received an Academy Award® for his performance in The Silence of the Lambs (1991), and was subsequently nominated in the same category for his performances in The Remains of the Day (1993) and Nixon (1995). He was also given Best Actor Award by the British Academy of Film & Television Arts for The Remains of the Day. In 1993, he starred in Richard Attenborough's Shadowlands with Debra Winger, winning numerous critics awards in the U.S. and Britain. In 1998, he was nominated as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Amistad.
In 2001, Hopkins starred in the sequel to The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, in which he starred with Julianne Moore. Directed by Ridley Scott, the blockbuster film grossed over $100 million domestically. He also recorded the narration for the 2000 holiday season's hit film Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
In 1998, he starred in Meet Joe Black, directed by Martin Brest and Instinct, directed by Jon Turteltaub, and in Titus, Julie Taymor's film adaptation of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus with Jessica Lange.
In 1992 he appeared in Howard's End and Bram Stoker's Dracula before starring in Legends of the Fall and The Road to Wellville. He made his directorial debut in 1995 with August, an adaptation of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya for which he composed the musical score and also played Vanya. He starred in the title role in Surviving Picasso and with Alec Baldwin in The Edge, a dramatic adventure written by David Mamet and directed by Lee Tamahori. The Mask of Zorro, directed by Martin Campbell and co-starring Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, was released in July 1998, and Amistad, directed by Steven Spielberg, was released in December 1997.
Earlier films include 84 Charing Cross Road, The Elephant Man, Magic, and A Bridge Too Far. The Bounty and Desperate Hours were his first two collaborations with Dino De Laurentiis Company. In American television, he received two Emmy Awards for "The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case" (1976) in which he portrayed Bruno Hauptmann, and "The Bunker" (1981) in which he portrayed Adolph Hitler.
Born December 31, 1937 in Margum near Port Talbot Wales, he is the only child of Muriel and Richard Hopkins. His father was a banker. He was educated at Cowbridge Grammar School. At 17, he wandered into a YMCA amateur theater production and knew immediately that he was in the right place. With newfound enthusiasm, combined with proficiency at the piano, he won a scholarship to the Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff where he studied for two years (1955-1957).
He entered the British Army in 1958 for mandatory training, spending most of the two-year tour of duty clerking the Royal Artillery unit at Bulford.
In 1960, he was invited to audition for Sir Laurence Olivier, then director of the National Theater at the Old Vic. Two years later, Hopkins was Olivier's understudy in Strindberg's "Dance of Death." Hopkins made his film debut in 1967, playing Richard the Lionheart in The Lion in the Winter, starring Peter O'Toole and Katharine Hepburn. He received a British Academy Award nomination and the film received an Academy Award as Best Picture.
American television viewers discovered Hopkins in the 1973 ABC production of "Leon Uris' QBVII," the first American mini-series, in which he played the knighted Polish-born British physician Adam Kleno who is ultimately destroyed by his wartime past. The following year, he starred on Broadway in the National Theatre production of "Equus," and later mounted another production of the play in Los Angeles where he lived for 10 years, working extensively in American films and television.
After starring as Captain Bligh in The Bounty (1984), he returned to England and the National Theater in David Hare's "Pravada," for which he received the British Theater Association's Best Actor Award and The Observer Award for Outstanding achievement at the 1985 Laurence Olivier Awards. During this time at the National he starred in "Antony and Cleopatra" and "King Lear."
Hopkins also appeared in the feature adaptation of Stephen King's Hearts In Atlantis for director Scott Hicks, the action comedy to Bad Company, co-starring Chris Rock, and the box-office hit prequel to Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon, co-starring Ed Norton, Ralph Fiennes and Emily Watson.
Hopkins last two films were The Human Stain opposite Nicole Kidman and Alexander opposite Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, directed by Oliver Stone. He was recently seen in Proof co-starring Gwyneth Paltrow, directed by John Madden. Hopkins was most recently seen in The World's Fastest Indian, directed by Roger Donaldson and All the King's Men with Jude Law, Sean Penn, Kate Winslet, directed by Steven Zaillian.
Ryan Gosling (Willy Beachum) Landing the controversial lead role in the film The Believer was a career breakthrough for Ryan Gosling. His performance garnered him rave reviews and industry-wide attention. He continues to be noticed as "one of the most exciting actors of his generation," as recently declared by Manohla Dargis, critic for The New York Times. In 2004, he was lauded as ShoWest's Male Star of Tomorrow.
This year, Gosling was honored with an Academy Award® nomination for Best Actor for his role in Half Nelson. His performance as a drug-addicted inner city junior high school teacher also earned him a Best Male Lead Actor award a the Film Independent's Spirit Awards, as well as Best Actor nominations from the Screen Actors Guild Awards®, the Broadcast Film Critics Awards, Chicago Film Critics, Online Film Critics' Society, Toronto Film Critics and the Satellite Awards. He was awarded the Male Breakthrough Performance Award from the National Board of Review, and won Best Actor Awards from both the Seattle and Stockholm International Film Festivals.
Gosling's performance in The Believer, which won the Grand Jury prize at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, garnered him a Best Actor Film Independent's Spirit nomination, a Best Actor nomination from the London Film Critics' Circle, and earned him the Golden Ram for Best Actor by the Russian National Critics Association.
He returned to Sundance in 2002 starring in the independent feature The Slaughter Rule, playing an emotionally vulnerable and estranged teen, opposite David Morse. He received strong reviews for his follow-up performance as a nihilistic predator in the psychological thriller Murder by Numbers, opposite Sandra Bullock. Other film credits include Remember The Titans, starring Denzel Washington.
Gosling's penchant to take on intricate and complex characters earned him the lead and title role in The United States of Leland, opposite Kevin Spacey and Don Cheadle, in 2003. Subsequently, he starred in the 2004 summer blockbuster romantic drama The Notebook, followed by Marc Forster's Stay, opposite Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts.
He will next be seen as the title role in Lars and the Real Girl, with Patricia Clarkson and Emily Mortimer.
David Strathairn (Joe Lobruto) A seasoned actor on and off Broadway, the big screen, and television, David Strathairn, the son of a surgeon, was born in San Francisco. After graduating from Williams College in Massachusetts, he attended Ringling Brothers Clown College in Florida, before launching a successful acting career.
Strathairn has appeared in many of his Williams College classmate John Sayles' features, including his own and Sayles' directorial debut The Return of Secaucus Seven. Other Sayles features for which Strathairn has starred include Limbo, Matewan, Brother From Another Planet, Eight Men Out, City of Hope, and Passion Fish.
Continuing to work with Hollywood's top directors, some of Strathairn's film credits include Mike Nichols's Silkwood, Stephen Gyllenhaal's Losing Isaiah, Sydney Pollack's The Firm, Tim Robbins's Bob Roberts, Penny Marshall's A League of Their Own, Taylor Hackford's Dolores Claiborne, Curtis Hanson's LA Confidential, and Philip Kaufman's Twisted to name just a few.
Also working with Hollywood's hottest talent, he has starred opposite Meryl Streep in The River Wild, with Richard Dreyfuss in Lost in Yonkers, with Jessica Lange in Losing Isaiah, with Ray Liotta and Jamie Lee Curtis in Dominick and Eugene, with Sean Penn and Christopher Walken in At Close Range, with Debra Winger in A Dangerous Woman, with Ashley Judd and Oliver Platt in Simon Birch, and with Sigourney Weaver and Julianne Moore in A Map of the World. David has appeared in the features Blue Car, which was purchased by Miramax from the 2002 Sundance festival, and Harrison's Flowers, opposite Andie Macdowell.
His extensive stage work includes "The Three Sisters" with Billy Crudup and Marcia Gay Harden, "Dance of Death" with Sir Ian McKellan and Helen Mirren and "Salome" with Al Pacino.
David starred as Edward R. Murrow in the Warner Independent feature Good Night and Good Luck, co-written, produced and directed by George Clooney. David won for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival and was nominated for a Golden Globe, Academy Award and a SAG Award for his performance, amongst others.
He is currently working alongside Matt Damon and Joan Allen on The Bourne Ultimatum.
Rosamund Pike (Nikki Gardner) Rosamund Pike grew up in London, the only daughter of two professional opera singers. Her key formative years were spent on the European continent, including a liberating few months in Italy as her father worked with modernist composer Hans Werne Henze. At 16, Pike was accepted at the celebrated National Youth Theatre where she spent the following three summers, culminating in her playing her first lead role in "Romeo and Juliet" when she was 18. It was that performance which brought her to the attention of agent Dallas Smith who spent the next few years closely guiding her career. The play ran over the summer holidays prior to her taking a place at Oxford where she studied English Literature at Wadham College.
At Oxford, Pike continued to act and toured with the university production of "The Taming of the Shrew." The tour, during summer recess, took her on a magical, six-week trip to Japan, performing in theatres in Osaka, Kyoto and the Tokyo Globe. Just prior to leaving, she spent two days shooting her first film role in A Rather English Marriage starring Tom Courtenay and Albert Finney. She played the part of Albert Finney's niece, Celia, who put pay to his chances of a cash-rich retirement when she inherited her aunt's wealth on her death.
Pike also spent evenings at the local repertory theatre, the famous Oxford Playhouse. She played the part of the restoration actress Elisabeth Barry in Stephen Jeffreys' play "The Libertine" about the life of the scandalous Earl of Rochester, as well as Ann in Arthur Miller's "All My Sons."
Before she left for Oxford, Pike had met with a leading casting director for a project that she was keen to be a part of. The project was delayed and nothing came of it, but a year later she received a call out of the blue and was subsequently cast as Lady Harriet in the BBC's lavish production of "Wives and Daughters." It was her first job for the BBC and she was over the moon to be working with such distinguished actors such as Michael Gambon, Francesca Annis and Bill Patterson. The part of Lady Harriet was a great challenge -- outstanding equestrian, razor sharp, and a real fighter Pike was perfectly cast and her strong portrayal was critically acclaimed. Vanity Fair commented that she "stood out like a banner snapping in the wind" Pike was away for nine months but returned to Oxford to finish her degree and to do a final play at the Oxford Playhouse. She played the funny, bizarre Daisy in Ionesco's "Rhinoceros" directed by local director Delphine Schrank.
During the following summer vacation she spent ten weeks filming Love in a Cold Climate, an adaptation of the Nancy Mitford books. Shot at the Mitford's glorious house, Batsford Park, in the Cotswolds, Pike played Fanny, an outwardly shy and insecure girl but whose warmth and kindness made her a very magnetic character. The extraordinary cast list included Alan Bates, Sheila Gish, Celia Imrie, John Standing and Anthony Andrews. Returning to Oxford for the final three terms she took the role of Kyra in David Hare's "Skylight," directed by young film director and fellow Oxford student James Rogan, who went on to direct "Dead Bolt Dead."
Pike's next incarnation was as Miranda Frost, MI6 agent, ice maiden, champion fencer and a true match for James Bond last Winter's Die Another Day. Miranda has been plucked from a fencing championship to work for the government office of MI6. She is sent to Iceland to work with James as a "mole" placed as public relations officer in the organization run by villain Gustav Graves). Dame Judi Dench pointed out to her on her first day of filming that, according to her M16 file, as well as speaking Serbian, Russian and Swahili, Miranda has a distinguishing birthmark on her left buttock - Pike does not!
After Bond, Pike returned to theatre, as "The Blonde" in award-winning director Terry Johnson's highly-acclaimed "Hitchcock Blonde" at the Royal Court Theatre in London. The Daily Mail said that she "makes a stunningly poised stage debut, remarkably like Grace Kelly, and glorious to behold", The Independent called her "both stunningly beautiful and a haunting mix of the desperate and the determined as The Blonde" and The Observer described Rosamund as "magnetically hard to take your eyes off". The play's huge success meant that it transferred to the Lyric Theatre in the West End in June 2003, an achievement that was noticed by The New York Times, who called Pike "delicious."
After taking a well-earned break, Pike found herself being called to Israel in early 2004, to take the lead role in Amos Gitai's documentary-style thriller, Promised Land Hotel. She plays a journalist who uncovers a human trafficking ring in the Gaza Strip, alongside co-star Anne Parillaud. Upon her return to London, Pike immediately started work on Laurence Dunmore's The Libertine, alongside Johnny Depp. She plays Elizabeth Malet, wife to Depp's Earl of Rochester, with John Malkovich as King Charles II and Samantha Morton as Elizabeth Barry. Rosamund's performance was praise by the New York Daily News, who praised her for finding `a well of romantic intensity within the seemingly passive young woman.' The film was released in the UK and US in November 2005 and Pike was rewarded for her extraordinary performance with a 2005 British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actor / Actress.
Pike stayed in the UK for her next project, a star-studded adaptation of the classic Jane Austen novel, Pride and Prejudice. Directed by Joe Wright, Pike plays beautiful, but misled Jane Bennett, alongside an all-star cast including Keira Knightley, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland and Judi Dench. This much-anticipated film was released in the UK in September 2005 and in the US two months later, with Total Film describing Pike's performance as `impressive' and The Independent saying that she portrays Jane with `moving ferocity.' Pike has been nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category at the 2006 London Film Critics Circle Awards for her performance.
In late 2004, Pike swapped her corset for a bullet-proof vest, when she took on the lead female role of Samantha Grimm in the huge-budget action film, Doom, directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak. The film is an adaptation of the computer game of the same name -- one of the most popular titles in gaming history -- and shot straight to the top of the US box office on its release in October 2005. Shot in Prague, the film co-stars Karl Urban (as Samantha's renegade brother), The Rock and a host of mutant aliens.
In 2005, Pike spent three months in New York filming the independent thriller, Screen Test. Directed by James Oakley and co-starring Lena Olin. The film is due for release in 2006.
Pike recently completed a run of the Tennessee Williams play "Summer and Smoke" on the West End stage opposite Chris Carmack to rave reviews.
Embeth Davidtz (Jennifer Crawford) Constantly delivering poignant and critically applauded performances, Embeth Davidtz caught the attention of the world for her genuine and confident portrayal as the Jewish maid who survives both the abuse and attraction of Ralph Fienne's sadistic commander "Goeth" in Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List. People who saw her work recognized the future was promising for an actress whose talent seemed unstoppable. Embeth Davidtz has delivered on that promise.
Embeth is currently shooting the television drama "In Treatment" opposite Gabriel Byrne and Dianne Wiest. Directed by Rodrigo Garcia, the highly anticipated program focuses on a psychologist who seeks refuge from his patients by getting his own therapist.
Embeth was most recently seen on the big screen starring in the critically acclaimed feature film, Junebug opposite Amy Adams and Alessandro Nivola. Released by Sony Classics, Junebug premiered to rave reviews at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. The drama tells the tale of a dealer in "outsider" art who travels from Chicago to North Carolina to meet her new in-laws, and upon arrival, challenges the equilibrium of the middle class Southern home.
Previous film credits include the highly successful Bridget Jones Diary opposite Hugh Grant and Renee Zellweger, The Palace Thief, with Kevin Kline and Patrick Dempsey, Nick Hamm's independent film, The Hole, the thriller 13 Ghosts, Miramax's Mansfield Park, Disney's Bicentennial Man, Robert Altman's critically acclaimed thriller The Gingerbread Man, Murder in the First opposite Kevin Bacon, Feast of July, Matilda and the supernatural thriller Fallen opposite Denzel Washington.
In addition to her film work, Davidtz made her debut as a season regular on CBS's "Citizen Baines," created by John Wells. The drama focused on a prominent three-term US senator (James Cromwell) returning to his Seattle home to join his family following a shocking loss in his bid for re-election. Davidtz portrayed his daughter who aspired to follow in her father's footsteps as a future congresswoman.
Billy Burke (Detective Rob Nunally) Billy Burke is a compelling and critically-acclaimed young actor whose credits span both television and feature film.
Most recently he completed filming The Feast of Love. The film, directed by Robert Benton, also stars Morgan Freeman and Greg Kinnear and is due for release later this year.
This spring, Billy will re-team with Fracture director Greg Hoblit on the Sony Pictures film Untraceable in which he will star opposite Diane Lane.
Additionally, Billy has completed shooting two independent films - The Grift with John Savage and Forfeit with Sherry Stringfield which will premiere this year at the South by Southwest Film Festival.
Billy's feature film credits include a co-starring role in the Touchstone film Ladder 49 with Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta; a starring role in Dill Scallion, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and also starred with Peter Berg, Henry Winkler and Lauren Graham; Along Came a Spider with Morgan Freeman and Without Limits for writer/director by Robert Towne.
His television credits include a chilling six episode arc on the second season of Fox's "24" as well as the critically acclaimed ABC series "Wonderland," which was written and directed by Peter Berg.
Cliff Curtis (Detective Flores) Cliff Curtis was born in Rotorua, Aotearoa New Zealand and attended the New Zealand Drama School, as well as the Teatro Dmitri Scoula in Switzerland.
After returning to New Zealand from Europe, he was cast in The Piano. Subsequent roles in New Zealand include the camp melodrama Desperate Remedies, the grueling urban drama, Once Were Warriors, in which he plays a child rapist, and the lighthearted comedy Jubilee.
In Hollywood, Cliff Curtis has played a range of different roles and ethnicities in films from Columbians to Italians to Latinos and more. His resume includes such films as Runaway Jury, Collateral Damage, The Majestic, Training Day, Blow, The Insider, Bringing out the Dead, Three Kings, Six Days, Seven Nights and Deep Rising, but Curtis is probably best known for his role as young actress Keisha Castle-Hughes' father, Porourangi, in the critically acclaimed Whale Rider.
Recently Curtis starred opposite Samantha Morton and Keifer Sutherland in River Queen, with Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz and Ellen Burstyn in The Fountain, in the upcoming Sunshine with Michelle Yeoh and in Roland Emmerich's remake of 10,000 B.C., set for release next year.
Bob Gunton (Judge Gardner) In a distinguished 30 year career, Bob Gunton has played a potpourri of memorable roles in notable productions in theatre, television and film.
On Broadway, Gunton received Tony Award nominations for his work in "Sweeney Todd" and for his portrayal of Juan Peron in "Evita." He was also featured in "Big River," "Roza," "Passion," "King of Hearts," "Working" and "Happy End." He received an Obie Award for playing 21 characters in "How I Got That Story," as well as the Clarence Derwent Award for The Most Promising New New York Actor of 1980. In 2004, Gunton was nominated for a Barrymore Award for playing the eponymous role in "The Great Ostrovsky" -- the great Cy Coleman's last musical, in a pre-Broadway production.
Gunton's feature film work runs the gamut from farce to drama. Working with some of Hollywood's most celebrated directors, Gunton has appeared in Oliver Stone's JFK, and Born on the Fourth of July; Ed Zwick's Glory; John Woo's Broken Arrow; and, most memorably, as the Warden in Frank Darabont's The Shawshank Redemption. Other of Gunton's dozens of film appearances include: Patch Adams, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Dolores Claiborne, Cookie, Matewan, Jennifer 8, The Perfect Storm, I (Heart) Huckabees and the soon-to-be-released, Believe in Me, Rendition, Numb and Player 5150.
Gunton's many telefilms, miniseries and cable movies include: "Mission of the Shark," "Wild Palms," "When Billy Beat Bobby," "Running Mates," "61*," "Sinatra" (as Tommy Dorsey), "Kingfish" (as FDR), "Iron-Jawed Angels" (as Woodrow Wilson), "Elvis Meets Nixon" (as Nixon) and "Judas and Jesus."
Gunton was a series regular on "Courthouse," "Greg the Bunny," "Hothouse" and "Peacemakers." He has had recurring roles on "Mr. Sterling," Desperate Housewives," "E-Ring," "Nip/Tuck," "Pepper Dennis" and "24."
Bob Gunton was awarded a Bronze Star for Valor for his combat service in Vietnam. He is father to recent Yale Graduate; Olivia Ann. Bob is also a newlywed. His bride, the former Carey Ann Gelrud, is his high school classmate from 40 years ago. Bob has written articles for Theatre World and The Los Angeles Times. He is currently completing a memoir.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Gregory Hoblit (Director) For Gregory Hoblit, filmmaking is a passionate endeavor. His willingness to examine the human condition and wade through his characters' complex web of emotions and behavior is apparent in every movie he has helmed. Having spent more than 20 years behind the camera on many of television's most popular and ground-breaking shows, Hoblit's utilizes his technical acumen, coupled with a keen intuitive perspective, to direct with a textured artistry that is both precise yet visceral.
This narrative style is evident in the 2002 film, Hart's War, based on the book by John Katzenbach. Bruce Willis and Colin Farrell star in the unconventional, character-driven courtroom drama about a well-heeled Army lieutenant ordered to defend a black prisoner falsely accused of murder. Set against the grim backdrop of a POW camp in World War II Germany, the film explores issues of race, betrayal and honor.
Hoblit's ability to transcend the conventions of genre with visual and emotional depth is also evident in New Line Cinema's Frequency. With characteristic style and sensitivity, Hoblit found the core of dramatic realism within a sci-fi fantasy about a New York City police detective, played by Jim Caviezel, who rewrites history by reaching back in time to talk with his late father, portrayed by Dennis Quaid.
In 1996 Hoblit made an auspicious feature debut with Paramount's Primal Fear, a moody courtroom drama that crackled with crisp pacing and twisting suspense, and garnered the director kudos from critics and audiences alike. Hoblit made full use of a gifted ensemble cast that included Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Frances McDormand, John Mahoney and, in his film debut, Edward Norton, whose performance brought the novice actor an Oscar® nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Fallen, starring Denzel Washington, John Goodman, Donald Sutherland, Elias Koteas and James Gandolfini, followed two years later. Combining elements of crime drama and supernatural thriller in the story of a homicide detective being terrorized by a disembodied presence, the film offered a haunting exposition on the nature of evil.
The seeds of Hoblit's feature success were sown in television, where he helped to develop and craft some of the most innovative shows of modern television. His vast and influential body of work as an executive producer/director includes Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, and N.Y.P.D. Blue, as well as the acclaimed NBC movie Roe V. Wade and the 1990 AIDS documentary The Los Altos Story. Along the way, Hoblit received virtually every honor available, including nine Emmy and three Peabody Awards, as well as the DGA, CableACE, Humanitas, Golden Globe and People's Choice Awards.
Born in Abilene, Texas and raised in Berkeley, California, Hoblit completed his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley and UCLA before studying film and television on the graduate level at UCLA. He began his professional career in Chicago, where he associate produced and produced several talk shows for the local ABC affiliate. Upon returning to Los Angeles, Hoblit cut his teeth as an associate producer on a half-hour sitcom and two low budget films, and as the producer/director of a feature documentary.
After working as an associate producer on the six-hour miniseries Loose Change and on Universal Television's two-hour pilot Dr. Strange, Hoblit joined Steven Bochco at MTM Enterprises, where they produced the movie-of-the-week Vampire, as well as the series Paris, Hill Street Blues and Bay City Blues. He then joined Bochco at Twentieth Century Fox, beginning their collaboration on L.A. Law, Hooperman, Cop Rock, Civil Wars and NYPD Blue. In 1992 Hoblit directed Class of `61 for Amblin Entertainment and executive producer Steven Spielberg.
Hoblit's next film will be Untraceable, starring Diane Lane, which began filming in Portland, Oregon in February 2007.
Daniel Pyne (Screenwriter) John Schlesinger's Pacific Heights was filmmaker Daniel Pyne's first produced screenplay, and engendered a series of successful film scripts including Doc Hollywood, Any Given Sunday and The Sum of All Fears. His feature directorial debut, Where's Marlowe? was distributed by Paramount Classics in 1999, and was awarded Best Comedy at the Santa Monica Film Festival. His re-telling of Richard Condon's The Manchurian Candidate directed by Jonathan Demme, was released in July of 2004, garnered a Golden Globe nomination for Meryl Streep, and made several critics top ten lists.
One of the original writers of the seminal American television series "Miami Vice," Pyne also co-created the critically-acclaimed, indie-cult, mock-reality cop show, "The Street." He is currently adapting Alfred Bester's seminal sci-fi classic The Stars My Destination for Universal Studios and producer Lorenzo DiBonaventura, and preparing to direct his next film, a project with Philip Seymour Hoffman, from an original screenplay, Fifty Mice.
Daniel Pyne graduated from Stanford University, where he studied economics, and later received an MFA from UCLA's Graduate School of Film, where he held the 2003-2004 Hunter-Zakin chair in screenwriting. He is also on the faculty of advisers for the Sundance Institute screenwriting labs.
Pyne splits time between Los Angeles and New Mexico with his wife, children, calico cats, a pair of bearded lizards, and a box turtle.
Glenn Gers (screenwriter) Glenn Gers was born and raised in New York City. He graduated with honors in English from Yale University in 1982.
His original screenplay Nightbirds won Gers a 1991 Fellowship Grant in Screenwriting from the New York Foundation for The Arts.
He has written episodes of the television comedy series Cybill, The Jeff Foxworthy Show and Becker. He also co-wrote (with Steven Baigelman) the 2002 USA Network television movie Brother's Keeper, a thriller starring Jeanne Tripplehorn, directed by John Badham.
In 1998 Gers wrote, directed and edited a low-budget feature-length independent film, The Accountant, which was an official selection of the Atlanta Film Festival, and won the 2000 Discovery Award/Grand Prize at the Rhode Island International Film Festival.
His original screenplay Off Season was first broadcast on Showtime in 2001. Directed by Bruce Davison and starring Hume Cronyn, Sherilynn Fenn and Adam Arkin, the telefilm was nominated for a Writer's Guild Award and won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing of a Children's Special.
Gers is currently editing his second independent film, which he also wrote and directed, about women and weight entitled Disfigured, starring Deidra Edwards, Staci Lawrence, and Ryan Benson.
Charles Weinstock (Producer) Charles Weinstock came to the movie business late in life. For many years, he was a public-interest lawyer in New York, working for the city under Mayor Koch and Mayor Dinkins, and for a very small, very pious environmental law firm called Berle Kass & Case. It's difficult for him to explain -- or excuse -- his decision to forsake this work for the movie business, but he'd always loved movies more than anything else in the world, and hoped he could help make a few good ones.
Among his producing credits are Joe Gould's Secret, directed by Stanley Tucci and starring Ian Holm, Mr. Tucci, Susan Sarandon and Steve Martin; Where the Money Is, directed by Marek Kanievska and starring Paul Newman and Linda Fiorentino; and Sleepover, directed by Joe Nussbaum and starring Alexa Vega and Steve Carell.
Weinstock was born and raised in Palm Beach, Florida, and graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He is married to Martine Singer, Executive Director of Hollygrove, a nonprofit children's mental health and family services agency in Los Angeles. They have two children, Alexander (12) and Caroline (9).
Liz Glotzer (Executive Producer) Liz Glotzer joined Castle Rock Entertainment at its inception, and was promoted to President of Castle Rock Entertainment in 1999. During her tenure, Castle Rock has produced over 80 films including: When Harry Met Sally, Misery, Honeymoon in Vegas, In the Line of Fire, The Green Mile, A Few Good Men, City Slickers, Best in Show, Miss Congeniality and Polar Express.
Upcoming Castle Rock movies include No Reservations starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart; Sleuth starring Michael Caine and Jude Law; Chaos Theory starring Ryan Reynolds and Emily Mortimer; In the Land of Women starring Meg Ryan and Adam Brody and Michael Clayton starring George Clooney.
In addition to supervising all aspects of production and development for the company, Glotzer also produced the Warner Bros. film Music and Lyrics which stars Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore, Carl Reiner's Sibling Rivalry with Kirstie Alley and Scott Bakula and executive produced The Shawshank Redemption starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. She is currently producing Frank Darabont's upcoming film, The Mist, based on the Stephen King novel, set for release in late 2007.
Prior to joining Castle Rock, she was an executive at Samuel Goldwyn Company and was involved in a number of projects, including the sleeper hit, Mystic Pizza.
Ms. Glotzer received her B.A. from Bennington College and her M.F. A. at USC's Peter Stark Program.
Hawk Koch (Executive Producer) With over four decades of professional experience and over 60 screen credits, Hawk Koch has built a solid foundation of experience in virtually every aspect of filmmaking art and business.
Koch has produced over 20 films. Among them are Keeping the Faith starring Edward Norton and Ben Stiller, Frequency starring Dennis Quaid and James Caviezel, Losing Isaiah starring Halle Berry, as well as The Long Walk Home, The Pope of Greenwich Village, Gorky Park and The Idol Maker. As an executive producer, his credits include the phenomenally successful Wayne's World, Primal Fear, Heaven Can Wait, for which he won a Golden Globe for Best Picture as well as Hostage. Koch most recently produced Blood & Chocolate, and is currently at work on Untraceable for director Gregory Hoblit.
At the start of his career he was a jack-of-all-trades serving in such capacities as dialogue coach, second unit directing, first assistant director, supervising films in post-production and story development. In doing this he enabled himself to work alongside Sydney Pollack, Warren Beatty, Alan Pakula, Hal Wallis, William Castle, Roman Polanski, John Schlesinger and Paul Mazursky on such legendary films as Rosemary's Baby, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Marathon Man, The Way We Were, The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the Park, Parallax View and Chinatown.
Aside from producing, Koch also served as the president of Rastar Productions, Inc., where he oversaw the productions of Peggy Sue Got Married, Nothing in Common and The Secret of My Success, among others. Koch also served as president of production of De Laurentiis Entertainment Group. Koch is Vice President of the Producer's Guild of America, where in 2003, he was honored with the Charles B. FitzSimons Award for outstanding service and dedication to its mission and its members. He sits on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts & Sciences and on the Board of Trustees of the Motion Picture and Television Fund. Koch is also on the American Film Institute's Entertainment Council.
Louise Rosner (Co-Producer) Louise Rosner has served as executive producer or producer on films for MGM, Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Miramax Films, Dimension, and The Walt Disney Company. In 2004 and 2005, she co-produced the highly successful Beauty Shop starring Queen Latifah, Alicia Silverstone, Andie MacDowell and Kevin Bacon, and Mean Girls starring Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Tina Fey, and directed by Mark Waters. She also executive produced for Mel Gibson Paparazzi with Cole Hauser and Dennis Farina.
Prior to this Louise co-produced as series of films for Miramax films including She's All That, Get Over It, Boys and Girls and On the Line.
She has also executive produced the action film Firestorm for 20th Century Fox, and produced the independent films Denial written and directed by Adam Rifkin and The Last Time I Committed Suicide starring Thomas Jane, Keanu Reeves, Claire Forlani, Gretchen Mol and Marg Helgenberger, written and directed by Stephen Kay, which appeared at the Sundance Film Festival in 1996.
After producing a myriad of award winning international commercials in Europe, Louise moved to Los Angeles in 1992 where she worked on films such as The Chain, Imaginary Crimes, Chasers, The Crush, Trail By Jury, Major League II, Stay Tuned, White Sands and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective before line-producing her first project in the US, The Walt Disney film A Kid In King Arthur's Court.
Most recently Louise co-produced the comedy Hot Rod for Lorne Michaels and Paramount pictures due to be released this summer, and is currently executive producing Baby Mama starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler for Universal
Kramer Morgenthau (Director of Photography) Kramer Morgenthau rose to prominence as a cinematographer in the David Wall-directed independent film Joe and Joe. He went on to an eclectic series of films including Welcome to Hollywood directed by Adam Rifkin, The Man from Elysian Fields, with Mick Jagger, Empire, starring John Leguizamo and Robert Benton's The Feast of Love. Morgenthau recently shot New Line Cinema's Full of It, directed by Christian Charles
In addition to his film work, Morgenthau also served as cinematographer for the pilot of FX's Iraq war drama Over There, and he was nominated for an ASC Award and an Emmy Award for the adaptation of Mitch Albom's The Five People You Meet in Heaven.
Morgenthau has also shot numerous documentaries around the world.
Paul Eads (Production Designer) Paul Eads has worked with director Gregory Hoblit on a number of other productions, most notably the New Line film, Frequency (also with executive producer Hawk Koch), and two television projects for producer Steven Bochco: "Civil Wars," and the highly acclaimed "NYPD Blue." He is currently at work on Hoblit's new film, Untraceable.
Eads has recieved three Emmy awards for his work in television as production designer for "NYPD Blue," and for "Murder One," both for producer Steven Bochco, and for Boston Public for producer David E. Kelley. He also received the Art Directors Guild Award for Excellence in Production design for "Brooklyn South."
Eads was also the production designer of director Thomas Carter's well-received film Save the Last Dance, starring Julia Stiles.
A graduate of Kalamazoo College with a degree in Theater Arts, Eads began working in the New York Theater beginning in 1973 as a scenic artist and an assistant set designer for designers Kert Lundell, David Mitchell, and Santo Loquasto, among others, and did so for several years before attending the Yale School of Drama Design Program.
Eads subsequently returned to New York City and, in collaboration with director/designer Wilford Leach, he co-designed productions of "Coriolanus" (with Morgan Freeman), and "Othello" (with Raul Julia and Richard Dreyfus) for the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, and was the supervising set designer for Leach's production of "The Pirates of Penzance" on Broadway.
It was at that time that Paul began to work on feature films as well, and first worked as a set designer on a wide variety of movies including One Trick Pony, Arthur, Stardust Memories and The Purple Rose of Cairo. He left his job on One Trick Pony to design the sets for the critically acclaimed off-Broadway play Modigliani (starring Jeffrey DeMunn) at the Astor Place Theater, which was his last major foray into the theater. He soon returned to the world of feature films where he continued to work for the next several years as Art Director on The Fan (starring Lauren Bacall), So Fine, Paul Mazursky's Tempest, Jaws 3, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Turk 182, Brian De Palma's Wise Guys, and Brighton Beach Memoirs, working for production designers Santo Loquasto, Pato Guzman, Stephen Hendrickson, Harry Pottle, Edward Pisoni and Stuart Wurtzel, among others.
In 1984, with his then-girlfriend, now-wife Mindy Roffman, Paul relocated to Los Angeles and the two worked together as Production Designer and Art Director on several film projects over the next few years including Wanted Dead or Alive (with Rutger Hauer,) Poltergeist 3 and The End Of Innocence, written and directed by Dyan Cannon. They also worked together on a television pilot, Nick Knight, which was where they first met and collaborated with set decorator Nancy Nye sixteen years ago.
With the birth of their son James in 1989, and again with the birth of their other son Sean in 1993, Mindy took an extended leave of absence from the business, and Paul, electing to stay in town as much as possible to be with the family, moved away from the world of movies, pursuing instead feature-quality television projects such as Equal Justice, (where he first met Gregory Hoblit,) Civil Wars, NYPD Blue, Murder One, and Brooklyn South, among others. Paul and Mindy teamed up again for the television pilots and series Murder One, Boston Public, Philly and Blind Justice, and have partnered once again for this current production of Fracture.
David Rosenbloom, A.C.E. (Editor) David Rosenbloom, A.C.E., has worked for director Gregory Hoblit on several previous projects including Hart's War, Frequency, Class of '61 and Primal Fear.
In a career spanning almost three decades he has collaborated with such filmmakers as Peter Berg on Friday Night Lights, Mimi Leder on Deep Impact, The Peacemaker and Pay It Forward, David Anspaugh on Moonlight and Valentino, Rudy, Fresh Horses and the telefilm In the Company of Darkness; William Friedkin on Blue Chips; Roger Donaldson on The Recruit; and with Michael Mann on The Insider sharing Oscar® and A.C.E. nominations with William Goldenberg and Paul Rubell.
Most recently Rosenbloom served as editor on The Break Up starring Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn
In addition to Class of 6l, Rosenbloom's work for television includes editing the series pilots for "I'll Fly Away" (which earned Emmy and A.C.E. nominations), "Equal Justice" and Michael Mann's groundbreaking series "Miami Vice," as well as the telefilms "Do You Remember Love?" and "Under The Influence," both of which earned him A.C.E. nominations for Best Edited Television Special. He has also directed episodes of "NYPD Blue," "Melrose Place," "Civil Wars," "Reasonable Doubts" and "Hill Street Blues."
Raised in Los Angeles, Rosenbloom studied dramatic arts at U.C.L.A. During his student days, he first dabbled in animation editing before pursuing a career in the field. He secured an apprenticeship at Universal Pictures and worked his way up the ranks, becoming an assistant editor in 1976. He earned his first credit in 1981 on NBC's long-running hit series, "Hill Street Blues," and received his first A.C.E. Eddie nomination for his episodic work in 1983.
Elisabetta Beraldo (Costume Designer) Elisabetta Beraldo, a native of Genova, Italy, began her career working in the theatre and opera, having designed for Ken Russell's version of La Boheme.
She has designed the wardrobe for a number of prestigious productions. For director Gregory Hoblit, she also designed the costumes for Frequency and Hart's War.
Beraldo began working in motion pictures as an assistant to Academy Award®-winning costume designer Milena Canonero. Under Canonero, she worked in such films as Dick Tracy, The Godfather III and Single White Female. She soon began designing on her own only to win a Davide di Donatello Award, Italy's Academy Award, for Giona Nel Ventre della Balena (Jonah Who Lived in the Whale) and a Davide di Donatello nomination for Sostiene Pereira (According to Pereira.)
Moving to the United States, Beraldo started working for Gregory Nava, and designed his movies Selena, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, and Bordertown. In 1999 she started working for Andrew Niccol, designing Simone and Lord of War starring Nicolas Cage.
Other credits include Torque with Ice Cube; Fluke with Matthew Modine; Camilla, starring the late Jessica Tandy and Bridget Fonda; and the television drama, War Stories, starring Jeff Goldblum.
Mychael Danna (Composer) Mychael Danna's film scoring career began with Atom Egoyan's Family Viewing, a score which earned Danna the first of his thirteen Canadian film award nominations. Mychael is recognized as one of the pioneers of combining non-Western sound sources with orchestral and electronic minimalism in the world of film music. This reputation has led him to work with such acclaimed directors as Atom Egoyan, Catherine Hardwicke, Scott Hicks, Ang Lee, Gillies MacKinnon, James Mangold, Bennett Miller, Mira Nair, Billy Ray, Joel Schumacher, and Denzel Washington.
He studied music composition at the University of Toronto, winning there the Glenn Gould Composition Scholarship in 1985. Mychael also served for five years as composer-in-residence at the McLaughlin Planetarium in Toronto (1987-1992). Works for dance include music for Dead Souls (Carbone Quatorze Dance Company, directed by Gilles Maheu 1996), and a score for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's Gita Govinda (2001) based on the 1000-year-old classical Indian erotic poem, with choreographer Nina Menon.
Recent projects include Catherine Hardwicke's The Nativity Story. He is currently working on Surf's Up for Sony Pictures Animation. Mychael and Devotchka also recently received a 2006 Grammy nomination for the Little Miss Sunshine album.
Jeff Danna (Composer) Film composer Jeff Danna, who recently won a SOCAN International Film Music Award for the score to Sony Picture's Resident Evil: Apocalypse, has a long and varied list of film credits. Recent work includes Chicago 10, which opened the 2007 Sundance Film Festival for director Brett Morgen ,with whom Jeff also scored The Kid Stays In The Picture, and the upcoming Closing the Ring for famed director Lord Richard Attenborough.
Other scoring projects include Terry Gilliam's Tideland, Silent Hill, and a pair of collaborations with director Tim Blake Nelson: O and The Grey Zone Project. His collaborative Orchestral Celtic albums with brother Mychael have enjoyed worldwide success and placed in the Top 10 on the Billboard charts.