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Runaway Jury in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Runaway Jury

Dustin Hoffman • Gene Hackman • John Cusack • Rachel Weisz
DIRECTOR: Gary Fleder

Director Gary Fleder (center) reviews a scene with Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman on the set of Runaway Jury THE CONCEPT:
When a woman’s husband is murdered, she hires an honest lawyer (Hoffman) who brings a civil suit against the gun manufacturer. The gun consortium hires a ruthless jury consultant (Hackman), but unbeknownst to either side, a juror (John Cusack) on the inside is also attempting to manipulate the verdict.

U.S. RELEASE: October 17 2003, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13


DUSTIN HOFFMAN on the fact that despite being great friends with Hackman for over 40 years, this is the first time they’ve worked together on screen:
“Here’s a piece of trivia, the first time we would have worked together would have been The Graduate. Gene was cast as Mr. Robinson, and we were in the third week of rehearsal and Gene and I were in the bathroom at Paramount Studios and he looked at me and said, ‘I’m going to get fired today. I can feel it.’ And he was, and that opened up his career because Warren Beatty put him in Bonnie and Clyde.”

“I think there have been a couple of times when our names came up and Dustin wanted too much money, and I didn’t get to do it (he laughs). But this is a wonderful story, it’s kind of a throw back film that doesn’t rely on a lot of electronic gadgets.”

“When I grew up in Chicago, I use do go and see Dustin’s and Gene’s movies. These are two icons of American films, so they were very inspirational when I was just trying to become an actor. I’m very fortunate, because I’ve gotten to work with some of the people I grew up idolizing.”

“Dustin has a huge body of work behind him and he’s a legend, but he works harder than anybody I’ve ever seen. He cares so deeply about what he’s doing. And you just stand opposite Gene and it seems that he’s doing nothing, it’s so simple what he’s doing - he just has this smoldering power.”

“When Gene and I first spoke about being in this movie, I said, ‘Do you have any thoughts about your character?’ And the first thing he said was, ‘I want to make him human.’ And that’s why he’s such a good actor.”

“I always try to find in these bad guys something that’s human, that makes him even more diabolical. If you see somebody that’s all bad, you can put him in the monster category and forget about him. But if you see somebody who’s really bad, but who is also a father and a grandfather, that’s even worse I think.”

“I didn’t get to do too many scenes with Gene and Dustin. But the times I got to watch them on the set were pretty fun, it was like I had the best seat (in the jury box) in the house.”

“I’ve been a massive fan of John’s since I can remember. He has this unbelievable charm and lightness of touch which is so brilliant for this character, because there he is on the this jury seducing everybody, and nobody suspects he’s up to anything.”

“I think the things Gene and I have in common have never changed over the years, and one of them is that part of you feels like you’re never going to work again. It’s a freak accident we became stars, and there’s a part of us that always feels like we’re a fraud.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © Twentieth Century Fox Pictures
Feature © 2003 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #637, November 2003 cover

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