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As Aaron and Marta prove elusive in the new installment of ‘The Bourne Legacy’, news of a government subcommittee investigating Blackbriar adds to the tense atmosphere in the crisis suite where Byer and his staff are holed up. Likely most disturbed by the program becoming public is Terry Ward, the head of a company with intimate ties to Outcome.
Ward is played by New York theater actor Dennis Boutsikaris, the Obie Award winner for Sight Unseen. Boutsikaris describes Ward’s relationship with Byer as contentious, with Ward ultimately outgunned. “Ward wants to think that he’s Byer’s superior, and he clearly is not,” the actor shares. “Ward wants to be a leader without any leadership qualities.”
At Tony Gilroy’s suggestion, Boutsikaris had his hair cut and trademark beard shaved in order to play the corporate suit. “We talked on the phone, and Tony told me that the hair and everything had to go,” Boutsikaris remembers. “The whole feeling was how slick he wanted to make my character.”
As tension escalates in the war room, Ward also clashes with the imposing ret. Adm. Turso. The military commander who oversees Outcome is played by veteran actor Stacy Keach, who describes his character as “a patriot and a man whose authority is there.” Turso speaks to his team in an intricate language that is quite specific to the work. Reflects Keach: “Tony is an extraordinary talent because he creates his own language. The ‘Bourne’ franchise has one of its own. It’s intelligent, human and very personal. The trick with this kind of dialogue is to make it conversational and just sort of throw it away without making it too melodramatic.”
Keach acknowledges that the scenes with Turso, Byer and the NRAG team were especially engaging. “The great thing about this franchise is the amazing balance between action, adventure, intrigue and suspense,” he says. “You have two very different environments: the outside environment where you follow Cross and his exploits over the world, and then you have the crisis room or the surveillance environment. As an audience member, that combination keeps you on the edge of your seat because you are seeing something at the same time the people in the movie are watching it.”
Rounding out the cast members who are new to the ‘Bourne’ franchise are Oscar Isaac and Louis Ozawa Changchien. Isaac describes Outcome #3’s early interactions with Aaron Cross as “like a Western.” He shares: “My character has been living in a cabin for a month by himself with zero communication with the outside world…other than the occasional drop by of one of these guys.” When Cross arrives at #3’s remote base several days early, #3 is suspicious; similarly, Cross doesn’t trust his counterpart. “They’re like these dogs that are circling and sniffing each other,” suggests Isaac. They’re not necessarily posturing so much as they are uncertain. It’s dangerous.”
It turns out that #3 isn’t the only one that Cross (aka #5) should be concerned about. Byer hedged his bets that Outcome would not be the endgame. He has another program in motion, and it is known as LARX.
Changchien, who, in the role of LARX #3, an operative based in Bangkok, had to be comfortable with speed and with great heights. “I think of LARX as the decathlete of spies,” laughs Changchien, a theater actor who recently starred in Predators. In order to prepare for the role, Changchien traveled from his native New York to L.A., where he rehearsed with 2nd unit director Dan Bradley’s team for several weeks.
In this boot camp, Changchien learned the fundamentals of parkour—how to move around obstacles with speed and efficiency—practiced jumps from great heights and completed an intensive course in stunt driving. That would come in handy as his character chases Marta and Aaron through the narrow, crowded streets of Manila.
Fans will also be treated to cameos from several characters from earlier Bourne films, including series favorites Albert Finney as Dr. Albert Hirsch, Joan Allen as Pam Landy, David Strathairn as Noah Vosen and Scott Glenn as Ezra Kramer.