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LAKEVIEW TERRACE

About The Casting
Hey, it might be nice living next to a cop.  We can borrow his handcuffs. - CHRIS

When Loughery heard that Samuel L. Jackson had been cast as Abel Turner, he was sure the filmmakers had made the right choice. "I thought, this is exactly the guy for this part,” he remembers. "He's menacing and charming at the same time, so this character is both likable and threatening. It's really a great performance.”

Jackson, he says, uses humor to diffuse the sense of danger Turner cultivates. "He has an odd sense of humor and I think that's really a great addition to the character,” says the writer. "I guess you would say he's the villain of the piece, but he doesn't see himself that way. He's protecting his property and he's doing what he thinks is right for his family and for himself.”

With Jackson signed on to play Turner, director Neil LaBute's challenge was to put together a supporting cast strong enough to keep up with the actor, famed for his dynamic onscreen presence. 

Patrick Wilson, who plays Chris Mattson, is a well known stage actor with two Tony nominations to his credit, as well as leading roles in the film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera, Children of Men and the award-winning HBO production of "Angels in America.” He didn't hesitate when he was offered this role. "I loved the script when I first read it,” he says. "I'm interested in projects that are not only challenging to the actors, but that also touch the social conscience and maybe make people think a little. 

"I would never set out to do a movie just to make a statement,” he adds. "But it's nice when you do a movie that reflects the world as it really is and when you play characters that are flawed. It's a character-driven story and also really enjoyable to watch.  "The mystery with a person like Chris, or any soft-spoken guy, is how does he really feel?” says Wilson. "He's not just this great guy who's always smiling. He's got his own issues and little secrets here and there.” 

Wilson points out that Chris reacts to Abel in much the same way as he does to Lisa's disapproving father. "Part of the challenge in their relationship is that both Lisa's father and this neighbor are overbearing and antagonistic forces in this man's life. Is that because they are just these two men or is it because they're black men? Chris, I believe, doesn't care what race they are. It's just these two men telling him how to live his life.” 

Although Jackson was familiar with Wilson's acting work, the two had never actually crossed paths. "It was great to watch him find things and realize that he could relax and just do whatever he wanted with us and with me,” says Jackson. "And I guess because we connected in that way, we were able to let go in a very interesting process when we had our really angry stuff.”

Wilson is no newcomer to film, but working with a movie star of Jackson's caliber initially proved intimidating for him. "Our rehearsal process was probably about two minutes of saying hello and talking about golf,” he remembers. "At the beginning, actors can be like two fighters trying to get used to each other in the ring, you know? The first rounds are just sort of dancing around and trying to get used to each other. He's been in so many movies and so many of his characters are so present in my consciousness.” 

When the script for Lakeview Terrace reached Kerry Washington, she was instantly intrigued. "I really, really liked the idea of seeing this couple on screen,” she says. "I felt like we hadn't really seen this kind of hip, progressive interracial couple before.”

Patrick Wilson was impressed by the fresh approach Washington brought to the role. "Kerry played this role in way I didn't even see on the page,” he says. "She has such optimism to her character and such joy in the relationship between Lisa and Chris

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