Sunday, October 24, 2010

Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman, Stars talk about new film, and Shreveport.

By Donecia Pea • • October 24, 2010
Ben Mendelsohn (L), Nicole Kidman (Ctr), and Nicolas Cage (R) in a scene from Joel Schumacher's TRESPASS. (Alan Markfield/Nu Image Inc./Millennium Films)

Scenes of a brutal home invasion and violent hostage situation contrast sharply against the quiet, relaxed pace of the Shreveport-Bossier City area.
However, Hollywood heavyweights Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman, along with the rest of the cast and crew, have danced between those worlds for more than nine weeks while filming the new thriller "Trespass."
The Nu Image Inc./Millennium Films production, directed by the legendary Joel Schumacher, has been filming in Shreveport since late August and wraps up this weekend.
Much of the film was shot on a set inside the Shreveport Convention Center and in the Cross Lake area.
The film is produced by Oscar winner Irwin Winkler and David Winkler, of Winkler Films, along with Ron Besson, with Avi Lerner as executive producer.
"Trespass" is the harrowing story of a wealthy husband and wife, portrayed by Cage and Kidman, who are suddenly taken hostage by four brutal perpetrators. However, complications arise and unravel a story of betrayal and deception.
"I think that's probably most of our fears. That, in the middle of the night, you're going to wake up and there's somebody in your house or apartment. And we've seen it in all the news stories," Schumacher said. "And it's a question of why are these people breaking in on this night and how did they know to do this at this time. Then, there are secrets that lie in Nic and Nicole's marriage and the daughter has a secret life as well. And there are many secret lives among the criminal family, plus there are cross connections between both families. So it becomes a psychological thriller."
The whole story takes place over the course of a day, but the subject matter is so heavy at times that even an Oscar-winning actress like Kidman can have a hard time turning it off.
"I came downstairs the other night, and I was crying, and my husband was like 'Why are you crying?' and I realized it's getting to me. The violence and abuse that I'm shooting on camera must have somehow permeated into my mind off the set," Kidman said. "And he just held me, which was really sweet. I thought I had it delineated, like that's my work and this is my home life, but I guess it kind of got to me."
Fortunately for both Kidman and Cage, real life hasn't been nearly as scary, just maybe a little hot.
"It's very hot here in the summer, though," Kidman said. "I live in Nashville and it's pretty hot in Nashville, but not as hot as it is here. However, right now, it's beautiful."
The "Moulin Rouge" star has been living here off and on with her family, which includes her country music star hubby Keith Urban, and their baby daughter, as well as two children from her previous marriage to actor Tom Cruise. "Trespass" marks the second film in Shreveport for Cage who filmed "Drive Angry" earlier this year.
Stars collide
"Trespass" pairs Kidman and Cage together for the first time, an experience they've both enjoyed.
"Nicole is someone I've admired. I think she's a very mysterious and memorable actor and I wanted to work with her," Cage said. "The chemistry has been great."
Kidman is equally as fond of Cage. "He's just been a delight. He's very charming and I find him lovely to be around and I really think I've bonded with him. I really like him and I'd like to do something else with him," she said.
Besides the two Oscar-winning actors, the film also showcases a cast of fresh talent, including 15-year-old Liana Liberato, who stars in "Trust," which is the second film by "Friends" actor-turned-director David Schwimmer and recently received a lot of buzz at the Toronto Film Festival. In "Trespass" Liberato plays the role of Kidman and Cage's daughter.
"I've worked with some pretty big actors, but they've been in a lot of films that I haven't been able to watch because I'm so young. So, they're like normal people to me and since I've know them for so long, they're like my family," Liberato said.
The cast is rounded out by "My Boys" actress Jordana Spiro, "Twilight" and "Burlesque" star Cam Gigandet, and veteran Aussie star of "Animal Kingdom" Ben Mendelsohn.
"We have some supporting characters in the movie that are new and the bar was set very high with Nicole and Nic there, but our cast stepped up to it," Schumacher said.
Both Cage and Kidman said the chance to work with Schumacher is what brought them on board. They each share friendships with him that span more than a decade.
"I wanted to work with (Schumacher) and I just thought ('Trespass') was almost operatic in its style. It's a home invasion movie, but it takes a lot of twists and turns," said Kidman, who worked with Schumacher on the popular "Batman Forever" film in 1995.
Cage last worked with Schumacher in the 1999 film "8mm."
"I was very happy with what we achieved in that film and the results of that movie became something of an international cult film, which appeals to my taste," he said.
For Schumacher, it was a chance to work with friends again.
"They're both extraordinary professionals. They're never late, totally prepared and they never flub a line "» Nic is a consummate gentlemen and he doesn't gossip and Nicole and I have been friends a long time and know about each other personally as well," said. "So I was working with friends, which was wonderful and then they're very talented."
Home away from home
Kidman said she's enjoyed making Shreveport home during her time here.
"I've been to see the movies a lot at the (Louisiana Boardwalk) because I love to see movies. And I've being staying at (Cross Lake) and it's so pretty out here," she said.
Cage has gotten comfortable as well.
"It's a nice place to make a movie, especially if you have family. It seems to be very kid-friendly. Good schools and nice parks and places to go," Cage said. "The science museum is wonderful. So we've had two very good experiences here, my family and I."
Schumacher, who filmed both "The Client" and "A Time to Kill" in the South, said he always has a good time in the South and Shreveport was no different.
"I love the manners. My friends call and say 'How is it down there?' and I tell them, they have the most beautiful manners in the world. You hold the door open and they say 'Thank you.' People tell you to 'Have a nice day' and they mean it!"
Both Schumacher and Cage especially have enjoyed the food. Cage named the local restaurants among some of his favorite spots in town. "I've really enjoyed Ernest's and I've enjoyed Bella Fresca and Chianti and Wine Bistro. And Athena is nice. There's a Japanese restaurant here that we go to very often, also," Cage said.
Schumacher named Ristorante Giuseppe, Chianti, Superior Steakhouse and a few other places among his favorites. "(The Village Grille) wow, it's quite an elegant place, which is not my style usually, but they sure put on a good meal and it's a beautiful place. And Imperial Cathay, now that's really good Chinese food. It doesn't feel like it's been sitting in a pot for a week. When I work in the South, I try not to gain 15 pounds because everything is so tempting," Schumacher said with a laugh.
Kidman said she's especially impressed with the burgeoning film industry.
"I've been in New Orleans, but I hadn't been here. "» Yeah, I'd like to do another film here. I had no idea so many films were made in Shreveport. I'm just shocked. There's a coffee shop at the Hilton that I always go to and on the wall there are all of these photos of so many actors who have been here. I saw Hugh Jackman's picture on the wall and I called him the other night and was like "I didn't know you'd been here!'" Kidman left the coffee shop with a parting gift. "I gave them a photo so now I'm on the wall too."
"We've had a good time and I just want to say thank you to the people of Shreveport for being so welcoming," she said.

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