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THE CELL

About The Production (Continued)

"When I first heard about the film I didn't think it would be that interesting to do another film about a killer," recalls D'Onofrio. "But then I met Tarsem, we had some great conversations, and I was intrigued by his approach and what he was going to try and get away with."

"Vincent has brought us a character that is mysterious, in pain, indeed disturbed, and while he doesn't necessarily have redemption, he creates a character where there is potential for that, which then makes you engaged with him," explains Caro.

D'Onofrio explains that Carl Stargher was a complex character on many levels. "His moral foundation is much different than ours," he says. "There is a normal side to him that Catherine can relate to. But then there is the vicious, horrible side to the character brought upon by his upbringing. And that harsh side is all about sexual disorder, death, and power."

D'Onofrio also explains that "the cell" can have different meanings, not simply the physical place where Carl Stargher kills his victims. "I think that my character is, in a way, trapped in himself," D'Onofrio suggests. "His brain is a kind of cell and he's boxed in and Catherine enters that."

D'Onofrio heavily researched the histories and psychology of serial killers prior to production to help him get beneath the surface of the character. "I did lots of reading and searching out the availability of audio and video information, documentaries and seminars," he says.

Joining the lead actors is a dynamic supporting cast of actors. "Tarsem realized the value of depth in actor quality in supporting roles," explains Caro. "Sometimes in your haste to get movie stars, you forget that you need to surround the stars with talent. And these guys have a tremendous responsibility to the integrity of the picture."

Jake Weber, who co-starred alongside Brad Pitt in Meet Joe Black, and can soon be seen in U-571 starring Matthew McConnaughey, plays FBI agent Gordon Ramsey, Peter Novak's professional, well-groomed partner who closely follows the Bureau party line. Tarsem met Jake in New York and thought he was just right for the role of Vince Vaughn's partner.

"I liked the director's vision, his sense of humor, imaginative style, and there were also some fine actors in the film," says Weber about what impressed him about the project. He was also intrigued with playing a law enforcement officer for the first time in his career. "Vince's character and mind are cut from very different cloths as people, but as partners we have a pretty close relationship. And hopefully there's a little bit of comedy in the relationship as well as the tension that's built into working very closely with someone."

"Jake's character is very much a fellow who is just not sure that what they're doing makes sense," says Julio Caro. "He wants to solve the crime and is as committed as Novak, but he thinks he going too far." "My character's sort of there to help keep Novak in line, to baby-sit him," adds Weber.

Marianne Jean-Baptiste, nominated for an Academy Award¨ for her work on Secrets & Lies, plays Dr. Miriam Kent, a scientist at the Campbell Institute who manages the research process that Catherine is involved in.

"For Catherine, Miriam is a mother figure, mentor, authoritarian, colleague and close friend," offers Julio Caro.

"She cares a lot about Catherine because she knows that what she's asking her to do is risky," says Jean-Baptiste who was interested in the mix of sci-fi and serial killer genre the film presented. "When I read it I thought it was like a Silence of the Lambs with a big fantasy world like Baron Munc

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