READ Q & A WITH WRITER-DIRECTOR TONY GILROY
Oscar winner JULIA ROBERTS (Charlie Wilson's War, Ocean's Eleven, Closer) and CLIVE OWEN (Inside Man, Sin City, Closer) join one another in the romantic caper Duplicity, from writer/director TONY GILROY (seven-time Oscar-nominated Michael Clayton).
Roberts and Owen star as spies-turned-corporate operatives in the midst of a clandestine love affair. When they find themselves on either side of an all-out corporate war, they discover the toughest part of the job is deciding how much to trust the one you love.
CIA officer Claire Stenwick (Roberts) and MI6 agent Ray Koval (Owen) have left the world of government intelligence behind for a scheme to cash in on a highly profitable cold war raging between two rival multinational corporations. Their mission? Secure for themselves the formula to a product that will bring a fortune to the company that patents it first.
For their employers--industry titan Howard Tully (TOM WILKINSON, Michael Clayton, television's John Adams) and buccaneer CEO Dick Garsik (PAUL GIAMATTI, Sideways, television's John Adams)--nothing is out of bounds. When the stakes rise, no one knows who is playing whom, and the trickiest part for Claire and Ray becomes how they play each other. As they each try to stay one double-cross ahead, two career loners find their plan endangered by the only thing they can't cheat their way out of: love.
Duplicity reunites Gilroy with key members of the behind-the-scenes team from Michael Clayton--including Academy Award-winning director of photography ROBERT ELSWIT (There Will Be Blood, Syriana); production designer KEVIN THOMPSON (Birth, Stranger Than Fiction); editor and co-producer JOHN GILROY (Pride and Glory, Narc); and celebrated composer JAMES NEWTON HOWARD (The Dark Knight, Defiance). The costume designer is legendary two-time Academy Award winner ALBERT WOLSKY (Bugsy, All That Jazz).
Secrets and Lies: Duplicity is Imagined
After he helmed his critically acclaimed 2007 directorial debut, Michael Clayton, writer/director Tony Gilroy decided to return to the arena of corporate dirty tricks…but this time with an eye toward romance. He created a story filled with twists and turns, using the backdrop of a cutthroat race between rival titans vying to be the first to bring a miracle product to market. The heart of the story, however, is the emotional warfare between a pair of romantically challenged, strong-willed lovers who happen to be on either side of the corporate battle…or so it seems.
The idea for Duplicity started with Gilroy's fascination with the intricacies of industrial espionage. His years of research as the architect of the screenplays in the blockbuster Bourne franchise had introduced him to many people in the intelligence community, and he had noticed that many of them had recently gone into the private sector. Gilroy crafted a nimble script set in this world that combined elements of the screwball comedy with the plot reversals of a classic caper.
Of his research and inspiration for the story's setting, he shares, "The statistics of corporate theft are somewhere between $50 and $100 billion every year. There isn't a major corporation on the planet that doesn't have a competitive intelligence department with some form of either defensive or offensive intelligence gathering, which are basically spy units."
The filmmaker designed a cold war between two giant corporations in which the spies are actually trying to dupe their employers. He constructed an intricate web of deceit between the rival magnates, and he inserted agents into the mix whose love is as high stakes as the scheme itself.
This star-crossed pair is ex-CIA agent Claire Stenwick and former MI6 operative Ray Koval. Gilroy underscores that their personal entanglements are complicating their jobs, and the constant deceit makes it hard to know where they stand with one another. He says, "They never tell the truth. Everybody's gaming everybody; everything is constantly not what it seems."
We meet Claire and Ray through a series of flashbacks that track their relationship--beginning with their first encounter in Dubai in 2003 and taking us through the plotting of their big heist in Manhattan of today. When he imagined the couple, one curious question kept coming to the filmmaker's mind: "How do scorpions make love?" Of the idea, Gilroy elaborates: "I wondered what happens if two people fall in love who are both professional liars. It's really hard for them; who else is there for them? They're their own species."
The first time they meet, then-MI6 operative Ray is simply a mark for CIA agent Claire. She seduces him at a consulate party in Dubai, drugs him and then ransacks his room to steal Egyptian Air Defense codes. Elaborates Gilroy's production partner, producer Jennifer Fox, of the setup: "Claire leaves Ray with this smile on his face. He's both completely taken with this woman and incredibly frustrated. He needs to find her. They meet again in Rome, have a lost weekend and decide to work together and leave their jobs with the CIA and MI6 and go private…to cash in and have one big giant score that will allow them to be together."
Gilroy adds, "After Dubai, they don't see each other for a long time, and they reconnect under very unusual circumstances. The whole movie is about the two of them deciding whether they're really in love, whether they can trust each other and whether they're going to get rich in the middle of this corporate espionage war."
Gilroy also created Howard Tully (head of Burkett & Randle) and Dick Garsik (head of Omnikrom), two giants among the pharmaceutical world whose ambition and hatred for one another is matched only by their egos. He says, "This feud between Tully and Garsik is the engine for everything that happens in the story. It's a cold war set on Park Avenue between two huge, giant corporations instead of two countries…but fought just as bitterly and with just as much complexity."
For Duplicity to be plausible, Gilroy knew the stakes for the characters had to be as high as they would be in an actual cold war. That meant imagining a race to patent a drug so hotly in demand that it would tip the market for any patent holder and render competitors impotent. The filmmaker elaborates: "We needed something everybody was chasing, in which the stakes were really high--the holy grail of everything financially."
Producer Fox agreed with his instincts. "One of Tony's great strengths is creating characters who are strong, dynamic and smart," she notes. "I think he's done that here with Claire and Ray. Audiences will have fun with the film and enjoy puzzling out the story. In the same way that the characters are conning one another, Tony is playing a con game with us, and the surprises don't let up until the last moment."
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
TONY GILROY (Written and Directed by) made his feature film directorial debut with the Oscar-nominated Michael Clayton, for which he was nominated for both an Academy Award for Best Director and Directors Guild Award. An acclaimed screenwriter, Gilroy spent seven years working on the trilogy of Bourne films: The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and the hit The Bourne Ultimatum.
Gilroy has also written three screenplays for director Taylor Hackford: Dolores Claiborne, based on the novel by Stephen King and starring Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh; The Devil's Advocate, starring Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino and Charlize Theron; and Proof of Life, starring Russell Crowe and Meg Ryan, which Gilroy also executive produced. In addition, Gilroy co-wrote the screenplay for Universal Pictures' upcoming film State of Play, starring Russell Crowe, based on the BBC miniseries of the same title.
Gilroy's additional writing credits include Michael Bay's blockbuster Armageddon, starring Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler and Billy Bob Thornton; Michael Apted's Extreme Measures, starring Gene Hackman, Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker; The Cutting Edge, starring D.B. Sweeney and Moira Kelly; and the television movie For Better and for Worse, starring Patrick Dempsey and Kelly Lynch.
Raised in upstate New York, Gilroy is the son of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and filmmaker Frank D. Gilroy. His brother Dan Gilroy is a screenwriter, and his brother John Gilroy is a film editor who also worked on Michael Clayton and Duplicity.
ABOUT THE CAST
JULIA ROBERTS (Claire Stenwick) and her Duplicity co-star, Clive Owen, previously appeared together in Closer, directed by Mike Nichols. An Academy Award winner for Erin Brockovich, Roberts has appeared in many of Hollywood's most successful films, worked with the industry's most esteemed directors, and her films have grossed more than $2.5 billion worldwide. She first came to the attention of audiences with her critically acclaimed role in Mystic Pizza. Then, with Steel Magnolias, she received her first Academy Award® nomination. Her next film, Pretty Woman, was the top-grossing film of 1990 and brought Roberts her second Academy Award nomination. Her memorable performance in that film was followed by a series of notable films including Flatliners, Sleeping with the Enemy, Dying Young, The Pelican Brief and Something to Talk About.
Roberts also starred with Liam Neeson in Neil Jordan's Michael Collins, and in Woody Allen's romantic musical comedy Everyone Says I Love You. In 1997, she starred in the box-office smash My Best Friend's Wedding, directed by P.J. Hogan, and the Richard Donner-directed thriller Conspiracy Theory, co-starring Mel Gibson. Roberts starred opposite Susan Sarandon and Ed Harris in the Chris Columbus film Stepmom. In 1999, she starred in two box-office hits: Notting Hill, co-starring Hugh Grant and directed by Roger Michell; and Runaway Bride, in which she reteamed with her Pretty Woman co-star Richard Gere and director Garry Marshall.
Since 2000's Erin Brockovich, she has appeared in Mona Lisa Smile and America's Sweethearts, both from Revolution Studios. She has starred in three films by director Steven Soderbergh: Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Twelve and Full Frontal. She also appeared with her Ocean's co-star Brad Pitt in The Mexican, directed by Gore Verbinski, and starred in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, the directorial debut of her Ocean's co-star George Clooney. She has worked with director Mike Nichols on both Closer and Charlie Wilson's War.
Roberts recently provided the voice of Charlotte in the animated film Charlotte's Web and made her Broadway debut in Richard Greenberg's Three Days of Rain.
Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe Award winner CLIVE OWEN (Ray Koval) has taken the big screen by storm, making quite a name for himself in the U.K., the United States and around the world. It was in 2005 that he proved himself a big-screen star by winning a Golden Globe Award and picking up an Academy Award nomination for his role as Larry in Mike Nichols' Closer.
The British actor first came onto the scene in several British and American telefilms. In 1991, he starred in his first big hit, the U.K. television series Chancer. He then went on to prove himself to American audiences co-starring with Catherine Zeta-Jones in Jack Gold's CBS telefilm adaptation of "The Return of the Native." More recently, he starred as detective Ross Tanner in the BBC telefilm Second Sight, which aired on PBS's Mystery! Owen's other U.K. telefilm credits also include Andrew Grieve's Lorna Doone, Andy Wilson's An Evening with Gary Lineker, Diarmuid Lawrence's The Echo and David Blair's Split Second.
Owen's early feature films truly outline his versatility as an actor. He made his film debut in Beeban Kidron's Vroom in 1988, in which he restores a classic American car to take off on the road with co-star David Thewlis. In 1991, he went on to play a brother who acts upon his incestuous feelings in Stephen Poliakoff's Close My Eyes. In 1997, he continued to play complex characters when he starred as a reckless homosexual in corrupt pre-war Germany, who finds unconditional love while in a Nazi war camp in Sean Mathias' Bent. In 2001 and 2002 respectively, he went on to star in Joel Hershman's offbeat British comedy Greenfingers, and Robert Altman's star-studded Gosford Park.
Owen's next films only added to his already brilliant and diverse choice of film credits. He chose Beyond Borders, a romantic war drama co-starring Angelina Jolie; Mike Hodges' thriller I'll Sleep When I'm Dead; the action war drama King Arthur; and Sin City, which co-starred Bruce Willis, Benicio Del Toro, Rosario Dawson and Jessica Alba.
Owen was seen in fall 2005 in Derailed, opposite Jennifer Aniston, and went on to star in Spike Lee's Inside Man, opposite Denzel Washington and Jodie Foster. In 2006, Owen starred in Alfonso Cuarón's action-packed film Children of Men, opposite Julianne Moore and Michael Caine. The film was critically acclaimed, as well as Owen's performance. He next starred in Michael Davis' suspense Shoot 'Em Up, in which he starred opposite Paul Giamatti, and in Elizabeth: The Golden Age, in which he portrayed Sir Walter Raleigh, the love interest opposite Cate Blanchett, who reprised her role as Queen Elizabeth.
Next up, he will star in The International as an Interpol agent, opposite Naomi Watts. Owen recently completed filming The Boys Are Back in Town in Australia.
Owen is also an acclaimed stage actor. His stage work includes portraying Romeo at the Young Vic Theatre; starring in Sean Mathias' staging of Noël Coward's Design for Living; and playing the lead role in Patrick Marber's original production of Closer at the Royal National Theatre in 1997. In fall 2001, he starred in London in Laurence Boswell's staging of Peter Nichols' A Day in the Death of Joe Egg.
Owen also starred as the driver in the series of BMW Internet short features entitled The Hire, each directed by John Frankenheimer, Ang Lee, Wong Kar Wai, Guy Ritchie and Alejandro González Iñárritu.
TOM WILKINSON (Howard Tully) is an award-winning actor of stage and screen. Wilkinson received an Academy Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Tony Gilroy's Academy Award-nominated Michael Clayton. He received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his unforgettable performance in Todd Field's acclaimed drama In the Bedroom, opposite Sissy Spacek. Wilkinson also received a BAFTA Award nomination, won an Independent Spirit Award, a Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize and a New York Film Critics Circle Award for the role. Prior to that, Wilkinson won a BAFTA Award for his role in the 1997 British and international box-office sensation The Full Monty, and garnered another BAFTA Award nomination the following year for his performance in the Oscar-winning Best Picture Shakespeare in Love. He received Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominations for his courageous performance in HBO's 2003 film Normal, opposite Jessica Lange. Wilkinson most recently won an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Supporting Actor for the HBO miniseries John Adams, in which he portrayed Benjamin Franklin.
Wilkinson recently starred in the indie romantic comedy Dedication, with Billy Crudup and Mandy Moore; Woody Allen's Cassandra's Dream, with Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor; Guy Ritchie's London-set crime caper RocknRolla, with Gerard Butler; and Bryan Singer's World War II-set drama Valkyrie, with Tom Cruise. His previous film credits include Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, with Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey; The Last Kiss, starring Zach Braff; Stage Beauty, with Billy Crudup; Wilde; The Governess; Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility;
Smilla's Sense of Snow; Gillian Armstrong's Oscar and Lucinda; Ride With the Devil; The Importance of Being Earnest; Girl With a Pearl Earring, starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth; Roland Emmerich's The Patriot; A Good Woman; Ripley Under Ground; The Exorcism of Emily Rose; and Separate Lies, with Emily Watson and Rupert Everett.
An accomplished stage actor, Wilkinson has played the role of John Proctor in The Crucible at the Royal National Theatre; the title role in King Lear at the Royal Court Theatre; the role of Dr. Stockmann in the award-winning West End production of Enemy of the People, with Vanessa Redgrave; a London Critics' Circle Theatre Award-winning performance in Ghosts; and David Hare's production of My Zinc Bed, with Julia Ormond.
On the British small screen, Wilkinson received BAFTA Television Award nominations for his roles in Cold Enough for Snow and the award-winning BBC miniseries Martin Chuzzlewit. His other notable television credits include such long-form projects as the HBO movie The Gathering Storm and the BBC telefilm Measure for Measure, to name only a few.
Since beginning his career at Seattle's Annex Theatre in 1989, PAUL GIAMATTI (Richard Garsik) has continued to work in theater, film and television for almost 20 years. Most recently, he played John Adams in the HBO miniseries of the same name (opposite Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson, David Morse and Stephen Dillane), for which he won an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Numerous film roles include Ron Howard's Cinderella Man, for which he received Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations; Sideways, for which he won an Independent Spirit Award and a New York Film Critics Circle Award and received a Golden Globe Award nomination; American Splendor, for which he received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Actor and won a National Board of Review Award; Shoot 'Em Up; The Illusionist; Man on the Moon; The Hawk Is Dying; and Planet of the Apes.
On stage, Giamatti received a Drama Desk nomination for Best Supporting Actor as Jimmy Tomorrow in Kevin Spacey's Broadway revival of The Iceman Cometh. Other Broadway credits include The Three Sisters, directed by Scott Elliott; Racing Demon, directed by Richard Eyre; and Arcadia, directed by Trevor Nunn. He was also seen off-Broadway in Simon McBurney's production of Bertolt Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, with Al Pacino.
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