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All In The Family
Playing Mr. Brooks' prized, only daughter is rising young actress Danielle Panabaker ("Shark,” "Sky High”), in what is by far her most adult role to date. Vying against dozens of other up-and-coming actresses, Panabaker won the role with a standout audition that proved she could go head-to-head with Kevin Costner as the daughter who's more similar to him than he'd like to admit. Recalls director Bruce Evans: "In her audition, Danielle read the powerful scene where Mr. Brooks asks Jane if he really loves her -- and she just broke our hearts. We knew right then she was Jane.” 

Even before she finished the script, Panabaker knew it wouldn't be easy to see this brutal serial killer as a father, but she relished the challenge. The contrasts between the two sides of Mr. Brooks frightened her, yet also compelled her. "I really didn't want to stop reading this screenplay,” she says. "There's something very dark and twisted about the story that also makes it really fascinating.” 

She was especially engaged by the fact that Jane, like her father, has a lot more going on behind the privileged surfaces of her life than meets the eye. "There are so many different layers to Jane,” observes Panabaker. "When we first meet her, she's just coming home from college to see her parents and she's got all these secrets and worries. Then, she gets more and more interesting as the story goes on.” 

Things got even more interesting on the set, as Panabaker worked closely with Kevin Costner to develop a highly unusual father-daughter bond. It was an inspirational experience for the young actress. "Kevin is such a fantastic actor and gave me so many tips I would never have thought of,” she says. "Every time he says something, he brings a whole new depth and a whole new reality to things. For example, the moments of playing with his glasses were all his idea – and they're so real. It really establishes the connection between father and daughter and is also a little foreboding. It's typical of how Kevin is always thinking beyond the scene to the bigger picture.” 

For Panabaker, the bigger picture of MR. BROOKS is one that will continue to haunt her for a while to come. "It's definitely one of those movies that even after you've left the theatre, you'll be asking questions and you'll still be thinking about it a long time afterwards,” she sums up. 

Completing Mr. Brooks' picture-perfect family is the light of Mr. Brooks' life – his gorgeous, loving wife Emma, who seems completely under his spell. "If Mr. Brooks didn't have his wife, Emma, he'd probably self-destruct,” says Raynold Gideon. "When he comes home to her it's all loving and beautiful and that's what holds him together.” 

Starring as Emma is an actress who has risen to international popularity on the hit television crime-solving phenomenon "CSI”: Marg Helgenberger. Like her cast-mates, Helgenberger found that the script kept her up late. "It's one of the only scripts I've read in my life that I really didn't think I could put down,” she says. "It has style, suspense, thrills and the characters really get under your skin because they are such complicated and tortured souls.” 

Perhaps the least tortured soul in the entire story is Emma herself, who in her role as the sexy and devoted wife, manages not to see through her husband's facade to the darkness and criminal mind within. "Emma is very strong, independent and knows who she is,” observes the actress. "She's all about her family and she truly believes she has a very happy marriage. Sure, her husband might go off for hours at a time, but there's a real trust there for her because she feels it's such a healthy relationship.” 

Helgenberger continues: "Yet, I think there's something else there, whether she's conscious of it or not, where she knows there's something wrong, something that her husband<

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