Friday 24th January 2014
The world's foremost expert in prison security is trapped in a brutal black-ops fortress housing the world's most dangerous criminals in Escape Plan, a high-octane action-thriller driven by the explosive star power of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Ray Breslin (Stallone) is the world's leading authority on prisons-building them, securing them and, most importantly, breaking out of them. Handsomely paid to engineer real-life jailbreaks in high-security correctional facilities, Ray been incarcerated in every super-max facility run by the Federal Bureau of Prisons-with a 100 percent escape rate.
When Ray and his associates at B & C Security, Abigail (Amy Ryan), Hush (Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson) and Lester (Vincent D'Onofrio) are offered double their normal rate to evaluate The Tomb, an off-the-grid, privately-run maximum-security prison constructed using Breslin's own stringent protocols, Breslin can't resist the challenge. To replicate an actual imprisonment, the location of the prison is to remain undisclosed and Breslin will be unable to communicate with his team in any way.
Once inside, Breslin discovers that The Tomb is a pitiless high-tech warehouse for some of the world's deadliest lawbreakers. A seemingly endless maze of glass cells kept under constant video surveillance and surrounded by heavily armed, masked guards, The Tomb seems to offer no possibility of escape. Worse, the sadistic warden, Willard Hobbes (Jim Caviezel), makes it his personal mission to break the wills of uncooperative inmates-like Breslin-by any means possible.
When Breslin attempts to use the prearranged evacuation code to free himself, Hobbes claims not to know what he's talking about. Realizing he's been set up by an unknown enemy, Breslin has no choice but to turn to the prison's mysterious strongman, Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger), to help him survive the violence and treachery of The Tomb long enough to unlock its secrets.
Escape Plan stars Sylvester Stallone (The Expendables, Rocky), Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Last Stand, The Terminator), Jim Caviezel (Person of Interest, The Passion of the Christ), Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson (The Frozen Ground, Fire with Fire), Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, The Hunt for Red October), Vinnie Jones (Snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels), Faran Tahir (Warehouse 13, Star Trek), with Vincent D'Onofrio (Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Full Metal Jacket) and Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone, The Office).
Escape Plan is directed by acclaimed Swedish director Mikael Håfström (The Rite, Evil) from a screenplay by Miles Chapman and Arnell Jesko and story by Miles Chapman. Producers are Mark Canton (300: Rise of an Empire, 300 and Immortals), Randall Emmett (End of Watch, 2 Guns), Remington Chase (End of Watch, Alex Cross), Robbie Brenner (The Fighter, 21 & Over) and Kevin King-Templeton (The Expendables, Rocky Balboa). Executive producers are George Furla (The Frozen Ground, Rambo), Mark Stewart, Zack Schiller (Grandma's Boy, Anger Management), Alexander Boies, Nicolas Stern (The Frozen Ground, Empire State), Jeff Rice (Empire State, A Single Shot) and Brandt Andersen (2 Guns, The Letter). Co-producers are Stepan Martirosyan, Kelly Dennis and Brandon Grimes.
The golden age of Hollywood action films was dominated by a pair of hallmark stars, broad-shouldered, square-jawed loners who faced down their adversaries with unflinching determination. For more than 20 years, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger vied for supremacy in a quintessentially American movie genre, but never stood side by side in an adventure that pitted the two giants against a worthy foe.
Never, that is, until Escape Plan, in which fittingly, the enemy is no mere human, but a chillingly prophetic vision of the ultimate prison-The Tomb, a bottomless black hole into which some of the most dangerous men alive disappear, never to be seen again.
Penned by first-time screenwriter Miles Chapman and Arnell Jesko, Escape Plan follows security expert Ray Breslin on a journey through a brutal world that hints at the future, but remains firmly rooted in today. Hired to ferret out the flaws in The Tomb's monolithic security system, Breslin becomes trapped in a maximum-security facility designed based on his own recommendations, but without regard to law or human rights. Unable to find a way out on his own, Breslin is forced to team up with fellow detainee Emil Rottmayer for help with his daring escape plan.
Stallone recognized in the script's innovative concept and nuanced narrative a unique opportunity to reinvigorate the action genre. "Today's audience is intelligent and demanding," he explains. "You have to give them something unusual, like pairing Arnold and me. This is a film that I don't think people are going to expect from us. We were on a parallel career course during what I would call the golden age of hardcore action films, but this is something new. It is not just guns and flames and bombs. Our characters really have to use their brains to get out. There's a tremendous amount of action in it, but it is very much a thinking man's adventure, and it plays into the mature part of our careers."
For producer Mark Canton, who has produced a host of raging actioners including 300 and Immortals, the pairing of the two screen legends was a long time coming. "I have always wanted to see Sly and Arnold on-screen together," Canton says. "It has been surprisingly difficult to find a project that would bring out the best in both of them. They are both great in The Expendables, but Arnold has a very specific and small role. Here they have a real partnership that pits them head to head and mano a mano.
"Sly and Arnold are masters of what they do," Canton adds. "Sly loves to write and he's an acclaimed director, so he had a very strong point of view about his character. Arnold knows what he needs to know and he knew how to play off of Sly. What interested both of them was that they are not playing paper cutouts. At this point in their careers, they don't have anything to prove. They want satisfying roles and a good environment to work in and this project had all those opportunities for them."
Producer Randall Emmett adds, "Sylvester is a consummate film-maker and he was instrumental in shaping the film from script and thru production, giving us invaluable input.
Screenwriter Chapman conducted extensive research for the project, spending months studying prison architecture with an expert from UCLA and devouring books on the subject. "It was important that everything be plausible," the writer says. "The Tomb is the ultimate prison. It's Guantanamo Bay 3.0, only it's run by a for-profit company, which allows its clients-governments, multi-national corporations, influential individuals-to deny any knowledge of its existence. If you're powerful and wealthy enough, you can make people disappear forever. We are right at the boundaries of reality with a facility that could, and perhaps has been, built today. There's nothing in the film that is technologically impossible."
"Miles and Arnell have written a really compelling script," says Canton. "Escape Plan is an unusual combination of high-velocity intrigue and mystery. There is no lack of testosterone in this movie. It features a lot of ass kicking, a lot of action and a lot of good guys and bad guys. But it's also a brilliantly conceived puzzle and, if we've done our job right, the audience will not be ahead of what's happening on screen."
In a chilling reference to the real-life U.S. government practice of "extraordinary rendition," the prisoners held in The Tomb have been "disappeared," drugged and abducted, then spirited away to a remote and undisclosed location. Accused of an array of crimes that threaten world order, they are held indefinitely, without any kind of trial or sentencing.
"Once you get there, you have no idea where in the world you are," says Chapman. "You never see the sky. There are no routines, no set meal times, no scheduled shift changes. All points of reference are taken away to disorient and break the wills of the detainees. Unfortunately for Ray Breslin, The Tomb was built according to his own guidelines to be escape-proof."
Producer Randall Emmett, co-chair of Emmett/Furla Films, found the idea that the world's foremost expert on prison security is trapped in a prison designed to his own specifications to be extremely compelling, but it was the script's multiple twist and turns that really got his attention. "When we learn that he has been set up by persons unknown, it becomes even more intriguing," Emmett says. "There were so many other elements that I never saw coming, like the location of the prison. That reveal totally blew me away."
For Kevin King-Templeton, a long-time associate of Stallone and producer of The Expendables franchise as well as Escape Plan, the script's unusual story and sharp, economical dialogue was a powerful draw. "It was unlike anything I'd ever read," he says. "The twists will shock the audience. Nothing is what it appears to be."
If The Tomb were to exist in real life, the lack of adherence to any human rights conventions would ensure that it was a top-secret, covert operation, King-Templeton says. "The idea of extraordinary rendition, imprisoning people without a trial and denying them any kind of human rights in the wake of war on terror, that's part of what separates this from other prison-escape movies."
The producers realised that combining eye-popping action, brilliantly imagined futuristic visuals and character-driven drama in a single film would require a deft hand at the helm. They knew they had found everything they needed when they met with Swedish director Mikael Håfström. The director's résumé reaches across the Atlantic, with films that range from Hollywood productions like The Rite, a horror-thriller starring Oscar®-winner Anthony Hopkins, to the Oscar®-nominated Swedish drama, Evil. Escape Plan, with its epic scope and slowly unravelling mysteries, is his most ambitious project to date.
"Mikael understood the material and the characters," says Emmett. "He also understood that we wanted to make a big action movie that will entertain people, as well as a quality-driven film. He was the best person to blend those elements together seamlessly."
Håfström's ability to problem solve-much in the same way Ray Breslin does in the film-helped make him the ideal director for the project, according to Chapman. "He breaks situations down in an almost mathematical way. At the same time, the heartbeat of the movie is very visceral. This is a great adventure at its core. Mikael understood that and recognized the scope of the story. And he captured both sides of the movie with an awesome sense of humour."
Håfström says he was attracted by the screenplay's fresh take on a proven genre. "The twists are great. We all like to be surprised by a situation or a character. And, of course, to have the opportunity to do it with Sylvester Stallone was something that I couldn't resist. Then when Arnold became attached, it was almost too overwhelming to think I would be working with two such iconic action stars."
The project offers more than just twists and action, however, says the director. "It's a rich movie with layered, interesting characters, as well as a great adventure. Sly's character carries with him a dark past that is revealed during the film and Arnold's character has a lot of secrets in his back pocket. Watching these two characters get to know each other and reveal their history is what really drives the film. That for me was the main reason to dig into it."
Seeing his script come to life in this way has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Chapman, who says the film's No. 1 goal is to entertain. "The movies I love tell a great story with real characters, humour and larger-than-life action, so you care about what happens. I hope what we've provided is intelligent and thrilling entertainment."
Escape Plan is designed as a non-stop thrill ride, according to Emmett. "And when you get off our ride, you are going to be fully satisfied. It is packed with adrenaline, but there is also a lot of intense emotion in addition to the action. You are going to see two of the most iconic action stars in history on screen together for two hours and that will be something really special. Casting Arnold & Sylvester in the same movie was a dream pairing. These two iconic action figures have excited and thrilled movie audiences worldwide and having them on the same film playing off each other would definitely satisfy their legions of fans."
Producer Mark Canton notes that after four decades making movies, his mission remains the same. "I always aim to give audiences a movie they can only experience properly in a movie theatre," he says. "And I feel very excited about this picture. It doesn't matter if you're an 18-year-old college kid or a 50-year-old professional man or woman. The sheer originality of the project, along with the level of acting talent and the unique style that our director brings to it offers something for everyone."
Ray Breslin, the protagonist of Escape Plan, is a professional escape artist. With no tools other than his formidable intellect, he identifies the weaknesses of a prison in order to prevent breakouts like the one that changed his life forever. A unique combination of fierce intelligence and old-fashioned tough-guy resilience, Breslin has conquered every obstacle put in his path-until he confronts the challenge of a lifetime: escaping from the ultra-high-security prison known as The Tomb.
Breslin has an uncanny ability to take the bits and pieces he observes in his environment and use them to construct a mental schematic of the physical and personal elements around him. "He has an unusually analytical mind," says writer Miles Chapman. "He's able to identify weak points in the prison structure as well as vulnerable points in the human structure of the prison-the guards, the warden, the doctor-and exploit those flaws. He's been able to break out of every prison he's been in, but when he enters The Tomb, what seemed to be a routine job turns into his worst nightmare."
For Chapman, no actor could have embodied the complexities of Ray Breslin better than Sylvester Stallone. "Breslin has to be believable as a prison inmate, but also as the smartest guy in the room," says Chapman. "Sly is perfect for both those things, as well as for capturing the essence of an alpha male who's haunted by the past."
The character's cunning and resourcefulness made him irresistible to the actor. Ray takes observations that might seem inconsequential to the average man and uses them to fashion ingenious and unstoppable escape plans. "He might count how many footsteps a guard has to take to get from one place to another, or how often he looks at his watch," says Stallone. "But The Tomb is unlike any prison he's ever seen before. It seems absolutely escape-proof. And even if Ray gets out, the location ensures that he will have nowhere to go."
Stallone found the character and the story compelling, believable and utterly unpredictable. "I have read so many scripts that I can pretty much see by page 30 how the story is going to turn out," he says. "Reading this script, I never knew was going to happen. By the time I got to the middle, I was flabbergasted. I didn't see that coming."
The star's work ethic and unflagging enthusiasm for the project was inspiring to everyone on set, according to King-Templeton. "Sly is the consummate professional," he says. "It was a 50-day shoot and I think he worked 47 of them. He's first to the set, he's never late. He reads his script, he knows his lines and he knows everyone else's lines. This is his passion, so he has input on the dialogue and wants to collaborate very closely with the director."
As an acclaimed director himself, Stallone found much to admire in Mikael Håfström's approach to filming, specifically citing his discipline and creativity, as well as the attention he pays to each actor. "With Mikael, very little is left to chance," says Stallone. "He's very exacting. He had specific intentions for each character. Some directors are more interested in the choreography of the shot, but I believe if you don't direct the actors, the film risks becoming a hollow shell. He doesn't allow that to happen."
When Breslin figures out that he's been set up, his only hope of escape lies in fellow detainee Emil Rottmayer, a mysterious figure who wields enormous power within the prison population. The alliance between the pair is fraught with mistrust, but each recognizes that the other is his last best hope for freedom.
"Ray can't trust anyone in The Tomb," says Stallone. "He was duped into coming there and is tremendously suspicious of everyone around him. All of a sudden, Rottmayer wants to befriend him. Ray has to make a choice: blow him off and make a substantial enemy or try and play him before he plays Ray. It becomes a chess game."
The actor who plays Rottmayer had to be a match for Stallone, both physically as well as in terms of sheer star power. "When Sly came on, it energized everybody," says Chapman. "But then the question was who would play Rottmayer, who is really a co-lead. It seemed like a tall order until Stallone made a bold suggestion for the part-Arnold Schwarzenegger."
The timing was perfect for Schwarzenegger. His six years as governor of California had recently ended and he was ready to segue back into acting. "He was very enthusiastic about this project," Håfström says. "We talked and he was on board right away. Working with these two extremely professional guys has been a real treat for me as a director. They were always prepared, always on time and they created a great atmosphere on the set."
Before he arrived at The Tomb, Rottmayer worked for a mysterious cyber terrorist named Victor Mannheim. The elusive Mannheim is a technological Robin Hood capable of engineering a financial collapse that could lead to a worldwide wide monetary crisis. As his former head of security, Rottmayer is believed to know Mannheim's whereabouts. Revealing this information is the price of his freedom, but thus far, he has refused. Schwarzenegger plays the character with the deadpan humour and native shrewdness that belie his beefcake beginnings.
"Rottmayer is a mysterious character," says Chapman. "He reveals himself bit by bit. Arnold brings the iconography of Schwarzenegger with him, so you think you know him, but then you realize that maybe you don't. His natural charisma and stature are important to the character."
Stallone had already had a hand in engineering Schwarzenegger's return to the screen, arranging for him to shoot a small part in the first Expendables movie while he was still governor. "We shot four hours on a Saturday only, since it was my day off," says Schwarzenegger. "Then I did four days on the second Expendables after I left office. We knew we had a certain chemistry, so we were actively looking for something where we could appear in the whole movie together."
After almost 30 years as fierce competitors who forged careers in the same genre and pursued many of the same roles, Stallone and Schwarzenegger had also become great friends. "Our competitiveness brought out the best of our abilities," says Stallone. "We just kept pushing the envelope. Like the competition between Ali and Frazier, it made us work that much harder."
"Sly and I were very competitive in the early days," agrees Schwarzenegger. "It was always about who had the most cuts, the best muscle separation, the least amount of body fat, as well as who had the biggest guns and the biggest on-screen body count. This kind of competition was continuous. But we always appreciated each other's talent."
The competition has given way to mutual respect. "Sly is a terrific director, an unbelievable writer and a very good actor," says Schwarzenegger. "He had an endless number of ideas about how each scene could be better and Mikael was open-minded enough to listen. He is a very strong director with a very clear vision of what the scene should be and a perfectionist who rehearsed and tweaked and reshaped things until they worked."
Canton says the chance to finally work with the two superstars was well worth the wait. "Sly and Arnold know what's expected of them," he says. "They train for it. Most people half their age couldn't do what they do and that's the greatness of these two guys. It's phenomenal to see two icons in the same scene. There's a weight to it that you don't often see."
Breslin and Rottmayer's mutual adversary is The Tomb's sadistic warden, Willard Hobbes, played by Jim Caviezel. Hobbes rules the prison with an iron fist and a taste for torture. According to Stallone, Chapman has painted a devastating portrait of a man trapped by his own creation. "He seems to be a man who punishes himself as much as he does the prisoners. What man in his right mind would be in The Tomb of his own free will?"
Hobbes is one of the screenwriter's favourite characters. "He's younger than Breslin and therefore he represents a new generation," says Chapman. "He's used Breslin's life's work to build the next big thing in prison security and now he feels he's smarter than Breslin. Jim brought all sorts of fun stuff to the character. As a screenwriter, I write it and hope it's a good blueprint for everybody. To see it brought to life by actors like Jim is really gratifying."
Caviezel was excited to take on the role of the warden for a number of reasons. "The first thing I look at is the overall screenplay and how everything works together," says the actor. "I thought this was an unusually good combination of elements. I was impressed by the director, and you can't find two bigger motion-picture heroes than Stallone and Schwarzenegger. When I looked at Hobbes, I thought I could do something interesting that wouldn't just make him a typical villain."
Caviezel enjoyed the gamesmanship that the role required of him and tried to find the sympathetic side of an undeniably evil character. "Hobbes needs to prevent these people from entering into society," he points out. "They are the worst of the worst, for the most part. He battles them psychologically as well as physically, especially Breslin. And he will win, he has no doubt about it.
"The detainees are almost like his children, in a twisted way," the actor continues. "He wants them to be perfect. But if you break his rules, he will pull the life right out of you-very slowly. And you won't get to die when you want to. He will choose that moment."
Caviezel was thrilled to be working with his illustrious cast mates, recalling that when he first came to Los Angeles from Alberta, he worked out to "Eye of the Tiger." He even has a secret history with both of them. "When I first started out, I worked as a waiter," he says. "At George H. W. Bush's birthday party in 1991, I served Sly a glass of champagne. I also worked an event with Arnold and I remember him asking me for something and I said, 'I'll be back.' And he said, 'Wait a minute, that's my line.'"
When he's planning a prison break, Breslin's lifeline on the outside are his associates at B & C Security, including Abigail Ross, played by Amy Ryan. "Abigail is Breslin's best friend," says Chapman. "She runs the company for him when he's away, but she's also somebody who's always there for him. Amy is a subtle, strong actress who brings a groundedness and a great sense of reality to the character. It's a beautiful thing to watch."
Abigail is a jack-of-all-trades, according to Emmett, able to handle explosives, drive a getaway car or balance a spreadsheet, as needed. "She's Breslin's right hand. Amy Ryan is the gift of gifts in that part. She is an Oscar®-nominated actress, a great stage actress and she shines in an action-based movie, as well. Actors of her caliber are rare."
Ryan was looking for a change of pace after playing a string of suburban mothers and thought that Abigail represented a sharp turn away from those characters. "She's a whip-smart businesswoman who gets to blow up a car," she says. "That is pretty far from the ladies I had been playing. I would call her a no-nonsense, sarcastic, fearless character, which I certainly enjoyed."
More than anyone else at B & C, Abigail is skeptical of the offer to investigate The Tomb. The set-up violates every rule and protocol that they follow. "It just feels wrong to her, but Breslin wants to do it," says Ryan. "How do you say no to Sylvester Stallone? To be in an action film with these guys is a bit surreal, but luckily, I got to sit in air-conditioned comfort, while they did all the big stunts."
Hush, B & C Security's street-smart computer wizard, is played by GRAMMY®-winning recording artist Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson. A former hacker, Hush met Breslin in prison and the security expert helped get Hush on the straight and narrow after he finished his sentence. "I loved the idea of Curtis playing a role that isn't the most obvious choice for him," says Chapman. "Hush is the tech prodigy who keeps all the company's computer systems up and running, as well as being able to do a little unauthorized research when he has to. And because he's an ex-con as well, he has an understanding of what Breslin is up against that the others don't have."
Once again, it was Stallone who instigated a bit of unusual, but inspired, casting. "Initially, Curtis was being considered for the role of one of the prisoners in The Tomb," says Emmett, who is a partner with the rapper in the production company Cheetah Vision. "But Sly wanted him to play something completely unexpected. As Curtis branches out more and more as an actor, he is always pushing himself to take on roles people aren't used to seeing in him, so he was thrilled to take the part."
"This character is very different from anything I've done in the past," agrees Jackson. "Just like Breslin recognized the value of Hush's skills, Sly and the director saw something in me that wasn't obvious, so I hope that when fans see the movie, they will be able to focus on the character and the acting, and not the fact that it's 50 Cent on screen."
Even a GRAMMY® winner could be wowed by the considerable star power on Escape Plan's set. "I'm a big fan of both Sly and Arnold, so I had a little bit of a groupie moment," admits Jackson. "But I recovered. Sly has always been able to create really memorable moments in films and it was great to witness that in person he improvises little things all the time that personalize the scene and make it feel real."
The actors playing supporting roles in Escape Plan are just as illustrious as the stars, with Vincent D'Onofrio stepping in as Lester Clark. As played by D'Onofrio, Clark is an affable germophobe responsible for the company's bottom line. "Lester Clark is somebody you respect and you believe Breslin would trust," says Chapman. "Vincent is such a great actor. He brought lots of different colours to the character and found some unexpected humour in it, as well."
As Kevin King-Templeton points out, it is an extraordinarily deep cast for an action film, including Sam Neill as Dr. Kyrie, the prison's conscience-ridden doctor, Vinnie Jones as Drake, the most vicious of Hobbes' jackbooted henchmen, and Faran Tahir, a detainee with more surprises up his sleeve. "We have some of America's finest actors in this cast," King-Templeton says. "Having them on board sets this movie apart. They bring a level of talent that would be astonishing in any movie."
When Ray Breslin awakens in The Tomb for the first time, he faces an awe-inspiring and terrifying view. Trapped in a tiny glass cell, Ray is surrounded by a maze of identical clear boxes extending as far as he can see, each containing a single man. He and the other inmates are surrounded by an army of black clad, masked thugs in a vast warehouse without windows or clocks.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, who visited quite a few prisons during his stint as governor of California, describes his stay in The Tomb like this: "You are under observation 24 hours a day. You're watched when you eat, when you go to the bathroom, when you brush your teeth, when you lie in bed. There's absolutely no privacy, because the prison cell is entirely made of glass. You're always on display, which means nothing can be hidden. That's what makes it almost impossible to break out."
A stunning visualization of a hellish new kind of incarceration, the interior of The Tomb had its genesis in the mind of Mikael Håfström. "If The Tomb existed, I felt it would be unlike anything we've ever seen," the director says. "So the sky was really the limit when we were thinking how to design this environment. It's not a science-fiction film, but the set takes us right to the verge of a new era."
Determined to refine his vision for the prison as soon as possible, Håfström began working with a team of storyboard artists before pre-production even started. "He has been an incredible creative partner," says Emmett. "He could see The Tomb in his head and he wanted everyone else to see it as well. When we got the pictures, they were spectacular. This prison is on the cusp of the future. It's the most advanced high-tech prison in the world. And the set he conceived was massive, bigger than anything I had ever worked on before."
Finding the space needed to realize the elaborate interior Håfström envisioned for The Tomb took some ingenuity as well. Location manager Elston Howard, whose credits include Jonah Hex, Green Lantern and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, found a unique solution to the film-makers' conundrum in an unexpected place: the Vertical Assembly Base (or VAB) at the Michoud NASA Facility in New Orleans.
"We built the interior of The Tomb in the VAB," Howard said. "It's where the external fuel tanks for the Space Shuttle were built. Since the Space Program is in a temporary holding pattern while they design a new rocket, we were able to move production in there. The VAB is 263 feet high and encompasses about 170,000 square feet. The scale of it begs to be used for film production."
None of the film-makers had ever visited a NASA facility before-or seen a sound stage of such unprecedented size. "You could put five space shuttles in the place we were shooting," Emmett says. "I thought we were going to be in a traditional stage, with traditional sets. When I showed up, all I could think to say was, 'who's paying for this?'" >
Being able to shoot at the NASA facility in New Orleans elevated the look of the film beyond even Håfström's wildest expectations. "It is an amazing place," the director says. "We did our best to take full advantage of the scale with 80-foot crane shots that really show off the vastness of the space."
The director contrasted the seemingly limitless glass cell blocks and mess halls with a smaller, claustrophobic and especially punishing version of solitary confinement known as the hot box. Confined to a tiny airless room, prisoners are subjected to blinding light and extreme temperatures until they are reduced to sobbing wrecks." The hot box takes solitary to a new level," says King-Templeton. "There's no specific amount of time you're in there. You could die there. There's no government agency saying OK, he's had enough. If they want to keep you there, they'll keep you there. It's terrifying."
Stallone's vision to reinvigorate the genre that made him a legend spawned a scene that is sure to be a fan favourite. The explosive showdown between Breslin and Rottmayer wasn't even in the original script, but when casting finalized, it became all but inevitable. Stallone and Schwarzenegger face off in the first hand-to-hand fight sequence between the two masters of the action genre. "The fight scene is pretty monumental," says Emmett. "To see these two icons go at it is like nothing you have seen before."
Stallone says that having Rottmayer and Breslin go head to head was a no-brainer. "For Arnold and me to be in a movie like this together and not get a chance to go at it would be a tremendous disappointment for the audience. I've already gone up against everyone from Mr. T. to Dolph Lundgren to Apollo Creed to Hulk Hogan. I thought the fight with Jean-Claude Van Damme in The Expendables was going to be the last one, but then there was Arnold. The fans will be expecting fireworks and they will get them." Adds Schwarzenegger: "We all agreed that that it would be cheating the audience to have us both in a movie and not have some kind of a confrontation. It's a major fight scene in the movie, and it gets wild with the fists and the bodies and the throwing each other around and all of that. The fans will be very pleased."
Stunt coordinator Noon Orsatti oversaw this clash of the Titans. "Knowing that I was going to be working on a fight between Sly and Arnold was really exciting," he recalls. "Our fight choreographer Jonathan Eusebio and I were champing at the bit. We wanted it to be extremely aggressive, so it went through a lot of evolution. When we showed up on the set, the director had his own thoughts, Sly had his own take on it and Arnold had his as well. It became quite collaborative. They incorporated quite a bit of levity into it that we hadn't thought of."
A third-generation stunt coordinator, Orsatti thought he had seen everything, "But when you see these two icons, one with a stranglehold on the other, it's something else," he says. "It's a great fight and the audience is going to be fully satisfied by it. Arnold and Sly brought everything they have in them to the table. I don't get excited about walking on the set with too many people. But this was special."
Reducing his charges to ciphers is part of the way Warden Hobbes maintains order in his domain and costume designer Lizz Wolf created the prisoners' uniforms with that in mind. "This is a prison that we've never seen before and hopefully never will see," she says. "I did some research on so-called 'black sites,' the kinds of places you hear whispered about. The inhabitants are referred to as 'ghost detainees'. I wanted to take all the colour and the texture away to dehumanize these people and reduce them to nothing."
In stark contrast, the ominous black uniforms worn by The Tomb's guards add to the fear these brutal jailers incite in their charges. Glossy black masks render them featureless, reflecting the prisoners' own faces back at them. "I really wanted to give them an expressionless face that was completely terrifying," says Wolf. "They say that the soul is in the eyes, but with these masks, you can't see anything underneath. When Ray Breslin tries to look in to the eyes of a guard, all he can see is himself. And ultimately, he has to find what he needs inside himself, because there is no one else."
Those kinds of creative insights are part of what makes Escape Plan such an exhilarating adventure for Stallone. "This film is totally original," he says. "That's why I wanted to be involved. It's extremely hard to come across something that covers new ground, but this does. Perhaps there will be a preconceived notion out there that it's going to be wall-to-wall muscles and machine guns, but what the audience is actually going to experience will be a complete surprise."
Sylvester Stallone (Ray Breslin) has established worldwide recognition as an actor, writer and director since he played the title role in his own screenplay of Rocky, which won the Academy Award® in 1976 for Best Picture.
Since that seminal motion picture, Rocky grew to a franchise of five sequels and in 2006 Stallone concluded the series with Rocky Balboa, a critical and audience success which resolutely confirmed both Stallone and Rocky as iconic cultural symbols. In addition, to commemorate a character which has become as real as any living person to film-going audiences around the world, a statue of Rocky Balboa was placed at the foot of the now-famous steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum at a dedication ceremony presided over by the Mayor.
In more recent times, Stallone wrote, directed and starred in Rambo, which continued the saga of Vietnam vet John Rambo twenty five years after the debut of Rambo: First Blood. For the latest installment, Stallone took the company on location to the inner jungles of Burma basing the compelling story in a country where crimes against humanity, civil war and genocide have existed for over 60 years - and no one is doing anything about it.
Stallone then released his a most ambitious project, the action thriller The Expendables, which he wrote, directed and starred in, and for which he hired an all-star cast including Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, Eric Roberts, Dolph Lungren and Steve Austin - as well as Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, which opened to Number One at the Box Office - making him the only actor to open a Number One Film across Five Decades. Sly took the company on location to the interior of Brazil and the city streets New Orleans, filming over just a few short months.
Arnold Schwarzenegger (Emil Rottmayer) is known all over the globe for his many accomplishments as a world-champion body-builder, Hollywood action hero, successful businessman, environmentalist, philanthropist, best-selling author and California's 38th governor. Most recently, he appeared in the actioner The Last Stand alongside Forest Whitaker and Johnny Knoxville. Up next for Schwarzenegger are David Ayer's crime drama Sabotage, co-starring Sam Worthington and Terrence Howard; Henry Hobson's horror-romance Maggie, alongside Abigail Breslin; and The Expendables 3, with Sylvester Stallone and numerous other stars.
Schwarzenegger was born in Thal, Austria, in 1947 and by the age of 20 was dominating the sport of competitive body-building. Becoming the youngest person ever to win the Mr. Universe title, he generated a new international audience for body-building and became a sports icon.
With his sights set on Hollywood, Schwarzenegger emigrated to the U.S. in 1968 and went on to win five Mr. Universe titles and seven Mr. Olympia titles before retiring to dedicate himself to acting. Later, he would earn a degree from the University of Wisconsin and proudly became a U.S. citizen.
Schwarzenegger, who worked under the pseudonym Arnold Strong in his first feature, Hercules in New York, quickly made a name for himself in Hollywood. In 1977 the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognized him with a Golden Globe® Award for New Male Star of the Year for his role in Stay Hungry, opposite Sally Field. His big break came in 1982 when John Milius' sword-and-sorcery epic, Conan the Barbarian, struck gold at the box office.
In 1984 Schwarzenegger catapulted himself into cinema history as the title character in James Cameron's sci-fi thriller The Terminator. He is the only actor to appear in both categories of the American Film Institutes's "Hundred Years of Heroes and Villains" for roles he played in the Terminator series.
Other film credits include Commando, Predator, Twins, Total Recall, True Lies, Eraser, Collateral Damage, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Sylvester Stallone's homage to action films, The Expendables (as well as The Expendables 2). To date his films have grossed more than $3 billion worldwide.
In 2003 Schwarzenegger became the 38th governor of California in a historic recall election. Among his many achievements, Schwarzenegger signed into law the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 and established the Million Solar Roofs Plan, making California a leader in protecting the environment and rebuilding infrastructure. As governor Schwarzenegger also implemented the hugely successful California Film & TV Television Tax Credit Program, designed to stimulate production in the state.
In recognition of these efforts, Schwarzenegger has been honoured for his leadership and vision many times including the Simon Wiesenthal Center's National Leadership Award and the American Council on Renewable Energy's "Renewable Energy Leader of the Decade." What gives Schwarzenegger the most satisfaction is giving something back to his state and to his country through public service. Donating his time, energy and personal finances to serving others, Schwarzenegger acts as chairman of the After School All-Stars, a nationwide after-school program, and serves as coach and international torch-bearer for the Special Olympics. Previously, he served as chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under George H. W. Bush and chaired the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under Governor Pete Wilson.
Jim Caviezel (Hobbes) is a versatile and intense actor. It could be said that Caviezel's role as Jesus in the box-office phenomenon The Passion of the Christ was the ultimate challenge, making simultaneous physical and emotional demands upon a performer. Giving a critically acclaimed performance, Caviezel committed wholeheartedly to this difficult role.
Currently, the actor plays Jon Reese, an ex-CIA special operations agent, on the popular CBS series Person of Interest, alongside Taraji P. Henson and Michael Emerson. In the forthcoming sports drama When the Game Stands Tall, Caviezel plays the lead role opposite Michael Chiklis and Laura Dern. Caviezel was recently seen in the true-life historical drama Savannah, co-starring Hal Holbrook, Sam Shepard and Chiwetel Ejiofor. He also appeared with James Frain and Elisabeth Röhm in the road-trip thriller Transit.
Caviezel earned his breakthrough acting role as brooding pacifist Private Witt in Terrence Malick's war film The Thin Red Line, alongside Sean Penn, Nick Nolte and Adrien Brody. Over the next few years, he appeared in such films as Ang Lee's Civil War Western Ride with the Devil and Gregory Hoblit's ingenious time-travel thriller Frequency, in which he played a troubled son connecting across two decades of time with his long-dead father (played by Dennis Quaid).
Caviezel's next turn was opposite Jennifer Lopez in Angel Eyes, playing a mysterious amnesiac with a secret connection to Lopez's character. He continued to demonstrate his range by playing the wrongly convicted Edmond Dantes in the film adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' classic The Count of Monte Cristo and a war hero wrestling with a murder charge in Carl Franklin's courtroom drama High Crimes, opposite Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd.
In 2004 Caviezel appeared with Robin Williams and Mira Sorvino in Omar Naim's Final Cut and starred alongside Claire Forlani and Jeremy Northam in Rowdy Harrington's Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius. He then starred in the heart-warming biopic Madison, about hydroplane boat racer Jim McCormick, and worked with Denzel Washington in the time-travel thriller Déjà Vu (2006). Directed by Tony Scott, Déjà Vu was the first film to be shot in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area.
Caviezel also starred in the sci-fi adventure Outlander, the thriller Long Weekend and the intense The Stoning of Soraya M. On the small screen, Caviezel starred in AMC's The Prisoner opposite Ian McKellan, playing the title role in this re-imagined version of the sci-fi series classic.
The actor was named one of People Magazine's 50 Sexiest Men Alive in 2004. An avid, lifelong sports fan, Caviezel considered pursuing a career in the NBA before he suffered a foot injury. Caviezel currently lives in Southern California with his wife and their two children.
Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson (Hush) has transformed his musical-chart dominance to success in corporate America as a multi-tiered business mogul to be reckoned with. Jackson continues to expand his film repertoire. Most recently, he was seen in the action-thriller Freelancers, with Robert De Niro and Forest Whitaker; actioner Fire with Fire, opposite Bruce Willis and Rosario Dawson; and The Frozen Ground, alongside Nicolas Cage and John Cusack. Previously, Jackson appeared in the Golden Globe® nominated war drama Home of the Brave.
Forthcoming film projects include Matt Johnson's The Pursuit, The Dance (which Jackson is also slated to produce), Live Bet and an as-yet-untitled project co-starring Sharon Stone and Val Kilmer. Jackson will also serve as executive producer of "Power" the new drama series on the Starz network.
Recognised as one of the most talented and prolific musical artists of his time, Jackson has managed to leverage his star power into record-breaking brand extensions encompassing a broad spectrum of businesses. These enterprises include music ownership, artist management, film production, boxing promotions, headphones, video games, publishing and energy shots. With annual sales quickly approaching $300 million from a variety of business interests and numerous new endeavours on the horizon, Jackson has cemented his position in the entertainment industry as both a business and entertainment powerhouse.
In 2005 Jackson made his feature film debut with Get Rich or Die Tryin', a loosely biographical picture that chronicled his life growing up in poverty and surrounded by negative influences on the streets of Queens, New York, as he rose to stardom as a rap star. Jackson exploded on the music scene in 2003 and has been rewriting hip hop history ever since. "Get Rich or Die Tryin'", his debut album, made history when it sold 872,000 copies to break the record for first-week sales of any major-label debut in the entire SoundScan era. It was a No. 1 Billboard album for six weeks and was certified platinum nine times by the Recording Industry Association of America.
To date, Jackson has sold more than 22 million albums worldwide and received numerous awards as well as 13 GRAMMY® nominations. His third album, "Curtis," was released in September 2007 and dominated the album charts by selling over one million copies worldwide. Jackson garnered GRAMMY® nominations for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Solo Performance. Currently, Jackson is working on his highly anticipated sixth studio album, "Street King Immortal."
Success has allowed Jackson to follow through with his dream of giving back to the community that has supported him over the years. He established the G-Unity Foundation to support the academic enrichment of students in low-income or under served communities. Since its inception, the foundation has created the G-Unity Scholarship Fund at Queensborough Community College in New York and issued thousands of dollars in grant money to various non-profit organizations. Jackson continues to expand his foundation through various philanthropic initiatives that will benefit his home town of Queens and beyond.
In 2011, Jackson launched SK Energy, a new energy shot to combat world hunger - each bottle sold provides a meal for those in need via a partnership with the UN World Food Programme.
A recipient of an Order of the British Empire for Services to Acting, and a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, Sam Neill (Dr. Kyrie) is internationally recognised for his contribution to film and television. Sam debuted onto the screen in Roger Donaldson's Sleeping Dogs, and his breakthrough film role in My Brilliant Career opposite Judy Davis.
He is perhaps best known for his roles in the award winning films The Piano, as detached husband Alisdair Stewart, and Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park, as palaeontologist Alan Grant. Written and directed by visionary film-maker, Jane Campion, Sam stars in The Piano alongside Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel and Anna Paquin. The film won awards internationally, including 3 Oscars®, 3 BAFTAS and 11 Australian Film Institute (AFI) awards. For his performance Sam was nominated for the 1993 Best Supporting Actor AFI Award.
Other film credits include The Hunter opposite Willem Dafoe for which he was nominated for Best Actor at the AACTA Awards, Daybreakers, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of G'ahoole, Little Fish opposite Cate Blanchett, Skin, Dean Spanley, Wimbledon opposite Kirsten Dunst, Yes for Orlando director Sally Potter, Perfect Strangers opposite Susan Sarandon, Dirty Deeds alongside Bryan Brown and Toni Collette, Czech production The Zookeeper, Bicentennial Man opposite Robin Williams, and The Horse Whisperer alongside Kristin Scott Thomas, Robert Redford and Scarlett Johansson.
For his work in television Sam has earned three Golden Globe® nominations. In 1998 he received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for the title role in the NBC miniseries Merlin. He also received a Golden Globe nomination in 1992 for his performance opposite Judy Davis in One Against the Wind, and for his performance as British spy Sidney Reilly in Reilly: The Ace of Spies. The British Academy of Film and Television honoured Sam's work in the miniseries by naming him the Best Actor on British Television. For his performance in the Australian drama Jessica, Sam received an AFI Award for Best Actor. Other television appearances include acclaimed television series "RAKE," Granada's epic miniseries Doctor Zhivago, To The Ends of Earth, Showtime's The Tudors with Jonathan Rhys Meyers, CRUSOE and Alcatraz. Most recently he completed filming Old School for Matchbox Pictures opposite Bryan Brown.
Sam has also worked behind the camera, his directing credits include the Channel Seven Australian telefeature The Brush Off, starring David Wenham. He will next appear alongside Cillian Murphy in UK Series Peaky Blinders which will hit screens this year.
Vinnie Jones (Drake) started his career as a professional soccer player playing for some of the UK's most prominent teams including Wimbledon, Leeds, Chelsea, Sheffield, QPR and eventually was the Captain of the Welsh team. He became iconic across the UK and Europe, not only from his exquisite skills in soccer, but also as a performer on the pitch: Jones always had the crowd on their feet supporting him the whole way through his games, as he reacted very well with the audience, and this made the games highly exciting for the spectator both at the venue, but also on TV.
It was in 1998 that Vinnie was approached by up and coming director Guy Ritchie for role in his cockney caper movie, Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels. Vinnie accepted the challenge and from this point, the former footballer had a new calling: movie star. Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels sky-rocketed to the top in Europe and the USA, and Vinnie's new career ascended in the same direction. He went on to star in hits such as Snatch, Gone In Sixty Seconds and Swordfish
From this point onward, Vinnie started to gain recognition from the industry, earning a barrage of accolades and awards, with Hollywood realising it had a true talent in a 6' 1". broken-nosed package. To this date Vinnie has appeared in over 40 movies, working with some of the film industry's top producers and directors including Mathew Vaughan, Jerry Bruckheimer, Brett Ratner, and Gary Lucchesi. He was seen in the massive summer blockbuster, X-Men 3: The Last Stand as Cain Marko, better known as the Juggernaut, forever placing him in an iconic league of actors alongside Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry and Patrick Stewart. Prior to that, he played the scowling soccer coach illustrating both his likeability and comedic side in DreamWorks' She's The Man. Other films include The Midnight Meat Train, and then the Quentin Tarantino - produced feature film Hellride.
Vinnie revisited his comedic side on the feature film Year One, where he starred alongside Jack Black for Sony Pictures and Judd Apatow. His big job in 2012 was Mikael Håfström's directed thriller Escape Plan opposite Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Amy Ryan, Jim Caviezel, and Vincent D'Onofrio, which will be released in the fall of 2013. He most recently did two guest stars on the CBS show, Elementary. He will also star in his own documentary series for National Geographic Channel called "Vinnie Jones: Russia's Toughest." This show will air in September 2013 in over 170 countries during prime time.
Vinnie still plays soccer heading up a team called Hollywood All-Stars based in Los Angeles where he and his family now live. This team boasts an all-star team comprised of athletes, movie stars and other celebrities; it is a force to be reckoned with and has a huge following. Their contribution to charity is huge and this goes hand in hand with Vinnie's personality as a devoted, hard-working, multi-talented and caring man. He is the worldwide ambassador for Warrior Sports.
Faran Tahir (Javed) recently starred in Elysium as 'Minister Patel', the recently elected leader of the pristine man-made space station Elysium, populated by 8,000 super-high-net-worth citizens who fled the overpopulated and ruined planet Earth rife with crime & poverty, and along with Defence Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) will do whatever it takes to keep the "illegals" away from disrupting their perfect oasis, which is threatened when 'Max' (Matt Damon) attempts to bring equality to the world. No stranger to Hollywood mega-blockbusters, the award winning, Harvard trained actor's career includes significant roles in Iron Man, Star Trek and Dallas, and he can also be seen in countless guest starring roles, including Lost, NYPD Blue, Cold Case, Blue Bloods, and The West Wing, to name a few.
Tony Stark's primary antagonist in Iron Man, Faran starred opposite Robert Downey, Jr., as 'Raza,' the leader of the Ten Rings terrorist group who orchestrated the attack on Tony Stark following the unveiling of his new defence missile in Afghanistan, which led to the necessity for the electromagnet grafted into Stark's chest to keep the shrapnel shell shards that wounded from from reaching his heart and killing him.
Faran's versatile acting talent also landed him roles in J.J. Abrams's Star Trek, where he played the first Federation Captain of middle-eastern ethnicity in the history of the franchise-truly a ground breaking role. His additional film credits range from roles in films such as Jennifer Aniston's comedy Picture Perfect, to dramatic roles in films such as Charlie Wilson's War with Tom Hanks and A Price above Rubies with Renée Zellweger.
Faran comes from a theatre family well-known in Pakistan and India where both his parents are actors/directors/writers in Pakistan. He completed his B.A. from University of California, Berkeley and his graduate degree from the Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard.
Vincent D'Onofrio (Lester Clark) is an extraordinarily gifted actor with talents extending into the realms of writing and producing. D'Onofrio has appeared in over 50 feature films, most recently Mall, which the actor starred in, produced and co-wrote (adapting the Eric Bogosian novel of the same name). The film marks the directing debut of Linkin Park's Joe Hahn and co-stars Peter Stormare, Gina Gershon and James Frecheville. Next up for the busy actor is David Dobkin's The Judge, starring Robert Downey Jr., Vera Farmiga and Billy Bob Thornton.
Previously, D'Onofrio starred alongside Julia Ormond in the horror film Chained, directed by Jennifer Chambers Lynch. He also appeared in Fire with Fire opposite Bruce Willis, Josh Duhamel and Rosario Dawson.
D'Onofrio executive-produced Steal This Movie and portrayed 1960s counter-culture icon Abbie Hoffman, opposite Janeane Garofalo. He played the villain vs. Jennifer Lopez and Vince Vaughn in Tarsem Singh's sci-fi chiller The Cell. D'Onofrio worked with Vaughn again in the hit dramedy The Break Up.
Other film credits include The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, opposite Jodie Foster and Channing Tatum; The Salton Sea, alongside Val Kilmer; Impostor, with Gary Sinise; Chelsea Walls, directed by Ethan Hawke; Happy Accidents, co-starring Marisa Tomei; Robert Altman's The Player, opposite Tim Robbins; Joel Schumacher's Dying Young, with Julia Roberts; Tim Burton's Ed Wood, opposite Johnny Depp; Kathryn Bigelow's Strange Days, with Angela Bassett; Harold Ramis' Stuart Saves His Family, with Al Franken; Barry Sonnenfeld's Men in Black, opposite Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones; The Thirteenth Floor, alongside Craig Bierko; The Whole Wide World, which he produced and starred in opposite Renee Zellweger; Oliver Stone's JFK, alongside Kevin Costner; Brooklyn's Finest, with Richard Gere and Don Cheadle; and Staten Island, opposite Ethan Hawke.
Born in Brooklyn, D'Onofrio began studying acting at the American Stanislavski Theatre with Sharon Chatten of the Actors Studio. He first gained attention with his haunting portrayal of an unstable Vietnam War recruit in Stanley Kubrick's gritty Full Metal Jacket (1987). His other early film appearances include Mystic Pizza and Adventures in Babysitting. D'Onofrio directed, produced and starred in the short film Five Minutes, Mr. Welles. He also worked on the Academy Award-winning short The New Tenants.
In television, D'Onofrio is best known for starring on Law & Order: Criminal Intent as Detective Robert Goren in Season Eight. The role was so well received that he was brought back again for the show's 10th season. D'Onofrio received an Emmy® nomination in 1998 for his riveting guest appearance in the Homicide: Life on the Street episode "The Subway."
Amy Ryan (Abigail Ross) recently completed Birdman for director Alejandro González Iñárritu and Fox Searchlight. She stars along with Michael Keaton, Ed Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts and Zach Galifianakis. She will have three other films premiere in 2013: writer/director Drake Doremus' Breathe In produced by Indian Paintbrush and Jonathan Schwartz, in which she stars with Guy Pearce and Felicity Jones; Devil's Knot directed by Atom Egoyan, co-starring with Colin Firth. She was last seen in Clear History directed by Greg Mottola for HBO in which she co-starred with Larry David and Jon Hamm.
For her acclaimed performance in 2007's Gone Baby Gone, she was recognized with Academy Award®, Golden Globe® and SAG Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress. Additionally, she won numerous Best Supporting Actress awards including those from the National Board of Review, the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Circle and the L.A. Film Critics. Her other film credits include Win Win, Green Zone, Jack Goes Boating, Changeling, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Capote, Dan in Real Life, War of the Worlds, Keane, You Can Count On Me and The Missing Person.
Ms. Ryan returned to the stage this year, starring in Lisa D'Amour's critically acclaimed play Detroit, directed by Anne Kauffman at Playwrights Horizons. Ryan made her Broadway debut in Wendy Wasserstein's The Sisters Rosensweig. For her work in the 2000 production of Uncle Vanya, she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play. In 2005, she appeared as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire, earning her second Tony nomination. She also starred in Neil LaBute's The Distance From Here in London's West End.
Amy's television work includes her memorable portrayals as Holly Flax on The Office, Adele on In Treatment and Office Beatrice 'Beadie' Russell on The Wire.
Graham Beckel (Brims) has made a rich career playing rough and tough character roles since he turned to acting in the 1970's. In that vain, Beckel most recently portrayed 'Ellis Wyatt' in Paul Johansson's feature Atlas Shrugged: Part I, opposite Taylor Schilling, which received its release in April 2011.
Several feature highlights include Peacock, directed by Michael Lander and opposite Susan Sarandon, Cillian Murphy and Ellen Page; The Astronaut Farmer, directed by Michael Polish; the Michael Bay helmed Pearl Harbor; and perhaps most notably his roles as 'L.D. Newsome' in director Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain and as Detective Sgt. Dick Stensland opposite Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey and Guy Pearce in Curtis Hanson's award winning L.A. Confidential. Other film appearances include Vegas Baby; Hardball; Point of Origin; True Crime; Bulworth; Leaving Las Vegas; and The Paper Chase.
Beckel's recent television credits include guest starring turns on Longmire, Scandal, CSI: New York, Castle, The Cleaner, CSI: Miami, Heroes, Raines, Grey's Anatomy and Wanted. Beckel has also starred in over fifteen television movies, which include In From the Night; Helter Skelter, The Pennsylvania Miner's Story, The Other Mother, My Brother's Keeper, Murder of Innocence and Amerika.
Matt Gerald is best known for his starring roles in Avatar and Faster. He recently had a great recurring role on the Showtime hit series, Dexter and just wrapped the feature, Solace, as one of the leads opposite Anthony Hopkins, Colin Farrell and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
Other recent TV credits include, Hawaii 5-0 for CBS, NBC's Grimm, and the Shawn Ryan produced Sony/ABC pilot, The Last Resort, opposite Scott Speedman. Gerald also co-starred in Frozen Ground with Nicolas Cage and John Cusack, and was just seen in Paramount's G.I. Joe: Retaliation, with Dwayne Johnson, Channing Tatum, and Bruce Willis and Red Dawn among others.
Caitriona Balfe (Jessica Miller) is currently shooting the lead role of "Claire Beauchamp" in the Starz 1 hour series Outlander, based on the best-selling novels of the same name. She's shooting in Scotland and until August of 2014. She was last seen in the Intrepid thriller feature Crush and previously starred in J.J. Abrams' Paramount feature Super 8, as well as Bryan Singer and Jason Taylor's digital series H+.