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The Sum of All Fears in our magazines

THE MOVIE: The Sum of All Fears

Ben Affleck • Morgan Freeman • with James Cromwell
DIRECTOR: Phil Alden Robinson

Morgan Freeman and Ben Affleck THE CONCEPT:
Ben Affleck takes over the role of Jack Ryan (formerly played by Harrison Ford and Alec Baldwin) in the new Tom Clancy thriller. Set in present time, he portrays the CIA Analyst at the start of his career; who is thrust into service to find a nuclear bomb stolen by terrorists and thus to prevent World War III.

U.S. RELEASE: May 31, Nationwide • Rated: PG-13


MORGAN FREEMAN (William Cabot, director of the CIA):
“What drew me to the project was the fact that it was a good part in a big movie that was going to be coming out during the summer. And this was not something that was just going to be fodder for 14-year-olds, this one has a serious subject matter and may get a lot of attention, and I have a part in it – that’s a big draw.”

“Initially, when I heard about the project, I thought, ‘I’m not Harrison Ford, I’m not Alec Baldwin, this is ridiculous.’ I spoke with Alec about it a lot and he was very supportive. Then I called Harrison and spoke with him and he was also very gracious. He said, ‘You’ll be great; knock yourself out.’ And the big one was Tom Clancy. I wouldn’t have done it if he didn’t feel I was the right guy. To get his approval meant a lot to me.”

“It’s a much bigger film than I had ever done before, with a lot of things I’ve never done like stunts, action and special effects. Fortunately, the script was great and that’s 90% of the job.”

“I consider Morgan to be one of the greatest living film actors, if not the greatest. I idolize him and hero worship the guy to the extent where it’s pretty embarrassing. I think if you’re smart and you work with Morgan Freeman, you keep your mouth shut, you listen, you watch and you hope that some small amount of that enormous talent can be absorbed by osmosis. I would do any movie with Morgan – I’d clean the guy’s house.”

MORGAN FREEMAN (laughing at Affleck’s last remark):
“He’s lying! We are all in this as peers, so I’m thrilled to be worthy of that and I’m not stinting in my praise of others. What goes around does come around.”

BEN AFFLECK on the parallels of being a spy and an actor:
“Obviously the stakes are lower being an actor. If I make a mistake all I’ll hear about it is from critics – I won’t get shot. But I think there are similarities. It’s about getting to live many lives in one lifetime and to make lies into truths. There are interesting parallels. I’d like to be a spy in Russia now, but they’d go (in a Russian accent) ‘I know you’re not State Department – you’re Armageddon!’”

PHIL ALDEN ROBINSON on shooting the atomic bomb sequence:
“I knew I didn’t want to do something that was really off-putting, and yet an atomic blast is, by its very nature, pretty upsetting. As I looked at footage of real atomic tests, the most impressive thing was not the flash and the mushroom cloud; it was the shockwave miles away tearing things apart. And I thought, let’s see the shockwave as it affects the main characters that we’ve gotten to know in the movie.”

“I’m very lucky. I live a life where, because I’m in movies, I get invited to places that I otherwise never would have been invited to. I’ve been to NASA, I’ve been on the space shuttle, and to go to the CIA to do research for this film was a life experience. I did sign some autographs while I was there – when a CIA agent says, ‘Give me your autograph,’ you go along with it!”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © 2002 Paramount Pictures.
Feature © 2002 Visual Imagination.
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Film Review, #619, Summer 2002 cover

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Film Review, Special - Superpowered 2002 cover

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