The Heart Jumps: Rachel Bilson And Diane Lane Join The Cast
An equally pivotal influence on David Rice is a young woman from the ordinary world -- Millie Harris -- to whom David has been attracted since they were children with dreams of traveling the world together. In David's case, the dream became reality when he discovered his teleportation powers. But Millie has never left her hometown, until David comes back into her life in an unexpected way.
To play Millie, Doug Liman turned to the alluring young actress Rachel Bilson, with whom he first worked when he cast her for the hugely popular show "The O.C." Bilson went on to become widely known as Summer Roberts on that show and, in 2006, was named one of People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People." "I've been a huge admirer of Rachel's talent from the moment I met her," says Liman. "She's a terrific actress and she and Hayden have incredible chemistry."
In addition to the opportunity to reunite with Liman, Bilson was drawn in by the edge-of-your-seat experience of reading the script. "JUMPER was so completely different from anything I had ever read," she says. "I found it really exciting. I loved the characters and the fact that it was full of special effects and action. People don't always think of me for action movies so it was cool to get this chance."
In playing Millie, Bilson was drawn to her feminine strength. "Millie's an extremely capable and independent woman," she explains. "She had a lot of dreams and aspirations, she wanted to travel the world but she never got out of her hometown and she's okay with that. She's not apologetic, she's living her life and she's content. Then, of course, David turns up and invites her to go to Rome . . . and everything changes, for both of them."
A very human inner strength is at the heart of what makes Millie so different from the conventional damsel-in-distress in superhero movies, notes Liman. "David Rice is the one with the superpower. She's just a girl from Ann Arbor. But there comes a moment when it is Millie who must rescue him," he muses.
Hayden Christensen found an instant affinity with Bilson. "Rachel does an amazing job as Millie. She's very beautiful and brings a real sincerity to the part. The role is such an important one because Millie is the only outsider to the Jumping world whom David has contact with, so the audience sees a lot through her eyes," he observes. "She goes from being an outsider to David's world to becoming a very proactive protagonist in the story."
A far more shadowy female figure in the story is that of David's mother, who left him when he was five, yet is intimately connected with his fate. To play Mary Rice, whose surprising past has everything to do with David's future, the filmmakers recruited one of today's most acclaimed screen actresses: Academy Award® nominee Diane Lane. "As Mary, Diane is an integral presence in the film, even when she's not on screen," explains Simon Kinberg. "Mary Rice is the thing David has been running from since he was a child and he's about to discover some things that will help him to finally understand what happened, and that will make his mother much more multi-faceted than he ever believed. We needed someone with the presence to represent all those things to him."
While not wanting to give away the secret revelations of her character, Lane says her attraction to the film was three-fold: "First, I really wanted to work with Doug Liman and second, I wanted to get to work with Hayden as my son because I'm a real fan of his," she says. "But I also think teleportation is a timeless human dream and what I liked most about this story is that it gives shape to that dream."
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