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NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM

The Museum's Residents
Once the old night guards transfer their mantle to Larry Daley, he spends his first night at the museum – a night that proves wildly unforgettable as the wax, stone and stuffed exhibits that surround him in the dark roar to life. Amid the flying fur and chaos, Larry discovers some amazing people whose help he'll need if he's going to survive until morning. Larry's greatest guidance comes from no less than one of the most lauded Americans in history and a man who truly believed in the awesome inherent power of the "common man” – the 26th President of the United States, Teddy Roosevelt.

To play Roosevelt, the filmmakers knew they would need someone who could hit all the big comic notes of the situation while still bringing out the colorful, inspirational personality of the real man. The person that came instantly to mind was Academy Award® winner and four-time Oscar® nominee Robin Williams, whose career has careened between unbridled comedy and intense dramatic portrayals. When offered the chance to play Roosevelt – who, like Williams, sported a wide-ranging interest in history, politics, science and nature – he could not pass it up.

"He was a larger-than-life figure in real life,” Williams says, "an extraordinary man and an outrageously independent person who basically fought for what he called ‘the little man.' Reading about him established the idea that he was both a very ethical and charismatic person. It was a blast getting to inhabit that kind of persona.”

Like the rest of his cast-mates, Williams, who previously starred in the hit family fantasy Jumanji, couldn't resist the imaginative concept of NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM. "Museums naturally lend themselves to the question of just what goes on in there at night and to have history come to life -- and confront you -- wow,” he says. "I love this kind of story that's part fable and part grand adventure. I especially loved the dioramas coming to life because I collect miniatures and the idea of something on that scale coming alive is like ‘Yo, dude!' And it's great fun to have Neanderthals and Huns running around again – they're always good for a party.”

Diving into research, Williams was increasingly fascinated by Roosevelt, and especially his untiring, "can-do” attitude, which he attempts to get across to Larry Daley. "His message to Larry is ‘you can do this, lad, and if you can bring order to this place, imagine what else you can do.' He offers him that old but great idea that you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”

Once on the set, Williams was fully in his element. "This whole thing for me was like Halloween,” he says. "One minute you're with Tyrannosaurus Rex and then you see an Egyptian King go by and the next you have a crush on Sacajawea. It was just like time traveling.”

For Ben Stiller, working with Robin Williams made the fantasy all the more real, and all the funnier. "Robin Williams was really the only the person who could do this role because he's so inimitable,” says Stiller. "He's an iconic comedic fixture – which makes him sound like a faucet or something – but he's also a real student of history so he was perfect to play Teddy Roosevelt. He brings the reality and soulfulness to this guy who, let's face it, is really just a wax figure – and he's also incredibly funny. In the end, Teddy becomes Larry's true friend as he helps guide him through the museum and survive all the craziness.”

Other historical figures upon whom Larry Daley must rely in his quest to save the museum include Sacajawea, the famous Shoshone guide who played an invaluable role in Lewis & Clark's historic expedition through the Pacific Northwest. In NIGHT AT THE MUSUEM, she uses her famed skills to help Larry get the out-of-control museum back in line. "She's a tracker,” says rising young actress Mizuo Peck, who takes her first major

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