PARANOIA's Supporting Players
Joining Liam Hemsworth, Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford in Paranoia is a diverse
supporting cast of both rising stars and veteran award winners including Amber Heard, Lucas Till,
Embeth Davidtz, Julian McMahon, Josh Holloway and Richard Dreyfuss.
Amber Heard, who first broke out in the hit comedy Pineapple Express, takes on the role of
Emma Jennings, the rising young executive who gets involved with Adam never knowing that he is
secretly spying on her company. Heard says she couldn't resist the character. "She is such a smart,
independent woman. She's had to work her way up in this cutthroat, competitive, technical
company full of men, so she knows what that takes. And I think she's fascinated by the new guy,
Adam, because he's the opposite of everything she's used to. He comes from a kind of real world
and there's something different about him. They fall in love but under very dangerous
circumstances. In a way, they are coming of age in the most high-risk environment."
Heard particularly enjoyed working with Liam Hemsworth in a role that veers between
romance and breathless intrigue. "Adam is someone who comes into the company as the new, big-
eyed kid full of ideas and energy and wanting to earn a place for himself. Liam is wonderful at that
because he has that same sweet, earnest, infectious quality of enthusiasm," she says.
Luketic notes that Heard brought something equally special to the role of Emma. "She did a
really great job of understanding this character's unique background and how she has learned to
maneuver in this tech world. She's remarkably beautiful but she's also very smart -- I would
constantly find her reading these complex, philosophical books -- and she brought that combination
Lucas Till, best known for playing Havok in X-Men: First Class, takes the role of Kevin,
Adam's best friend and a brilliant programmer, who watches as Adam starts leading the life they've
imagined since they were little kids in Brooklyn -- without him. "When Adam suddenly gets this
massive amount of success, their paths split," notes Till. "Kevin is struggling just to find a job and
to him, it looks like Adam has sold out. But really, I think Adam wants to protect his friends. Just
as it looks like Kevin is going one way and Adam is going another, they come back together."
Embeth Davidtz -- the actress whose wide-ranging roles span from Schindler's List to The
Amazing Spider-Man to Mad Men -- portrays Judith, the cold but savvy corporate psychologist who
is Nicolas Wyatt's right-hand woman and Adam's trainer as a corporate spy.
"Judith had to be both a charmer and an intellect, as well as someone who will do anything
to succeed, and Embeth was able to embody all of that," says Milchan. "She gave us moments of
being very nice, very seductive, very inviting and then being a total snake, capable of betrayal on the
deepest level. In a way, Judith creates Adam as a corporate spy like Frankenstein's monster and
then she abandons him to be eaten alive."
Working alongside Judith is the even more frightening Miles Meachum, Wyatt's head of
security. Taking the dark role is Julian McMahon, the Australian actor renowned for his Golden
Globe nominated role in the hit series Nip/Tuck. McMahon describes Miles as "Wyatt's
consigliore. We're talking about a company valued in the multi-billions and he's the guy whose job
it is to make sure everything stays in place for Wyatt."
It is Meachum who launches a breakneck campaign of ever-intensifying surveillance and
intimidation that pushes Adam to the extreme edges of fear. "Meachum is the face of the state of
paranoia that Adam finds himself in," McMahon states. "He's constantly there putting pressure on
Adam and, when he gets the word from his boss, he won't hesitate to get rid of him. He starts off
kind of charming and helpful to Adam, but he becomes more and more scary, dangerous and
threatening. He takes the technology we all have in our lives to the extreme, using it to assure Adam
has no way out when they decide to literally terminate him."
Throughout, McMahon enjoyed watching Liam Hemsworth react to his character. "Liam
keeps ramping up the intensity throughout the movie. He's got that real fire," he says.
On the other side of the law is FBI Agent Gamble, portrayed by Josh Holloway, known for
his roles on Lost and in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Gamble further complicates Adam's
dilemma by asking him to turn against Wyatt as a double agent and help the Feds bring him down.
"Gamble is basically betting that Adam has a good soul," explains Holloway. "He knows that Wyatt
and Goddard think that they are the untouchables, but he's determined to touch them. He's been
hunting them for years."
As Adam falls into the dizzying abyss of corporate wars and surveillance, the closer he grows
to the only person who can still give it to him straight: his father Frank as played by Academy
Award winner Richard Dreyfuss. A blue collar worker who made his own compromises to take
care of his family, and now faces medical bills he can't pay, Frank still has something to teach Adam
when it comes to integrity.
Dreyfuss took the role because he liked the themes of the script and what proves to be an
ironclad father-son bond, even in the face of powerful evil. "The story is almost frighteningly
current," he says, " and the character I play becomes kind of the moral template for Adam and for
the story. Frank's not a man of a lot of words, but I think you can see that a lot of what is good and
decent about Adam comes from Frank."
Frank is loath to watch his son get betrayed, but he also knows Adam has to learn to navigate
this new world for himself. "I think Frank really tried to raise Adam on what was important. He
tried to tell him that the world's values could be very shallow yet very easy to be trapped in . . . but
Frank has also lived long enough to know that his son has to go through this on his own. He loves
his son and he trusts that ultimately he is going to do the right thing," says Dreyfuss.
Once on the set, Dreyfuss especially enjoyed working with Luketic. "Robert is very open
and he has a very good ear, not only for what he wants, but when a new idea is suggested, he then
builds on that," he explains.
Luketic was equally captivated by Dreyfuss and how he brought the role to life. "Richard
and Liam created a very natural and believable father-son relationship, and Frank has become one of
the best-loved characters in the film. Richard plays Frank as someone who has seen the world
changing, who realizes the promises made to workers aren't going to come true, but who still has his
values intact. In many ways, he represents the emotional heart of the film because Richard is so very
Yet even Frank is powerless to keep Adam safe as he tries to take control of the game from
the men who have set out to use and destroy him. For Robert Luketic, crafting that escalating
atmosphere of suspicion and fear at every turn was the film's bottom line. "Every element of the
film, from the performances to the photography, is meant to pull the audience into Adam's
increasing peril," concludes Luketic. "You're constantly asking yourself -- What would I do in his
position? How could I possibly turn the tables and escape?"
It is these timely questions and fears that establishes Paranoia as an intense and thrilling ride
as Adam navigates this new world and tries to beat these corporate powerhouses at their own game.
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