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The Cast on Their Characters
NICOLAS CAGE on Yuri Orlov

When I first read the script I wasn't sure I really wanted to be this character because I was afraid he'd get into my head too much and the things he's really doing. But at the same time, I think he also has come to a point where he believes what he's doing could actually… I'm afraid to say anything about it because it's really subject to your own interpretation and what you want to take from it is going to be far more interesting than what I could possibly say about it.

The main thing is that the road to hell is paved with good intentions and the devil is a great guy. So I'm just a good guy with good intentions. It's an in-depth character analysis told from the perspective of an unlikely protagonist in Yuri Orlov. You don't normally see a movie told from the actual gun runner's eyes. And Jared's character (Vitaly), although he's my brother in the movie, I feel like in a lot of ways it's more a father/son relationship because our parents – let's face it – they raised a drug addict and a gun runner. And we're sort of there on our own. So I think we're closer than we are with our parents.

JARED LETO on Vitaly Orlov

I play Vitaly who is Nicolas Cage's (Yuri) brother and partner in crime, his conscience in a way. In this film, I'm a dreamer, I'm an innocent; someone who wants so badly to do so many things but can't quite figure out how to put his finger on it. He can't really figure out how he wants to accomplish what he really wants - which is a really frustrating place to be. As a human being we've all kind of been through some phase like that. He's a cook and his dream is to open a restaurant. He's a simple guy in a lot of ways. He really loves his brother. His brother has been his guiding force his whole life and they have a really special relationship. They lean on each other a lot.

Yuri is an anti-hero, he's a guy you love but don't know why. He's a ruthless and morally bankrupt person but he still has humanity. I think Vitaly has big hopes but doesn't know how to get there and Yuri is the opposite, he is committed and knows what he wants and goes out to get it.

ETHAN HAWKE on Jack Valentine

I am Agent Valentine. I'm working for the international police agency Interpol, trying to track down this international arms dealer. That's the gist. I basically harass Nic throughout the movie. I think it's obsessive from my part. I don't think Nic really cares, he's just deceiving everyone. I'm this classic military guy who has this really clear agenda of what's right and wrong and is hell-bent to do it. I think Nic's character is in right opposition to that. The interesting thing with Interpol agents chasing arms people is that they run around with machine guns and shoot people too.


She doesn't know what Yuri does. At the wedding she admits she knows he has a sort of double life going on and she wasn't going to ask too much about it. She accepted the situation. There's an incredible bond and loving relationship between the two. I think she had an idea that he (Yuri) was into something that wasn't, you know, "legal” but I don't think that ever crossed her mind. I mean who would ever think that? I think it's easy to ignore things in relationships. I think everybody does it and then makes excuses or time passes. I don't think she's unique in her situation though the elements are unique obviously. She's able to make that make sense for her but as the story goes on she gets more of a conscience. And I think with a child and other things she has going on, she has to make a decision.


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