About The Characters
"Porter takes the gloves off from the get-go," states Gibson
"Porter takes the gloves off from the
get-go," states Gibson. "He'll roll with whatever they
throw at him. He might be a thief but that doesn't necessarily
mean he's a man completely without honor. He has a perverse sense
of justice." Gibson continues, "The story is dark, yet
whimsical. It's a strange mix, but an interesting journey. The
situations Porter finds himself in are so extreme that you have
to laugh at them, or else."
"I wanted to see a bad guy as the hero, but I didn't want
to make excuses for him," says director Brian Helgeland.
"With Mel, it's much more interesting because you haven't
seen him do this type of role before. He has the kind of age and
world weariness that enhances the character of Porter."
Porter's trial-by-fire, scarred wisdom leaves room for only one
kind of woman in his future: one that would die for him. Maria
Bello explains the attachment Porter has to his former flame,
an upscale call girl. "Rosie's the only person he can really
trust. We have a past and we have deep, deep, regrets. There's
so much between them, so much history, so many things they should've
done, but didn't get a chance to do the first time around."
Ms. Bello is known to audiences as the passionate and head-strong
pediatrician, Dr. Anna Del Amico, on the Emmy-winning drama, "E.R."
"I was looking through a pile of resumes in the casting office,"
says Helgeland, "and came across a tape that said Maria Bello.
I had no idea who she was, so I popped it in. The second I saw
her I knew that she was Rosie."
"Rosie's a working girl," says Gibson. "She makes
ends meet - makes lots of ends meet - especially for Porter when
he looks for Val. Porter was once her driver, her protector, she
came to depend upon him. And I guess they got a little involved,"
Gibson explains, understating the significance of their connection.
"He didn't like the fact that she was still in her old line
of work. Circumstances throw him back into her life and her into
his. They're still coping with past bruises and hurts and pains.
He's not a very giving person, emotionally. He's kind of an emotional
cripple. And she's been abused like hell, too. They're really
two of a kind."
For the pivotal role of Val Resnick, Porter's double-crossing
partner in crime, Gregg Henry was chosen. He is known for his
unique work in "Body Double," "Raising Cain,"
"Scarface," and numerous television movies and theatrical
plays. Says Helgeland, "He's fun to watch and at the same
time he's gonna be real scary when he goes over the edge. Henry's
overblown comic relief adds an essential balance to Val's hard-core
"Gregg's perfect," Gibson believes, "Somebody's
gotta make Porter look good. Gregg goes the extra yard and makes
Val even more sloppy, extreme and erratic."
"Val's a once in a lifetime part," states Henry. "He's
a snappy dresser, likes the threads, a sadist with a little smile.
He's a heister, a hi-jacker. He longs to be in The Outfit so he's
trying to work his way up in the criminal world."
David Paymer next signed for the role of Stegman, the Don of the
lowly cab Mafia who yearns to be part of The Outfit. Paymer earned
Academy Award® and Golden Globe nominations for his performance
as Billy Crystal's put-upon brother in "Mr. Saturday Night."
"Porter is out for revenge, and to get his money he has to
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