A BEAUTIFUL MIND
About The Production
A Beautiful Mind begins with Nash's arrival at Princeton University, which had become the top school for the advanced study of mathematics a few years earlier. Though socially awkward, Nash eventually befriends fellow math students Sol and Bender, who go on to work with him at MIT's Wheeler Lab.
For the role of Sol, the filmmakers cast Adam Goldberg, who had co-starred in Saving Private Ryan and in their own EdTV. Anthony Rapp, who starred in Rent on Broadway, was cast as Bender. "We're Nash's compatriots," Rapp said of the duo. "We rag on him for being so eccentric, but we're the guys who follow him through his life."
Nash's Princeton roommate Charles actually encourages his eccentricities. British actor Paul
Bettany, who played Chaucer in A Knight's Tale, relished that role. "Charles reflects the chaotic bit of John," said
Bettany, "and allows him to do things like throw desks through windows."
A Princeton student named Hansen engages in an intense rivalry with Nash. "They are both completely filled with their own sense of destiny," said Josh Lucas, who played Hansen and previously co-starred in You Can Count on Me. "Hansen is obviously well-bred and has the silver spoon, but he is deeply threatened by Nash."
Oscar® nominee Judd Hirsch (Ordinary People) plays Nash's Princeton advisor, Professor Helinger. "We didn't want a soul-less bureaucrat in this role," Howard emphasized. "We needed someone with personal charisma who could hold the screen with Russell. Judd is just right because he projects intellect with humanity, and he can hold his own with anybody in anything."
A Beautiful Mind reunites Russell Crowe with Christopher Plummer, the acclaimed actor who portrays Dr. Rosen. "Russell is one of the most versatile actors on the screen today," said Plummer, a stage and screen veteran who starred opposite Crowe in The Insider. "Here, he goes back to disguising himself in a role which is obviously going to be huge for him. He is the right kind of person for a demanding role like this, because he will not let one detail go by."
Despite the numerous films each has made, Howard and Plummer had never met before A Beautiful Mind. "Dr. Rosen comes into Nash's life at a time when Nash can't be sure whom to trust," Howard reflected. "So it was really important to have an actor who offered some true complexity in his choices. Christopher Plummer is one of those great actors who knows how to find the subtlety and subtext in a character and in a scene.
Plummer understood the challenge. "It's an interesting role, because he starts out a little edgy,
and the audience should not really know who or what he is, the actor explained. "I was enchanted by the script, not just because it was well- written and well-constructed, but because it was so unbelievably touching, and heart wrenching, and very tough and unsentimental."
Plummer also appreciated Howard's working style. "He's like the old-fashioned director who trusts his company. I think the best directors are the ones who know how to cast.
And once they've cast, they almost leave you alone because they've got the family, and they trust the family."
The filmmakers treated every step of the production of A Beautiful Mind
with respect. "There is a lot of creativity in the story-telling and we've taken license to try to condense a lifetime into a film, but we are presenting a real world," said Howard. "We approached this story as truthfully as possible and tried to let authenticity be our
To heighten the feeling of realism and maximize the emotional truth of A Beautiful Mind, the filmmakers decided to shoot the story in continuity. Filming a movie's scenes in the actual order of the<
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