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NINE

Guido's Song
At the heart of NINE's drama is the artistic journey of Guido Contini, the suave, sensual, Fellini-like Italian film director who is universally hailed as the world's greatest filmmaker—yet suddenly finds himself in a desperate search for inspiration for his next movie. He gets lost in his stormy relationships with a sea of beautiful women—who each seduce and confound him, spark his memories and open up his imagination to new possibilities, pushing him into the dream-like zone where creativity happens. 

The role calls for a keen intelligence and simmering sexuality underscored by an unraveling sense of artistic vulnerability, and the surprise casting placed two-time Academy Award® winner Daniel Day-Lewis in the part. Day-Lewis has been called the most gifted actor of his generation, disappearing completely into the skin of an unforgettable array of screen characters, including his recent Oscar®-winning turn in the California oil epic, THERE WILL BE BLOOD—but he has never been seen dancing or singing in a film before. Nevertheless, Day-Lewis threw himself into the role with his prototypical intensity—even learning fluent Italian, in order to inhabit the character completely. 

Maury Yeston, who has seen quite a range of actors take on the role of Guido, was impressed with Day-Lewis's absorption into the role, but also his undiscovered ability to entertain as a singer. "It turns out that Daniel is a gifted singer and always was, but we just never knew it,” Yeston remarks. 

Says cinematographer Dion Beebe of Day-Lewis's departure performance: "There's an intensity to the performance, but there's also a lightness, a sense of humor and irony. Guido is a man whose world might be collapsing, but his mind is always ready to fly off into fantasy.”

Sophia Loren adds, echoing the entire casts' sentiments: "Daniel is one of the best: scary, intimidating, hypnotic, beautiful, magnetic… unforgettable!”

Surrounding Day-Lewis—and alternately seducing and unsettling his character—in NINE is a knock-out ensemble of sexy, strong, glamorous women, each with her own vital role to play in helping Guido find his way through his creative maelstrom. 

The roster begins with Oscar® winner, Marion Cotillard—who stirred audiences with her lifelike performance as Edith Piaf in LA VIE EN ROSE—takes on the role of Luisa, Guido's long-devoted and long-suffering wife. Luisa was once his leading lady, and is still the woman Guido can't live without, but now she has taken a back seat to the many other temptations in his life. She is acutely aware there will always be a price to pay for loving a creative artist like Guido, as she confesses in her number, "My Husband Makes Movies” and the new, heart-wrenching number "Take It All”—but his behavior brings her to the brink of a momentous decision. 

In preparing for the role, Cotillard thought a lot about her character's motivations and her life before Guido. "Luisa was an actress when she met Guido. I think she dedicated her life to him, because their love was stronger—at that time—than her ambitions as an actress. Now she feels she has given everything to this man,” she explains.

Continues Cotillard, "In the time they have been together, Luisa has accepted many things about Guido. He is a director. He loves women. He needs women. He takes love and energy from these women. He needs Luisa, but he doesn't fully realize that she must have something in return. Luisa gives everything to Guido, but she has reached a crossroad where she has to decide.” 

Guido's irresistibly lusty yet delicately needy mistress, Carla, played by Penélope Cruz, who won the 2008 Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actress for another incendiary role in VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA. 

Cruz was instantly attracted to Car

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