Tuesday 6th December 2011
In a future where time is literally money and aging stops at 25, the only way to stay alive is to earn, steal, or inherit more time. Will Salas lives minute-to-minute, until a windfall of time gives him access to the world of the wealthy, where he teams up with a beautiful young heiress to destroy the corrupt system.
In Time is written and directed by Andrew Niccol, whose credits include the screenplay for The Truman Show. The film is produced by Eric Newman (Children of Men), Marc Abraham (Children of Men) and Niccol. Executive producers are Andrew Z. Davis (Red Dragon), Kristel Laiblin (Children of Men) and Amy Israel (Shall We Dance). The behind-the-camera talent includes nine-time Oscar®-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins (True Grit, The Reader), BAFTA-nominated production designer Alex McDowell (Watchmen, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and three-time Academy Award®-winning costumer Colleen Atwood (Alice in Wonderland, Memoirs of a Geisha, Chicago).
Pick up a magazine or a newspaper. Turn on the television. Surf the internet... or go to a movie. It's there, overt or subtle, permeating media - we are a culture obsessed with youth. Billions of dollars and hours are spent annually by the health and beauty industries, trying to find ways to halt the body's aging process, feeding consumers willing to spend a cumulative amount that could erase a small country's debt in exchange for their very own fountain of youth. Science edges ever closer to finding the solution to combating the complex process, but in the meantime, one man may have found a way to keep human beings young forever.on paper, at least: future-realist filmmaker Andrew Niccol.
Niccol's skill in bringing together big action set pieces and big ideas in unexpected ways, in fantastical yet recognizable worlds is in full evidence in In Time. "In Time is an action thriller", Niccol points out. "I think people can enjoy it on that level. They'll go for the stunts, action, car chases and to see Amanda Seyfried wielding a gun, which she does brilliantly! But I think audiences will appreciate some of the ideas and themes we explore, because In Time does say something about our desire to stay young forever. While we can't turn off the aging gene, as we're able to do in the film, we do go to a lot of extremes to stay young".
Niccol, a New Zealander, had honed his filmmaking skills in London directing commercials, before arriving in Hollywood with a splash as writer and director of Gattaca. The following year, he penned The Truman Show, which garnered him an Academy Award® nomination for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. Niccol's ability to bring together bold, new ideas with instantly relatable ones resonated with producer Eric Newman. "Like all of Andrew's work, his screenplay for In Time really transported me and I found myself in a world he had created", Newman recalls. "It was a parable, a socially conscious work and yet, like all his work, it was incredibly entertaining, fast-paced and brilliant".
Executive producer Andrew Z. Davis was eager to work on a film that was both a great ride and a social commentary: "In Time has resonance. Everyone can relate to a story about haves and have-nots, which is essentially what the story's about. But, at the same time, it has action, romance and a political message. And as everyone knows, a good thriller has to have a ticking clock, whether you're waiting for a bomb to go off or a hostage to get rescued. In this movie, it is actually a clock; time is the great discriminator".
Executive producer Kristel Laiblin was taken with the intricacies of Niccol's work and the flourishes in his storytelling: "Andrew's way with telling a story is economical and evocative. The world of our hero moves quickly; no one wastes time. At the opposite end is the world of the wealthy, where you'd never see anyone timing out. You can spend time however you want-a leisurely game, like cards, which no one would play elsewhere. They are completely different worlds and Andrew created them both vividly in a few pages".
Amy Israel, an executive producer on In Time, was at New Regency Productions when Niccol brought in the project and she, like all of her colleagues, sharply remembers her first read: "Andrew's script was original, had a big idea and had a compelling emotional story at its core. It was special and we all knew that from the start. And the story took place in a world not unlike our own, sort of an alternate reality. Here, time is currency and everyone is born with a body clock embedded on the wrist. At the age of 25, when the frontal lobe of the brain and the body are considered fully matured, that clock starts ticking - and you have one year to live. Either you're born into time and have no worries, or you begin working your life away, literally".
Will Salas is the story's hero. He lives in the poorest region, or time zone, named Dayton. He rarely has more than 24 hours on his body clock and must work every day at a factory to afford another day of life. For his mother, Rachel, it is the same story, as it is for all in hard-scrabble Dayton. But far from desolate, Dayton is alive with color, sound, speed, music, urgency... and crime. Gangs called Minute Men are always on the lookout for ways to steal time and ending a life in exchange for a few hours means nothing to them. (Stealing time is a simple matter of strength; the aggressor literally gets the upper hand, placing his time clock directly over the clock of the victim, strong-arming the mark into an arm lock.)
When Will protects the wealthy interloper Henry from a crew of Minute Men intent on timing him out, Henry makes a present to Will of a century of time. But as time is currency and painstakingly tracked as such, the movement of such a large sum within the confines of Dayton alerts the authorities, the Timekeepers. Moreover, Will is falsely accused of murder, which triggers a veteran Timekeeper named Leon to begin a relentless pursuit of Will.
Without an overriding plan (apart from avoiding capture by the Timekeepers), Will decides to spend his time in the richest zone, New Greenwich. In stark contrast to Dayton, nothing moves quickly here; time is a luxury all residents can afford, since most have hundreds, or even thousands of years to live. But relative immortality comes at a price and all are fearful of theft and injury - "the poor die and the rich don't live", Will observes. It soon becomes apparent to Will that in order for a few to live, many must die, to keep the scales of rich and poor balanced. Maybe he can use his time to do some good?
But New Greenwich does have something that attracts Will - Sylvia Weis, daughter of the super-wealthy Philippe Weis. When the Timekeepers attempt to apprehend Will, he takes Sylvia hostage and what starts as a flight from the law becomes a high stakes game to change the rules of this not-so-brave new world, with two lovers on the run at its center.
Producer Eric Newman notes the speed with which Niccol introduces this world in his script. "The biggest challenge in a movie like this is how do we sell the world?" Newman explains. "Andrew did it in the first three pages of the script. Will Salas wakes up, walks into a room and there is a beautiful 25-year-old woman and he says, 'Hi, Mom.' And he's got this counter on his wrist and it's counting down. And his mother gives him 30 minutes for lunch. You understand immediately that Will has 22 hours to live [unless he can obtain more time]. And that's his mother, even though they appear the same age and she just gave him time to buy a decent lunch. That's brilliance in economy, which is difficult to accomplish in a script".
Seeking actors for a movie where everyone is or remains 25 may sound like a straightforward task, but that was not the case. Though true, on the outside, the characters look 25, on the inside, they are older... some in their 30s, 50s, 60s, some over 100. And that needed to be conveyed in performance, without benefit of makeup, effects or CGI.
"All the actors had to look around age 25 because in the story, that's when the aging gene switches off", Niccol elaborates. That specific age was not chosen arbitrarily. "It's the age we fully mature, when the frontal lobe of the brain fully develops", the filmmaker continues. "It is the part of the brain that controls impulse and reckless behavior. Rental car companies know this; they will not rent a car to somebody under age 25. There are characters in the film who are chronologically 100 years old, so I had to search for 'old souls.' Only certain young actors have the ability to play a senior citizen in a 25-year-old body".
One actor who jumped at the chance to play an "old soul" was Justin Timberlake. It was Timberlake's early rise to stardom that helped convince the filmmakers of his fit for the character of Will. "I love Justin's work ethic, which is one of the important traits he shares with his character, Will Salas", says Niccol. "It was actually very fitting that Justin plays Will. Will has to wake up every day and go to work or die and I don't think Justin himself has taken a day off since he was 12 years old. There is no reason he won't be a successful action hero [as Will] because he seems to be great at anything he turns his hand to".
Adds Eric Newman: "Justin has been an adult since he was 17 years old, when he was a superstar. He didn't have a conventional childhood and he carries that with him. The character of Will is one who probably never had a childhood either because, in this world, you are born with a clock on your wrist, spending the first 24 years of your life waiting for that clock to start. And when it does, you have less than a year to figure it out; you're constantly faced with your own mortality. I think Justin has continually worked harder than everybody else and he brings that to his acting as well. I think Justin and Will both have a similar 'work or die' ethic; they're wired the same way".
Timberlake, a longtime fan of action films, embraced the opportunity to play a character whose heroics are grounded in reality and a contextual richness. "When I was a kid, some of my favorite movies were action pieces like First Blood, The Fugitive and Die Hard", says Timberlake. "The one thing I loved about those specific movies was that the protagonists were everyday people placed into extraordinary circumstances and doing extraordinary things".
Will's heroics are triggered by an easily relatable factor. "Will has grown up with essentially nothing", Timberlake notes. "He wakes up every day and goes to work to stay alive. Through a series of events, he decides that he's not going to take it anymore and takes it upon himself to try and change the way things work in this world".
"Will grows up in Dayton, which is somewhat of a ghetto. It's kind of ironic that the word 'day' is in its name, because most of the citizens only walk around with a day to live. So the day-to-day life in Dayton is quick. People don't have time to walk slowly, so they run, almost all of the time, to where they are going and they're constantly eating and drinking on the run. They don't have time to spare or to waste. Everything's frenetic and alive, in a kind of dangerous yet beautiful way. When your back is up against the wall and you don't have a choice, you make revisions and you live your life the way that it has to be, to survive".
Timberlake reserves special praise for Amanda Seyfried, who portrays Sylvia, his unwilling (at first) partner-in-crime. "There are people that see the world the same way Will does. At the end of the day, I think he just wants what is fair. I think, through Sylvia, Will discovers that there's something bigger he could be fighting for. It becomes kind of a Robin Hood tale at that point, once they pair up; like any young people put in high risk situations, they become enamored with each other. And working one-on-one with Amanda has been great. I feel like we've really captured something special between those two characters".
While Sylvia may become someone who inspires Will to take up the fight, she certainly does not start out that way. The nascent darker side of Sylvia was something Seyfried could bring to the fore, per Andrew Z. Davis: "What I love about Amanda is there's a sweetness about her but, at the same time, she has an edge. I don't think audiences have really gotten to see her edge that much in movies".
"Sylvia is the girl in the gilded cage", seconds Amy Israel, "trapped by her situation; she questions it because she isn't sure everything is exactly the way it should be. But she's kept in that system by her father and her circumstance, all the time yearning for more, wanting to take risks. But no one in New Greenwich takes risks".
"Sylvia dreads her life every day", reveals Amanda Seyfried. "She wants to have some kind of adventure. In a world like this, you spend so much time trying to protect your life that you don't really end up living. Everybody has bodyguards. They all eat very well, but very little, they don't drink or smoke; it's mundane. Sylvia just isn't made for this kind of life. She gets her wish for a different life when Will takes her away".
Will's first appearance in the richest time zone is telling. He is clearly out of place, but there is something unmistakably attractive about him, at least for Sylvia. Seyfried continues, "He comes into New Greenwich and in walks this almost larger-than-life guy. Once Will and Sylvia get to Dayton, everybody runs, because they're fighting time. Everyone moves so fast, but there's a sense of excitement there and it's liberating because they live day-to-day. You're wired differently there. What's important is the now".
It's that very change of environment that signals a turning point for both Will and Sylvia. Timberlake offers, "The first half of the movie is really Will's arc: halfway through, he makes the decision about what he is fighting for, he finds a bigger purpose. The second half of the film is a huge arc for Sylvia. She comes from time and underestimates what Will values, as he does with her. It's one thing, to come from nothing and to try to fight for what's right; it's another thing to have it in your hand and realize that, maybe there's a portion of it you don't deserve. There's humility in that acceptance and that's what transforms her".
In addition to the journey of Sylvia, Seyfried was attracted to many of the things that captured Timberlake's imagination about the world Niccol had created. "Andrew's one of a kind and I wanted to be a part of this. It's so very different, but at the same time, it has so many parallels to the way we live, which is why it's so smart. And I have to admit, getting to hold a gun and kick some butt also sounded like a blast".
Sylvia and Will are running for their lives - not just to find enough time to make it through another day, but from the Timekeepers out to capture the fugitive duo. "Timekeepers keep the system running; they actually keep time", says Niccol. "And our principal antagonist, Timekeeper Leon, is not really a villain. He is just a bureaucrat, an authority figure who has allegiance to no one, rich or poor. His only allegiance is to minutes and seconds".
Leon is not wealthy. He has a steady job and he's managed to keep at it long enough to live 35 years beyond his built-in time out. He believes in the system because he has to. Leon is Will's opposite number. Will is young enough to believe that there may be hope in the future - a concept Leon may have held, briefly, many years ago. Leon is now old enough to know better and believes (or has to believe) that you are either working for the system, or you need to be eliminated.
For the role of the Timekeeper Leon the filmmakers cast another "old soul", Cillian Murphy. Murphy acknowledges the circumstances of his character - "he's a cop charged with keeping this system going" - but the actor finds the deeper layers of Leon more compelling to play: "What's great about the character is that he is a contradiction, because he's actually from that same ghetto where Will lives. Deep down, he knows that it's a corrupt system and yet he's decided to accept that and pursue his goal of keeping time. He's a very kinetic and focused character and for him it's just about constantly moving forward. I think he's suppressed all of his past. What I liked about the writing is that Will and Leon, they're the flip side of each other. It's just different paths having been taken. This is the path he's chosen and he suppresses all of the misgivings and issues he has with this system. He's tried to leave them behind over the course of his life".
As with the classic archetypal chase - the hunter and the hunted - so beautifully realized in, for example, The Fugitive, a bond forms as the chase quickens. Murphy adds, "Not only does Leon realize he's from the same side of the tracks as Will, but there is a sense of history; Leon knew Will's father. I think over the course of the story, they gain a respect for each other".
Part of the menace of Dayton, apart from the possibility of timing out should one not amass a day's wages, is the presence of Minute Men, who are thieves out to steal time. Alex Pettyfer portrays Fortis, the leader of the Minute Men - a refined 75-year-old psychopath (who of course looks 25). "Because of the character's age, he's quite articulate", says Niccol. "He has more sophisticated taste in clothing than a younger man would have. That makes him seem different from the younger characters".
Pettyfer offers, "Fortis is a bruiser, though not without a certain elegance. And he's just a complete psycho and crazy-hungry for time. I think the scariest thing about him is that he feels he has nothing to lose. He just doesn't care. He's just now gone completely insane and is on a rampage for more time". The actor enjoyed his trip to the dark side, finding it a liberating experience: "You can't do everything you want playing a villain, but you have room to create. And I think that's the most attractive thing about playing a character like Fortis; it's that you can build so many layers with him".
For the part of Rachel Salas, Will's mother, the filmmakers turned to Olivia Wilde, who has experienced an explosion in her career with such films as Tron: Legacy and Cowboys & Aliens. "Olivia's not going to be able to play a 50-year-old woman for another 30 years and I think there was something challenging about that and something fun for the actors and us", says producer Eric Newman. "The part required an actor with a maturity beyond her years to play Rachel and Olivia has that quality", adds Niccol.
Wilde, who is a few years younger than onscreen son Timberlake, says, "I was very attracted to the idea of playing someone who was a very old soul in a young person's body. And I thought, how interesting, to play someone who's 50-years-old, who's had this long life in a world where it's very tough to have a long life. I mean, you wonder what she's been through in order to survive for 50 years".
Wilde was equally impressed with Niccol's vision. "Surprisingly, Dayton is a very lively, colorful and sexy place", she enthuses. "You'd think in a dystopian society everything would be kind of gray and drab and sad. Instead, although this world has reached the boiling point of vast inequality and misery, there is this incredible life and particularly in the poorer side of town".
Someone at the far opposite end of the spectrum from Will and Rachel and for whom "Dayton" is only a concept in a ledger, is the tycoon Philippe Weis, Sylvia's father. The Weis family fortune was built on a chain of time lending stores, which charge exorbitant interest on the time borrowed by Daytonians desperate to stay alive. Vincent Kartheiser plays Philippe and, with less than a decade between his and Seyfried's actual age, the "Mad Men" star met the challenge of playing her father, who is actually, internally, well over 100.
Says Kartheiser: "Where you or I might say, 'Well, you only live once,' or 'Live today like it's the last day of your life,' Weis and his friends and family don't believe there will be a last day. Weis and his ilk have centuries to accomplish their goals, leaving them at best unmotivated".
Weis has no trepidation about his fortune - as long as there are people with less than 24 hours to live, there will be customers. And it's definitely a fixed game, in Weis' favor, of course. Says Kartheiser: "The interest rates Philippe charges change in accordance with how much the 'haves' want to control the 'have-nots.' So, when people need to die, to avoid overpopulation, the interest rates will jump, so that they can't afford to borrow any more time, or even pay the interest on the time they've been loaned. And this is one loan you can't default on, if you want to keep on living".
Will's best friend, Borel, is a troubled soul unable to deal with these restrictions. Johnny Galecki, who portrays Borel, notes that his character and Will "share the same political ideologies, but I think Borel's a little too sensitive for this world. This life clock is his Achilles' heel; it haunts him. So he helps himself along by self-medicating, maybe a bit too much. He has a wonderful wife and a beautiful baby and if it weren't for them, he probably would have been gone a long time ago".
Henry Hamilton is an enigmatic stranger who wanders into Will and Borel's local watering hole, flashing more than a century of time on his wrist. Such a catch quickly attracts the Minute Men, but Will steps in to protect Henry. In exchange, Hamilton not only rewards Will with time, but also with the truth and deepest secrets of their respective zones.
Matt Bomer, of the hit USA series White Collar, plays Hamilton. "Hamilton is sort of like that character in a Dickens novel, who imparts information to the protagonist that sets him on a new course. Henry wants to change things, but he doesn't know how to. He's 105 years old, lived a full life and now he wants to end it. In Will, he finds somebody who can think outside of himself, who has the courage and the moral fortitude to actually affect change. So he gives him the gift of years, hoping that this brave soul can make a difference".
In Time was filmed entirely in and around Los Angeles. "We felt it was really interesting to shoot in the capital of staying young forever", says Niccol. "It seemed appropriate in a way. The world of In Time looks very familiar because when we conceived the film's look, we posited that the invention of the body clock was essentially the death of all other inventions; the poor have no time to create anything new and the rich have no incentive. Why do something today, when you can do it a 100 years from now?"
While In Time contains familiar genre elements, it is much more of an alternate reality or parallel world, where every piece of wardrobe, every piece of set dressing, every person's very being is informed by the clock. "Everything, including the production design and cinematography, is related to time", Niccol continues. "We decided that there would be no graffiti in the ghetto because no one has time to waste scrawling on a wall. In Dayton, where everyone's running, the camera was constantly moving and when we got to the wealthy zone of New Greenwich, we would slow down the camera. We wanted to give you the feeling that time has somehow slowed down for these rich people. Similarly, the music is up-tempo in the poor zone and it would slow down for scenes in the rich zone".
The colors of Dayton pop, while the palette of New Greenwich is muted, with the thought that bright colors would overstay their welcome after decades of being viewed. Your wrist is your wallet and bank account; in a crime-heavy society (such as Dayton), it is easily accessible. And with only hours to live, clothes need to be easily and quickly donned, via zippers or pull-ons. In New Greenwich, time is power, so the wrist is protected and clothes and accessories reflect the "time to kill" mentality. Hair and makeup are lavish.
Describing how it is to shoot the action sequences in the film, Justin Timberlake jokes, "I run, we cut, somebody yells 'action,' and I run again. Then we cut. Then someone yells 'action,' and I run some more. No, actually, it's been a lot of fun. I would describe this film more as a thriller than an action movie and I think it has a lot to do with Roger Deakins, who's a legendary cinematographer. The way he captured the story was so simple and yet it's very exciting. But it's not a lot of shaky camera work and fast, whipping moves. It's beautifully composed and I think that makes a difference; it makes it feel more real".
Dayton and New Greenwich spring from Niccol's vision and are brought to life by the talents of his creative team, including director of photography Roger Deakins, ASC/BSC, production designer Alex McDowell, RDI and costume designer Colleen Atwood. Together, they turned Los Angeles locations into what producer Eric Newman calls "something we've never seen before. Los Angeles is a big character in the movie, but I challenge anyone to look at this film and say, 'Oh, clearly, that's Los Angeles.' It's a very different side of L.A".
For the streets of Dayton, the filmmakers selected a several square block area in an industrial section of downtown L.A., where they were able to groom existing and largely disused, buildings into the structures of the fast-paced metropolis. Other "Daytonian" locations included: a pawnbroker adjacent to Los Angeles International Airport; an apartment in the small incorporated city of Maywood; a downtown Mexican restaurant; a power plant in the city of Pasadena; the 7th Street bridge, with nearby riverfront; the strictly-industrial, incorporated city of Vernon; and a field in Griffith Park.
New Greenwich is an amalgam of locations in Beverly Hills, Century City and Malibu, all of which create the luxury and wealth of the richest time zone, which filmmakers described as "an empty paradise". Other locations for this fictional sector included: the interior of a downtown movie palace and the exterior of gleaming Century City high-rises, combined to create a grand casino where Will gets his first taste of life in New Greenwich; the austere headquarters of one of L.A.'s premiere talent agencies; the streets of the business centers in Century City; and the interior of a downtown banking building. For the palatial domicile of Philippe Weis, movie magic was utilized by combining two of the largest private homes in Beverly Hills, including the beyond-high-end Fleur de Lys estate, touted as one of the most expensive properties in the U.S.
In addition to the homes and buildings afforded featured roles in In Time, several recognizable automobile classics (slightly modified to fit in the alternate universe) zoom across the screen, including: 1970-71 Dodge Challengers; 1967 Jaguar XKE Roadster; 1985 Cadillac Seville; 1961 Lincoln Town Car; 1964 Lehmann-Peterson Limo; 1980 Ram Charger; and a 1990 armored truck.
Throughout these sets, the action never stops - which was sometimes a challenge for the actors. "It was a bit painful", admits Seyfried, "during scenes where Will and Sylvia were running for their lives - which was almost all the time - and I was wearing heels!"
Filming In Time brought the eternal debate (time versus money - which is your priority?) back among cast and crew. For Justin Timberlake, the subject matter had a spillover into his day-to-day life: "This film has definitely been the most challenging one I've ever done. It really stayed with me. For a couple of weeks after we wrapped, I kept looking at my forearm, expecting to see a ticking digital clock. Andrew's world was that vivid to me".
Amanda Seyfried confesses, "I actually said 'money' instead of 'time' when I was speaking dialogue; this happened several times. And Andrew would cut and say, 'Um, it's time and not money.'" Summing up, producer Eric Newman returns to the notion that initially drew him to the project - how In Time works on two levels. "You can appreciate the movie for its story, characters and action and then you can step back and think about what it's actually saying about the world in which we live. But you can, if you want, completely divorce yourself from any kind of macro thinking and just enjoy the ride".
Andrew Niccol echoes that thought: "My hope is that audiences will enjoy In Time on a lot of different levels. Some will see it for the big action scenes, or for the love story between Will and Sylvia. It's a thrilling ride, but there are ideas there as well. "Every second really does count - in the world of In Time and in ours".
In addition to Justin Timberlake's (Will Salas) multi-platinum album FutureSex/LoveSounds, which produced four consecutive #1 singles and his critically acclaimed 2007 FutureSex/LoveShow tour, along with multiple Grammy Awards, he has recently garnered acclaim as an actor for a variety of work in both comedy and drama. Timberlake received rave reviews for Universal's crime drama Alpha Dog, co-starring Emile Hirsh, Bruce Willis and Sharon Stone. He was also applauded for his role alongside Christina Ricci and Samuel L. Jackson in Black Snake Moan, writer-director Craig Brewer's follow-up to his Sundance hit Hustle & Flow.
In the summer of 2007, Timberlake loaned his voice to the all-star cast of DreamWorks Animation's Shrek the Third, taking a starring role alongside Mike Meyers, Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy, as the voice of Artie - the young King Arthur. In the U.S., Shrek the Third generated $121 million its first weekend at the box office, breaking box office records for animated movies. Timberlake joined Dwayne Johnson, Seann William Scott, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Mandy Moore inSouthland Tales from the director of the cult hit Donnie Darko.
More recently, he appeared in the independent film The Open Road with Jeff Bridges, Mary Steenburgen, Harry Dean Stanton and Kate Mara and in the Academy Award-winning The Social Network. He was also heard as the voice of Boo Boo in the feature film adaptation of the celebrated animated series,Yogi Bear. Timberlake starred in the Screen Gems film Friends with Benefits and the Columbia Pictures comedy Bad Teacher.
In addition to movies, Timberlake has hosted two memorable episodes of Saturday Night Live and several of his sketches have become viral video sensations, including D**k in a Box, which not only has been viewed over 100 million times on YouTube, but earned Timberlake his first Emmy® Award. He won a second Emmy Award in 2009 for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for hosting SNL. Timberlake has also hostedMTV's Europe Music Awards, Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards and ESPN's ESPY Awards.
Amanda Seyfried (Sylvia Weis) has quickly become one of today's busiest actresses. She has completed the thriller Gone, in which she stars under the direction of Heitor Dhalia. Also upcoming for Seyfried are the Untitled Mark Webber Project, writer/director Justin Zackham's comedy The Wedding and the thriller Love Written in Blood.
Seyfried is also well known for her multi-faceted performance, showcasing both her acting and singing skills, in the international blockbuster Mamma Mia!, directed by Phyllida Lloyd. Seyfried starred with Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan in the musical, which was released in 2008 and went on to gross more than $600 million globally.
In 2010, Seyfried starred in Gary Winick's romantic comedy Letters to Juliet, with Vanessa Redgrave and Gael Garcia Bernal. She also starred opposite Channing Tatum in the romantic drama Dear John, based on the Nicholas Sparks bestseller, directed by Lasse Hallström; and in Chloe, an Atom Egoyan-directed thriller, in which Seyfried co-starred with Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson.
On the small-screen, Seyfried starred in HBO's award-winning drama series Big Love, earning praise for her role as a young woman struggling with her parents' polygamist lifestyle. A native of Pennsylvania, Seyfried began her career in modeling at age 11. In her teens, she first gained attention in daytime television, with contract roles on the seriesAs the World Turns and All My Children.
Her major break came in 2004, when she made her feature film debut in the smash hit Mean Girls, directed by Mark Waters from a screenplay by Tina Fey. Together with her co-stars, Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams, Seyfried won an MTV Movie Award for Best Onscreen Team. The following year, Seyfried starred in the acclaimed independent film Nine Lives, which premiered to applause at the Sundance Film Festival and won a number of international festival awards. Written and directed by Rodrigo Garcia, the film also starred Sissy Spacek, Glenn Close, Holly Hunter, Robin Wright and Dakota Fanning.
Seyfried's additional film credits include Catherine Hardwicke's updated Red Riding Hood, starring Gary Oldman, Virginia Madsen and Julie Christie; Nick Cassavetes' fact-based drama Alpha Dog, starring Bruce Willis, Emile Hirsch and Justin Timberlake; the ensemble drama American Gun, with Donald Sutherland, Forest Whitaker and Marcia Gay Harden; and the horror thriller Jennifer's Body, in which she starred with Megan Fox.
Cillian Murphy (Raymond Leon) was recently seen in Christopher Nolan's Oscar-winning global blockbuster Inception. Murphy previously worked with Nolan when he played Dr. Jonathan Crane, a.k.a Scarecrow, in 2005's Batman Begins, for which he received a London Film Critics Circle Award nomination. He reprised the role in a cameo appearance in Nolan's 2008 blockbuster The Dark Knight.
Murphy first garnered international attention for his performance as Jim, the reluctant survivor, in Danny Boyle's post-apocalyptic thriller 28 Days Later. He earned a Golden Globe® nomination for his portrayal of the transgender outcast, Patrick Kitten Braden, in Neil Jordan's Breakfast on Pluto. Murphy then garnered two consecutive British Independent Film Award nominations for his roles in the award-winning 2006 drama The Wind That Shakes the Barley, directed by Ken Loach and Danny Boyle's 2007 science-fiction thriller Sunshine.
More recently, Murphy starred in Michael Lander's thriller Peacock and in the independent film Perrier's Bounty, with Brendan Gleeson. Gleeson directs and stars with Murphy in the upcoming indie feature At Swim-Two-Birds, also starring Colin Farrell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Gabriel Byrne. Also upcoming for Murphy are the thriller Retreat, with Jamie Bell and Thandie Newton; the motion picture adaptation of Daniel Clay's acclaimed novel Broken; Rodrigo Cortes' Red Lights, alongside Robert De Niro and Sigourney Weaver; and Stephen Bradley's wartime drama Wayfaring Strangers.
Murphy's diverse filmography also includes Wes Craven's thriller Red Eye, opposite Rachel McAdams; The Edge of Love, with Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller and Matthew Rhys; the Civil War drama Cold Mountain, for director Anthony Minghella; Peter Webber's period drama Girl with a Pearl Earring, with Scarlett Johansson; John Crowley's dark comedy Intermission, with Colin Farrell; and John Carney's On the Edge. On television, Murphy had a leading role in the BBC miniseries The Way We Live Now, directed by David Yates.
Born and raised in Ireland, Murphy began his professional acting career in Enda Walsh's award-winning play Disco Pigs. After receiving commendations at the 1996 Dublin Theatre Festival and the 1997 Edinburgh Festival, Disco Pigs went on to tour extensively in Ireland, the UK, Toronto and Australia. Murphy later starred in the film version directed by Kirsten Sheridan.
On the stage, Murphy repeatedly worked with Tony® Award-winning director Garry Hynes in productions of such plays as The Country Boy, Juno and the Paycock and The Playboy of the Western World. He also starred in Neil LaBute's The Shape of Things, at Dublin's Gate Theatre and the Edinburgh Festival production of Chekhov's The Seagull. He more recently made his West End debut in John Kolvenbach's play Love Song, at the Ambassadors Theatre.
Vincent Kartheiser (Philippe Weis) is currently starring in the Golden Globe and Emmy-winning hit series Mad Men on AMC. Kartheiser has been acting since age 14, starring in the film Untamed Heart, opposite Christian Slater and Marisa Tomei. He is best known for his roles in independent films such as Another Day in Paradise, Alpha Dog, Crime and Punishment in Suburbia and Dandelion, as well as starring on the WB hit series Angel. Kartheiser also performs in the theater, most recently starring in Slag Heap at the Cherry Lane Theatre.
Equally successful in film and television, Olivia Wilde (Rachel Salas) has starred in an array of roles. Wilde can currently be seen on Fox's Emmy-nominated drama House and was recently seen on the movie screen in the sci-fi action/thriller Cowboys & Aliens, directed by Jon Favreau, starring Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig. Last year, Wilde starred in the futuristic thriller Tron: Legacy, opposite Jeff Bridges, as well as in Paul Haggis' drama The Next Three Days, starring Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks.
Wilde was seen opposite Jack Black in the comedy film Year One, which Judd Apatow, Harold Ramis and Owen Wilson produced, with Ramis also directing. Additionally, Wilde starred in and produced Fix, the story of documentary filmmakers who race all over California to get help for a relative; Fix opened at the 2008 Slamdance Film Festival and was released in New York in November of 2009.
Wilde co-starred opposite Bruce Willis, Emile Hirsch and Justin Timberlake in the Universal filmAlpha Dog, based on the true story of Jesse James Hollywood. She has completed the independent features Bickford Schmeckler's Cool Ideas, for which she won Best Actress at the Aspen Film Festival, as well as Conversations with Other Women, opposite Helena Bonham Carter and Aaron Eckhart, which received glowing reviews at the Telluride Film Festival.
On stage, Wilde starred in Epic Theatre Center's off-Broadway production of Beauty on the Vine in 2007. On television, she co-starred in the drama The Black Donnellys, created by Paul Haggis. Wilde's television breakout role was in the Jerry Bruckheimer produced series, Skin, for Fox, but she is perhaps better known for her recurring role on the critically-acclaimed Fox series, The O.C..
Wilde was among the early supporters of President Barack Obama, hitting the campaign trail during the primary season. She is also a longtime advocate of PowerUp Gambia, a nonprofit organization that seeks to create medical clinics in rural Africa using solar panels to supplement electricity. Additionally, she is a board member of Artists for Peace and Justice and the ACLU.
Alex Pettyfer (Fortis) was recently seen in DreamWorks' film I Am Number Four, starring as the title character. Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay joined forces to produce the film, directed by D.J. Caruso and also starring Dianna Agron and Teresa Palmer. Pettyfer also starred in Beastly, opposite Vanessa Hudgens. A modern re-telling of the classic story Beauty & the Beast, the CBS Films release opened in March 2011. Previously, Pettyfer starred as Tom Brown in the acclaimed ITV film Tom Brown's Schooldays and then as Alex Rider in Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker. He has also appeared in Tormented and Wild Child. Born in the United Kingdom, Alex now resides in Los Angeles.
Johnny Galecki (Borel) can currently be seen starring on The Big Bang Theory, the hit CBS comedy from Chuck Lorre (Two and a Half Men), for which Galecki received a 2011 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, for his role as Leonard, a brilliant mind who, along with his roommate and best friend Sheldon, is taught a thing or two about life (especially, women) by their new neighbor, Penny. Galecki is also known to television audiences as David on the long-running and critically-acclaimed comedy series Roseanne, a role for which he earned a Young Artist Award. His additional television credits include the TBS comedy My Boys, as well as a guest appearance on My Name is Earl.
In 2008, Galecki appeared in Peter Berg's feature Hancock, starring Will Smith, Charlize Theron and Jason Bateman. His additional film credits include roles in the Don Roos films The Opposite of Sex, Bounce and Happy Endings; Cameron Crowe's Vanilla Sky; the hit horror filmI Know What You Did Last Summer; Suicide Kings; Bookies; Chrystal; Playing Mona Lisa; Bean; and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
Galecki has numerous stage credits. He most recently starred in Douglas Carter Beane's Tony Award-nominated Broadway play The Little Dog Laughed, for which Galecki received a 2007 Theater World Award for outstanding Broadway debut. His other theater credits include The Drawer Boy and Pot Mom at Chicago's famed Steppenwolf Theater; The Member of the Wedding (nominated for a Joseph Jefferson award); and Galileo (at the Goodman Theater), among others. Galecki was born in Belgium, where his father was stationed while serving in the United States Air Force. Galecki was raised in Chicago and he currently resides in Los Angeles.
Matt Bomer (Henry Hamilton) is one of Hollywood's most promising young actors. He currently stars as Neal Caffrey on White Collar, which is the #1 rated scripted show on cable and critically acclaimed drama series for USA Network. Season two of White Collar premiered in January of this year and season three began July 5, 2011. Bomer received a BFA degree from Carnegie Mellon University. After college, he moved to New York, where he worked on the stage until landing roles on television.
His credits include a lead role on the ABC series Traveler and recurring roles on the NBC series Chuck and the Fox series Tru Calling. Bomer's feature film credits include a starring role in New Line Cinema's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, in addition to appearing inFlight Plan with Jodie Foster. Bomer is also a writer. Most recently he and Neal Dodson teamed up with country music star Brad Paisley and executive producer Mark Schwahn to create Nashville, a drama that revolves around a young female singer destined for stardom... and a male songwriter whose career isn't as certain.