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DICK

About The Cast
"Dick" is blessed with a truly wonderful ensemble cast: a mix of veteran feature actors led by Dan Hedaya and Teri Garr, an amazing array of comedy alumni from "Saturday Night Live" and Canada's "Kids in the Hall" and, in Kristen Dunst and Michelle Willia

"Dick" is blessed with a truly wonderful ensemble cast: a mix of veteran feature actors led by Dan Hedaya and Teri Garr, an amazing array of comedy alumni from "Saturday Night Live" and Canada's "Kids in the Hall" and, in Kristen Dunst and Michelle Williams, two of Hollywood's most appealing new stars.

Of primary importance during the first phase of casting was finding the two actresses who would play best friends Besty and Arlene. "When we were casting the film," says producer Gale Anne Hurd, "we wanted to make sure to find girls that were a lot of fun but who also could carry off the difficult acting required to be the emotional core of the film-to be wild and wacky and yet be grounded in reality.

"Kirsten has been an actor since the age of four and is now a veteran at 16," Hurd continues. "Michelle, having come to the forefront so quickly with 'Dawson's Creek,' has gotten her acting chops at a young age as well."

Director Andrew Fleming knew that to get the feeling that his two characters were, indeed, best friends, it would help to get two actors who could sustain that kind of friendship on and off the set.

"I knew about Kirsten first," he remembers, "and then it was a matter of finding someone who could match her. We found that someone right away in Michelle. The moment we got them together you could just see that these two girls could be best friends on screen, but what's really great is that they've actually become very close off screen as well."

Executive producer David Coatsworth echoes those sentiments. "The chemistry between them was obvious from the very first time they met," he states. "There was a terrific energy between them and it was marvelous to watch them work together. That kind of thing has to happen spontaneously, and we've been extremely fortunate."

The girls had never worked together and, in fact, had never met prior to their first reading together. "I never knew Michelle," says Kirsten Dunst, "but as soon as she came in and we read together we hit it off just perfectly."

Michelle Williams agrees: "Kirsten and I are really good friends off the set now. I'm glad we have that rapport because Betsy and Arlene are so close, and we can carry our friendship right on to the set."

"There is something fascinating going on when the two of them are on the screen," enthuses Fleming. "I actually found that it's not good to separate them, that they needed to be in the shot together, side by side, facing the world."

Next on the casting agenda was finding the right actor to bring "Dick" Nixon to life on screen. It was important to director Andrew Fleming and producer Gale Anne Hurd to find a solid actor-not just a comedian-who could capture the essence of Nixon.

"Dan Hedaya had everything we were looking for," says Hurd. "He looks incredibly like Nixon without having to resort to the prosthetics that other actors have had to use in the past. He is a veteran of both drama and comedy, and he's done a tremendous job of bringing our Nixon to life."

Hedaya admits to hesitating a bit before accepting the part of the fairly wacky, paranoid individual Nixon had become toward the end of his pr

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