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Salesman on the Prairie
Those driven agribusinessmen are embodied in Henry Whipple, portrayed with depth and desperation by DENNIS QUAID in a performance that the Toronto International Film Festival calls "the role of a lifetime."

"Henry's a guy with a lot of grey areas," says Quaid. "He's devoted to his family but very selfish at the same time. He's so caught up in the family legacy and expanding his farm that he's blind to what's really going on -- he's pretending that they have this great traditional family when everything is twisted under the surface. He's sweating to keep up a front."

Like Bahrani, Quaid spent time living with Henry's real-life counterparts to hone his portrayal. "We ate meals with farmers and their families, heard their stories and felt them out. They were very generous in opening up their lives to us. The movie really reflects what is going on in modern day America, how people are struggling to keep up with the Jones."

As Quaid recalls, "When I read the script I thought -- it's Willy Loman on the prairie. We're really doing Death of a Salesman in a way."

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