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ARTHUR

The Other Woman
"Most marriages devolve into some sort of business partnership eventually, Arthur. Think of this as a business partnership.” - Susan Johnson

Arthur's romance with Naomi may never have a chance to blossom…not if his fiancée, Susan, has anything to say about it. And she does.

Jennifer Garner, who stars as the laser-focused social climber with her sights on the heir to the Bach fortune, says of her character's rival, "Susan doesn't take Naomi seriously, she's just an annoyance. Susan isn't after the money, because she has money of her own, but the position and power Arthur's name can provide. Her family came from poor beginnings and she made something of herself the hard way, but that ultimate status eludes her and she's savvy enough to know this is the only way to get it.”

Luckily for Susan, her boss is Arthur's mother, a woman who understands and appreciates her drive. Played by Geraldine James, Bach Worldwide CEO Vivienne Bach is not so much determined to make Arthur miserable but to ensure the success of the company, her first priority. For her, this marriage solves two problems: keeping BW in the family and keeping her wayward son under control.

Unbeknownst to her mentor, Susan has another motive for dragging Arthur to the altar. They once dated, briefly, but she couldn't hold his interest and he moved on. "It's a slight she has never forgotten, and this is her delicious revenge,” Winer reveals. Often cast as the good girl, Garner admits, "It's fun to be naughty and not liked.”

"Jennifer did a masterful job of conveying Susan's guile, conniving sexuality and absolute determination, but she also found a chord of humanity in her,” says McCormick. "This is a woman who's put a lot of work into reaching a certain place in society. She feels she deserves it and there's nothing she won't do to get it. Arthur can't shame her, he can't shake her. She's got her teeth in his ankle.”

The strike-and-dodge interplay between Susan and Arthur inspires some of the film's most memorable moments of physical comedy—in particular, a sequence involving Arthur's high-concept floating bed, suspended in space by powerful magnets. "Susan shows up drunk at his place in a corset, determined to prove how spontaneous she can be. Unfortunately for her, there are metal stays in the corset. In hindsight, it probably wasn't her best wardrobe choice,” Garner hints.

Adds Winer, "It's one of the rare times I can accurately say ‘chaos ensues.'”

But Susan isn't the kind of person to let a little something like total rejection dissuade her from a goal. Arthur may not be fully with the program yet, but she already has Vivienne in her corner, as well as her father, Burt, played by Nick Nolte.

"In no way does Arthur want to ask Burt for his daughter's hand in marriage, so it's up to Burt to intimidate him to such an extreme that he has to,” says Nolte, of a scene in which the hapless young man is forced to visit his formidable future father-in-law at his office, under construction. "Burt has no use for Arthur, but Susan convinces him this is what she wants, so he's going to take care of it.”

"Arthur has been drinking to fortify himself for this command performance and he's pretty much intimidated by everything in the room—saws, drills, nail guns—up to and including Burt,” says Bender.

"The scene is fraught with tension because you have Nick Nolte playing it very macho and unpredictable, really menacing, and Russell is unpredictable in his own way, so the two of them are just combustible together,” says Winer. "It's Burt's job to scare the hell out of Arthur, and he's not about to disappoint his little girl.”

Meanwhile, in Naomi's corner there is the sincere, albeit limited, support of Arthur's driver, Bitterman, played by Luis Guzmán.

The humor of Arthur's relationship with Bitterman lies in the fact that for all the time they spend together, and their obvious camaraderie, they rarely understand each other. But there's no faulting the chauffeur's enthusiasm. As Guzmán explains, "Arthur and Bitterman are like water and oil. They don't really blend well but Bitterman is still Arthur's sidekick. He gets him into things and out of things, and he's always up for an adventure. He may not understand what Arthur is talking about, but he's willing to go along and see what happens.”

"Arthur” also features cameo appearances by four-time World Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield as Arthur's personal boxing trainer for one of the pampered heir's many fleeting interests; and by famed fashion photographer Nigel Barker, as a society photographer who gets more action shots than he bargained for when he tries to capture Arthur and his betrothed on horseback for their engagement announcement.

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