About the Production
Ask three different people what ARLINGTON ROAD is about, and you
may get three different answers. Complex and compelling, the film
takes an unflinching look at how little we really know about the
people around us. According to Tim Robbins, who plays Oliver Lang,
it is a story about trust. "Who do you trust? Who's to blame
for things that happen to our lives? Is it ourselves? Who fingers
"This film is a tense thriller-it's about paranoia,"
says screenwriter Ehren Kruger. "It's about suspicion. It's
about truth, and it's about a man who's not what he seems, investigating
a man who's not what he seems. In a way, these two men are coming
from a similar place. They're both frustrated with something that
they see going on in this country."
Jeff Bridges describes the movie another way. One of the script's
themes that he latched on to was "dealing with just how far
you are willing to go to protect a loved one. Or, maybe it's take
revenge for the sake of a loved one. What happens to us when we
are exposed to that much stress and how do we respond to that?"
Bridges' character Michael Faraday knows about stress. He is a
single parent and professor of modern history at George Washington
University in Washington, D.C., who must delve into the shadowy
world of the very subject he teaches-domestic terrorism-to get
to the bottom of what he believes may be a lethal terrorist conspiracy.
Faraday's apparent paranoia is partially justified since his wife,
a junior FBI agent, was gunned down in the line of duty two years
earlier. As Kruger describes, "Michael's a widower who's
gone through some travails in his life, and he spends a lot of
the film dealing with how he feels about his wife's death and
whether that can be prevented from happening again. It's caused
him to be a bit of a paranoid person prone to asking a lot of
These days, Faraday's inquiring mind is fixated on Oliver and
Cheryl Lang, his new neighbors across the street. They seem like
the perfect new addition to the Arlington Road neighborhood. But
all is not what it seems. In short order, Michael's suspicions
about his newfound friends will lead to tragic and irrevocable
Three-time Academy Award® nominee Bridges came to ARLINGTON
ROAD after starring in the lead role in the Coen brothers' comedy
The Big Lebowski. "I just came off a film where I was playing
'The Dude,' a really relaxed kind of a guy who was a throwback
to the '60s and '70s. I let my hair grow, let my beard grow. Michael
is a little more tense of a fellow, so I had to put down my Haagen-Dazs
and work out a little bit."
Bridges was sold on starring in the movie, even if it meant a
few more trips to the gym. "There was a great team on this
picture, from Mark Pellington to Ehren Kruger, right down through
the cast. Tim Robbins-he was a big attraction for me to be involved
in this picture, because I've been a fan of his for a long time.
We have Joan Cusack, who's just wonderful. And Hope Davis is terrific."
For Robbins, who gained his most recent acclaim as a director
but who first came to the attention of audiences as an actor,
the attraction was the script. He had been wanting to do a thriller,
and in ARLINGTON ROAD he found "a great, grip-your-seat kind
of suspense thriller."
Robbins continues, "I was really impressed with the writing.
It was one of those scripts that you pick up and can't put down,
and that's really rare. To come to the end of it and be totally
surprised, I just loved that. So many scripts are so predictable-rehashed
versions of old films. Here was a film script that was really
original and new and inventive."
The Oscar® nominee was also lured to the role of the duplicitous
Oliver Lang. "I love playing roles where<
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