LAKEVIEW TERRACE PRODUCTION NOTES Moving into a dream home on a quiet Southern California cul-de-sac becomes a nightmarish ordeal for a young couple in Lakeview Terrace, the latest explosive film from award-winning director Neil LaBute. Chris and Lisa Mattson (Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington) have just moved into their new suburban house when they become the target of their next-door neighbor. A stern, single father, this tightly wound LAPD officer (Samuel L. Jackson) has appointed himself the watchdog of the neighborhood. His nightly foot patrols and overly watchful eyes bring comfort to some, but he becomes increasingly harassing to the newlyweds. These persistent intrusions into their lives ultimately turn tragic when the couple decides to fight back. Old guard and new school clash in Lakeview Terrace, a button-pushing thriller starring Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction), Patrick Wilson (Little Children), Kerry Washington (Ray, The Last King of Scotland) and Jay Hernandez (Grindhouse). Screen Gems presents an Overbrook Entertainment Production, directed by Neil LaBute (Your Friends and Neighbors, In the Company of Men) from a screenplay by David Loughery (The Three Musketeers; Star Trek V:The Final Frontier) and Howard Korder (Stealing Sinatra), based on the story by Loughery. The film is produced by Overbrook‘s James Lassiter and Will Smith (ATL). Joe Pichirallo, John Cameron, David Loughery and Jeff Graup are the executive producers. Rogier Stoffers, N.S.C. (Disturbia) is director of photography. Production designer is Bruton Jones (Solstice) and the film is edited by Joel Plotch (The Wicker Man). The costume designer is Lynette Meyer (Nurse Betty). The music is by Mychael Danna and Jeff Danna. The casting is by Heidi Levitt, CSA. Veteran Los Angeles cop Abel Turner (Jackson) guards his neighborhood with the same zeal he brings to his patrol route. The single father of a teenaged daughter and preteen son, Abel is one-man security force, ensuring that his strict standards of behavior are adhered to, even if it means ruffling a few feathers in the process. Chris (Patrick Wilson) and Lisa Mattson (Kerry Washington), a progressive and upwardly mobile couple, move in next door to Turner, who disapproves of their interracial marriage. Hoping to rid the neighborhood of anything or anyone he deems ―undesirable,‖ Turner launches an escalating series of pranks and insults against the Mattsons. From ignoring their request to focus his high-voltage safety lights away from their bedroom to disrupting a housewarming party, Abel takes full advantage of his police connections to antagonize his new neighbors with impunity, hoping to get them to pick up and move out. When their air conditioning unit is sabotaged in the middle of a heat wave and their car tires are mysteriously slashed, the Mattsons begin to suspect Abel is behind their troubles. But without proof, they can only try to negotiate a truce— an offer Abel does not accept. Abel‘s anger flares when his use of inappropriate force on the job lands him on extended leave and he discovers his daughter has been spending time with Lisa. Devoting himself fulltime to harassing his young neighbors, he raises the stakes by hosting a raucous bachelor party at his house that goes on into the wee hours. With music still blasting at 3:00 am, Chris attempts to reason with Turner in an attempt to get some quiet. But Abel turns the tables on Chris, forcing him into a compromising position with the party strippers that is taped and presented to Lisa. As Abel crosses the line from annoying neighbor to dangerous adversary, the couple tries to fight back, which only feeds Turner‘s fury. With the resentment between the neighbors building daily, it‘s only a matter of time before the situation escalates into a potentially deadly stand off. Lakeview Terrace is rated PG-13 for intense thematic material, violence, sexuality, language and some drug references. The running time is 1 hour, 46 minutes. ABOUT THE PRODUCTION ―Not everybody here is someone you’d choose to live next to.” – Abel Turner ―A lot of people have asked me what the whitest white guy in America is doing writing a movie that deals with interracial issues,‖ says Lakeview Terrace screenwriter David Loughery. ―I wanted to challenge myself and kind of get outside my comfort zone, so I wrote a thriller that dealt with issues we don‘t usually see in that context.‖ Loughery thinks many people will see themselves in the characters he has created. ―I think people will identify with the situation. Whatever feelings they have about race and color and relationships, they‘ll bring to the theater and they will compare it to the action we‘re seeing on screen.‖ Director Neil LaBute exploded onto the movie scene with his 1997 feature film debut, In the Company of Men, a razor sharp exploration of sexual politics. In the succeeding years, LaBute has built a reputation as a controversial filmmaker and playwright who is unafraid to pull back the mantle of civility covering the ugliest side of human nature. For Loughery, La Bute‘s unique sensibilities made him the perfect director for Lakeview Terrace. ―This is a guy who really knows how to push an audience‘s buttons,‖ he points out. ―The films he makes and the plays he writes are—in a good way—excruciating to sit through, because the situations he creates are so incredibly uncomfortable. I knew that Neil would bring something to this movie that another director couldn‘t. He brought a real tension to it, so the behavior between these characters feels very, very real.‖ When the script for Lakeview Terrace came his way, LaBute saw an an opportunity to create a complex story, set in Los Angeles, that could be interpreted on many different levels. ―I‘d been living in Los Angeles long enough to be aware of the idea of fires encroaching on homes and racial tension and that kind of road rage thing,‖ says LaBute. Although the clash of opposites in the movie is racially charged, LaBute and Loughery are in agreement that the issue of race is just one facet of the escalating battle between neighbors in the story. ―Lakeview Terrace isn‘t so much about race as it is about personal space, boundaries, turf and the lengths people will go to protect their property,‖ says the writer. ―I think everybody has had a situation here they‘ve just moved in next to somebody who is ruining the quality of your life. It may be a barking dog or a kid with a garage band or something else, but we all know how little things between neighbors can escalate into gigantic feuds. This is the ultimate version of that story.‖ ―The conflict is about someone who has grown up with a certain set of values and doesn't believe in the kind of arrangement he sees across the fence,‖ says the director. Everyone has lived next door or under or over another person, and felt ‗Oh my God, what are they doing in there? Why are they making that noise at this time?‘ When one of those neighbors is a policeman, it removes that first line of defense and makes for a very suspenseful sense of, ‗What do I do now?‘ ―That element is certainly not a racial element,‖ LaBute continues. ―You could pick a good actor of any ethnicity for the part of Abel Turner. Tommy Lee Jones, Edward James Olmos, they could play the part of this man who is someone who will not give in to his neighbors.‖ In the end, says Loughery, he wants the audience to be uncomfortable watching Lakeview Terrace. ―I want them to kind of twitch in their seats, but at the same time I want to make sure that they‘re entertained and have a great time.‖ Samuel L. Jackson had read the script and agreed to play the role of Abel when the film was still in the early stages of development. ―At the first reading, I though it was a compelling story,‖ says Jackson, whose substantial body of work includes such acclaimed films as Pulp Fiction and Jungle Fever. ―It‘s about an interesting kind of personality clash, with a twist in terms of who might be called the racist in the film. I just happen to be playing someone who everybody normally thinks of as a person from a dominant culture. It'll be universal in the way it plays out.‖ Jackson knew LaBute‘s background as a playwright would be instrumental in developing the script and the characters. ―Neil had a very interesting take,‖ says Jackson. ―He also allowed us to come up with things that worked and fit into the story. He let us do the things we needed to do to bring a sense of reality and honesty.‖ Actress Kerry Washington, who plays Lisa, says the strength of the script‘s characters and story are the key to its dramatic success. ―The film is really well written,‖ says the actress, probably best known for her portrayal of Ray Charles‘ wife Della Bea Robinson in Ray. ―For me, the best films are about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances and this film is mostly about three ordinary people who just find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Abel, Chris and Lisa are all pretty normal people who have all the pressures of the world thrown on them, from pregnancy to death. Life seems impossible to navigate. We find these people at their breaking points.‖ Patrick Wilson, who plays Lisa‘s husband Chris, praises LaBute‘s ability and willingness to explore the complexities of the interactions between the story‘s three principals. ―He knows how to capture flawed relationships and take you where these characters are going,‖ says the actor. ―He keeps driving the characters forward. He always knows what they want. That comes from being such a great playwright. There's also a real directness and rawness in his writing that I love. He gives men especially really rich characters.‖ ―Neil is amazing,‖ concurs Washington. ―He's one of these people who always has a sense of humor. Whether it's 7 a.m. or midnight, he's there in good spirits. And he's a real team player. He respects everybody in their various positions and he wants everybody to do their best job. To me, that's the most important thing about a director, being able to hire the best people possible and then let them work their magic and you see him do that with every department. He really allows everybody to be a part of the process—that's what I love about filmmaking—it is really a collaborative effort.‖ ABOUT THE CASTING Hey, it might be nice living next to a cop. We can borrow his handcuffs. - CHRIS When Loughery heard that Samuel L. Jackson had been cast as Abel Turner, he was sure the filmmakers had made the right choice. ―I thought, this is exactly the guy for this part,‖ he remembers. ―He‘s menacing and charming at the same time, so this character is both likable and threatening. It‘s really a great performance.‖ Jackson, he says, uses humor to diffuse the sense of danger Turner cultivates. ―He has an odd sense of humor and I think that‘s really a great addition to the character,‖ says the writer. ―I guess you would say he‘s the villain of the piece, but he doesn‘t see himself that way. He‘s protecting his property and he‘s doing what he thinks is right for his family and for himself.‖ With Jackson signed on to play Turner, director Neil LaBute‘s challenge was to put together a supporting cast strong enough to keep up with the actor, famed for his dynamic onscreen presence. Patrick Wilson, who plays Chris Mattson, is a well known stage actor with two Tony nominations to his credit, as well as leading roles in the film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s Phantom of the Opera, Children of Men and the award- winning HBO production of ―Angels in America.‖ He didn‘t hesitate when he was offered this role. ―I loved the script when I first read it,‖ he says. ―I‘m interested in projects that are not only challenging to the actors, but that also touch the social conscience and maybe make people think a little. ―I would never set out to do a movie just to make a statement,‖ he adds. ―But it's nice when you do a movie that reflects the world as it really is and when you play characters that are flawed. It's a character-driven story and also really enjoyable to watch. ―The mystery with a person like Chris, or any soft-spoken guy, is how does he really feel?‖ says Wilson. ―He's not just this great guy who's always smiling. He's got his own issues and little secrets here and there.‖ Wilson points out that Chris reacts to Abel in much the same way as he does to Lisa‘s disapproving father. ―Part of the challenge in their relationship is that both Lisa‘s father and this neighbor are overbearing and antagonistic forces in this man's life. Is that because they are just these two men or is it because they're black men? Chris, I believe, doesn't care what race they are. It's just these two men telling him how to live his life.‖ Although Jackson was familiar with Wilson‘s acting work, the two had never actually crossed paths. ―It was great to watch him find things and realize that he could relax and just do whatever he wanted with us and with me,‖ says Jackson. ―And I guess because we connected in that way, we were able to let go in a very interesting process when we had our really angry stuff.‖ Wilson is no newcomer to film, but working with a movie star of Jackson‘s caliber initially proved intimidating for him. ―Our rehearsal process was probably about two minutes of saying hello and talking about golf,‖ he remembers. ―At the beginning, actors can be like two fighters trying to get used to each other in the ring, you know? The first rounds are just sort of dancing around and trying to get used to each other. He's been in so many movies and so many of his characters are so present in my consciousness.‖ When the script for Lakeview Terrace reached Kerry Washington, she was instantly intrigued. ―I really, really liked the idea of seeing this couple on screen,‖ she says. ―I felt like we hadn‘t really seen this kind of hip, progressive interracial couple before.‖ Patrick Wilson was impressed by the fresh approach Washington brought to the role. ―Kerry played this role in way I didn‘t even see on the page,‖ he says. ―She has such optimism to her character and such joy in the relationship between Lisa and Chris.‖ Washington has equally high praise for her co-star. ―He brought so much to this character and to the dynamic between husband and wife. He's the kind of actor that inspires me to be a better actor. Because when I watch him work, I know I'm going to look really bad if I don't do my homework.‖ Washington wanted to play Lisa because, she says, ―I think Lisa defies a lot of stereotypes about what a black woman is, and yet, to me, she represents a lot of black women. She‘s modern, smart and open-minded, an adventurous black woman in a healthy relationship. She just feels like somebody I would know.‖ Her role in Lakeview Terrace also brings together many of the elements Washington loves as an actor. ―I love doing films with stunts and action and danger, but what draws me most to a project is the characters and what the real story is. This film is an opportunity for all of that. It has many interesting, multi- faceted and very real characters, within the context of something that's thrilling and exciting.‖ Although Washington and Jackson have long traveled in the same social circles, this is their first time working together. ―We see each other in the strangest places,‖ says Jackson. ―We have run into each other in Cannes and at premieres and at parties, but I never had the opportunity to work with her. And wow! She has such great energy and abandon.‖ For her part, Washington says, ―Sam Jackson in the role of Abel Turner is brilliant casting. I just love him no matter what he does, but it's so great to see him in this role, because Abel is really smart, really charismatic, really likeable, and yet he's a man who's in an enormous amount of pain that he is taking out on Lisa and Chris.‖ Lisa‘s other important relationship in the film is with Abel‘s daughter, Celia. ―I love the scenes between Lisa and Celia,‖ says Washington. ―I think a big part of the conflict is generational. This isn't just a story about racial misunderstanding. It's also a story about economic misunderstanding, social misunderstanding, age misunderstanding. Lisa is able to connect with Celia in a way that she's not necessarily able to connect with Abel just because they are closer in age.‖ Making just her fifth film appearance, the young actress who plays Celia, Regine Nehy, holds her own in an emotional scene with Washington and Jackson in which Abel Turner discovers his daughter has secretly been spending time with Lisa. ―My character gets really intrigued with Kerry‘s because she has a crush on a guy at school who is of a different race,‖ says Nehy. ―So she wants to get advice from Kerry on how to kind of keep it away from her dad.‖ Nehy, whose career has been the fast track since her first film in 2007, never missed a chance to learn from the more experienced actors on the set. ―Sam‘s an amazing actor,‖ she says. ―I would watch him after every cut and when we weren‘t filming, and he kind of keeps to himself. He's working on his lines or just focusing, which teaches me to just stay focused and get ready for the scene again.‖ Up and coming actor Jay Hernandez also plays a crucial role in the film. Jackson says his enthusiasm and ambition brought him back to his early days in the movie business. ―Jay came in at the end of the shoot, but he fit right in. We had a kind of instant rapport. It was great to be with these young actors who are starting out and talking about the energy of the business and what they‘re doing now and what they're going to do.‖ Hernandez plays Officer Javier Villareal, Turner‘s younger partner on the police force. He says his character looks up to Jackson‘s as a role model, a feeling he also has for the veteran actor. ―One of the reasons I took the job was to work with Sam,‖ he says. ―I've always been a big fan of his. He has such a presence and he's a really nice guy. Very generous—he even gave me a couple of his lines!‖ HOT HOT HOT Wanna call the cops? I’ll tell you who’s on duty. - ABEL Walnut, California, where Lakeview Terrace was primarily filmed, is located about 25 miles east of Los Angeles. The cul-de-sac on which Turner and the Mattsons live is set against the magnificent hill and canyon terrain of the area. ―One of the things I wanted to do in this script was set the story against a backdrop of the way we live here in Southern California,‖says Loughery. ―We think we‘re safe and secure, but nature has its own ideas. ―The community where Abel, Chris and Lisa live is built right into the side of these hills and it‘s constantly being threatened by mudslides, earthquakes and fires,‖ he explains. ―In this story, almost from the day they move into this house, there‘s this sense of this fire that‘s out of control and slowly approaching. As the drama heats up between these characters, there‘s this real kind of apocalypse just over the other side of the hill.‖ The specificity of the location required finding homeowners willing to give up their houses for five weeks and a community that would accept a film company on their street for the 25-day shoot. The filmmakers took advantage of an unusual tool in the first stages of their search—Google Earth, an online service that provides users with an aerial view of entire neighborhoods. ―We looked at a lot of houses,‖ says production designer Bruton Jones. ―We explored different neighborhoods and then just went up to people‘s doors and knocked. I have to say, our society can be very trusting. Because, here we were, strangers, standing there saying, ‗Hi, we know you have a pool in the back of your house. Can we look at it?‘ ‖ ―We ended up in Walnut, which is a traditional, planned community,‖ says Jones. ―It ultimately met a lot more of our requirements than the alternatives. It had many of the visual references in the script, particularly the way you can see from one neighbor's yard into the other and from one window to the other.‖ ―Although we were in a suburban neighborhood, we didn‘t want the houses to be cookie cutter kind of houses where each one is exactly the same,‖ says LaBute. ―We wanted the contrast between our two main houses to be strong. Even though the cul-de-sac had mostly Spanish style homes, including Abel‘s home, we were lucky to find one for Chris and Lisa that is kind of a faux Cape Cod home.‖ Lakeview Terrace was the production designer‘s first experience working with LaBute. ―What a director brings to a script automatically sets the tone of the shoot,‖ says Jones. ―And with Neil, he brings a lot to the table. He's a bit controversial and very cerebral. There‘s often a subtle subtext going on underneath, which allowed me to explore things a little bit more than usual.‖ LaBute and Jones decided to create interiors that reflected the lifestyles and values of the two families to provide a visual illustration of their differences. ―We talked about color and about the furnishings,‖ he says. ―Abel‘s home is more of a warm, nurturing environment that centers around kids, as opposed to the Mattson's more hip, cool environment.‖ The filmmakers were also trying to create a visual reflection of the climbing temperatures, blazing fires and flaring tempers. To create a cohesive look, the filmmakers and department heads tried to put together the sets, lighting and costumes that would reflect the film‘s fiery themes Jones continues, ―For the Turner house, we added little red elements. We wanted to show that Abel was the impetus of the dynamic relationship with his neighbors. To the red, we added oranges and yellows throughout the house— subtly—so that you could just see it in the background. ―The color palette of Chris and Lisa‘s‘ surroundings is a reflection of who they are both internally and externally,‖ says the designer. ―Chris and Lisa‘s world is more graphic and culturally diverse on the surface. Sophisticated colors and graphic patterned fabrics surround their world. Their use of common icons of culture is an attempt to validate their superficial embrace of their diversity.‖ Along with Jones and LaBute, director of photography Rogier Stoffers and costume designer Lynette Meyer helped give Lakeview Terrace its unified look. Meyer, who has worked with LaBute on many of his previous films, understood the importance of the smallest details, like the red accents in Celia Turner‘s clothing and Lisa Mattson‘s graphic and hip, Northern California style. ―We wanted the characters to look comfortable and real,‖ says Meyer. ―The color palette we used was very warm, which communicates heat both physically and subconsciously. ―The Lisa Mattson character,‖ Meyer continues, ―definitely needed to be ‗organic‘ and natural. I used a lot of ‗eco-friendly‘ designers and fabrics to convey that feeling in order to be very different from the Abel Turner character and his world. Also, Kerry Washington is very interested in the ‗conscientious clothing movement‘ and she was very involved in her look for the film. And finally, I wanted to create a character who was fashionable, earthy, yet sexy and not a cliché.‖ Another key player in creating the unique look and feel of the film was Ben Bray, the renowned stunt coordinator, who has worked on films as diverse as No Country for Old Men, The Chronicles of Narnia and I Heart Huckabees. Kerry Washington loved the challenge of performing her own stunts and was wowed by Bray‘s expertise. ―He‘s fantastic,‖ she says of the veteran performer. ―The first time Sam and Patrick and I saw the final sequence, it was like we were three kids watching the ―Nutcracker‖ ballet for the first time. ―It was so exciting to see them do these movements so expertly and I hope we came close to what they did,‖ says the actress. ―A lot of times when stunt coordinators choreograph things, they're not necessarily choreographing for the actors. They're choreographing for their stunt guys or things that they do well or want to do themselves. You always want to pay attention and let people know that you know what you're doing and you understand what their job is.‖ Jackson echoes that thought when he says, ―It's surprising to them sometimes to know that you can actually do it and do it in a specific way that makes it look as good as what they thought it was going to look like. So, it's kind of fun to do.‖ But he also says, ―I did as much as I could. But I let the stunt guy do some too. You know, stunt guys like to get knocked down. So, if we hire them, we might as well let them get knocked down.‖ Bray says he had an ideal experience on this film. ―It‘s more of a challenge when you have to keep it realistic, but from our first initial meeting, what I tried to push was that the stunts should not look like stunts,‖ he says. ―Everything needed to be real and gritty and not look like it‘s choreographed at all. Luckily, Neil and I were on the same page when it came to that. His notes were that we should just make it look as realistic as possible. And that‘s what we‘ve done. ―He knows exactly what he wants and that‘s the easiest to way work,‖ says Bray. ―I wish all directors were like him.‖ ABOUT THE CAST SAMUEL L. JACKSON (Abel Turner) Respectfully labeled as one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood, Jackson is an undisputed star as demonstrated by the fact that his films have grossed more money in box office sales than any other actor in the world. The recipient of worldwide acclaim and notoriety, Jackson has been honored with a variety of awards from some of the most prestigious organizations. He won the Best Supporting Actor award by the Cannes Film Festival in 1991 for Jungle Fever, the Silver Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival in 1998 on behalf of Jackie Brown, he has received three Golden Globe nominations for Pulp Fiction, A Time to Kill and Jackie Brown, five NAACP Image Award nominations and one win in 2005 for his performance in Coach Carter, and most recently he has garnered two People‘s Choice Award nominations in 2006 and 2007 for Favorite Male Actor. Jackson made an indelible mark on American cinema with his portrayal of ‗Jules‘, the philosophizing hitman, in Quentin Tarantino‘s Pulp Fiction. In addition to unanimous critical acclaim for his performance, he received Academy Award® and Golden Globe nominations as Best Supporting Actor as well as a Best Supporting Actor award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Among his many award-winning performances, Jackson made movie history with his portrayal of a crack addict in Spike Lee‘s Jungle Fever when he was awarded the first and only Best Supporting Performance Award ever given by the judges at the Cannes Film Festival. Jackson was most recently seen in Iron Man in a surprise cameo appearance and in the Doug Liman directed sci-fi action film, Jumper. In late 2007, Jackson had a starring role in the acclaimed drama Resurrecting the Champ, and a supporting role in the horror film 1408, based on the Stephen King novel. Earlier this year, Jackson starred in the Craig Brewer film Black Snake Moan, and Irwin Winkler‘s MGM war drama Home of the Brave. This fall, in addition to Lakeview Terrace, Jackson‘s films will include the Dimension Studios comedy ―Soul Men‖ with Bernie Mac and then on Christmas day, Jackson will star in the Frank Miller action drama The Spirit, where he portrays the nemesis, ‗Octopus.‘ Other film credits include Cleaner, Snakes on a Plane, Coach Carter, Star Wars trilogy, In My Country, The Man, The Incredibles, S.W.A.T., Formula 51, Changing Lanes, Caveman’s Valentine, Red Violin, Shaft, Unbreakable, 187, Eve’s Bayou, Jackie Brown, The Negotiator, A Time To Kill, Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Long Kiss Goodnight and Deep Blue Sea. On the small screen, Jackson serves as Executive Producer for the animated series for Spike TV, ―Afro Samurai‖ which premiered in 2007 and will be returning for a second season in January 2009. He also just secured a first look television deal with CBS and their properties to produce and develop upcoming projects. In addition, Jackson has a production deal with New Line Cinema to produce and develop projects in which he has the option of starring. His first film project for the studio, in which Jackson will produce and star, is called Man That Rocks the Cradle. PATRICK WILSON (Chris Mattson) is quickly becoming one of Hollywood‘s most accomplished actors, showcasing his talents in a multitude of demanding and diverse roles. He was seen recently in Evening, a drama with Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Claire Danes and Vanessa Redgrave; Purple Violets, director Edward Burns‘ romantic drama co-starring Debra Messing and Selma Blair; and Little Children, a drama in which Wilson starred alongside Kate Winslet and Jennifer Connelly. In 2006, he starred opposite Ellen Page in the indie hit, Hard Candy, a psychological thriller. Born in Virginia, Wilson grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida. His mother is a singer and voice teacher while his father is a TV anchor in Florida. Wilson received his BFA from Carnegie Mellon University. Wilson first earned attention from New York audiences in the Off- Broadway musical adaptation ―Bright Lights, Big City.‖ His work earned him a Drama Desk nomination and a Drama League Award. Soon afterwards, he starred in the Broadway musical ―Fascinating Rhythm,‖ a revue of George and Ira Gershwin songs, which also earned the actor a Drama League Award. Patrick starred in the Broadway musical revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein‘s ―Oklahoma!‖ for which he was nominated for a second consecutive Tony Award for Leading Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Curly. The first came in the lead role of Jerry Lukowski in the Broadway musical ―The Full Monty.‖ The role garnered Wilson rave reviews from critics and he received numerous nominations, including a Tony nomination for Leading Actor in a Musical, a Drama Desk Award nomination, a Drama League Award and an Outer Critics Circle nomination. Time Out New York voted it ―one of the best performances of 2000.‖ The actor revisited his Broadway roots in 2006 alongside Amanda Peet, Jill Clayburgh and Tony Roberts in the Broadway revival of Neil Simon‘s 1963 classic romantic comedy ―Barefoot in the Park,‖ directed by Scott Elliot. Wilson has shown his acting range in several high profile projects. On the big screen, he starred in Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s Phantom of the Opera, directed by Joel Schumacher. He also starred opposite Dennis Quaid and Billy Bob Thornton in The Alamo, directed by John Lee Hancock. On television, he received Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for ―Angels in America,‖ directed by Mike Nichols for HBO. In this 2004 Golden Globe and Emmy winner for Best Miniseries, based on Tony Kushner‘s play, Wilson starred opposite Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, Mary Louis Parker and Emma Thompson. Wilson is also a singer and songwriter. He and his family currently reside in New York City. KERRY WASHINGTON (Lisa Mattson) Winner for ―Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture‖ for Ray at the NAACP Image Awards in 2005 and Nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for ―Best Actress‖ in the film Lift in 2002, Kerry Washington is proving to be one of the busiest actresses in Hollywood. She garnered critical acclaim for her latest roles in The Last King of Scotland opposite Forest Whitaker for which she was nominated for ―Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture‖ at the NAACP Image Awards in 2007, and in The Dead Girl opposite Marcia Gay Harden and Brittany Murphy. Most recently, Washington was seen on the big screen in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer reprising her role as Alicia Masters, as well as in I Think I Love My Wife opposite Chris Rock and the Wayans Brothers‘ comedy Little Man. She is currently in production on A Thousand Words starring opposite Eddie Murphy. Prior to these films, Washington starred in Mr. and Mrs. Smith, starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Fantastic Four, directed by Tim Story and Ray, the inspirational life story of Ray Charles, opposite Jamie Foxx. Previous to Ray, she played the lead role opposite Anthony Mackie in Spike Lee‘s She Hate Me, as well as starred in Sidney Lumet‘s HBO film Strip Search and the independent film Sexual Life. Other film credits for Washington include Against the Ropes, The United States of Leland, The Human Stain, Bad Company, Lift, Save the Last Dance, for which she received a Teen Choice Award for Best Breakout Performance, and the highly acclaimed independent film, Our Song. During her free time, Washington is an active member on the Board of Directors for The Creative Coalition, a group dedicated to raising awareness of First Amendment Rights and support of arts in education. She is also a member of the V-Counsel, an esteemed group of advisors to V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls (vday.org) JAY HERNANDEZ (Javier Villareal) first emerged on the Hollywood scene opposite Kirsten Dunst in the 2001 film Crazy/Beautiful. Since then, Hernandez has starred in a number of films, including Disney‘s sleeper hit The Rookie, opposite Dennis Quaid; Joseph Kahn‘s Torque, with Ice Cube; Ladder 49, with Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta; and Friday Night Lights, with Billy Bob Thornton. He was recently seen on the big screen in the acclaimed Oliver Stone 9/11 project, World Trade Center, and the indie mockumentary Live! with Eva Mendes. Hernandez was born and raised in Montebello, California with his two older brothers and younger sister. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he didn‘t grow up with the dream of moving to Hollywood to become an actor. As clichéd as it sounds, at the age of 18, Hernandez was discovered in an elevator by a talent manage. In a short time, his career has blossomed exponentially; it has been only seven years since his first acting role on the popular Saturday-morning television show ―Hang Time,‖ where he began his career alongside Anthony Anderson (Hustle & Flow). Hernandez is now noted as one of the few Latino leading men in the entertainment industry and has had the honor of working with some of the most in-demand writers, directors, producers and actors of his time. Hernandez starred in the disturbing psychological thriller Hostel, from writer/director Eli Roth and executive producer Quentin Tarantino. The film premiered at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival to rave reviews and opened #1 at the box office. He had a brief cameo appearance in the sequel, Hostel 2. The actor has also made his mark on television in the acclaimed if short- lived ABC drama from J.J. Abrams, ―Six Degrees.‖ Hernandez currently resides in Los Angeles. ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS NEIL LABUTE (Director) received his Master of Fine Arts degree in dramatic writing from New York University and was the recipient of a literary fellowship to study at the Royal Court Theatre. His film credits include In the Company of Men, which won the New York Critics Circle Award for Best First Feature and the Filmmakers‘ Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival, Your Friends and Neighbors, Nurse Betty, Possession and The Shape of Things, a film adaptation of his own play. His most recent film was The Wicker Man, starring Nicolas Cage. LaBute‘s extensive list of stage plays include ―Bash: Latter-Day Plays,‖ staged in New York in 1999 and London in 2000, both directed by Joe Mantello; ―The Shape of Things,‖ which LaBute wrote and directed for London and New York in 2001; ―The Distance From Here,‖ which ran at the Almeida Theater in London in 2002 (directed by David Leveaux) and in New York in spring 2004 (directed by Michael Greif); and ―The Mercy Seat,‖ written and directed by LaBute in New York in 2002. In 2004, the MCC Theater performed five of LaBute‘s one-act plays, collectively titled ―Autobahn.‖ MCC staged LaBute‘s play ―Fat Pig,‖ directed by Jo Bonney, later that year. In 2005, his play ―This is How It Goes‖ premiered at New York‘s Public Theater, directed by George C. Wolfe. In May of that year, the play debuted at The Donmar Warehouse in London, directed by Moises Kauffman. At the same time, LaBute‘s play ―Some Girl(s)‖ premiered on London‘s West End, directed by David Grindley. In 2005, LaBute directed the premiere of his one-man, one-act play ―Wrecks‖ in Cork, Ireland. In 2006, ―Some Girl(s)‖ had its New York debut at the Lucille Lortel Theater. MCC Theater staged and Jo Bonney directed. In October 2006, LaBute once again directed ―Wrecks,‖ this time for the New York premiere at the Public Theater. In June of 2007, MCC premiered his latest play, ―In a Dark Dark House,‖ directed by Carolyn Cantor. Neil's most recent play was "Reasons to Be Pretty" which MCC staged this summer at the Lucille Lortel Theater in NYC. It was directed by Terry Kinney and ran from June 2 - July 5. The same play (with the same director and cast) will premiere on Broadway on Feb 13, 2009 (which will be Neil's Broadway debut). Additionally, his play, "Fat Pig" is currently on in London at Trafalgar Studios on the West End. LaBute directed and it is the British premiere of the play. LaBute is the author of several fictional pieces published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar and Playboy, among others. A collection of his short stories was published by Grove/Atlantic in 2004. DAVID LOUGHERY (Screenplay By / Story By / Executive Producer) was born in Oak Park, Illinois, and educated at Ball State University and the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. An interest in screenwriting brought him to Hollywood, when he was chosen for the Columbia Pictures New Talent Program. Loughery‘s produced screenplays include Dreamscape, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Flashback, Passenger 57 and The Three Musketeers. The writer is currently at work on a screenplay for producers Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett. He lives in Los Angeles. HOWARD KORDER (Screenplay By) most recently wrote the screenplay for the TNT original movie ―Bad Apple,‖ starring Chris Noth. Other writing credits include Stealing Sinatra, starring David Arquette and William H. Macy; the television film, ―My Little Assassin,― starring Gabrielle Anwar and Joe Mantegna; ―The Passion of Ayn Rand‖ and episodes of the hit television series, ―Kate & Allie.‖ Korder has also written the feature films Search and Destroy, based on his play, and Lip Service, starring Griffin Dunne and directed by William H. Macy. JAMES LASSITER (Producer) joined forces with entertainment powerhouse Will Smith to create Overbrook Entertainment, a production and management company started in 1998. Lassiter is no stranger to producing hit films, including his most recent success as producer of the recent box-offices smashes Hancock and I Am Legend, and the 2006 hit The Pursuit of Happyness, which resonated with audiences around the world, earning Smith an Oscar® nomination for his performance and grossing over $300 million at the box office. In 2005, Lassiter produced the romantic comedy Hitch, also a global hit, earning over $360 million, as well as the award winning film Saving Face, starring Joan Chen. In addition, he was an executive producer on the sci-fi thriller I, Robot, and also served as a producer on the critically acclaimed Ali, for which Smith earned his first Academy Award® nomination, and ATL, starring platinum recording artist T.I. In television, Lassiter most recently served as executive producer on the CW network‘s ―All of Us.‖ Other notable achievements include his work as executive producer on the soundtracks for Wild, Wild West and Men in Black, both of which won the American Music Award for favorite soundtracks, as well as the 2001 Outer Critic‘s Circle Award for ―Jitney,‖ an off-Broadway play written by August Wilson. Lassiter recently graced the cover of Black Enterprise Magazine‘s Top 50 Hollywood Power Brokers edition alongside business partner, Will Smith. Upcoming films include Sony‘s Seven Pounds, which reunites Smith with director Gabriele Muccino, the director of The Pursuit of Happyness, and the entire producing team of that film; Fox Searchlight‘s The Secret Life of Bees, starring Dakota Fanning and Jennifer Hudson; and The Human Contract, a character-driven drama written and directed by Jada Pinkett Smith. WILL SMITH (Producer) has enjoyed success in a career encompassing hit films, his own television series and multi-platinum records. He earned his first Academy Award® nomination and a Golden Globe® nomination for his portrayal of boxing legend Muhammad Ali in Michael Mann's acclaimed biopic Ali. Smith more recently starred in and produced the critically acclaimed, true-life drama The Pursuit of Happyness. His performance brought him his second Academy Award® nomination, his fourth Golden Globe® nomination and a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nomination for Best Actor. Smith most recently starred in the blockbusters I am Legend, directed by Francis Lawrence and Hancock, directed by Peter Berg. He will next re-team with the director and producers of The Pursuit of Happyness for Seven Pounds, an emotional drama about a man who will change the lives of seven strangers. In 2005, Smith starred in and produced the hit romantic comedy Hitch, directed by Andy Tennant. The year prior, he starred in and executive produced the sci-fi smash I, Robot, adapted from the book by Isaac Asimov and directed by Alex Proyas. Also that year, he voiced the central character of Oscar in the blockbuster animated feature Shark Tale, opposite Renee Zellweger, Angelina Jolie and Robert De Niro. In July 2003, he reunited with Martin Lawrence for Bad Boys II, the sequel to their 1995 hit Bad Boys. Smith had earlier starred in two blockbusters that topped the box office in back-to-back summers. In 1996, he took on alien invaders in Roland Emmerich's science fiction actioner Independence Day. The following year, he starred with Tommy Lee Jones in Barry Sonnenfeld's sci-fi comedy Men in Black, for which Smith also recorded the Grammy-winning title song. In 2002, Smith, Jones and Sonnenfeld reteamed for the sequel Men in Black II. Smith was already a Grammy®-winning recording artist when he made his successful transition to acting in television and films. Following roles in the movies Where the Day Takes You and Made in America, he received widespread critical acclaim for his starring role in the drama Six Degrees of Separation, with Stockard Channing and Donald Sutherland. In 1995, he was named ShoWest's Male Star of Tomorrow. His film credits also include Enemy of the State, opposite Gene Hackman; Wild Wild West, for which he also recorded the hit title song; and the title role in Robert Redford's The Legend of Bagger Vance. Smith began his career in the music industry while still in high school. Teaming with his friend Jeff Townes to form DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, Smith became a chart-topping rap artist. Together, they recorded several platinum and multi-platinum albums and won numerous awards, including two Grammys and three American Music Awards. Smith's musical success led to his starring in the hit television sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," which ran for six years on NBC and earned him two Golden Globe nominations. Continuing to record, Smith released his first solo album, ―Big Willie Style,‖ in 1998, for which he won a Grammy and four American Music Awards. In 1999, he was honored at the NAACP Image Awards as Entertainer of the Year. His next CD, Willennium, featured the hit single "Will2K" and went double platinum. As a producer, Smith is partnered with James Lassiter and Ken Stovitz in Overbrook Entertainment, which has produced such projects as Ali, I, Robot, Saving Face, Hitch, ATL, Hancock and The Pursuit of Happyness. Under the Overbrook banner, Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, also co-created and produced the popular television comedy series "All of Us," which recently concluded a four-year run. Smith's upcoming projects as a producer or executive producer include, in addition to Lakeview Terrace, Seven Pounds, directed by Gabriele Muccino and The Human Contract, which marks the feature directorial debut of Jada Pinkett Smith. JOE PICHIRALLO (Executive Producer) is a veteran studio executive and producer. He oversees film for The Gold Company, a production company headed by one of the industry‘s leading talent managers, Eric Gold, whose clients include Jim Carrey and Ellen DeGeneres. Pichirallo recently produced The Secret Life of Bees, a Fox Searchlight film starring Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson. The film will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and is scheduled for release in the fall of 2008. Before joining The Gold Company, Pichirallo was head of feature film production and development for Overbrook Entertainment. Pichirallo has also been a senior executive at Fox Searchlight Pictures and Universal‘s Focus Features. His Searchlight films included One Hour Photo, starring Robin Williams, The Banger Sisters, starring Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon, and Antwone Fisher, the directorial debut of Denzel Washington. As an executive vice president at Focus, Pichirallo supervised Hollywoodland, a noir thriller starring Adrien Brody, Ben Affleck and Diane Lane, and Something New, a romantic comedy starring Sanaa Lathan, Simon Baker and Alfre Woodard. Pichirallo, a former Washington Post reporter, is a graduate of the filmmaking program at the American Film Institute (AFI), where he is an adjunct senior lecturer. He received his B.A. degree from the University of California at Berkeley, where he was editor-in-chief of ―The Daily Californian, the student newspaper. JOHN CAMERON (Executive Producer) began his career in filmmaking with a series of inventive shorts in collaboration with high school friends Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell. Cameron left New York University film school to work on Raimi‘s first feature, the landmark horror film The Evil Dead, and subsequently worked as Raimi‘s assistant director on Crimewave, Army of Darkness and The Quick and the Dead. Soon thereafter, Cameron began a lengthy association with the Coen brothers, first as assistant director on The Hudsucker Proxy, then as co-producer on their Oscar®-winning hit Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Man Who Wasn't There, Intolerable Cruelty and The Ladykillers. Cameron went on to produce the box office hit Bad Santa and executive produce Friday Night Lights for director Peter Berg. After that successful collaboration, he went on to co-found the film and television production company Film 44 with Berg and producer Sarah Aubrey. While there, he executive produced the action-thriller The Kingdom and continues to serve as co-executive producer on the award winning ―Friday Night Lights‖ television series for NBC. JEFF GRAUP (Executive Producer) most recently served as co- producer on Solstice, directed by Daniel Myrick (The Blair Witch Project), and Catch That Kid, directed by Bart Freundlich and starring Kristen Stewart, Corbin Bleu and Jennifer Beals. His producer credits include If Only, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Paul Nicholls and Tom Wilkinson, and A Fare to Remember, starring Malcolm Jamal Warner. ROGIER STOFFERS, N.S.C. (Director of Photography) is a native of Holland and served as cinematographer on Mike van Diem‘s Karakter (Character), which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1997 and was awarded 10 honors (and an additional five nominations) from filmic organizations around the world. His cinematography on that film, along with multiple other titles in his home country, earned him the Nederlands Film Festival Golden Calf Award for his body of work between the years of 1994 and 1999. He shot last year‘s surprise hit Disturbia, starring Shia LaBeouf. His work will next be seen in Danny Leiner‘s Gary the Tennis Coach. Stoffers‘ cinematography can be seen in a diverse list of motion pictures, all sharing the accomplished look of his camerawork. These films include Quills, John Q, Enough, Masked and Anonymous, School of Rock and Bad News Bears. BRUTON JONES (Production Designer) began his feature film career as an art director on films including Armageddon, The Rock, Con Air and Ghosts of Mars, collaborating with acclaimed directors Michael Bay, Simon West and John Carpenter. Jones‘ first production design credit was on the critically acclaimed action- fantasy Underworld, starring Kate Beckinsale. Most recently, he designed Solstice, for director Daniel Myrick; Stay Alive, starring Milo Ventimiglia; and Graduation, starring Shannon Lucio. Jones also designed the CBS pilot ―Moonlight‖ for director Rod Holcomb, starring Amber Valetta. JOEL PLOTCH (Editor) has been working in the film industry for more than 25 years. During the early years, he served as a creative director at a New York City-based commercial production company called Mediaworks. Several years later, he formed his own production and editorial company called JP Studio, where he produced, directed and edited hundreds of commercials and music videos, as well as a number of notable documentaries and television projects. Ten years ago, Plotch started his collaboration with Neil LaBute. He has edited In The Company of Men, Your Friends and Neighbors, Nurse Betty, ―Bash: Latter-Day Plays,‖ The Shape of Things and The Wicker Man.” Plotch has also edited numerous other features, including Strange Hearts, The Lucky Ones, Dancing in September, The Woods, The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Legend of Lucy Keyes. LYNETTE MEYER (Costume Designer) is a native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she studied fine arts and clothing design at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She has designed for a variety of media. Her feature film credits include several Neil LaBute projects such as Nurse Betty, Peaceful Warrior, The Wicker Man and The Shape of Things, which she also production designed. Meyer has also designed costumes for music videos, working with artists such as Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Macy Gray. Additionally, Meyer has designed costumes for commercials and the theatre. Meyer has worked in New York, the American South, London, Rome, Ireland and Canada. She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. MYCHAEL DANNA (Music by) is recognized as one of the most versatile and original voices in film music. This reputation has led him to work with such acclaimed directors as Ash Brannon / Chris Buck, Jonathan Dayton / Valerie Faris, Atom Egoyan, Terry Gilliam, Catherine Hardwicke, Scott Hicks, Neil LaBute, Ang Lee, Gillies MacKinnon, James Mangold, Deepa Mehta, Bennett Miller, Mira Nair, Billy Ray, Todd Robinson, Joel Schumacher, Charles Martin Smith, Istvan Szabo and Denzel Washington. He studied music composition at the University of Toronto, winning the Glenn Gould Composition Scholarship in 1985. Danna is represented by First Artists Management. Born in Canada to a musical family, JEFF DANNA (Music by) has created scores for a long and varied list of films, both animated and live-action. His credits include such divergent projects as Fracture, The Kid Stays In The Picture, Resident Evil : Apocalypse, Chicago 10, Silent Hill, O, Terry Gilliam‘s Tideland, and the upcoming Closing The Ring for director Richard Attenborough. HEIDI LEVITT, C.S.A. (Casting by) As a graduate of Barnard College and the AFI Producers Program, Heidi has cast such successful films as, JFK, Nixon, Natural Born Killers, Nurse Betty, The Rock, The Joy Luck Club, Smoke and Benny & Joon. In addition to casting Lakeview Terrace with director Neil LaBute, who Levitt has worked with for over ten years on both film and theatre projects, she recently cast the films, St John of Las Vegas starring Steve Buscemi, Emily Mortimer and Romany Malco; RAGE, with director Sally Potter starring Judi Dench, Jude Law and Dianne Wiest; The Open Road, starring Jeff Bridges and Justin Timberlake, and Erick Zonca‘s film Julia, which premiered at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival starring Tilda Swinton. Alternating between standard studio and indie fare, Levitt has repeatedly worked with acclaimed directors Oliver Stone, Wayne Wang, Wim Wenders and Neil LaBute. In 1997, on the eve of Hong Kong's unification with China, Levitt collaborated with Wayne Wang on The Chinese Box, a film that captured that moment in history, which she co-produced and cast. She has also served as a producer on feature films The Open Road, Fido, Center of the World, Coastlines, and Delivering Milo. Levitt is currently is executive producing the website www.500kin365.org devoted to indie folk rock heroine Katie Reider who tragically passed away July 14, 2008. In partnership with Academy Award® winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney, Levitt is producing a film series called Exiles on Main Street. The series will be three films that deal with the issues of culture clash and immigrant assimilation in America. The first film is Saint Chola by K. Kvashay Boyle, which Ms. Boyle has adapted from her own award winning short story. Saint Chola is set in the San Fernando Valley at the onset of the gulf war and concerns a Muslim American girl‘s choice to wear the veil. Cherien Dabis will direct. "Academy Award®" and "Oscar®" are the registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "Emmy®" is the registered trademark of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.