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ARMORED

The Guys On The Trucks
Each of the diverse characters in Armored has a different motive for taking part in the heist, but all have one thing in common: none of them are heroes, and none are villains. That complexity sent the filmmakers looking for actors who could straddle the line between good and evil. From industry veterans Matt Dillon, Laurence Fishburne, Jean Reno and Fred Ward, to relative newcomers Columbus Short, Skeet Ulrich, Amaury Nolasco and Milo Ventimiglia, the cast of Armored helped shape the story by bringing unique insights to their characters.

Simpson says casting was the biggest surprise of the entire process for him. "It was different from my original vision, but when I opened myself up to it and saw what was being brought to it, I realized it was going to make the story that I wanted to tell even better.”

"The cast is absolutely amazing,” says producer Dan Farah. "Both Nimród and Clint Culpepper had a gut feeling about all of these guys and how they would come together. You have six armored truck guards who are supposed to work together every day in this small space. They needed to have a certain kind of relationship.”

During shooting, the cast developed a camaraderie similar to that of their characters. "The relationship between the actors was genuine,” says Antal. "Everybody's ego was put aside and it shows in the dynamic between the characters. After we establish the close-knit bond between them, then the machine starts to fall apart. We see how each person handles that. The ultimate betrayal is all the more painful because they start out so tight.”

At the center of the story is Ty Hackett, a conflicted young man unprepared for the challenges of caring for his brother and keep their modest home together. The filmmakers were looking for an actor with unmistakable charisma. "Columbus Short embodies that,” says Antal. "He's also very talented. He brought such energy to the set every day and his passion for the film was undeniable.”

Short says once he started reading the script, he couldn't put it down. "This is a very smart movie and I fought to get the part,” he says. "It juxtaposes drama and action in a believable way. There are plenty of rock 'em, sock 'em, blow ‘em up moments, as well as emotionally intense scenes. And nobody's really seen the life of these armored truck drivers before. I knew that with the right director this would become such an amazing world and an amazing story.”

Antal was the right director, says the actor, setting the tone for the cast and crew. "His attitude on the set reflected leadership, and that goes a long way toward creating the workplace atmosphere,” continues Short. "He treated the extras the same way he treated me or Matt or Laurence. He genuinely listened. You can't be a jerk on set when the director is such a humble man. He rallies the troops and everybody gets behind him.”

Working opposite veteran actors whose work he grew up watching was a remarkable experience for the 26-year-old actor. "I could talk to you for hours about what I've learned from these guys,” he says. "All of them gave me such support from the start. They dropped little pearls of wisdom here and there, and I made sure I was there to catch them.”

The actor he worked most closely with was Matt Dillon. "He's so charming,” says Short. "He's just a genuine guy. His character is basically a father figure for my character and his brother. When the heist goes wrong, that's where the moral dilemma comes from. Do you stand up for what you know is right, or do you stand behind somebody you love?”

Bill Cochran, played by Dillon, is the senior officer on the truck. "Cochrane is definitely the big dog in the room,” says Simpson. "Everybody respects and trusts him. But in private, he always felt there were great opportunities that lay just beyond his grasp. He's worked hard all his life. He's always followed the rules. And now he fee

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