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VANTAGE POINT

Casting The Film
Vantage Point features an all-star cast, with each actor getting to be the star of the show for his or her segment.  

Dennis Quaid says that his character's challenges and problems helped to underscore the film's central tension - that is, that events are determined by one's point of view.  "Barnes is a guy who took a bullet for the president and this is his first day back on the job," he explains.  "He has a lot of trepidations about being back and it's made him jumpy and quick to react-too quick, as it turns out, because sometimes his gut instinct is wrong.  But ultimately, you're not paranoid if it turns out that you're right."

"Dennis Quaid has always been the all-American hero, ever since The Right Stuff and The Big Easy," says Travis.  "That's what I've always loved about him - he's quintessentially American, an old-fashioned movie star, a proper man's man.  He's tough, yet vulnerable.  That's what this part needed, a man who was torn inside.  Everybody treats him as a hero, but the last thing he wants to be is a hero - he's just doing his job.  Dennis brought a real sensitivity to that part.  And he has the kick-ass car chase, as well."

Matthew Fox plays Quaid's partner, Secret Service Agent Kent Taylor.  As Agent Barnes' longtime confidant, Taylor is in a unique position.  "Dennis and Matthew's story is really about brothers, in a way.  These two men look out for each other.  Taylor is sticking up for his mentor, who is having a tough time coming back after being shot.  Everything changes when the president is shot - that relationship is put under the microscope."

As a result, Travis sought an actor who could hold his own next to Quaid.  "Like Dennis, he's the all-American hero," Travis says.  "There's a wonderful authenticity to Matthew that I really like - he has a wonderful energy about him and the ability to surprise you.  

Fox was excited by the project's structure.  "When the movie rewinds and you go back and watch what my character was doing, your whole perspective changes: 'Oh my God! He was actually doing something different!'

"It's exciting for an actor," Fox continues.  "Any time you get a chance to play with different aspects of your performance, playing up emotions or mannerisms, to give a scene different meanings - it's incredibly gratifying.  In this film, that's built in - it's part of the story."

Fox was also glad for the chance to work especially closely with Dennis Quaid.  "Dennis's character is more than just a mentor to mine - he's like a brother," says Fox.  "It's an intense bond that they have.  Dennis is a great actor, and to be able to explore the relationship between these two guys with him was a real thrill."

Forest Whitaker, who plays an ordinary man named Howard Lewis, joined the cast early on after a meeting with Travis.  "Omagh was so powerful, so strong, so honest," he says.  "Working with him was one of the main reasons I wanted to join this film.  He's got a good soul."

"Unlike the other characters, Howard Lewis is an ordinary man," says Travis.  "Most of us will never be the president, or a Secret Service agent, or even a news producer.  He's the everyman - never been to Spain, never been that close to the president, excited to film it and take the pictures home to his kids - and suddenly finds himself the little man at the center of this huge story.  He's the guy who never got picked for the football team who desperately wants to be the hero and this is his chance."

Whitaker enjoyed his chance to be in an action movie.  "Howard does a lot of running," he laughs.  "During filming, not only would I run, but I'd run for blocks and blocks.  We'd just keep going.  It seemed like for two months, all I did was run.  Ever

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