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At the heart of Tower Heist is a ragtag group—a building manager with a score to settle, a desperate Wall Streeter on the verge of bankruptcy, a cash-strapped concierge whose wife is expecting their first child, a bellhop up for any adventure and a feisty maid hoping to stay in the country—looking to recoup their looted pensions.
Alongside a petty criminal looking for quick cash, they are ready to do what needs to be done to get the cash. The talented ensemble has a few aces up its sleeve as two names stand out in the roll call to elevate the material; the enigmatic Casey Affleck and veteran Matthew Broderick.
Casey Affleck, who portrays Charlie, Ben Stiller’s charachter Josh’s not-so-savvy (and broke) brother-in-law who works as The Tower’s concierge, cut his teeth on the heist genre as Virgil Malloy in Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven series. Still, he knew the promise of working with Stiller, Eddie Murphy and director Brett Ratner was reason enough to revisit the genre.
Affleck notes “More than anything else, I just like Ben, Eddie and Brett, and it sounded like a fun film to do. I wanted to do a comedy, and I thought this was an opportunity to try and be funny.” With a wife on the verge of going into labor, Charlie is reluctant to join Josh’s crew of amateur thieves.
Producer Brian Grazer felt that Affleck, with his deadpan timing, was perfect for the part. “Casey continues to impress me with the fascinating choices he has made in his career,” offers the producer. “He is so droll, that with a slight vocal inflection or delivery of a minor tic, he can elicit a great number of laughs.
The fact that Casey has experience in the world of heist movies made him even more perfect for the job.” Matthew Broderick came aboard Tower Heist to portray Mr. Fitzhugh, a Wall Streeter who has suffered his own financial hardships and whose quarters in the ritzy building have been foreclosed.
Despite the dire circumstances, the self-professed squatter is a financier to the core and knows the tricks of his former trade. “Fitzhugh needs the money, and greed becomes his primary motivation,” explains Broderick. “That’s one thing I like about the caper movies from the 1970s like The Anderson Tapes. They really wanted the money or jewels or art. Fitzhugh’s mindset harkens back to that.”
For Ratner, the chance to work with the veteran actor was another reason to be excited about showing up for work every day. He says: “When I was 12, Matthew Broderick was the biggest movie star next to Eddie Murphy, literally. I grew up on Matthew, and to have him play Fitzhugh was a great honor. I couldn’t believe that he was on my set sitting next to Eddie, Ben and all of these other great actors.”
Murphy shares his director’s assessment of the veteran stage and screen performer. He compliments, “Everybody in the cast is funny and likeable, and you want everybody in the cast to win. Matthew Broderick is one of my contemporaries. We came up around the same time. I’ve seen everything that he’s done, and it was great to be on a set with a master actor.”
You can watch Tower Heist in cinema on November 4.
Image Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyz/