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Dear Mr. Tyree...
The secondary storyline in Dear John – but an incredibly affecting storyline – is that of John's relationship with his father, Mr. Tyree. Richard Jenkins plays Mr. Tyree, fresh from his Academy Award-nominated performance in Thomas McCarthy's The Visitor.

For his part, Jenkins sees his character as "a man who raised John by himself and truly loves his child, but doesn't know how to express it. He's a strange man, very quiet, not very communicative, not very social. And the relationship between father and son is strained to say the least.

"When Savannah enters their lives,” Jenkins continues, "it becomes something like a triangle. She teaches John about his father. As sometimes happens when someone from the outside seems to understand a family member better than other family members, Savannah begins to open John's eyes to the fact that his father is not doing anything on purpose, he's not being rude or dismissive. He just doesn't know how to communicate.”

"What I found fascinating,” says Jenkins, "is that father and son once shared a common interest in coins that developed when John was a young boy. But then, as all boys grow out of things and move on to girls and sports, the father remained lost in this world of coins and their relationship grew more strained. The character really started to come alive for me when I saw the coins. That's when I really understood this guy's obsession. He's incredibly focused and with his coins he feels safe and in control. That's why he's like a magpie when he starts to really open up after Savannah expresses interest in his coin collection.”

In speaking about Mr. Tyree, Hallström says, "I thought the character that was on the page was interesting, but with Richard, he became even more interesting. He surprised me completely. He has a wonderful eye for detail, for observing human behavior. With no exception, Richard's always doing something interesting and especially real that makes the character come alive.”

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