JOAQUIN PHOENIX plays John
Joaquin Phoenix began his acting career as a child and has since demonstrated his ability to portray diverse characters. His early film credits include: Space Camp, Russkies and Parenthood.
In 1995 after taking a couple of years off, Phoenix gave a critically acclaimed performance opposite Nicole Kidman in To Die For, which was followed by a starring role in Inventing the Abbots opposite Liv Tyler.
Phoenix then appeared in a wide range of different roles including opposite Nicholas Cage in Joel Schumacher's 8mm and opposite Claire Danes in Oliver Stone's U turn, in addiction to starring in Return to Paradise and Clay Pigeons.
In 2000, Phoenix starred in three distinctly different films: Gladiator, Quills and The Yards. His performance in these three films earned him rave reviews, as well as being named Best Supporting Actor by the National Board of Review and Broadcast Film Critics.
His portrayal of the young power hungry Roman Emperor "Commodus" in Gladiator resulted in his first Academy Award Nomination. He was also nominated for a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Satellite.
Phoenix has recently starred in M. Night Shylamalan's Signs, and will next be seen in Gregor Jordan's Buffalo Soldiers and Aurora Island opposite Kim Basinger.
In addition to his big screen roles, Joaquin is a long time vegan and spokesperson for PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals).
Joaquin Phoenix :
"I decided to take the part because of three elements: the screenplay, Thomas Vinterberg and Claire Danes. "
"I thought that John was an amazing character to play, it was beautiful story and I very much wanted to work with Thomas and Claire.
"There is something in the character of John that I haven't found before and that I wanted to
explore - and an openness and sensitivity in the character. I really enjoyed the thought of playing this man - going through his experience. "
CLAIRE DANES plays Elena
A remarkable actress who has a grace and poise beyond her years, Claire Danes has already established herself as one of Hollywood's leading actresses.
In autumn 2002 Danes was shooting Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines for director Jonathan Mostow opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger and Nick Stahl. Danes plays the love interest of Stahl in the film, which will be released by Warner Bros. In Summer 2003.
At the same time, Danes will also be seen starring opposite Susan Sarandon, Jeff Goldblum, Ryan Phillippe and Kieran Culkin in Igby Goes Down. Written and directed by Burr Steers, Igby Goes Down is the story of a young man with a privileged upbringing struggling to come to terms with adult life and his ill mother. The film was released by MGM on September 13th.
Due for release this winter is The Hours, a romantic drama about three women from different eras who are each profoundly affected by the works of Virginia Woolf. The film, written by Michael Cunningham and directed by Stephen Daldry also stars Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep, Allison Janney, Ed Harris and Toni Collete.
Danes received rave reviews for her portrayal of Rachel, an awkward teenager trying to understand her father's problems while feeling the first stirring of passion in herself, in To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday. Michelle Pfeiffer and Peter Gallagher starred opposite Danes in director Michael Pressman's film.
Critical acclaim was also bestowed upon Danes for her role as 'Beth' in director Gillian Armstrong's Little Women. Danes starred along Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon, Trini Alvarado, Kirsten Dunst, Samantha Mathis, Christian Bales, Gabriel Byrne and Eric Stoltz in the 1994 remake of the
classic Louis May Alcott novel.
Danes also received accolades for her performance as 'Juliet' in Baz Luhrman's William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet opposite Leonardo DiCaprio. The loud, exuberant, and energetic remake was written by Luhrman and Craig Pearce and released by Twentieth Century Fox.
Other film credits include Universal's How to Make an American Quilt, Fox 2000's Brokedown Palace for director Jonathan Kaplan opposite Kate Beckinsale, director Billie August's Les Miserables, Francis Ford Coppola's The Rainmaker, The Mod Squad, The Polish Wedding, U Turn, I Love You, I Love You Not, and Home For The Holidays.
Danes first came to prominence in Ed Zwick and Marshall Hershkovitz's critically acclaimed My So Called Life where she starred as Angela Chase in the ABC series. The role earned Danes an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe award.
Danes currently resides in New York.
Claire Danes :
"I was overwhelmed by Thomas' film Festen (The Celebration) so I was pleased to have the opportunity to work with him. "
"The script is bizarre, exciting and risky and my character, Elena, is complex and challenging. Elena has been living in a corrupt world of fame and is estranged from her family. Mentally and physically sick, she needs John to be her knight in shining armour and come to her rescue".
"John and Elena were childhood sweethearts and married very young. When their marriage suffered they spent a year apart. We enter the story as John is coming to New York to ask Elena to sign divorce papers --- but not for long. Soon he's trying to rescue her from a kind of hell she's living in. Instead of divorcing her, he's falling in love with her all over again".
"I practiced ice-skating for a month but it was not enough time to learn a triple-axel!"
SEAN PENN plays The Man In Plane/Marciello
America's most exciting acting talent, Sean Penn has emerged as a formidable film director. From the start Penn chose roles in exacting movies in 1981 in Taps, in 1984 in The Falcon and the Snowman; in 1986 At Close Range; through Carlito's Way (1993); Dead Man Walking (1995); Thin Red Line (1998) and Sweet and Lowdown (1999) it was Sean Penn's performances that garnered praise.
In 1991 Sean Penn turned to the other side of the camera to write, produce and direct Indian Runner, followed in 1995 by Crossing Guard. And most recently he produced and directed The Pledge to international acclaim.
DOUGLAS HENSHALL plays Michael
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Douglas Henshall is a well known theatre actor and has appeared in numerous television dramas including: Lipstick On Your Collar as Private Pete Berry; Sharpe's Justice as Wickham; Anna Karenina as Levin and Gentlemen's Relish as Cromwell Marsh.
His film roles have included starring parts in Angels And Insects as Edgar Alabaster; Orphans as Michael; Man With Rain In His Shoes as Victor Bukowski; This Year's Love as Danny and most recently as Tim in The Lawless Heart.
MARGO MARTINDALE plays Betsy
Margo Martindale has appeared in a variety of diverse roles on film and television.
Among her notable movie appearances are Wendy Grimble in Lorenzo's Oil; Birdy in Nobody's Fool; Sister Colleen in Dead Man Walking; Gloria Lamar in Twillight; Clara Mayfield in Ghosts of Mississippi and Belly in 28 Days. She is featured in the upcoming Stephen Daldry film The Hours and in Robert Benton's The Human Stain. Included in her memorable television performances are The Laramie Project (HBO), A Girl Thing (Showtime) and in the role of Michelle Grande in Sidney Lumlet's series for A&E, 100 Centre Street.
ALUN ARMSTRONG plays The Manager
Alun Armstrong is one of the best known faces in British film and television. Since his first role a Keith in Get Carter in 1971 he has appeared in over 60 film and television dramas.
His film roles include: Grimes in The French Lieutenant's Woman; Owens in Patriot Games; Ralph Lockhart in White Hunter, Black Heart; Mornay in Braveheart and most recently as the Curator in The Mummy Returns. For television his roles include:Mr Squeers in The Life And Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby; Thenardier in Les Miserables in Concert; Henry Fox in The Aristocrats and George Mole in Adrian Mole: The Capuccino Years.
MARK STRONG plays Arthur
British actor Mark Strong is an established stage and screen performer. After appearing in the BBC drama The Buddha of Suburbia and Prime Suspect II he starred in the award winning drama Our Friends in the North as Tosker Cox. Other television roles include Mr Knightly in Emma and Oblonsky in Anna Karenina. Mark Strong is currently performing in the Donmar Warehouse Double Bill, Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night, directed by Sam Mendes.
His film roles include leading roles in Fever Pitch; Elephant Juice; Sunshine; To End All Wars and Superstition.
GEOFFREY HUTCHINGS plays Mr Morrison
Geoffrey Hutchings is an associate artist at the Royal Shakespeare Company and worked with them almost exclusively for 16 years from 1968 in a number of diverse roles: as Geronimo in Indians; as Vasques in 'Tis Pity She's a Whore' and in 1982 was nominated for his role as Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream for a S. W. E. T Award and won in the same year for BEST COMIC PERFORMANCE for his Lady DoDo in Peter Nichol's Poppy.
Later on he joined the Royal National Theatre and appeared with them in may outstanding productions. Most recently he was seen performing in Luther with Rufus Sewell. Geoffrey also has played numerous roles in major television drama.
Geoffrey Hutchings has also appeared in many feature films which include: Nick Roeg's Heart Of Darkness; Kenneth Brannagh's Henry V; Mike Leigh's Topsy Turvy and Clint Eastwood's White Hunter, Black Heart.