Lesera and the Canadians
There are certain considerations that arise when dealing with actual events and with living people. In the case of The Hurricane, a decision was made to concentrate on the relationship between Carter and the young Lesra.
Lesra becomes Carter's ray of light. Prior to Lesra, Carter had cut himself off from everyone in his life that meant anything. After having won a second trial, in which he was again convicted, he forced his wife Mae Thelma, to divorce him and never visit him again. He could no longer bear to see his little daughter. He refused to respond to any sort of correspondence. Isolation became the nature of his survival. But it is a letter written by Lesra, which finally broke through.
"I think that his spirit was ready," explains Washington. "After the second trial, many people stopped coming to see him. Rubin threw away the law books and started to search within himself. He read a lot of religious books, books on meditation. He went inward and when his spirit was ready, Lesra appeared."
In a touching case of life imitating art, the relationship between Lesra and Rubin in the film began to parallel the connection that grew between Shannon and Washington off-screen.
"Lesra respected Rubin, he really admired him, and that's the way I feel about Denzel," Shannon explains. "I can understand what Lesra was feeling when he was sitting across from Rubin. I was sitting across from a master craftsman, we were just talking and the emotion was there. I hope Denzel felt the same way about me."
Fortunately for Shannon, he had nothing to worry about, for Washington returns his affection and admiration. "He makes me smile when I think about him," says Washington. "He's a wonderful actor, and I've never even said his real name because I always call him Lesra. He is Lesra, so we had a really good time together and did some really interesting scenes."
Throughout the production, careful attention was paid to the real people who lived the story.
According to Langlais, "Facts can't help but stand in the way of a good story. You have to be true to the people whose lives you are depicting and to the story itself. It's a tremendous undertaking to make someone's life into a movie, it's an even greater task when that life is a mythic one. We are trying to find the truth of the story and by serving that truth, we felt we would also serve the people whose lives we are depicting."
In the actual story, there were nine Canadians who lived and worked together on the Carter case. However, for the sake of developing well-rounded and believable characters with whom the audience could relate, the nine became three.
John Hannah, who was last seen on the big screen in the blockbuster hit The Mummy says, "It would have been impossible to have nine characters coming and going, so they were reduced to three-Lisa, Sam and Terry-essentially those who went to New Jersey and did the legwork on the case."
Fortunately for the actors, they were all able to meet or speak with the three Canadians they portrayed on screen.
Unger explains, "It was inspiring to meet them because of what they had achieved." She said that she felt no pressure to "encapsulate every detail of Lisa Peters because she is an amalgamation of a collective."
Similarly, while Hannah read parts of Lazarus and the Hu
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