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THE PARENT TRAP

The Casting
Walt Disney Pictures' "The Parent Trap" is a great adventure story for kids

Walt Disney Pictures' "The Parent Trap" is a great adventure story for kids. "The girls really manipulate and control the entire storyline," Meyers continues. "I loved that when I was a kid and again loved watching it as an adult and seeing how that very same element enchanted my daughters.

"There's also something magical in the notion that there's another you out there ... that somewhere on this planet, you have a twin. And of course, the ultimate fantasy that children can create a happy ending to their parents' love stories. Who doesn't want to believe that?"

Casting the roles made so memorable by Brian Keith, Maureen O'Hara and Hayley Mills in the original film was a daunting task for the filmmakers.

Charles Shyer comments, "It's difficult when you have somebody who put their imprint on a role like Spencer Tracy did in 'Father of the Bride' and Hayley Mills did in 'The Parent Trap.' You try to find actors who can make the roles their own, that are originals in their own right."

"A few days after we finished writing the script we were at a friend's wedding and I looked across the room and saw Dennis Quaid," recalls writer/director Nancy Meyers. "I thought he looked exactly like the character we had just written. He's just incredibly charismatic and something about him embodied the character of Nick Parker."

Writer/producer Charles Shyer continues, "Nancy said to me, 'Look at Dennis Quaid over there. Isn't he the perfect Nick Parker?' She was right. It was serendipity." After chatting with the actor about the part, the filmmakers sent him the screenplay.

"The script was really funny and really romantic," comments Quaid. "The fact that it was so romantic took me by surprise and I found myself wanting to accept the role."

"Dennis told me that he thought it was really romantic. I liked that he saw that because we tried to create a very romantic story for the parents," says Meyers. "We've all had that person in our past that we've never seen again. There's a lot of 'what would it be like to see an old love?' in this movie. Maybe some people really are meant to be together."

"Dennis was the only person we ever thought of for the role and he said yes when offered the part," adds Shyer. "The role actually fits him like a glove and shows a side of Dennis that hasn't been explored before."

The filmmakers wanted an English actress to play the role of Elizabeth James. The first person they met with was Natasha Richardson.

"I was very taken by her femininity," recalls Meyers. "Natasha has tremendous elegance and a kind of charisma that you don't see very often anymore. She had a contemporary quality yet she has a lovely, somewhat old-fashioned screen presence. There's also a real softness to her as a person which is perfect for her character in this film."

"There were two reasons I wanted to do this role, apart from the script and working with Dennis Quaid," smiles Richardson. "One, I thought 'Father of the Bride' was one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. I like Charles and Nancy's work very much. And two, I have to do a very long comedy drunk scene in this, which is about the hardest thing you can ask any actor to do. That was a huge challenge for me."

Obviously, casting the pivotal roles of twins Hallie Parker and Annie James was of paramount importance to making the movie.

"I kept saying I'm looking for a little<

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