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Look out for more coverage of
Code Name:
The Cleaner
in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Code Name:
The Cleaner

Cedric The Entertainer • Lucy Liu • Nicollette Sheridan
DIRECTOR: Les Mayfield

Cedric the Entertainer as Jake and Lucy Liu as Gina THE CONCEPT:
'The Bourne Identity' sppof: Jake (Cedric), a seemingly regular guy, wakes up in a hotel room next to a dead body, with no memory of how he got there or who he is. A beautiful girl named Diane (Sheridan) shows up on the scene claiming to be his wife, and a waitress at the local diner, Gina (Liu), insists she’s his girlfriend, who tells him he’s a maintenance worker for a video game manufacturer, but Jake is convinced he is an undercover agent for the CIA.

U.S. RELEASE: January 5 2007, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13


“What I like to do as a comedian is try and identify with the ‘Everyman.’ Just imagine being a regular worker, a guy who wakes up in the middle of some big government operation. I also liked the idea of play a comedic version of The Bourne Identity, a guy who’s a fish out of water who believes he’s living in the big world of spies and espionage.”

“I’m always looking for a comedy because I think it’s one of the most challenging and fun things to do, and I think doing a comedy with a comedian is always very helpful, because you’ve got a little cushion, if you’re not funny – he’s got to be funny.”

“When I found out that Cedric was attached to this movie, naturally it was a shoo-in; everything that I’ve ever seen him in I’ve found him to be quite brilliant. We did a read through at a hotel with the cast, and when Cedric’s and my scenes came up we just started riffing, playing and adlibbing. There was a chemistry there that I felt could really work, and it ended up being as much fun as I knew it was going to be.”

“Lucy Liu’s name came up early on. I was excited about that choice. From being in the Kill Bill and Charlie’s Angels movies, she has an edge about her and a different kind of sexiness that we thought was necessary to make her believable – someone who would date this guy and at the same time be hiding her true identity.”

LIU on doing the martial arts scenes:
“It’s now ingrained in my body. We hadn’t planned on doing the fight scene with Nichollette, and suddenly they’re like, ‘Let’s do a fight scene together at the end.’ So I helped choreograph a lot of it because I felt very comfortable doing it. I know all of the different moves that I have learned from my other movies, and it just felt like a very natural progression for me.”

“Lucy’s in damn good shape. We got together with the stunt coordinator and basically choreographed the fight. Both of us have a little foundation in martial arts. We tried to choreograph it in a way that looked very authentic and tough. People have been calling it a catfight, which we just don’t like. It’s not a hair-pulling, slapping, nail-breaking fight. This was combinations, throwing punches and dodging kicks. It was the real deal.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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The Cleaner

Images above © New Line Cinema
Feature © 2007 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #679, February 2007 cover

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