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About The Characters
Sylvester Stallone, who in addition to a tremendously successful acting career also wrote and starred in the Academy Award-winning film "Rocky," describes Jack Carter as "the type of very solitary figure that I think is becoming almost extinct. He is his own man, who has a value system with no gray areas. He is loan shark collector who considers himself a financial adjuster of sorts. He has lived by a certain code, which has allowed him to survive, but he is now starting to realize that that code has necessitated a very solitary and lonely life. He has made a decent living in the service of others but has nothing to show for it. He has no roots and no personal life whatsoever."

Stallone sees Carter's background and, specifically, his relationship with his brother as a prelude to what he has become. "There was sibling rivalry, particularly when they became involved with the same woman," says Stallone. "His brother was very gifted but not as outgoing as Carter and never wanted to expand his world like Carter did. Eventually, Carter realized he didn't fit in anymore and left home, adopting a whole new lifestyle and cutting off that part of his life."

When his brother is killed, Carter must go home and reconnect with his family. "He believes his brother was murdered," says Stallone, "and he feels compelled to uncover who did it and why. It's something he feels he can and should do for this family that he left behind. And in the process of getting to know his niece, he finds himself trying to fill in for his brother and actually become like a father to her. That this is completely alien to him is a very important aspect of the story. Because while he's trying to solve the mystery of his brother's death, Carter is also trying to understand what it's like to embrace other people's emotions, to get involved in their much more normal lifestyle, which has been unknown to him."

Miranda Richardson, who has garnered acclaim for her diverse performances in numerous film and television projects, including "The Crying Game," "Enchanted April," "Empire of the Sun" and "Sleepy Hollow," portrays Gloria, Carter's widowed sister-in-law. "Gloria and her daughter haven't seen Jack for years and suddenly he's at the funeral, coming into a community he doesn't know anything about, and messing with peoples' lives," says Richardson. "Gloria sees him, especially the way he looks with his expensive silver raw silk Vegas suit, like some kind of misplaced knight, almost literally in shining armor, who thinks he's going to come in and set everything right. Actually, it doesn't seem to have much connection to reality, so she has a little bit of a problem with that."

"Gloria is a constant reminder of what Jack has not accomplished in his life," says Stallone. "She is the one who says ‘Now you come back? Where were you when your brother needed you? You were never here at Christmas or vacations; you were never here at the birth of your niece. Just go home, Jack.'"

Richardson was drawn to the strength of the women in this story. "The women are not only very strong, they have a great deal of heart," she says. "They rise above whatever is happening to them and get on with their lives. I think in this story they represent the notion of ‘life goes on.'"

Rachael Leigh Cook, star of the teen romance "She's All That," sees her character as a whole different breed than most of the teen roles in films today. "She's n

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