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Look out for more coverage of
Smokin’ Aces in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Smokin’ Aces

THE STARS:
Ryan Reynolds • Jeremy Piven • Alicia Keys • Andy Garcia • Common
DIRECTOR: Joe Carnahan

Jeremy Piven as Buddy "Aces" Israel THE CONCEPT:
Sleazy illusionist, Buddy ‘Aces’ Israel (Piven), has become the unofficial mascot for the Vegas mob, but when he runs afoul of the organization he is taken into protective custody by the FBI and moved to Lake Tahoe, where a legion of assassins, including Georgia Sykes (Keys) and Jack Dupree (Affleck), are headed to put him away.

U.S. RELEASE: January 26 2007, Nationwide • Rated: R

THE COMMENTS:

RYAN REYNOLDS (Agent Richard Messner):
“I’ve never been in a movie that has this unique brand of unblinking violence before. So that’s sort of new to me. But it’s like any other role, you tackle it in the same way and you try to find the truth to it, and I really got caught up with this guy who was trapped in the bureaucracy of the FBI.”

ALICIA KEYS:
“I did not want to play a character that was a reflection of who I am. I also wanted my first film to be something where I was surrounded by an amazing cast; this fit that criteria to the fullest. I wanted to do something that was completely unexpected, totally out of the box, something that would blow people’s minds, the last thing on the planet earth that they would ever think I would do. This was very exciting and took me out of my element and out of my comfort zone completely, and it challenged me in a way that was very rewarding for me.”

JOE CARNAHAN:
“Alicia and Common were really fast learners and really available and open to the process. I was a fan of Alicia’s musically and I went to see her in Oakland, and I remember going backstage and saying to her, ‘Don’t let people put you in some [dumb] romantic comedy. Let’s do something interesting for your first role.’ And she loved the idea of this utter kind of deviation and departure from Alicia Keys, the Grammy winning rock star.”

JEREMY PIVEN:
“I worked with Paul Wilson on all the magic, and he said the most important thing I could do was to actually pull a trick off in front of people, and he was absolutely right. I went with Common and Joe to the Magic Castle, and I got up there and I actually did a trick. It is addicting to see the people’s faces that are completely freaked out by [what you did]. I could see how you could dedicate your life to that.”

REYNOLDS:
“My character is deeply affected emotionally in this story, and is put through the ringer by the end of this adventure. The climax for the character of Messner was the reason to do this movie, to really get inside of that guy and find out what made him tick.”

PIVEN:
“Joe said to me when we met on this role, ‘Do you want to go deep?’ I’ve waited my entire life for that moment. I always knew that I had an emotional instrument and I’m accessible in that way, and a big cry baby to be honest with you. I knew I could tap into that.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Smokin’ Aces site
Images above © Universal Pictures
Feature © 2007 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #679, February 2007 cover

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