No Italians Were Harmed in the Making of This Film
Angels & Demons's international flavor
By Kimberley Jones,
11:21AM, Wed. May 13, 2009
Our full review for Angels & Demons will be up tomorrow, but after watching A&D – which isn't exactly a sequel to the filmed-first/written-last The Da Vinci Code but rather a discrete, "further adventures in code-cracking" installment – we were rather struck by its international flavor. Despite a location set almost entirely in Vatican City, very few of A&D's leads or supporting players were portrayed by any actual Italians.
Cases in point**: Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer as an Italian physicist; Swedish Stellan Skarsgård as the head of the Swiss guard; and American actor Dave Pasquesi (of Chicago improv duo TJ and Dave) as a Vatican lawyer doing his best with lines like, "What is word? Formi-dable". (How come in the movies whenever someone says, "How you say..." it's always for a word that translates almost exactly the same in English? Just once I'd like somebody to puzzle over how to translate defenestrate. Or xerophagy.)
But our favorite non-Italian player would be Danish actor Nicolaj Lie Kass, who plays a bespectacled assassin. We didn't recognize him at first – in fact, we lost some time wondering if Dan from Real World: Miami had gotten into acting – but when we put two and two together, we realized he was the awesomely talented and brooding star of Susanne Bier's Open Hearts and Brothers (see clip below).
** Wait, we forgot one: Tom Hanks plays a guy who speaks largely in the ancient language of gibberish.