Production Notes (Continued)
Another great actor to join the ranks of the film is the familiar face of veteran thespian Jon Voight. His face, however, might not be so recognizable hidden beneath the mask of make-up he wears when he dons his role as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Special effects make-up artists Will Huff
and Fionagh Cush from the Stan Winston Studios transformed Voight over a 6-hour period each morning.
Bruckheimer, who has worked with Voight before, insists that audiences will not be able to recognize the actor. "Jon makes you believe he is Roosevelt so that you aren't even thinking about the actor beneath the make-up," he says.
"He looks and sounds just like Roosevelt, he really nailed the part. It's funny that so many people cannot quite place the face; even some of the crew were
unaware of who he was.
"Jon actually called and asked to play Roosevelt," says Bruckheimer
"He's an armchair historian and knows more about the man than any of us. That type of preparation is invaluable."
"I've never seen an actor care so much about three days' work," says Bay "I'd also never seen an actor get a round of applause from all the other actors
in the room — seven times they cheered him after he did the scene in the presidential office with his cabinet. That's pretty amazing."
Voight's older brother, Barry, who teaches at Penn State University, recommended that Jon read the Pulitzer Prize-winning book No Ordinary Time.
"After reading this book and others that Barry recommended, I was encouraged to seek out the role of FDR," the actor says. "I really wanted it to be portrayed properly The remarkable thing about FDR for me was how he
sustained being under such enormous pressure. How does one live in an atmosphere of tremendous strain for a continuous period of time? And that's what the Presidency of the United States is, if the person in that seat is taking clear responsibility. It takes character and energy. How did this guy do it? He didn't have wings, he couldn't stand and yet he carried everybody I was very moved by that.
"Roosevelt suffered every moment of drama throughout his presidency especially Pearl Harbor," continues Voight. "It was a devastating blow to him but he was able to rebound. FDR was a righteous man, tremendously clever
with his abilities, his personality and influence and eloquence. He was negotiating with Japan for peace in the Pacific when the attack happened. He felt he had personally failed the American people and the men in the service."
The moment when Roosevelt is informed about the attack is portrayed with dramatic license in the film. "It actually happened in his bedroom," says Voight. "But we did it in another area of the White House. We've recreated the metaphor of truth. The alarm of the response that went off in Washington is represented in the way Michael shot this piece. I only hope that my interpretation of that moment is
equally as appropriate."
Commander in Chief of The Imperial Japanese Navy, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto is played by Academy Award®-nominated actor Mako. Mako, who was born and raised in Japan until he was 15 years old, was only in second grade when the navy's combined fleet attacked Pearl Harbor. "I remember going to school in the morning. I think it was Monday and feeling there was a strange atmosphere. Everybody was talking in whispers: We started a war with America. I remember thinking, 'War? What does that mean?' I had seen footage of the war with China, all the destruction. I realized that's what war meant. It was as if I got hit in the solar plexus and couldn't breathe. A kind of fear and panic overtook my body"
Mako was pleased with the global vision the film presents. "Historically Hollywood pictures about World War II depict the Japanese as the evil side," he explains. "T
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