Tuesday 12th February 2013
In a broken city rife with injustice, ex-cop Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) seeks redemption - and revenge - after being double-crossed by the city's most powerful figure, the mayor (Russell Crowe). Billy's relentless pursuit of justice, matched only by his streetwise toughness, makes him an unstoppable force - and the mayor's worst nightmare.
Broken City protagonist Billy Taggart is one of Mark Wahlberg's richest screen roles. "The film's script reminded me of those smart, character-driven crime thrillers that I grew up watching and loving", says the Oscar®-nominated actor.
Billy is an ex-New York City cop who loved his job and did it very well until he went too far while investigating a murder. Now, he's a private detective, barely making ends meet, "when a call from the mayor offers an opportunity to regain his badge and gun", Wahlberg explains. "The mayor thinks his wife is having an affair and he's worried about it interfering with his chances for reelection. As Billy starts to investigate, he comes to realize there's much more to this case than a cheating spouse and that's when the war between the mayor and Billy ignites". It is this war that leads Billy to redemption.
"There is an edge to this story and to the way people speak to each other", says Russell Crowe, who portrays Mayor Hostetler, a character that projects a powerful mix of charm and menace. "I look to be physically affected by projects I'm considering and I sort of got goose bumps and started making decisions on behalf of the mayor straightaway while reading the script for Broken City. It's a truly grown-up story".
"The film really respects the audience's intelligence", notes Catherine Zeta-Jones, who portrays the mayor's wife, Cathleen, who is much more than she seems. "Its smart dialogue moves like a bullet train right through the piece".
"I read Broken City as a kind of contemporary Humphrey Bogart story, taking place against a backdrop of treachery and intrigue where everyone is ambitious in one way or another", adds Jeffrey Wright, who portrays Commissioner Fairbanks, whose continuing doubts about Billy will change by the end of the latter's journey.
Brian Tucker's taut screenplay had an impressive pedigree, having earned a spot on The Black List, an industry clearinghouse for the best, yet-to-be-produced screenplays. "It has a lot of great action, twists and turns and a dynamic narrative, but more important than that is its characters", explains director Allen Hughes. "Billy Taggart jumped off the page as being very layered and challenging".
Broken City fits squarely within the impressive body of work from Hughes. He and his brother Albert - known professionally as The Hughes Brothers - are renowned for their gritty, no-holds-barred films that place dynamic characters in challenging, if not impossible situations. Their films include Menace Ii Society, Dead Presidents and From Hell. Allen, inspired by Brian Tucker's screenplay, was eager to make Broken City his next project. "Ultimately Broken City is a redemption story", he points out. "Billy will go to any lengths to find justice for something that's long haunted him".
Hughes was more than surprised when the creator of these powerful and complex characters turned out to be very different from what he expected. "I was blown away when Brian, this scrawny 25-year-old kid walked in for our meeting. I could not believe that this young man, who looked barely 19, had written such a sophisticated, compelling and layered story".
Producer Randall Emmett shared the actors' and Hughes' passion for the story and characters. "I've always loved films about the underdog who stands up to the system", says Emmett, who is partnered with George Furla (one of Broken City's executive producers) in the prolific production company Emmett/Furla Films. "I was really excited by the fact that you never know where the story is going".
Hughes admits that as he read the script, he immediately saw Mark Wahlberg in the role of Billy. "So I went out to Mark and we sat down and started the journey of making Broken City", says the filmmaker.
"Allen sent the script to me and said, 'I see you in this part; do you want to do this thing together?" Wahlberg remembers. Moreover, Wahlberg felt such a connection to the character and material that he came onboard as a producer, working closely with Hughes to put together the project.
"One thing that I love about Mark's acting is that he embodies the true spirit of the underdog", reveals Hughes. "There's an endearing quality about him and when he smiles he lights up an entire room. Mark had never before done anything quite like this and that also was interesting to me. Mark has this innate ability to surprise audiences and that's what his role in Broken City called for".
"I love the fact that Billy is unapologetic", says Wahlberg. "He does whatever it takes to right the wrong he committed years ago. From his private detective agency in Brooklyn he watches what's going on in the city and the life that he used to have and he misses that. Investigating the mayor's wife offers not only a big payday, but a chance to get back his old life".
But as Billy soon learns, the mayor's offer hides a much more sinister intent, one that will require Billy to summon inner resources untapped since his days as a cop.
Ultimately, he and the mayor will face off in a battle that will put Billy to the test. Hughes knew that a Wahlberg-Crowe on-screen confrontation would be electrifying. During his first meeting with Crowe, Hughes found that Crowe could hold court at a dinner party as masterfully as any seasoned politician. "He's a riveting storyteller and it was the biggest surprise for me to mine that, because that quality of Russell has rarely been seen".
Crowe didn't base his performance on a specific public figure, instead opting to study the lives of several New York City officials. He explains: "I went back for the last fifty years and I looked at their schooling, where they came from and how they connected to people. Broken City's Mayor Hostetler is part Queens and part Wall Street. He's an absolute populist with elitist lifestyle habits that he's come to appreciate and expect. We all know the old cliché that power corrupts, but it's very interesting when the person that's doing the corrupting believes that this is benign corruption for a higher purpose".
Crowe brought not only his impressive skills but his larger-than-life persona to the role. "Russell is one of the greatest living actors and he's also very charming", says Wahlberg. "On set, he was the mayor. He certainly charms my character Billy, but once he realizes the mayor is corrupt, Billy has got to take him down. There's no more formidable opponent than Russell and the movie is really about us going at it".
The catalyst for the Billy- Hostetler dynamic is the latter's wife, Cathleen, played by Catherine Zeta-Jones. Her relationship with her husband is a complex one, as is often the case with real-life political couples. "Politicians' wives sometimes put on a face to protect their partner", notes Zeta-Jones. "To the outside world they are this quintessential first family, but a bright light sometimes reveals scandal and corruption. To play the role, I drew on this dichotomy. When you meet Cathleen, she is what every woman wants to be and has everything they would love to possess, but that is not what's reflected behind closed doors. As the character evolves, you see why she wants to get out of this situation. Cathleen knows way too much and she knows that Hostetler's dealings and actions will destroy many people's lives, including her own".
Another character who's much more than he seems is Commissioner Fairbanks. who hasn't forgiven Billy for his past transgression, but begins to see that Billy has changed over the 5 years. Time and again, Fairbanks has proven more than equal to the task of surviving in a tough, sometimes brutal political environment. Hughes tapped Jeffrey Wright for the role.
"Fairbanks is potentially as dangerous as anyone else - a shark among sharks - but there are certain moral boundaries that he respects", explains Wright. "Allen [Hughes] and I discussed how mysterious he is and that he's both an observer and manipulator of the action and, most importantly, that he's a survivor who knows how to protect himself".
Another survivor is Councilman Jack Valliant, the mayor's fresh-faced opponent in the upcoming election. Barry Pepper, an Emmy® winner for his role as Robert F. Kennedy in the mini-series "The Kennedys", portrays Valliant. Valliant is pursuing evidence that could mean an easy victory for him - but he soon discovers that nothing comes easily when you face off against the mayor.
Natalie Martinez portrays Billy's girlfriend Natalie, an aspiring actress. Their relationship becomes challenged because of their past. "Natalie is from the projects where you have to fend for yourself and really fight to get out", Martinez explains. "Natalie is trying to become an actress and is hungry for that life. She is sometimes tough with Billy, who is trying to find value in what he's done and who he's become".
The other woman in Billy's life is his quick-witted assistant Katy Bradshaw, with whom he shares a comfortable banter and shorthand. "Katy is the place that Billy feels at home", explains Alona Tal, who takes on the role. "He's almost relaxed and open and even funny; there's a very different beat to Billy's personality when he is with Katy".
Broken City was shot on location in New York and, due to production logistics, in New Orleans, the latter doubling for the Big Apple. "Broken City is a New York movie in the classic sense that we shot most of the exteriors in New York.", Hughes explains. "Our production designer, Tom Duffield, maintained a consistency from New York into New Orleans and there was definitely a cohesion that was remarkable".
During their first meeting to discuss the project, Hughes and Duffield sorted through images and discussed movies that featured New York, deciding what they would film in New Orleans and what absolutely had to be shot in New York. "We wanted to show the big panoramic views of New York from across the river or on the rooftops looking at some of New York's iconic buildings", says Duffield. " In one scene shot from a penthouse balcony of the Palace Hotel at night (doubling for the Four Seasons) you can see both the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building in one shot. Those are the scenes that give the film a real iconic feel for New York".
Production began with over two weeks of establishing exteriors throughout New York City. Bolton Village, scene of the crime for which Billy must relinquish his badge and the center of the controversy surrounding Mayor Hostetler, was shot in and around the Lower East Side public housing project in New York's Alphabet City known as Riis Houses. Brooklyn's Vinegar Hill neighbourhood at Plymouth and Adams Streets, also known as DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), offered up the gritty streets where Billy sets up shop as a small-time private investigator, biding his time in hopes of regaining his honor and badge. The borough provided the perfect vantage point for daytime skylines overlooking Manhattan's financial district.
Several hundred extras gathered as protesters of police corruption and injustice, in front of a courthouse during Billy's trial, which filmed on the stairs of the New York City Supreme Court at One Center Street. Councilman Valliant's press conference pledging hope for the working class, was shot at the Tweed Courthouse at 52 Chambers.
The cast and crew regularly found themselves amongst the hustle and flow of humanity, shooting on the streets of mid-town Manhattan, on Madison and 44th or Grand Central Station to capture the unassumingly influential lifestyle of the mayor's wife, Cathleen and her aides. Production in New York wrapped with a scene shot at the Long Island Railroad and a sequence filmed at a Montauk Beach house in Nissequogue, Long Island.
"There are many different ways of showing New York, gritty like The French Connection, or beautiful like Manhattan", explains Duffield. "We tended a little more towards Manhattan, with picturesque views across the river or up at the Botanical Gardens in the Bronx - all these beautiful locations that just make New York feel like a great city".
Broken City is a rhythmic dance with two forces colliding: the dangerous Manhattan patriarch (Crowe's Mayor Hostetler) and the unapologetic outcast (Wahlberg's Billy Taggart) on a relentless path of redemption. Much of their intense interaction was captured in New Orleans, where the production moved for the remaining six weeks to shoot interiors and select exteriors.
"For Hostetler, we wanted that sort of Godfather feel, with light slashing through the shutters of the Don's office", says Duffield. "After his fall from grace, Billy Taggart moves to more gritty areas around Brooklyn. His office is probably my favorite set build in New Orleans because I got into that kind of texture of an older neighbourhood, lot of walls with peeling paint and exposed pipes".
Hughes worked with longtime collaborator Cindy Mollo, A.C.E. to edit the film and brought on Atticus Ross, an Academy Award® winner for his work on The Social Network, along with Claudia Sarne and Leo Ross, to compose the score.
Regency Enterprises and Emmett/Furla Films present, in association with Black Bear Pictures, a New Regency and Emmett/Furla Films production, a Closest to the Hole Productions and Leverage Communications production, an Allen Hughes production, in association with Envision Entertainment and 1984 Private Defense Contractors, a film by Allen Hughes, starring Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones in "Broken City", also starring Barry Pepper, Kyle Chandler, Natalie Martinez and Jeffrey Wright.
Casting is by Sheila Jaffe, the costume designer is Betsy Heimann and the music supervisors are Season Kent and Scott Vener. The music is by Atticus Ross, Claudia Sarne and Leo Ross, the film was edited by Cindy Mollo, A.C.E. and the production designer is Tom Duffield. Ben Seresin, ASC/BSC is the director of photography. The executive producers are George Furla, Stepan Martirosyan, William S. Beasley, Jeff Rice, Scott Lambert, Brandt Andersen, Brian Tucker, Adi Shankar, Spencer Silna and Mr. Mudd.
The film is produced by Randall Emmett, Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Arnon Milchan, Teddy Schwarzman, Allen Hughes and Remington Chase. It was written by Brian Tucker. Broken City was directed by Allen Hughes.
Mark Wahlberg (Billy Taggart, Producer) earned Academy Award and Golden Globe® nominations for his standout work in the family boxing bio-pic The Fighter and for Martin Scorsese's acclaimed drama The Departed. Wahlberg has enjoyed playing diverse characters for visionary filmmakers such as David O. Russell, Tim Burton, Paul Thomas Anderson and Martin Scorsese. His breakout role in Boogie Nights established Wahlberg as one of Hollywood's most sought-after talents.
Wahlberg's remarkable film career began with Penny Marshall's Renaissance Man and The Basketball Diaries with Leonardo DiCaprio, followed by a star turn opposite Reese Witherspoon in the thriller Fear. He later headlined Three Kings and The Perfect Storm, both with George Clooney and The Italian Job with Charlize Theron. Wahlberg then starred in the football biopic Invincible with Greg Kinnear and Shooter, based on the best-selling novel Point of Impact. He reunited with director James Gray (with whom Wahlberg had worked on The Yards) and co-star Joaquin Phoenix in We Own The Night, which Wahlberg also produced. Other projects include The Happening, Max Payne, The Lovely Bones, Date Night and The Other Guys. Last year he starred in Contraband with Kate Beckinsale and in Seth MacFarlane's hit comedy TED. Upcoming are director Michael Bay's Pain & Gain and Two Guns opposite Denzel Washington.
Also an accomplished film and television producer, Wahlberg has received a Golden Globe Award, a Peabody Award, two Oscar nominations, ten Golden Globe nominations and five Emmy nominations. In addition to his behind the scenes work on Broken City, Contraband, The Fighter and We Own The Night, Wahlberg is executive producer of the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, Entourage, In Treatment and How To Make It In America.
A committed philanthropist, he founded The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation in 2001 to benefit inner city children and teens.
Russell Crowe (Mayor Nicolas Hostetler), an Academy Award winner, is considered one of the finest actors of his generation. Originally from New Zealand, he started making waves in the Australian film industry with his performance in the controversial film Romper Stomper, for which Crowe was critically acclaimed around the world. He received three consecutive Academy Award Best Actor nominations for his performances in The Insider, Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind, taking home the Oscar for Best Actor for Gladiator.
In addition to winning Oscar for his performance as Maximus, the Roman general-turned-gladiator, in Ridley Scott's Gladiator, Crowe earned Best Actor honors from several critics' organizations, including the Broadcast Film Critics Association and Best Actor nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA.
In Ron Howard's A Beautiful Mind, Crowe's masterful portrayal of Nobel Prize-winning John Forbes Nash, Jr. earned him his third Academy Award nomination and garnered him Best Actor awards from the Golden Globes, Broadcast Film Critics Association, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA and other critics groups.
Crowe received his first Academy Award nomination for his work in Michael Mann's drama The Insider, as tobacco company whistle-blower Jeffrey Wigand. He also earned Best Actor awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Broadcast Film Critics Association, National Society of Film Critics and the National Board of Review and Best Actor nominations for a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Crowe's recently starred in The Man With The Iron Fists, an action film set in feudal China, directed by RZA. Next, he joined the all-star cast of the feature film adaptation of Les Miserables. This summer he stars as Jor-El in Man Of Steel, directed by Zach Snyder. Also upcoming is his role as the title character in Noah, directed by Darren Aronofsky.
Crowe starred as John Brennan in Lionsgate's crime thriller The Next Three Days, alongside Olivia Wilde, Liam Neeson and Elizabeth Banks and as Robin Longstride in Ridley Scott's epic action-adventure Robin Hood. He also starred in the thriller State Of Play, along with Edward Norton, Rachel McAdams and Ben Affleck; Ridley Scott's drama Body Of Lies for Warner Bros, also starring Leonardo DiCaprio; Lionsgate's 3:10 To Yuma, opposite Christian Bale; and again with director Ridley Scott for Universal's American Gangster, with Denzel Washington.
Before his award-winning acclaim, Crowe made his mark on Hollywood in Curtis Hanson's crime drama L.A. Confidential as vice cop Bud White. His other film credits include Ron Howard's Cinderella Man, where he starred as Jim Braddock; A Good Year, directed by Ridley Scott, based on the book by Peter Mayle; Jay Roach's Mystery, Alaska; Taylor Hackford's Proof Of Life and Virtuosity, opposite Denzel Washington.
Crowe made his American film debut in the Western The Quick And The Dead, with Gene Hackman and Sharon Stone. Additional credits include Heaven's Burning; Breaking Up; Rough Magic; The Sum Of Us; For The Moment; Love In Limbo; The Silver Brumby, based on the classic Australian children's novel; The Efficiency Expert; and Prisoners Of The Sun.
The Australian Film Institute (AFI) nominated Crowe for Best Actor for The Crossing, and awarded him Best Supporting Actor award for Proof. AFI and the Australian Film Critics gave him Best Actor awards for his performance in Romper Stomper. In 1993, the Seattle International Film Festival named Crowe Best Actor for his work in both Romper Stomper and Hammers Over The Anvil.
Catherine Zeta-jones (Cathleen Hostetler) is a multi-award winning actress whose talents range from film to theater. She garnered an Academy Award for her portrayal of the notorious Velma Kelly, in the screen adaptation of the Broadway musical Chicago. The film, which won the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Picture, also starred Renée Zellweger and Richard Gere. Zeta-Jones was nominated for a Golden Globe and took home the Critics' Choice Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.
She won the Tony® Award for Lead Actress in a Musical for critically acclaimed debut on Broadway as Desirée Armfeldt in Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music. The successful musical also starred the legendary Angela Lansbury.
Zeta-Jones will soon be seen in Steven Soderbergh's Side Effects, with Channing Tatum, Rooney Mara and Jude Law. Her recent film credits include Playing For Keeps, with Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel and Dennis Quaid; and Stephen Frears' Lay The Favorite, with Bruce Willis and Vince Vaughn.
Previously, she starred in Rock Of Ages, directed by Adam Shankman, also starring Tom Cruise, Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin; Warner Bros.' hit romantic comedy No Reservations, also starring Aaron Eckhart; and the romantic thriller Death Defying Acts, with Guy Pearce.
In 2005, Zeta-Jones reprised her role as Elena de La Vega in The Legend Of Zorro, the sequel to the blockbuster film The Mask Of Zorro. She starred in Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's 12 and prior to that appeared opposite Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg's The Terminal. Zeta-Jones starred with George Clooney in the Coen Brothers' comedy Intolerable Cruelty.
Zeta-Jones earned a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of the wife of a drug- runner in Steven Soderbergh's Traffic. The cast of the critically praised film received a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture.
She first captured international recognition in the action adventure film, The Mask Of Zorro, opposite Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins. Zeta-Jones continued to captivate audiences in 1999, in Jon Amiel's romantic-thriller Entrapment, opposite screen legend Sean Connery. She starred with Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal and John Cusack in the ensemble comedy America's Sweethearts.
Born in Wales, Zeta-Jones began her career on the stage in London and following that was cast in the popular Yorkshire Television series The Darling Buds Of May, based on the novels of H.E. Bates.
In 2010, Zeta-Jones was awarded a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for her services to the film industry and charity.
Zeta-Jones is married to actor Michael Douglas. They have a son, Dylan and a daughter, Carys.
Jeffrey Wright (Colin Fairbanks) is a critically acclaimed actor who continually pushes the boundaries of his craft with inspiring and celebrated performances in an illustrious career that has spanned the worlds of theatre, film and television.
Wright is currently in production on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire which will be released by Lionsgate on November, 22 2013. He stars as Beetee, a tribute from District 3, who forms an alliance with Katniss and Peeta, during the 75th Hunger Games. He recently wrapped production on Jim Jarmusch's drama Only Lovers Left Alive as well as George Tillman Jr.'s drama The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister And Pete. He also stars in the crime drama A Single Shot directed by David M. Rosenthal which will also be released in 2013.
Wright was last seen in Warner Bros.' Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close directed by Stephen Daldry. Wright also starred in Sony's The Ides Of March, directed by and co-starring George Clooney. The film premiered at the 2011 Venice Film Festival and at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival and garnered critical acclaim and awards recognition, including a Golden Globe® nomination for Best Picture Drama.
Wright, a gifted theater actor, was most recently on stage as the lead in John Guare's "A Free Man of Color" at Lincoln Center, directed by George C. Wolfe, a frequent collaborator. In 2001 and 2002 respectively, he earned an Obie award and a Tony nomination for his work in the play "Topdog/Underdog". Wright garnered a Tony Award in 1994 for his portrayal in Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic Angels in America, also directed by George C. Wolfe. Wright reprised his Angels role in HBO's 2003 mini-series adaption of the play, earning both a Golden Globe® and an Emmy® for his groundbreaking performance.
On film, Wright has portrayed a stunning array of icons and iconoclasts. His brilliant portrayal of the renowned and controversial graffiti artist, Jean Michel Basquiat, in the 1996 film Basquiat, received widespread praise from critics and earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination. On the other end of the spectrum, Wright has taken on roles in the 2006 and 2008 James Bond films, Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace and also in 2008, starred as Muddy Waters in Cadillac Records and as Colin Powell in Oliver Stone's W. In 2005, he co-starred in the award-winning film Syriana and his other credits include Jonathan Demme's remake of The Manchurian CandidatE; Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers, earning another Independent Spirit Award® nomination; Ang Lee's Ride With The Devil and Shaft. For his portrayal of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in HBO's Boycott, he received a 2001 AFI award.
Barry Pepper (Jack Valliant), ever since he gained critical attention for his portrayal of Private Jackson in the Academy Award winning feature Saving Private Ryan, has been sought out for compelling roles with award-winning filmmakers. Pepper recently wrapped The Lone Ranger for Disney, directed by Gore Verbinski, with Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer.
Pepper has starred alongside some of today's most respected fellow actors and directors: in the soon to be released Snitch, along with Dwayne Johnson and Susan Sarandon; with Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin and Matt Damon in the Coen Brother's remake of True Grit; and opposite Kevin Spacey in Casino Jack, the story of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. For his performance in this film Pepper was the recipient of the Hollywood Spotlight Award from the 14th annual Hollywood Film Festival. He also starred in Like Dandelion Dust, which won more than 30 national and international film festival awards, including Best Actor at the 2009 Las Vegas International Film Festival and 2009 NY Vision Festival.
His other starring roles include: opposite Will Smith in Columbia Pictures' Seven PoundS; Clint Eastwood's World War II epic Flags Of Our Fathers for Dreamworks/Warner Bros; starring alongside Tom Hanks in the Academy Award winning feature The Green MilE; 25th Hour, Spike Lee's compelling view of post-9/11 New York City, also starring Ed Norton and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Pepper had a key role in The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada, for Sony Pictures Classics, which marked Tommy Lee Jones' directorial debut. The film was shown in competition at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival and Pepper received a nomination for Best Supporting Male in the 2006 Independent Spirit Awards.
Additional feature credits for Pepper include the Bruckheimer/Scott thriller Enemy Of The State, with Will Smith and Gene Hackman; the critically acclaimed Paramount Pictures' We Were Soldiers, with Mel Gibson; and the New Line feature Knockaround Guys, opposite John Malkovich and Dennis Hopper.
Pepper starred as Robert Kennedy in the Reelz Channel miniseries The Kennedys, with Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes. In recognition of his outstanding performance, Pepper won the 2011 Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie and the 26th annual Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series.
He has also made his mark as a producer. He executive produced and starred in the title role of the ESPN feature 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story, a biopic of the NASCAR star who died in a crash during the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. Pepper's performance garnered a nomination for the 11th Annual SAG Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries. He also executive produced and starred in The Snow Walker, for which Pepper received a Best Actor nomination for the 24th Annual Genie Awards in Canada, as well as eight other nominations for the film.
Pepper's starring role in the HBO feature 61* earned him nominations for a Golden Globe, an Emmy and a Critic's Choice Award. The film tells the story behind the competition between the New York Yankees' Roger Maris (Pepper) and Mickey Mantle (Thomas Jane) to break Babe Ruth's single season home run record in 1961. The critically acclaimed film was directed and executive produced by Billy Crystal.
Kyle Chandler (Paul Chandler) is most widely known for his role as Coach Eric Taylor on Friday Night Lights, which wrapped its final season in 2011 to both critical and popular acclaim. For his final season as Coach, Kyle was awarded with the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama. The NBC/DirecTV drama is based on Peter Berg's feature film of the same name, which focuses on a Texas high school football team and the struggles they face together, on and off the field.
Chandler can currently be seen in Argo, a dramatic thriller both directed by and starring Ben Affleck. The film centers on a CIA specialist who works to free six Americans who are hiding in the home of a Canadian ambassador and also stars Bryan Cranston, Victor Garber and John Goodman. He co-stars in the drama Zero Dark Thirty, alongside Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke and James Gandolfini. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, the film chronicles the decade- long hunt for Osama bin Laden and his eventual capture in May 2011.
Next year, Chandler will be seen in the independent drama, The Spectacular Now, which was recently accepted into the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. He also appears in the upcoming Untitled Terrence Malick Project alongside Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Cate Blanchett and many others. He is currently filming the Martin Scorsese drama The Wolf Of Wall Street, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey and Jonah Hill.
Chandler's additional film credits include J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg's Super 8, plus The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Kingdom, King Kong, Mulholland Falls, Angel's Dance, Pure Country and The Color Of Evening.
Chandler's additional television credits include a memorable performance on the medical drama "Grey's Anatomy" which garnered him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Performance in a Drama Series, The Lyons Den, Homefront, Early Edition, What About Joan, Starring Pancho Villa as Himself and China Beach.
On Broadway, Chandler appeared as Hal Carter in "Picnic" opposite Ashley Judd. A drama graduate from the University of Georgia, Chandler currently lives in Texas with his wife and two daughters.
Natalie Martinez (Natalie) co-starred in David Ayer's cop drama End Of Watch, opposite Jake Gyllenhaal, Anna Kendrick and Michael Pena. Playing Gabby Zavala, the wife of LAPD officer Mike Zavala (Pena), Natalie brings a softer aspect to the film.
Natalie is currently working as a guest star on the CBS series CSI: New York, as Detective Lovato. Natalie has been as series regular in the 2011 ABC series Detroit 187 opposite Michael Imperioli and James McDaniel. Before that she played the lead role of Case in Universal's Deathrace opposite Jason Statham.
Born in Miami, Natalie is of Cuban descent and currently resides in Los Angeles.