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Casting A Family Unit
With Ford set to play Dr. Stonehill, finding the right actor to play John Crowley was essential. "With a dramatic film like this, the balance of the cast is very, very important,” explains Vaughan. "The characters of John Crowley and Dr. Stonehill are very different but have to come together to achieve their common goal. It was important to find someone who could go head to head with Harrison on screen.”

The filmmakers had admired Brendan Fraser's dramatic work in such films as Gods and Monsters and Crash. They knew he had the stature to play John Crowley so they sent him the script.

Fraser saw Extraordinary Measures as a unique opportunity: "I've made a lot of different kinds of movies, but I think this one stands apart from other work I've seen come my way. Sometimes in life the answer is ‘no' and sometimes it's the right answer, the answer you have to live with. But John Crowley actually said, ‘No is not acceptable. I'm going to find a way to turn no into a maybe, and then maybe into a yes.' If he was going to go down, he was going to go down swinging. Those are the ear markings of a true hero.”

Harrison, Tom, and Brendan got together and had a work session. As Sher recalls there was "instant chemistry.”

A big thumbs up to the casting choice of Brendan came from John Crowley, himself (who has a small cameo in the film, ironically portraying one of the businessmen to whom Crowley and Stonehill pitch for funding). "Brendan is terrific. He's capable of playing such a range of emotions, going from a serious businessman and entrepreneur, to being a dad, to being a husband. He's uniquely suited to the role.”

Fraser felt honored to have the opportunity to bring John Crowley to the screen. He was also thrilled by the opportunity to work with Harrison Ford. "He's the actor I was inspired by, like so many legions of actors were. He was the individual who singularly inspired me to say ‘I want to be on screen,'” Fraser beams. "You need someone in the back of your mind to call a role model; someone you would hope to one day emulate in the type of choices you make. For me, it was primarily Harrison. He's a great guy and I've thoroughly enjoyed working with him. I feel I'm better for it because I've learned a lot of things from him along the way.”

Ford found Fraser to have the perfect attributes for the role of John Crowley. "Brendan brings understanding and great capacity to the telling of this story. We're very lucky to have him.”

Though the film is largely driven by John Crowley and Dr. Stonehill, Aileen Crowley is in many ways the third hero of the story. "Aileen Crowley said ‘I will take care of the children and give them a normal life, while you go out and start the company. That will be our deal together,'” explains Shamberg. "She acts every day like a normal mother but under the surface she's very tough.”

Vaughan knew the casting of this role was crucial: "It's a tough role. There is a version of this story where Aileen and the domestic side get sidelined since the two men on their mission is more prominent. I needed to make sure I had an actress who was powerful enough and had the chops to show all aspects of the domestic side of the story, including all the subtleties and the humor which are very important.”

They found the perfect actress to play Aileen in Keri Russell.

"Keri was the first person we met,” says Sher. "We weren't casting the part yet, but she had read the script and was really moved by it. We loved her. We couldn't get our meeting with Keri out of our minds. We finally just said to her ‘We know we met you first and we weren't even going through our process yet but we really want you.'”

"The first time I read the script, it was incredibly emotional,” recalls Russell. "To want something is one thing, but to go after it and

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