FACTBOX: "W." actors went for "feel-alike" not caricatures

Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:16am EDT
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(Reuters) - Director Oliver Stone's film portrait of U.S. President George W. Bush, "W.", traces his transformation from a hard-drinking college student to a man who found faith, won the most powerful job in the world and took the United States to war with Iraq.

The rare film portrait of a sitting U.S. president lured a diverse cast to play real-life characters. Stone said the actors were not meant to be "look-alikes" but "feel-alikes."

Following are some key quotes from the actors on how they approached their task.

JOSH BROLIN (President George W. Bush)

"Initially I said no ... The fact that Oliver Stone was even seeing any kind of connection between me and Bush was slightly insulting. (But after reading the script) I was taken aback, moved by it, impassioned, because I was saddened by it. And above all I identified with it."

ELIZABETH BANKS (Bush's wife, Laura)

"We decided, based on the research we had done, that the Bushes are very much in love ... She was on my iPod and I listened to her in my car a lot. Once I got the wig and clothes and the hips and the voice ... it sparked something inside to help me play her."

JAMES CROMWELL (President George H.W. Bush)

"I couldn't find a handle on this guy because I had a lot of judgment on him ... The important thing is the relationship between my character and his son. You are not going to see George Herbert Walker Bush but you are going to understand the dynamic between father and son."   Continued...