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About The Characters
Angelina Jolie plays Elise Clifton Ward, a beautiful (of course!) and mysterious woman involved in a romantic relationship with the wanted thief Alexander Pearce – but keeps her true motivations close to the vest. "She's instructed by Alexander to take a train from Paris to Venice, and while on the train find a man – someone of Alexander's height and build,” says Jolie. "She finds Frank and throws him into this adventure.”

"My character in this film is different than any other film,” says Jolie. "Florian gave me very specific direction. My natural modern rhythm is quicker and harder. At the beginning of the shoot, Florian's note to me was to slow down, as Elise lives in a world of quiet luxury and elegance.”

"Angelina wakes up in the morning and is glamorous and feminine, and I wanted to capture that about her on film in the character of Elise,” says Henckel von Donnersmarck.

"Florian is probably one of the most intelligent human beings I have ever met in my life,” Jolie continues. "Come on: he speaks six languages. When we shot in Paris he spoke French; when we shot in Italy, he spoke Italian. And a couple of our stunt guys were Russian and he would speak to them in Russian.”

Opposite the extraordinary Elise Clifton Ward is Frank Tupelo, an American math teacher. "My main interest was to play the ultimate ordinary man,” says Depp. "The people who are perceived as ‘normal' are the ones I find the strangest, really: they have tics and flaws and weird mannerisms. This is a guy who hasn't really lived much of a life, so that was the great challenge – to play him as hyper-normal.”

Depp also enjoyed the opportunity to work with Henckel von Donnersmarck. "Not only is he sweet, humble, giving, caring, loving, clever, and super smart, he was beyond collaborative,” says the actor. "He was very much into the fact that things have to happen organically. He trusted that when Angelina and I got into the ring together, things would take shape.”

The filmmakers surrounded Depp and Jolie with a cast of actors and famous faces.

Paul Bettany plays Acheson, the policeman trying to track down the gangster Alexander Pearce. "He's become obsessed with catching Pearce,” says Bettany of his character. "He's been trying so long and has been foiled at every turn. But the thing about this movie is that nobody can be taken at face value – not even my character. His investigation is complex and twisted – his motivation is complicated for personal reasons.”

"Florian is exacting, demanding, and specific,” says Bettany. "There is an enormous amount of detail in his direction. He does it in an entirely charming way, but he will not move on until he has exactly what he wants.”

Timothy Dalton, best known, of course, for his portrayal of James Bond, takes on a very different kind of British government agent in The Tourist: as the policeman Chief Inspector Jones, he is ultimately in charge of the men leading the investigation into Alexander Pearce. "In The Tourist, I play the role of Chief Inspector Jones, a number-crunching, budget conscious policeman who is in overall command of the operation to capture Alexander Pearce. His concerns are not in the morality of either the crime or the criminal but in simply getting hold of the enormous amount of money Pearce has stolen. Alexander Pearce has 744 million in illegal assets that, given he is a British subject, we might seize! And interestingly, he goes about it using his own particular sense of what is right and what is wrong, his own decent and worldly morality.”

Steven Berkoff plays the villain Shaw, a gangster who wants to find Alexander Pearce even more than Acheson does, if that's possible. "My character is a curious mix of devil, charm, and sophistication,” says Berkoff.

Berkoff continues, "I have scenes with Angelina Jolie that are very intense and feature knives and guns. She made it so easy and kept her cool. She is fearless and very, very trusting. She doesn't bat an eyelid in an intense situation – she is so focused.”

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