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A WALK ON THE MOON

About The Production (cont'd)
Another unexpected casting coup came when Oscar winner Anna Paquin accepted the role of Pearl's equally rebellious, and authentically adolescent, daughter Alison

Another unexpected casting coup came when Oscar winner Anna Paquin accepted the role of Pearl's equally rebellious, and authentically adolescent, daughter Alison. Lee Gottsegen explains: "We wanted a teenager who was at the same point in life as Alison. Anna is clearly one of the most incredible talents in that age range and she looks the part. We were even more thrilled when we discovered she is capable of a flawless American accent."

Tony Goldwyn cites Paquin's "offbeat beauty, incredible smarts and independent spirit" as being perfectly in line with the role of Alison. "Anna has the ability to be witty and smart without being shrill or the stereotypical adolescent brat," he says. "We needed someone with a deep intelligence rare at that age and Anna has it. She allows you to believe in Alison as a rebel with real convictions."

For Paquin, the role of Alison was a chance to bring a frank realism to the tumult of female adolescence. "I completely understood Alison's feelings because teenagers are really the same regardless of where or when they were born," she comments. The young actress was particularly impressed by Pamela Gray's carefully handling of the mother-daughter relationship, especially the way Gray elucidated Alison's feeling of being trapped between her mother's unfulfilled dreams and her father's promises of safety. "I think Alison probably feels closer to her father because she can't feel threatened by him because he's a guy," she explains. "At that age, you don't want to be like your mother but of course Alison and Pearl are going through something very similar so they have this deeper, more complicated connection."

Another draw for Paquin was the opportunity to explore the American 1960s, a period unlike any she's had a chance to explore in her young but diverse career. "It was wonderful to play somebody from a different time but not from the Victorian era!" she jokes.

Coming between Alison and Pearl is the irresistible Walker Jerome, the easygoing hippie who has a devastating effect on the Kantrowitz family. Despite his role as seducer and home-breaker, Walker Jerome is a character of many charms and surprises. To capture both Jerome's sexuality and his subtleties, Viggo Mortensen was always the filmmakers' first choice.

"When I first sat down with Viggo, I was basically struck speechless," admits Goldwyn. "I immediately thought there's no one else in the world who can play this role. I always thought Walker would be the most difficult character in the story to bring to life, he's so much in danger of just being the cliche hunky guy. But Viggo had that underlying thing going on, that kind of free-spirit, charismatic rebel quality that Walker Jerome is all about."

Mortensen felt a passionate connection to the script, but he also found a very personal link with the character. "There are certain elements of Walker Jerome that remind me of my stepbrother," explains Mortensen. "His spirit was very much like Walker's and he was on my mind throughout the filming."

Adds Mortensen: "The themes of this story are very universal. It is a simple and beautiful story with characters that you can really understand, no matter what kind of background you come from. Even though there is plenty of blame to go around in this situation, you really understand why the characters do what they do an

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