the action-thriller about a hostage situation at the White House, celebrated its red carpet premiere in Hollywood on Monday, March 18.
Stars Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett and Rick Yune attended the evening screening at ArcLight Cinemas followed by a lively party at Lure nightclub.
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At the after party, Butler, who stars as a disgraced Secret Service agent who is tasked with saving the president after the White House is held hostage, held court in the main entrance way, talking to friends about the film. A security guard tried to gently encourage the group to move their gathering inside, but the group was completely enthralled with Butler’s stories.
Director Antoine Fuqua tells that if it weren’t for Butler, he wouldn’t have gotten involved with the film.
“Gerard had read the script, and he called me,” he says. “I read it and I said, ‘OK, if we can ground it and make it feel more real, let’s do it.’”
The director, whose previous work includes and says he was challenged with a tight schedule, having only six weeks of prep and an accelerated post- production. But neither of those obstacles came anywhere close to the challenge of recreating Washington, D.C., in Shreveport, Louisiana
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Fuqua says he did a great deal of research for FilmDistrict and Millennium’s film, reading books and speaking to professionals about their work, in order to accurately create the situations in the action-thriller.
“I have a lot of friends who work in the White House in Secret Service, so they could sit down and talk to me and help me out,” he says.
Eckhart, who plays the president who is held hostage in the film, tells that it was the opportunity to work with Fuqua that attracted him to the project.
“It’s all up there on the screen. He’s a great director. He could really take this sort of material and give it some heart,” he says.
He reveals that he and Fuqua spoke about real-life presidents who had some of the same qualities that his character should posses, especially John F. Kennedy.
“Just because of that effortless charisma that he had,” says Eckhart.
Eckhart has played these political-types before, taking on the role of Harvey Dent, Gotham’s newly elected District Attorney in and a tobacco lobbyist in
“I fit off-the-rack suits,” he says as his explanation for why he often plays political characters. “I think that’s it. I’m a 40 regular.
opens in theaters on March 22.