Twentieth Century Fox – Date Night

Terima kasih banyak-banyak kepada Nuffnang kerana beri jemputan untuk menonton cerita ni kat TGV 1 Utama selasa lepas, cerita ni memang best dan kelakar sekali sampai aku tak tahan nak tergelak. Tak sangka dalam satu malam dan nak Date Night pasangan dalam cerita ni mengalami mimpi ngeri yang tidak dapat dielakkan. Semuanya atas kesalahan suaminya yang tidak menempah meja makan lalu lebih awal tetapi terus menyamar sebagai orang lain yang telah membuat tempahan meja makan direstoran. Apa-apa pun korang boleh baca sedikit info dan sedikit plot dalam cerita Date Night ini.

DATE NIGHT

Local release: 8th April 2009

Director: Shawn Levy

Written by: Josh Klausner

Producer: Shawn Levy

Cast: Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Taraji P. Henson, Common, and Mark Wahlberg

Genre: Action Comedy

Official Site: TBA

Claire and Phil Foster (Tina Fey and Steve Carell) are a typical suburban couple whose lives – including their weekly date nights of dinner and a movie – have become routine. To reignite the marital spark, they visit a trendy Manhattan bistro where a case of mistaken identity turns their evening into the ultimate date night-gone-awry.  But as Claire and Phil take their unexpected walk on the wild side, they begin to remember what made them so special together.

Action-comedy maestro Shawn Levy, the director of the blockbuster “Night at the Museum” franchise, teams up with two of the comedy world’s biggest talents, Steve Carell (“The 40 Year Old Virgin,” “The Office”) and Tina Fey (“Baby Mama,” “30 Rock,” “SNL”) for an adventure that turns a run-of-the-mill married couple’s date upside down – way upside down, in DATE NIGHT.

Phil (Carell) and Claire Foster (Fey) are a sensible, loving couple with two kids and a house in suburban New Jersey.  The Fosters have their weekly “date night” – an attempt at re-experiencing the spice of the dates of yesteryear, involving the same weekly night out at the local Teaneck Tavern.  Their conversations quickly drift from barely-date talk to the same chore-chat they have at the dinner table at home.  Exhausted from their jobs and kids, their dates rarely end in fore- or any other kind of play, let alone romance.

After seeing two of their best friends – another married couple with kids in suburban New Jersey – split apart from living the same life they themselves lead, Phil and Claire begin to fear what may lie ahead:  a state of bland indifference and eventual separation.

In an attempt to take date night off auto-pilot, and hopefully inject a little spice into their lives, Phil decides a change of plans is in order:  take Claire into Manhattan to the city’s hottest new restaurant. The Fosters, however, don’t have reservations.  Hoping to be seated sometime before the clock strikes twelve, they steal a no-show couple’s reservations.  What could it hurt?  Phil and Claire are now the Tripplehorns.

The real Tripplehorns, however, it turns out, are a thieving couple who are being hunted down by a pair of corrupt cops for having stolen property from some very dangerous people.  Forced on the run before they’ve even finished their risotto, Phil and Claire soon realize that their play-date-for-parents has gone hilariously awry, as they embark on a wild and dangerous series of crazy adventures to save their lives. . . and their marriage.

The ritual “date night” dinner is something all too familiar to most married couples – even directors of blockbuster movies.  “I was in the process of making the second Night at the Museum film,” recalls filmmaker Shawn Levy, “and, as is kind of our ritual, once a week, my wife and I go out to dinner.”

At one such dinner, the Levys found themselves sitting at the restaurant they frequented, ordering the same food, talking about the kids, what’s coming up that weekend, who’s going to buy the gift for which birthday party, etc., etc.  “In the middle of all that, I said to my wife, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to do a movie about a date night, where you just did one thing differently?  And, from there, you have an unraveling of everything, to the point of it threatening your life and your marriage, with all kinds of crazy stuff going on.  But, in the midst of all that crazy stuff, you end up recapturing the vitality that date night was invented in the first place to preserve.’”

The next morning, Levy came in to his production company office and told his staff, “Okay, we’re going to do a movie called DATE NIGHT, and here’s what it’s about, and let’s get a writer.  Let’s go.”

Levy’s search for a writer didn’t take very long.  “I had written a small, quirky film, called ‘(Saint) Peter,’ which Shawn had read and fell in love with, recalls screenwriter Josh Klausner.  “Shawn was determined to find something for us to work on together. He very graciously took a big chance and had me fly out, and we started brainstorming.”

Levy and Klausner met at Levy’s bungalow on the Fox lot, where they quickly broke the story.  “We are both in the same stage of life,” Klausner says.  “We both have children and go out on date nights, knowing what they’re supposed to be, but realizing they never end up being that anymore because there are so many other things that get in the way.  So we started talking about those experiences.”

“We talked about our marriages,” Levy adds. “And we found that there are certain commonalities in trying to sustain a vibrant, romantic relationship,” and not simply becoming roommates.  “It’s the question of in the midst of grownup life, how do you keep couple-hood fresh?”

DATE NIGHT was originally conceived as more of a suburban story centered around a parent-teacher conference night, but quickly evolved into, as Klausner calls it, “the perfect ‘North by Northwest’ setup” of mistaken identity.

“Shawn and I really wanted what spurs on the evening to be something that we all might do,” Klausner continues. “Phil and Claire simply can’t get a seat at a restaurant, and, since nobody’s answering the call for a reservation, they just decide, ‘What’s the harm in taking it?’  And it leads them down the rabbit hole.  From there, they end up on the worst night of their lives, which ends up being the best night for their relationship.”

Levy describes the film as being “in the spirit of action comedies I remember fondly, like ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ or ‘48 Hrs.’ DATE NIGHT has a real hybrid tone, because it’s first and foremost a comedy.  It also has a hefty dose of action, as well as a lot of heart, because it’s about the things that people deal with in relationships.”

For Levy, DATE NIGHT is a change from the family-friendly hits he’s helmed, like “Cheaper by the Dozen,” “Pink Panther” and “Night at the Museum.” DATE NIGHT is more of an adult-skewing comedy,” Levy points out. “In a way, it’s the other side of the movies I’ve done, which have been focused on the child-parent relationships.  DATE NIGHT is focused on the marriage side – what happens after the children go to sleep.”

Levy was keen to keep the emotional side of the story intact through the mayhem experienced by the characters.  “If you’re making a movie about relationships and being a married couple, it must be more than just funny, because life doesn’t work that way,” the director explains.  “This movie has some surprising moments of poignancy.”

“A lot of comedies these days feel like a compendium of gags tied together to follow a narrative story,” notes Klausner. “DATE NIGHT, at its heart, is about marriage and being in love with somebody, but at the same time, life gets in the way.  It’s honest, which is something Steve and Tina wanted, too.  I’m proud that this movie has preserved that soul.”

When Levy learned that Steve Carell and Tina Fey were hoping to find a project on which they could work together, he knew he had found his DATE NIGHT duo. “We got an early draft of the screenplay to Tina and Steve, who always struck me as the dream pairing for a movie about marriage,” Levy says.  “They said, ‘Yeah, we relate to this, we want to do an action comedy that’s also honest about relationships.’ So they said they were in.”

While Levy usually takes a break between completing one feature and beginning the next, he found himself prepping DATE NIGHT while editing “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” in order to take advantage of his stars’ availability.  “Steve’s and Tina’s series commitments [on, respectively, “The Office” and “30 Rock”] provides only a limited window for feature film work,” Levy explains. “They told us, ‘Look, we want to do this, but we’re free now, and we’re not going to be free in six months – what do we do?’  I said, ‘Well, we make the movie right now!’  I didn’t get a break between films, but I got a comedy with Steve Carell and Tina Fey, who are two of the most intelligent, interesting people working in comedy today.  So a lot of my job was to come up with the idea, get the two perfect actors for the movie, and then get the hell out of the way.”

While slight alterations to the script were made to match the stars’ comedic voices, DATE NIGHT was essentially tailor-made for the pair.  “It felt like the film was written for them,” says Klausner. Adds Levy: “Three minutes into this movie, you buy Steve and Tina as a married couple.  They have a powerful chemistry together.  They clicked completely on screen.”

Phil, says Carell, “feels underappreciated by his friends and family, but he sort of keeps that feeling close to his chest. He’s a very loving guy, but he and Claire have reached a plateau in their relationship.  He needs to snap himself out of it, if possible.  And the night that he and Claire experience together is a defibrillator for their marriage.”

Carell’s comedic skills, along with his ability to stir audiences’ hearts, made him the perfect choice for the role, Levy says.  “Steve is super funny, and his chops as an actor are fantastic. He not only carries entire comedy sequences on his back, but three scenes later, he’s moving you to an emotional place with such sincerity and nuance.  There’s no end to what he can do.”

Carell says his own date nights, like Phil Foster’s (and Levy’s and Klausner’s), leave much to be desired.  “Sometimes the worst part of date night is actually leaving for the date – when you see your babysitter sitting down, getting all cozy, turning on the TV.  That sometimes seems much better than the night that lies ahead.”

Fey, like Carell, has the ability to be riotously funny while still portraying the emotional side of her character realistically – to turn down the volume on jokes and simply allow them to happen.  For example, in response to a nudge for sex from her husband, Fey’s Claire offers a very normal, ‘Yeah, hang on a minute” moment as she pulls out her dental mouth guard in preparation for sex with her husband, with enough drool to instantly turn off her mate.

“Besides being obviously really pretty and intelligent, Tina has a complete willingness to make an ass out of herself,” says Levy. She’s completely up for goofing on herself and being the butt of the joke, and that’s very charming.”

Fey describes Claire as “a working mom of two kids, who, like almost everyone I know, is just a little worn out by the day-to-day life of raising your kids, getting them out the door, getting them to school, having a job, keeping a house clean.  She’s a good person who is just kind of worn into the ground a little bit.  I certainly identify with how just physically tiring it is to be a parent and have a job – sometimes it feels like a real effort to just be present for your spouse.”

So which would be scarier – being in a boring marriage or being chased by the mob (both of which the Fosters experience in the film)?  “I would say that being married to a person in the mob would be the scariest,” Fey jokes.

Along their night-from-hell journey, Phil and Claire encounter a cavalcade of characters on both sides of the law.  Levy’s casting choices for these roles was sometimes unexpected – and always spot-on.  His intent was to provide the story with a “Wizard of Oz”-like experience. “You’re with your heroes, but along the way, they’re being affected and changed by the people they meet, and I just thought wouldn’t it be fun if at every turn of the road, you’re surprised all over again by who has suddenly appeared in this movie.  And the cast members fit the roles perfectly.”

The surprise apparently wasn’t limited to the audience.  “I read the script,” says Fey,” and I thought, ‘Oh, these are really good parts for somebody.’  I never thought we would get this lucky to have that caliber of people in all these different parts.”  Having what otherwise would have appeared to be small roles portrayed by big name actors only helps bring them alive, Carell notes.  “When you see them acted out, they’re even better than they were on the page.”

And getting high-powered stars to join the DATE NIGHT team wasn’t just a matter of coincidence.  “So many people were so keen to find a way to work with Steve and Tina – they just found a way to make it work,” says Levy.

Mark Wahlberg portrays a former real estate client of Claire’s the pair turns to in the middle of the night.  “I play a guy named Holbrooke Grant, who is a security expert who Claire and Phil come to for help,” Wahlberg explains.  “They just catch Holbrooke at a bad time – he’s with his beautiful Israeli girlfriend.”  The pair ends up turning Holbrooke’s night upside down, as well.

Wahlberg had the simplest costume in the entire cast.  “There is no wardrobe – just a pair of silk genie pants,” he recalls, noting that he regularly found himself freezing on the air-conditioned set.  That the top half of his costume was missing (except for an ample supply of makeup covering Wahlberg’s countless tattoos), was a fact not lost on the female members of the cast and crew.  “Mark was shirtless for three or four days,” Fey says, prompting a noticeable increase in the number of women who suddenly had additional tasks to address on set on the days he was on the job.  “I had friends texting me, ‘Can I get on the Fox lot and visit you today?’” Fey laughs.

Also coming to the aid of the beleaguered couple is Taraji P. Henson, an Oscar® nominee for her work in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” who plays NYPD Detective Arroyo, who, though she doesn’t exactly believe the Fosters “chased by bad guys” story, begins to become suspicious of a couple of her colleagues.  “She’s sort of a hero,” the actress says.

Playing thugs Collins and Armstrong, who are after the Fosters (whom they believe are the Tripplehorns) are Common and Jimmi Simpson. Common is a familiar face to audiences for his role as a murderous cop in “Street Kings” and for his work as a musical artists (his hits include “Love of My Life” and “Testify”). Simpson has made occasional appearances as Lyle the Intern on “The Late Show with David Letterman.”

Common describes the duo as “one of the many catalysts to get this mundane couple out of their comfort zone – mainly by shooting guns at them.”  The two are essentially hunters, he adds, noting, “I’m the muscle.”

Collins and Armstrong’s formidable boss is gangster Joe Miletto, from whom the Tripplehorns have apparently stolen something of importance that he wants back.  The casting of acclaimed actor Ray Liotta as Miletto delighted Carell and Fey.  “We were shooting a scene with Ray one night,” recalls Carell, “and Tina looked over and said, ‘I feel like I am in a 3D version of ‘Goodfellas.  Ray Liotta is actually walking up and talking to me.’  It was like a ride at a theme park.”

Playing a heavy in a comedy, particularly for actors used to appearing in dramatic films, requires a special knack, one which DATE NIGHT’s group of toughs embraced with gusto.

“It’s really in the writing, so it’s dependent on your commitment to it,” explains Liotta.  “If the situation’s just a little more heightened, you’re going to laugh.”  Common agrees:  “Shawn expressed to us from the beginning – you’ve got to keep it real.  The more real it becomes – because you’re playing off Steve and Tina – the funnier it becomes.”

Portraying the “real” Tripplehorns – actually a drug dealer named Taste and his wacky stripper girlfriend, Whippit – are James Franco and Mila Kunis.  Despite their different life circumstances, the pair has much in common with the Fosters, being in the same spot in their relationship as their clean-cut counterparts. Notes Josh Klausner: “Whether you’re a drug dealer or a suburban husband, you still feel the pangs of ‘You never look at me the way you used to’ and ‘You don’t have time for me.’  What the two couples are going through is exactly the same,” making the exchanges between the two couples both hilarious and poignant at the same time.

Kunis describes the pair as “very passionate – when they’re angry, they’re very angry, and when they’re happy, they’re madly in love.”  Whippit, specifically, she describes as a “psycho, who is very up and down.  She goes through three different emotions within two and a half script pages.”

The name “Taste,” Franco says, is left over from an earlier concept of the character – a 6 ft. 7 in. bald man with “TASTE” tattooed on his forehead.  “So when they asked me to be in the movie, I said, ‘Well, I’m certainly not that.’”  The character’s description was then rewritten, but the name stuck.  “I was up for facial tattoos, too,” Franco says with a laugh.  “We just went for the cheesy ‘Grim Reaper.’”

Kristen Wiig and Mark Ruffalo play the Fosters soon-to-be-splitting couple friends, Haley and Brad Sullivan.  “Their parting brings up the question about getting bored with your spouse and moving on, or just sticking it out,” says Wiig. “I think Haley plants the seeds in Claire’s mind.”

Also taking on key roles are “Gossip Girl’s” Leighton Meester as the Fosters’ babysitter Katy, and “The Dark Knight’s” William Fichtner as district attorney Frank Crenshaw.

All the cast members appreciated Levy’s ability to balance action and comedy, which in turn allowed his actors the freedom to come up with their own gags.  “That’s the only way you can afford to have time to play around or to improvise and do extra takes,” notes Fey.  “That only happens if everyone – especially your director – really knows what they’re doing.”

For Levy, there’s a method to the potential madness of improv. “Sometimes, after we’d get what I want, Steve and Tina would come to me and say, ‘You know what?  Could I get one more take?  I’ve got an idea that might lead somewhere.’  Sometimes we couldn’t use it, but more often than not, it was gold and it ended up in the movie,” such as the duo’s restaurant shenanigans game of guessing what’s up with the couple sitting across the way.

“Every person in any field wants to go to work and feel respected for what they do,” says the director.  “So when you say to an actor, ‘We’re going to do the script that I’ve written for you, but I want to hear what’s in your head.  I actually think that the ideas you come up with might be as legitimate or better than what we scripted,’ it makes your actors feel like partners and collaborators, and not mouthpieces.  It makes them feel like part of the creative team, rather than a piece of machinery.”

MEET THE TWINS

While attempting to escape their pursuers, the Fosters “borrow” Holbrooke Grant’s car, the much-too-powerful-for-Phil Audi R8.  When Phil inadvertently smashes into a taxi cab, the two vehicles’ bumpers become hopelessly locked together.  Nonetheless, the chase continues, the conjoined twin automobiles smashing their way down Manhattan streets.

The complicated sequence came about when Levy and Klausner were brainstorming ideas for a chase scene. Concerned about repeating the oft-used, cliché urban car chase, Klausner recalls, “I remember sitting in a room with Shawn, telling him, ‘You know, do we really have to do a car chase, because how many times have we seen a car chase in these movies?  How interesting can that be?’”

Levy then related to his writer a story from his teenage years.  “He was just learning to drive, and was trying to park, but he ended up smashing into another car in front of him and getting stuck on that car.  His father just drove by and shook his head.”  Thus was born the idea of conjoined cars.

But just having two cars barreling down the street wasn’t enough.  “Shawn wanted to do something that nobody had ever seen before,” says 2nd unit director and stunt coordinator Jack Gill, who planned and executed the sequence.  “Once we got the basic idea of conjoining the cars, we began figuring out not only how to build the cars, but how to make it work comically.  I then started adding eccentricities, like spinning them around in circles and having characters fire guns at them.”

Besides having six different cars that, each of which handled a specific aspect of the chase stunts, Gill built a 40 foot frame, upon which the Audi and cab bodies were placed.  “So there’s just one rigid frame,” he explains.  The stunt driver was situated at the leading end of the conjoined vehicles.  “So when the cab is facing forwards, with the Audi ahead of it facing the wrong way, the stunt driver is actually driving from inside the Audi’s trunk, looking out the back so he can see where he’s going and drive around corners.”  In addition, for most shots, the rig’s rear wheels – those under the rear end of the conjoined vehicles – could also steer, in the same manner as those of a hook-and-ladder fire truck.

Needless to say, don’t try this at home on your own Manhattan street.

New York City ordinances limited the production to the types of stunts that could be filmed on Manhattan streets. So following a week of night work in New York, the stunt team moved to downtown Los Angeles to complete the sequence.

“We had about six blocks to work with on Broadway, which was great,” Gill recalls.  “We needed a long stretch locked down, because when you conjoin two cars together, you’ve got a thing that’s forty feet long – getting it up to speed and shutting it all down can be tough.  You can’t just do it in two blocks.”  The sequence was filmed with up to six cameras, including a special “balloon cam,” with wheeled buoys on each corner, which allowed the camera to be sent into the path of the speeding car pair and getting hit head-on, without damaging expensive camera equipment.

Carell did actually drive the R8 himself for a number of shots.  “We wanted the car to have way too much power for a guy like Phil to handle,” says Gill.  “So I asked Audi to disconnect the all-wheel drive, which meant putting all 560 horsepower into the rear wheels.”  So what was Carell’s impression?  “He said it felt like somebody hitting him in the back of the head with a shovel when he stepped on the gas.”

In one shot, Phil must make his way to the cab while Claire is driving the Audi at high speed.  “We did all the transfers across the hood with doubles – that was all real,” notes Gill.

Close-ups of Carell and Fey were done against a green screen set at Twentieth Century Fox. Since the chase acrobatics had already been filmed, besides their scripted lines, Carell and Fey filled in the gaps with their gut-busting ad-libs.  “I’d show them footage and explain to them, ‘Here’s what we did last week downtown with the real cars – what do you think?’” Gill says.  “And we’d bounce off ideas until something really clicked.  And then Shawn was always there to say, ‘You’re right on track here – that’s really funny!’  It really helps when you have a collaboration where everybody can talk ideas out.”

Even with all the excitement, Levy kept the scene’s theme on track.  “Once we had the concept of having the two cars stuck together, then we could find a way to thematically tie it in to what the movie’s about, which is this couple that has to learn to communicate to survive,” he explains.

Indeed, even with all that happens to them on this fateful night, the Fosters achieve their goal:  to reinvigorate their relationship and reconnect with the love and excitement that brought them together in the first place.

“DATE NIGHT is kind of like a fable,” says Levy.  “It takes place over a very short period of time, but in some way, it’s timeless, because it’s a story about a journey two people make in their relationship.  And we leave the night feeling like they will go back to their lives and no one except for the people involved that night might ever know what happened.  We’ve watched them experience this crazy night, but the real adventure of their married life, now that they’ve found each other again, is just about to begin.”

“They’re comfortable enough again with each other to be able to say ‘Knock it off’ and ‘I love you’ within the same five minutes,” says Steve Carell.

Tina Fey has just one last piece of relationship advice:  “Go on a date night and see DATE NIGHT.”

ABOUT THE CAST

STEVE CARELL (Phil Foster) has emerged as one of the most sought-after comedic actors in Hollywood.  First gaining recognition for his contributions as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s Emmy® Award-winning “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” Carell has successfully segued into primetime television and above-the-title status in the film world with equal aplomb.

Carell currently stars as Michael Scott, the pompous and deluded boss of a Pennsylvania paper company, in the Americanized adaptation of Ricky Gervais’ acclaimed British television series “The Office.”  Now in its sixth season, the show continues to flourish in ratings and has earned Carell three Emmy Award nominations and four Golden Globe® nominations for his work on the show, and earned the Golden Globe in 2006.  In the last two years, the show has won the Screen Actors Guild Award® for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.

Carell opened his first lead feature, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” which he co-wrote with director Judd Apatow, at #1, a spot it remained in for two straight weekends.  The surprise hit of 2005 went on to gross more than $175 million worldwide and had #1 openings in 12 countries.  The film generated over $100 million in DVD sales in North America alone.  On an award level, the film was honored with an AFI Award® named one of 10 Most Outstanding Motion Pictures of the Year and took home Best Comedy Movie at the 11th annual Critics’ Choice Awards®.  The film also earned Carell and Apatow a co-nomination for Best Original Screenplay by the Writers Guild Association.

In 2008, Carell starred as Maxwell Smart in the much-anticipated action-comedy “Get Smart,” opposite Anne Hathaway and Alan Arkin. The film grossed over $230 million worldwide. A sequel is due in 2011. He also lent his voice as “The Mayor of Whoville” in Twentieth Century Fox’s animated film “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!” based on the children’s book written by Dr. Seuss. Directed by Jimmy Hayward (“Finding Nemo,” “Monsters, Inc.”), Carell played opposite Jim Carrey, and helped launch the film as an international success earning over $295 million worldwide.

In 2006, as part of an ensemble, he starred in “Little Miss Sunshine,” which earned an Academy Award® nomination for Best Picture and won the SAG Award™ for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.  The black comedy also starred Greg Kinnear and Toni Collette.  Previous film credits for the actor include “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” “Bewitched, and “Dan in Real Life.” Carell’s feature film breakout role in “Bruce Almighty,” opposite Jim Carrey, led to a sequel starring Carell in 2007, “Evan Almighty.”

Carell recently announced the start of his new production company, Carousel Productions. Carell’s endeavors and successes in acting, writing and producing were an organic segue in the creation of Carousel Productions. Born in Massachusetts, Carell now resides in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Nancy Walls (NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”), whom he met while at the Second City Theater Group in Chicago, where both were members.  He is the proud father of a daughter and a son.

TINA FEY (Claire Foster), one of the most visible and popular figures in television today, writes, executive produces and stars in NBC’s three-time Emmy Award-winning comedy series “30 Rock,” a workplace comedy which takes place behind-the-scenes of a live variety show. Her performance as head writer Liz Lemon on the fictional “TGS with Tracy Jordan” has earned Fey an Emmy, two Golden Globes, three SAG Awards, and a People’s Choice Award®. This year alone, “30 Rock” won five Emmy Awards and was nominated for many others.

Prior to creating “30 Rock,” Fey completed nine seasons as head writer, cast member and co-anchor of the “Weekend Update” segment on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” Fey is an Emmy winner and two-time Writers Guild Award winner for her writing on SNL, also receiving an Emmy for her spoof of vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Since her transition to being in front of the camera, Fey has won much acclaim, including being named one of Entertainment Weekly’s Entertainers of the Year, People Magazine’s Most Beautiful People (three times), and one of Time magazine’s Prestigious Time 100.

Other awards include, in 2008, a Producers Guild Award and a Writers Guild Award for Outstanding Comedy Series for “30 Rock.”  She has also won two Gracie Awards and a Made in New York Award and has been nominated for a People’s Choice Award for Choice Comedy Actress and a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

Fey expanded to feature films in spring 2004 as both a screenwriter and an actress opposite Lindsay Lohan in the hit comedy “Mean Girls,” which earned her a nomination for a Writers Guild Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Most recently she starred alongside “Saturday Night Live’s” Amy Poehler in the film “Baby Mama” for Universal Pictures, which exceed the $50 million dollar mark at the U.S. box office. Fey also starred in the Ricky Gervais comedy “The Invention of Lying,” released in 2009.

MARK WAHLBERG (“Holbrooke Grant”) earned Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for his standout performance in Martin Scorsese’s acclaimed drama “The Departed.”

Wahlberg’s remarkable film career began with Penny Marshall’s “Renaissance Man” and “The Basketball Diaries” with Leonardo DiCaprio, followed by a star turn opposite Reese Witherspoon in the thriller “Fear.” He has enjoyed playing diverse characters for visionary filmmakers such as David O. Russell, Tim Burton and Paul Thomas Anderson.

Wahlberg’s breakout role in “Boogie Nights” established him as one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents. He later headlined “Three Kings” and “The Perfect Storm” with George Clooney, and “The Italian Job” with Charlize Theron. He followed those with “I ? Huckabees,” “Four Brothers” and the football biography, “Invincible.” He then appeared in “Shooter,” based on the best-selling novel Point of Impact. Wahlberg reunited with “The Yards” director James Gray and co-star Joaquin Phoenix in “We Own the Night,” which Wahlberg produced.

In 2008, Wahlberg starred in M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Happening,” and in “Max Payne.”  He recently appeared in director Peter Jackson’s adaptation of “The Lovely Bones.”  Due out this year is “The Fighter” for director David O. Russell and “The Other Guys,” with Will Ferrell.

Wahlberg is an executive producer on “The Fighter” and “We Own the Night,” as well as on the HBO series “Entourage” and “In Treatment,” which have received six Golden Globe and three Emmy nominations.

Future projects include the new HBO series, “Boardwalk Empire,” with Martin Scorsese and “How to Make it in America,” along with other feature film projects.  A committed philanthropist, he founded The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation in 2001 to benefit inner city children and teens.

TARAJI P. HENSON (“Detective Arroyo”) earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress portraying Brad Pitt’s mother in David Fincher’s highly acclaimed “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Most recently, she starred in Tyler Perry’s “I Can Do Bad All By Myself, which opened to number one at the box office.

For three years, Henson starred as Raina Washington, the youngest female detective on Lifetime’s “The Division.” She was also a regular on David E. Kelly’s “Boston Legal” and had a recurring role on ABC’s “Eli Stone.”  Henson appeared in featured roles on “ER,” “Strong Medicine,” “CSI,” “House,” among others.

Henson received rave reviews for her role in Focus Features’ “Talk to Me” opposite Don Cheadle. Henson was named Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Feature Film at the 2005 Black Movie Awards and received the Best Actress nod at the 2006 BET Awards for her performance as Shug in the gutsy drama “Hustle & Flow,” produced by Oscar-nominated filmmaker John Singleton. She received two nominations at the 2006 MTV Movie Awards™ including Best Breakthrough Performance.

Upcoming films include “Karate Kid” opposite Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan, which filmed on location in Beijing for Columbia. Henson plays Rainn Wilson’s love interest in the upcoming indie comedy “Peep World,» also starring Sarah Silverman. In the indie drama “Once Fallen,” Henson stars with Ed Harris and Brian Presley. She starred in Sony’s “Not Easily Broken” opposite Morris Chestnut, and opposite Forest Whitaker in “Hurricane Season.” She starred in Tyler Perry’s “The Family That Preys” with Kathy Bates and Alfre Woodard.

Born and raised in Washington, D.C., the Howard University grad has a strong passion for helping disabled and less fortunate children and reveals, “I always stress to kids to have faith in themselves—the greatest recipe for success is self confidence.”

COMMON (Collins), a Grammy Award® winning artist, made his big screen debut as a musical performer in “Dave Chappelle’s Block Party,” in 2006.  In January 2007, he made his acting debut co-starring opposite Jeremy Piven, Ben Affleck, Alicia Keys and Ryan Reynolds in “Smokin’ Aces.”  Since then he’s co-starred opposite Denzel Washington in “American Gangster,” directed by Ridley Scott; David Ayer’s “Street Kings,” starring Keanu Reeves and Forest Whitaker; and  “Terminator Salvation,” directed by McG, starring Christian Bale.

ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
SHAWN LEVY (Director/Producer) is one of the most commercially successful film directors of the past decade. To date, his films have grossed over 1.5 billion dollars worldwide.  Levy has honed his craft, seamlessly weaving comedy and heart into captivating stories that resonate with audiences. His youthfully enthusiastic approach to filmmaking is evident in the storylines and characters he creates – reflecting his joyful intensity for each project at hand.
Levy is currently developing several films to produce through his production company, 21 Laps, which is housed at Twentieth Century Fox. These projects include “The Ten Best Days of My Life” (with Amy Adams), “Neighborhood Watch,” “The Devil You Know” and “How to Talk to Girls” for Fox; “Factracker” for MGM; “The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp” and “The Cutlass Islands” for New Regency, “Men of Magic” for Universal; “The Berenstain Bears” for Walden; and “The Spectacular Now” and “Table 19” for Fox Searchlight.

Currently, Levy is in pre-production on the futuristic father-son boxing drama, “Real Steel,” starring Hugh Jackman, for Steven Spielberg’s Dreamworks.

Levy’s 21 Laps recently produced the 2008 comedy «What Happens in Vegas,» starring Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher, which went on to earn over $200 million worldwide.

Levy both produced and directed the blockbuster “Night at the Museum,” starring Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Ricky Gervais, Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney, which grossed over $580 million worldwide and “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” starring a wide array of today’s most notable comedic talent including Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Hank Azaria, Owen Wilson, Ricky Gervais and Steve Coogan, which grossed over $400 million worldwide.

He directed the successful 2006 comedy, “The Pink Panther,” starring Steve Martin, Kevin Kline, Beyoncé Knowles, and Jean Reno and served as the executive producer of “Pink Panther 2.”  Levy also directed “Cheaper By The Dozen” starring Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Ashton Kutcher and Hilary Duff, which went on to gross more than $200 million worldwide.

In 2002, Levy directed both the hit romantic comedy “Just Married,” starring Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy, which grossed over $100 million and the family comedy “Big Fat Liar,” for Universal Pictures, with Frankie Muniz, Paul Giamatti and Amanda Bynes.

Levy graduated at the age of 20 from the Drama Department of Yale University.  He later studied film in the Masters Film Production Program at USC, where he produced and directed the short film Broken Record.  This film won the Gold Plaque at the Chicago Film Festival, in addition to being selected to screen at the Director’s Guild of America.

JOSH KLAUSNER (Screenwriter) attended Princeton University, where he was involved in the theater community as an actor, playwright and director, and studied theater luminaries Bobby Lewis and Albert Innaurato.  Klausner’s thesis play, “Scratch,” received the Francis LeMoyne Page Prize for Excellence in Theater.  After graduation, Klausner co-created the short “Season of the Lifterbees,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1992, and won the Time Warner Grand Prize at the Aspen Shortsfest and a regional AMPAS Student Academy Award for Best Dramatic Short.

In 1994, Klausner began working as an assistant to the Farrelly Brothers, on their first film, “Dumb & Dumber,” moving on to work as 2nd unit director on the Farrellys’ hit 1998 film, “There’s Something About Mary” and again in 2001’s “Shallow Hal.”

In 2000, Klausner wrote and directed HBO’s “The 4th Floor,” starring William Hurt, Juliette Lewis, Austin Pendleton and Shelley Duvall.  He did additional screenplay work on “Shrek the Third,” and wrote the original screenplay and storyline for DreamWorks

Animation’s upcoming “Shrek Forever After,” to be released later this year.

Klausner is currently working on a number of feature film projects, including a live action adaptation of “Thomas the Tank Engine,” and an adaptation of Adena Hapern’s The Ten Best Days of My Life for Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps, which will star Amy Adams.  He is also collaborating with Sir Paul McCartney on “High in the Clouds,” an upcoming animated feature film based on the former Beatle’s children’s book.

JOE CARACCIOLO, JR. (Executive Producer) began his career in film as a production manager on director Sidney Lumet’s “Running on Empty” and “The Verdict.”

Caracciolo executive produced the hit comedies “Marley & Me” starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, “What Happens in Vegas” starring Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher (for 21 Laps), and “The Devil Wears Prada” starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway. His other executive producing credits include “Just My Luck,” starring Lindsay Lohan, “Hide & Seek,” a psychological thriller starring Robert De Niro and Dakota Fanning, and “Uptown Girls,” a comedic New York fairy tale starring Brittany Murphy and Dakota Fanning.  Additionally, he produced the teen thriller “Swimfan,” directed by John Polson.

Caracciolo’s other feature film credits include James Foley’s “Glengarry Glen   Ross,” Jon Amiel’s “Copycat,” and “The Man Who Knew Too Little,” and writer-director John Waters’ “Serial Mom,” “Pecker,” and “Cecil B. Demented.”

JOSH McLAGLEN (Executive Producer) has worked as an assistant director on dozens of blockbuster films alongside some of Hollywood’s top directors.  He has been 1st AD on “Tango and Cash,” “Alien 3,” James Cameron’s “Titanic,” “The X-Files,” “Cast Away,” “The Polar Express, and “Beowulf,” the latter three for director Robert Zemeckis, and again for Cameron on “Avatar.”

In 2002, McLaglen began wearing a producer’s hat, working his way from associate producer (“The Polar Express”) to co-producer (“Beowulf,” “Avatar”) to executive producer.  In 2006, he began working with director Shawn Levy, as both 1st AD and co-producer on “Night at the Museum,” becoming executive producer for that film’s sequel, “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” as well as for “Date Night” and the upcoming “Real Steel.”

TOM McNULTY (Executive Producer) is the president of production at 21 Laps, a production company based at Twentieth Century Fox in Los Angeles. McNulty joined 21 Laps at its inception with the company’s principal, director Shawn Levy and has set up over a dozen film projects at Fox, Universal, Warner Brothers and New Line.   21 Laps films include “Cheaper By The Dozen 2,” as well as the hit comedy “What Happens In Vegas” starring Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher, “St. Peter” starring Elizabeth Banks and Sam Rockwell, and “The Rocker,” the latter marking their first producing effort together.

Prior to joining Levy, McNulty was the executive vice president of production at Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions for over six years.  There, he oversaw the development of the entire slate of films, notably “Mr. Deeds,” “Anger Management,” “50 First Dates,” “Are We There Yet,” “Click” and “Dickie Roberts Former Child Star.”

Prior to joining Happy Madison, McNulty was an executive at Out Of The Blue Entertainment, where he was an executive on “Big Daddy” and “Deuce Bigalow Male Gigolo.”

McNulty arrived in Hollywood as an actor, appearing in “Boys on the Side” opposite Whoopi Goldberg and “Escape from L.A.” with Kurt Russell.  McNulty grew up on Long Island and attended The Catholic University of America in Washington DC.

DEAN SEMLER, ACS/ASC (Director of Photography) began his career in his native Australia, lensing “Mad Max 2” (aka “The Road Warrior” in North America) in 1982 for George Miller, for which Semler received an Australian Film Institute (AFI) nomination. Semler reteamed with Miller for “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.”  Semler won both the AFI and Australian Cinematographers Society awards for the Aussie thriller “Razorback.”

By the late ‘80s, Semler was serving as director of photography on several U.S. productions, including “Cocktail” with Tom Cruise and Bryan Brown, and the western “Young Guns.”  The following year, he returned to Australia for “Dead Calm,” starring Nicole Kidman and Sam Neill, for which Semler won the AFI award.

After filming the “Young Guns” sequel in 1990, Semler shot Kevin Costner’s “Dances With Wolves,” for which Semler received multiple honors, including an Academy Award and American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Award.  He reteamed with Costner in 1995 for “Waterworld.”

Throughout the ‘90s and into the following decade, Semler shot the comedies “City Slickers,” “Nutty Professor II: The Klumps,” “Bruce Almighty,” and “Get Smart.”  He also filmed Mel Gibson’s epic “Apocalypto.”

Most recently, Semler was director of photography on Roland Emmerich’s “2012,” and on “Secretariat,” starring Diane Lane and Scott Glenn.

DAVID GROPMAN (Production Designer), after working in television and independent films, designed the studio features “Of Mice and Men,” “Waiting to Exhale,” and “The Cider House Rules,” for which he was nominated for an Oscar.

Gropman received an Art Directors Guild award and BAFTA nomination for his design for “Chocolat.”  Gropman worked on John Waters’ “Hairspray,” for which Gropman was nominated for a Satellite Award. The Art Directors Guild once again recognized Gropman with a nomination for period film design for “Doubt,” which takes place in the 1960s.

CHRISTOPHE BECK (Composer) reunites with Shawn Levy, after composing the scores for the Levy-helmed projects “Just Married,” “Cheaper by the Dozen,” “The Pink Panther.  Recently, Beck reteamed with director Chris Columbus on “Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief,” after composing the score for Columbus’ “I Love You, Beth Cooper.”

The Montreal native started piano lessons at age five and was writing music for his first-ever band, Chris and The Cupcakes, before his teen years.  During high school, Beck studied flute, saxophone, trombone and drums, and performed in rock bands.  While studying music at Yale University, Beck had an epiphany, discovering that his talent for composing exceeded that for performing.  He wrote two musicals with his brother Jason (a.k.a. Chilly Gonzales, the Berlin-based hip-hop recording artist), as well as an opera based on The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe

Upon graduation from Yale in 1992, he moved to Los Angeles to attend USC’s prestigious film scoring program, where he studied with Oscar winner Jerry Goldsmith, among others.  Beck was immediately attracted to the creative challenges unique to the marriage of music and picture, and a personal recommendation from the head of the USC Music Department led to his first professional assignment, the Canadian TV series “White Fang.”  Soon thereafter, he was asked to score a new TV series (then in its second season), “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer,” based on the 1992 cult classic film, for which he received the Emmy for Outstanding Music Composition during his three seasons with the show.

The prolific talent has scored 40+ feature films and nearly twenty television shows since 1993.  His film compositions include a wide array of projects and genres including the action films “The Sentinel” and “Elektra,” the comedies “The Hangover,” “Drillbit Taylor,” “What Happens in Vegas,” “Charlie Bartlett,” “Pink Panther 2,” and “Bring It On,” and the dramas “Under the Tuscan Sun,” “Year of the Dog,” “Phoebe in Wonderland” and the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury nominee “The Greatest.”

Beck has also composed scores for “The Seeker: The Dark is Rising,” “School for Scoundrels,” “License to Wed,” “Fred Claus,” “We Are Marshall,” “Confidence,” “Yours, Mine and Ours,” “Taxi,” “A Cinderella Story,” “Saved!,” “Garfield” and its sequel, “Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties” “Cheaper by the Dozen,” “American Wedding,” “Post Grad,” and “All About Steve.”

MARLENE STEWART (Costume Designer) earned her first credits working on music videos, including memorable designs for fashion-forward pop superstar Madonna. Stewart created image-shaping costumes for 11 Madonna videos, including “Vogue,” “Material Girl,” “Like a Prayer” and “Express Yourself.”

Stewart’s film work spans a wide variety of genres, periods and looks.  She has collaborated with an intriguing array of directors, ranging from Alejandro González Iñárritu on “21 Grams” to Oliver Stone on “The Doors” and “JFK” to Michael Mann on “Ali” and Beeban Kidron on “To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar.”

Most recently, Stewart designed the costumes for Ben Stiller’s “Tropic Thunder,” Nancy Meyers’s romantic comedy “The Holiday” and Kimberly Peirce’s drama “Stop-Loss.”

Her credits also include Andy Tennant’s “Hitch,” James Cameron’s “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and “True Lies,” Mary Lambert’s “Siesta,” Joel Schumacher’s “Falling Down,” James L. Brooks’s “I’ll Do Anything,” Curtis Hanson’s “The River Wild,” Joe Pytka’s “Space Jam,” Rob Bowman’s “The X Files,” Tony Scott’s “Enemy of the State,” Dominic Sena’s “Gone in 60 Seconds,” David McNally’s “Coyote Ugly,” and Antoine Fuqua’s “Tears of the Sun.”

After earning a degree in History at the University of California, Berkeley, Stewart studied at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles.  She received the Bob Mackie Award for Design for her student work and began her design career by launching her own women’s clothing line, Covers. A Boston native, Stewart designed the costumes for three Madonna tours as well as tours for Cher, Paula Abdul, and Gloria Estefan. She created music video looks for Janet Jackson, Rod Stewart, Bette Midler, Debbie Harry, Smashing Pumpkins, the Bangles, and the Eurythmics, and was the first recipient of the American Music Awards’ Best Costume Design Award for the video “Material Girl.”