END OF DAYS
The Production Takes Shape
Now that the creative team was
solidly in place, the filmmakers cast Academy Award-nominee Gabriel Byrne, Kevin
Pollak, Robin Tunney and Rod Steiger in the roles opposite Schwarzenegger.
Producer Bill Borden was
captivated watching Schwarzenegger bring the character of Jericho, a man who
must confront the hatred and vengeance in his heart and face the ultimate test
of faith, to life.
"Arnold Schwarzenegger is
fascinating on screen. This film has him playing a 'real' person. A man in
jeopardy, facing an antagonist that actually can do him damage," says
Borden. "Arnold not only delivers his unique brand of action, but a very
deep emotional journey."
For Schwarzenegger, the part
offered the star of such box office hits as The Terminator, Total Recall,
True Lies, Eraser and Kindergarten Cop, a role different from any he
had previously tackled.
"In the past two years I had
been searching," explains Schwarzenegger, "for the right film and
character that I wanted to play. It (End of Days) has depth, action and
fear, and an arc that I had been waiting to explore."
Screenwriter Marlowe agreed, and
says, "We've always seen Arnold as the larger-than-life action hero, and I
wanted to take that down to a more human level and show him a little bit more
down and out."
Gabriel Byrne stars alongside
Schwarzenegger as The Man, as the dark angel who has surfaced from the depths of
hell and taken the body of a businessman to consummate a new force of evil.
"This project represents the
apocalypse. Evil is back, even though it really has not gone away... all it
needed was the right set of circumstances to awaken it," says Byrne.
Playing the role presented unique
concepts as an actor for Byrne, whose credits range from The Ususal Suspects,
Miller's Crossing and Little Women to Stigmata and The Man
In The Iron Mask.
"I did not want to exaggerate
any stereotypes. I wanted to go with the idea that this presence is always among
us and in man's shape," Byrne says.
He continues, "It could be a
guy sitting beside you at a bar or in an airplane and you wouldn't think twice.
He's a cool, unpressured kind of businessman. He likes being alive again. He
likes being in this insane world... and that was the interesting, reality slant
that hooked me."
Reuniting The Usual Suspects'
co-stars Byrne with Kevin Pollak was producer Bernstein's idea. And
comedian-turned-actor Pollak was eager to join the production as Chicago, the
best friend and partner to Cane.
"Kevin has a unique style,
humor, cadence, cynicism and glibness that makes him more than a 'sidekick.'
Kevin's character, Chicago, is the friend (to Arnold's character) that we wish
we all had. They are like brothers that must depend on one another to
survive," explains Bernstein.
In discussing his character,
Pollak says, "Chicago and Jericho share a bond of old friends. They were
ex-cops who now run a security company for elite clients. We talk straight and
finish each other's sentences, and beyond the serious subject matter of the
film, my character adds a bit of comic relief for<
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