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MISS CONGENIALITY 2 ARMED AND FABULOUS

Casting
Joining Sandra Bullock and Regina King in Las Vegas is Enrique Murciano as well-meaning but ineffectual agent Jeff Foreman. Murciano, who earned a 2002 Screen Actors Guild nomination as part of the Without a Trace cast, admits that "Jeff Foreman is probably the sweetest character I've ever played in my life. I usually get cast as the rough, rugged guy who dies for his country in the end, and here I got to be goofy and vulnerable, really endearing.” "People who look like Enrique aren't supposed to be funny,” jokes Bullock. "God doesn't work that way. He gives you something and he holds back in another department. But not in Enrique's case – God just gaveth and gaveth.”

Gracie takes a special interest in Foreman, Bullock explains, "not only because she and Sam completely take advantage of him and run him ragged, but because she sees the potential in him and really wants to help. He reminds her of how she used to be, with talent and confidence she didn't know how to tap into, and knows he just needs that extra push to discover it.”

Reprising his starring role as pageant emcee Stan Fields from Miss Congeniality is Emmy, Golden Globe and Saturn Award-winner William Shatner, who manages to give the cowardly and disingenuous character a measure of charm. Stan enters the story this time as a hostage, so immediately finds himself in a situation where the marginal talent he uses to slide through life is utterly useless. Unimpressed with his recitation of various dinner theater appearances, his captors brush aside his offer to perform on their ransom video. 

"I don't feel the public realize how brilliantly funny William Shatner is,” offers Bullock, whose pet name for the actor on set was Bubba. "He's like the goof in all of us. He plays Stan with such finesse, even if it means making himself look like a blubbering idiot. It takes a very smart person to do that, truly; dumb people cannot play dumb.”

Ernie Hudson returns as supervisor McDonald, who, under pressure from higher-ups, persuades Gracie to parlay her recent celebrity into a public role as an FBI spokesperson.

Hudson, a 25-year veteran of stage, screen and television, blends and brings McDonalds' concerns to the fore, managing to look both commanding and beleaguered at the same time. This is a man who probably understands Gracie better than anyone, walks the line between boss and confidant, disciplinarian and friend. Clearly, when Gracie does well, he's proud of her and when she screws up, you can see how much he wishes he could have stopped her. When Gracie and Sam nearly come to blows within seconds of meeting in the FBI gym, it's McDonald who gamely steps between them. 

Also returning is the versatile Heather Burns as Cheryl Frazier, after having won the Miss United States crown and become Gracie's best friend in Miss Congeniality. "The audience identified with the Cheryl character,” Bullock recalls the first film. "She was the underdog, the one with the big heart but not the likeliest contestant, and she ended up winning, which was really a nice thing to see. Here's someone you would actually want to win, a person who seems a bit like yourself or at least someone you could emulate without it being an unbelievable reach.” 

"Cheryl is a great foil for the Gracie character,” Burns believes. "Gracie is tough and street-smart and Cheryl is extraordinarily innocent. She comes across as a very positive, very sweet woman who may not seem like the brightest candle in the church but I think there's an intelligence hidden there that sometimes comes out and surprises people.” 

"Heather has a unique comic delivery that catches you by surprise,” says Bullock, who teams here with Burns for the third time, following Miss Congeniality and Two Weeks Notice. "Often you have no idea she's being funny until after she makes a statement and you realize she's just sa

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