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URBAN LEGEND

About The Casting
In casting for Urban Legend, everyone agreed that the film presented the ideal opportunity to bring together a fresh, talented group of actors

In casting for Urban Legend, everyone agreed that the film presented the ideal opportunity to bring together a fresh, talented group of actors. Blanks marvels at the phenomenal success of the casting. "I was saying to Silvio, when we first got the cast together, that we didn't cast actors in these roles. They are the characters; Josh is Damon, Michael is Parker. I am just so pleased with the talent we got. I fought very hard for them and they're wonderful."

Moritz explains the formula behind the casting of Alicia Witt as the film's female protagonist, Natalie: "You want the heroine, who is the lead for most of these types of movies, to be a woman who is accessible to a large portion of the audience. That's why Neve Campbell or Jennifer Love Hewitt or even Jamie Lee Curtis are such successful heroines. They are the girl next door. I felt that quality in Alicia ever since I saw her in Fun. She has that classic kind of heroine persona-someone you want to watch, someone you want to feel sorry for, and someone you can be scared with."

Says Witt of her character, "I think Natalie is basically an optimist and thinks the best of everyone. She wants to believe people are good no matter what." The actress adds with a laugh, "I was very nervous about doing a horror movie because I can be so paranoid to begin with."

Once Natalie connects the deaths around her to urban legends, Witt feels that "Natalie's main objective is to protect her own life and those of her remaining friends. It's extremely frustrating because her friends keep telling her no one is getting killed based on urban legends, yet they all end up dying."

Jared Leto plays Paul, the ambitious journalist at the school paper. "He's a go-getter type," Leto explains. "He's the type of guy who probably listened to a few Anthony Robbins tapes. Paul wants to be successful, to get a great story and to create a little campus controversy. He likes to go for the sensational approach. As the story goes along, he gets more interested in what's really happening."

Leto admires Blanks' approach to the story. "Jamie definitely doesn't want this to be a slasher film with lots of blood and guts. He's focusing more on the Hitchcockian element to it, which is more attractive. I think people have seen enough bloody fingers and guts." Blanks agrees, and insists that it is important to engage the imagination of the audience. He believes you achieve this "by giving the audience enough information that they think they're seeing something that they haven't seen. You show cause and effect, but you don't show the moment of death."

Most of the cast and crew involved in the making of Urban Legend are under the age of 30-so they know what their audience wants. Joshua Jackson, who plays Damon, is 20 years old and is the youngest member of the cast. "There was a period of time when horror movies weren't being made for people my age," says Jackson. "The characters that were supposedly portraying me were stupid or insipid and really kind of insulting. Now you have an atmosphere that allows a solid, well-rounded, intelligent male or female character to be a teenager." He adds, "It's entertainment. That's the thing. It's supposed to be fun and you're supposed to enjoy these movies."

Like other recent successful horror films, Urban Legend is laced with humor. "It is a little bit

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