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Closing The Book
With 97 days of filming over a four-month period covering a wide geographic area behind them, the company had some time to reflect on the experience…although for Jerry Bruckheimer and Jon Turteltaub, much of the work was ahead of them in a punishing postproduction period, in they would oversee the editing, final sound, extensive visual effects and musical score by Trevor Rabin, who composed the alternately stirring and propulsive music for the first film.

"Getting to work with Jon Voight, Diane Kruger and Justin Bartha again was definitely like going back down memory lane and seeing old friends,” notes Nicolas Cage. "Except, there's more of an ease to it this time. We all know each other's quirks and rhythms, and we know when things are going to get hot or not, or silly or not. It's just easy. Ed Harris gives so much reality to the characters he plays that he'll make anything work. And Helen Mirren, of course, so hot off of her success with ‘The Queen,' and you couldn't work with a more down-to-earth, humble person, considering the brilliance that she puts into her performances.”

"Jon is original, brilliant and romantic, and that's why the film has all of those elements,” notes Jon Voight. "He has a great sense of story, great joie de vivre, who never says a discouraging word. He's always up and playful. He's really funny in terms of his take on life, and there's humor about all of our characters too. You don't find too many pictures nowadays with charm, but that's what Jon brings to the movie.”

"If possible, it was more fun the second time around,” says Diane Kruger. "There's a lot less searching around to get the right tone. Everybody seemed to be on the same wavelength. Jon is a very thorough director who knows what he's doing, and he's also fun to hang out with.” Confirms Justin Bartha, "I don't think anyone else can direct these films except Jon. The guy is so smart and so talented, with such a grip on everything at play. I've never really met a director like him.”

The company was particularly glad to welcome Helen Mirren to their family, particularly since she displayed nothing but unending enthusiasm and excitement for the project and tore into the adventure and romance of the piece with the same fervor with which she approaches the classical roles which have made her one of the world's most honored performers. "You know, I won an Oscar® as the Queen, so I expected to be treated with respect when I came on the set of BOOK OF SECRETS,” says Mirren jokingly. "Instead, they hung me from wires, made me swing across abysses, covered me with dirt, dunked me in filthy, dirty water…and I had the best time of my life!

"Everyone was so nice to me, and I think a bit of fresh blood is always a good thing. You've spent hours and hours with each other; a new face on the block is always kind of fun. I have to say that Nicolas is totally divine, and right from the moment I met him, he was incredibly welcoming. Jon kept us laughing all of the time with his wit and enormous energy, which is what you need to put this kind of material on the screen. And he has the ability to think on his feet, which is a really difficult thing to do when you have such a technically heavy film with huge sets and an enormous crew. The ability that Jon has to be light with the material is really quite a magician's trick.”

For Turteltaub and many others in the cast and crew, working on a Jerry Bruckheimer movie was a gratifying repeat experience. "Jerry is brilliant and is extremely focused on very specific things,” says the director. "He's the biggest advocate of artistic creativity that I've ever worked with. Jerry loves bringing in talented people. He doesn't chase box-office stars, he chases talent and wants you to bring out the best in those people. And boy, he has a better sense of ‘the audience' than anyone else


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