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One of the most anticipated movies this winter, In Time has fans of the sci-fi genre rubbing their hands for Andrew Niccol’s fast-paced and innovative story concept. With names like Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried taking the leads of Will Salas and Sylvia Weis, cinema goers can expect high-profile performances — but it doesn’t end there.
For the part of Rachel Salas, Will’s mother, the filmmakers turned to Olivia Wilde, who has experienced an explosion in her career with such films as Tron: Legacy and Cowboys & Aliens. “Olivia’s not going to be able to play a 50-year-old woman for another 30 years, and I think there was something challenging about that and something fun for the actors and us,” says producer Eric Newman.
“The part required an actor with a maturity beyond her years to play Rachel, and Olivia has that quality,” adds Niccol. Wilde, who is a few years younger than onscreen son Timberlake, says, “I was very attracted to the idea of playing someone who was a very old soul in a young person’s body.
And I thought, how interesting, to play someone who’s 50-years-old, who’s had this long life in a world where it’s very tough to have a long life. I mean, you wonder what she’s been through in order to survive for 50 years.” Someone at the far opposite end of the spectrum from Will and Rachel is the tycoon Philippe Weis, Sylvia’s father.
The Weis family fortune was built on a chain of time lending stores, which charge exorbitant interest on the time borrowed by poorer people, desperate to stay alive. Vincent Kartheiser plays Philippe and, with less than a decade between his and Seyfried’s actual age, the Mad Men-star met the challenge of playing her father, who is actually, internally, well over 100.
Kartheiser explains “Where you or I might say, ‘Well, you only live once,’ or ‘Live today like it’s the last day of your life,’ Weis and his friends and family don’t believe there will be a last day. Weis and his ilk have centuries to accomplish their goals, leaving them at best unmotivated.”
Weis has no trepidation about his fortune – as long as there are people with less than 24 hours to live, there will be customers. And it’s definitely a fixed game, in Weis’ favor, of course. Kartheiser continues “The interest rates Philippe charges change in accordance with how much the ‘haves’ want to control the ‘have-nots.’
So, when people need to die, to avoid overpopulation, the interest rates will jump, so that they can’t afford to borrow any more time, or even pay the interest on the time they’ve been loaned. And this is one loan you can’t default on, if you want to keep on living.” Will’s best friend, Borel, is a troubled soul unable to deal with these restrictions.
Johnny Galecki, who portrays Borel, notes that his character and Will “share the same political ideologies, but I think Borel’s a little too sensitive for this world. This life clock is his Achilles’ heel; it haunts him. So he helps himself along by self-medicating, maybe a bit too much. He has a wonderful wife and a beautiful baby and if it weren’t for them, he probably would have been gone a long time ago.”
Henry Hamilton is the enigmatic stranger who wanders into Will and Borel’s local watering hole, flashing more than a century of time on his wrist. In exchange for saving his life, Hamilton not only rewards Will with time, but also with the truth and deepest secrets of their respective zones.
Matt Bomer, of the hit USA series White Collar, plays Hamilton. “Hamilton is sort of like that character in a Dickens novel, who imparts information to the protagonist that sets him on a new course. Henry wants to change things, but he doesn’t know how to. He’s 105 years old, lived a full life, and now he wants to end it.
In Will, he finds somebody who can think outside of himself, who has the courage and the moral fortitude to actually affect change. So he gives him the gift of years, hoping that this brave soul can make a difference.” With such a dynamic cast, it is reasonable to expect a box office hit this October 28.
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