(Scroll Down for Complete Cast and Notes)
AMY ACKER (Caitlin Murphy) Amy starred in 70 episodes in the final 3 years of Joss Whedon's adored series Angel, and the final season of JJ Abrams' Alias. Amy constantly guest-stars in top rated series such as Law and Order, Ghost Whisperer, and Private Practice and has a continuing co-staring role in Whedon's Dollhouse. In addition, Amy has had co-starring roles in pictures such as Steven Spielberg's Catch Me if you Can starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
DANICA MCKELLAR (Jenny Valentine) The Wonder Years' Winnie Cooper, Danica is an iconic role model for women coming of age in the late '80's. Danica has since starred in dozens of television episodes, playing noteworthy characters on such acclaimed series as NYPD Blue, Jack and Bobby and The West Wing . In " 21 And A Wakeup" she plays Jenny Valentine, a nurse with the skill to be a surgeon but the luck to be born when female surgeons were all but unknown.
FAYE DUNAWAY (Major Rose Thorn) Legendary four-time Oscar® and Golden Globe® winner and star of such monumental motion pictures as Chinatown, Network and Bonnie and Clyde, Faye is the béte noire of nurses under her command at the 24th Evac. In her career Faye has appeared in a dozen of the most critically acclaimed and fondly remembered roles of the last thirty years, including Hurry Sundown, Three Days of the Condor and Mommy Dearest.
ANDRE ROYO (Dr Jim West) Before rocketing to fame as Bubbles in the acclaimed HBO series The Wire, respected Cuban actor Andre Royo had a flourishing career in television and features like John Singleton's remake of Shaft, and most recently NBC's Heroes . Playing surgeon Jim West in " 21" is an unusual turn for Andre and will be followed quickly by his role as Chief Coleman in George Lucas's forthcoming film Red Tails about the heroic Tuskegee Airmen.
JC CHASEZ (Dr Tom Drury) In his feature motion picture leading man debut, JC plays heroic surgeon Tom Drury, who risks his life to save a soldier with a live grenade inside him, based on a true incident from the 24th Evac Hospital. Born Joshua Scott Chasez, in 1995 JC, along with pals Justin Timberlake, Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick, and Lance Bass formed N'Sync, quickly shattering records in the US and Europe as the most popular recording group in the world.
TOM SIZEMORE (Jack Breedlau) Golden Globe® Nominee Tom Sizemore plays ruthless CIA station chief Jack Breedlau. Star of his own critically acclaimed NBC drama series Robbery-Homicide, Tom is better known for his big-screen military and urban tough guy roles, starring with Wes Studi in Michael Mann's Heat, Oliver Stone's Vietnam story Born on the Fourth of July, Pearl Harbor, Black Hawk Down, and Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan.
KIEU CHINH (Mamason) The Julia Roberts of Vietnam until the fall of Saigon, Kieu has appeared in numerous films, most famously as the star of Amy Tan's heart-wrenching Joy Luck Club. Since arriving in America, the magnificently talented Kieu Chinh has appeared in dozens of beloved series like Lou Grant, Dynasty, Matt Houston, Roots, Cagney and Lacey, Hotel, Touched by an Angel, Mike Hammer, China Beach, Nash Bridges, Chicago Hope, and MASH.
WES STUDI (Gen Gleason) A Vietnam Vet himself, Wes Studi burst into the public consciousness as the vicious Magua in Michael Mann's Last of the Mohicans, followed by Heat and the title role in Walter Hill's Geronimo. His numerous roles include many about the west such as HBO's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Steven Spielberg's Into the West, the Lonesome Dove sequel Comanche Moon, and author Tony Hillerman's Indian detective Joe Leaphorn on PBS.
ED BEGLEY, JR. (Colonel Ritchie) Son of one of the most cherished character actors of the 20th century, his role as Dr. Victor Ehrlich in the classic drama St. Elsewhere is one of the public's most fondly remembered roles. Since then, Ed has enjoyed extraordinary success in Columbo, Touched by an Angel, Star Trek, Homicide, The Agency, Six Feet Under, Jack and Bobby, NYPD Blue, Arrested Development, Veronica Mars, Boston Legal, and The West Wing.
BEN VEREEN (General Garner) Tony award-winning song and dance man Ben Vereen plays General Garner, whose son is mortally wounded on a Vietnam battlefield and must watch in horror as surgeons choose between saving his son's life or the Vietnamese Colonel who rescued him. The original star of Pippin, Ben's career spans dozens of features and TV shows, and was called by the New York Post "one of the finest actors to ever appear on Broadway."
TIM THOMERSON (Sgt Mike Pulakis) Classic tough guy Tim Thomerson actually began his career as a standup comedian, getting his first major television break on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. A stint in the National Guard and subsequent weapons training allowed Tim to segue into the hard case roles for which he has become world-famous, including two of the most iconic Vietnam war films ever made, Uncommon Valor, and Air America.
LANCE GUEST (Dr Kimber) As the arrogant Dr. Oscar Kimber, Lance is barely recognizable when compared to the teen heartthrob role that launched his career in The Last Star Fighter, the first motion picture in history where all the special effects were performed in a computer. Lance has subsequently enjoyed a 25 year career in both television and theater, appearing in such iconic shows as Dallas, Lou Grant, St Elsewhere, JAG, NYPD Blue and The X-Files.
CAT LY (Song Le) The most famous Vietnamese singer in the U.S., plays
Song Le, who has a secret child with Ill-fated Tom Drury. In addition to
starring with Kieu Chinh in Journey From The Fall, Cat also plays the
lead in this summer's Vietnam drama Owl And The Sparrow
heartbreaking performance helped the film win five Best Picture Awards and was
nominated for the prestigious Independent Spirit Award given the night before
More than a dozen rising and respected actors from the US, England and Vietnam round out the cast of "21 AND A WAKEUP."
TODD CAHOON plays Murphy's love interest Chris Cameron, a cynical journalist who watches America's war effort collapse, then gains few friends in military circles by reporting it. Todd is a rising television star with numerous well-regarded credits in series such as Nip/Tuck, The Closer, Cold Case, CSI New York and Without A Trace.
KRISTYN GREEN plays Skyler Paige, a beautiful 21-year-old nurse from Mississippi at the beginning of her first tour, discovering the horror of an Indochina war half a world away is nothing like her Army recruiter promised. Kristyn has costarred in numerous independent films and enjoys a highly-praised supporting role in USA's The Starter Wife.
T LOPEZ plays stunning Mexican USO singer Xenia Salinas whose humor and sensuality mask the sadness she endures touring with her group in Vietnam. The talented actress and singer is America's new Macarena Girl, and is the first Latina ever signed to mega-label Cash Money Records, where she is recording her brand new album produced by Li'l Wayne.
MARK WARNER, a dashingly handsome English stage and film actor based in London, plays deadly Aussie special forces operative Mark Herrington, hero of Australia's most famous Vietnam battle, The Battle of Long Tan, who escorts Murphy on her perilous journey up the Mekong River into Cambodia to rescue the young Vietnamese girl.
ALISON VASAN, a tall and exotic Los Angeles-based model and actress, plays Sister Adele, a selfless French-Catholic nun from an order maintaining a small orphanage in Cambodia for young Asian refugees whose parents were killed in the war, and who subsequently rescues hundreds of children from the Khymer Rouge killing fields.
NICHOLAS GEORGE, a graduate of both the HB Studios and Neighborhood Playhouse in New York, plays Roy Neal, top neurosurgeon at the 24th Evac Hospital, who was drafted from his Haight-Ashbury home in San Francisco, but loses none of his antiwar zeal while serving his country, saving hundreds of lives throughout Indochina.
KERRIE KEANE plays a Criminal Investigation Division (CID) officer at Long Binh whose unfortunate discovery near the end of the film leads to tragic consequences. Kerrie has costarred in numerous television series, including her own night time serial The Yellow Rose, as well as Matlock, JAG, Criminal Minds, Cold Case, NYPD Blue, The X-Files and dozens of others.
JEAN-PIERRE NGUYEN, LONG NGUYEN, MAI THANH, JAYVEE MAI THE HIEP, and BAO CUONG are counted among the most respected Vietnamese actors in the world, having appeared in literally hundreds of television, film and stage works both in the United States and in their home country of Vietnam. The producers are humbly appreciative that these extraordinary men agreed to appear in our unusual story - one that is so close to their personal lives and experiences, and to their own hearts.
KEVIN PHAN and KRISTIN NGUYEN, who
respectively play twins Quang and Phan, plus three year old LY NGUYEN who plays
little Thach Thi Kim, are Vietnamese-American children making their motion
picture debuts in 21 and a Wakeup, a story of the Indochina their parents lived
through which they now vicariously experience by their appearances in the
shooting the film
21 AND A WAKEUP came to fruition after numerous trips back to Vietnam by ex-Marine Chris McIntyre, the film's writer and director, over a three-year period. After meetings with Ministry of Culture and Information Chief Do Duy Anh, head of the Hanoi Government's Department of Cinema, and Dang Tat Binh, one of Vietnam's most respected directors, McIntyre began collaborating on the film's innumerable production details with line producer Nguyen Quy Phuong to make the very first American film about the Second Indochina War ever allowed to be shot at locations where the war took place.
Over the course of two years after his first visit, McIntyre and Phuong obtained permission from the many provincial officials in towns and hamlets where the film was to be shot. With the help of Southeast Asian Production Services' Tran Vu Diem Kieu, Delta Airlines Nguyen Thi Thuy Anh, the Rex Hotel's Nguyen Dinh Cao Phi, and Hotel Continental's Dao Hoang Lien, the logistics of transporting an American cast along with numerous props, weapons and wardrobe to Vietnam came together.
Vietnam based production designers Du Hai and Tran Muoi, working in conjunction with Thailand and American-based production designer Mona Namh, re-created two complete Vietnamese villages, along with the Hooches, Bars, and Hospital compound of the American Army base at Long Binh, all of which were destroyed after the fall of Saigon.
Director of Photography Steven Shank and gaffer Danny Whitmore traveled from America to work with an all Vietnamese camera and lighting crew to give the film itself a 70's look, as if the picture were not only set in the early 1970s, but filmed then as well. Renowned Vietnamese director Stephan Gauger and Vietnamese assistant director Jenny Trang Le rounded out the key production crew to seamlessly integrate the Vietnamese and American speaking men and women behind the scenes.
With the invaluable help of Sony's Rich Reame and Ian Cook the picture was shot with the new Sony CineAlta PDW EX-1 Camera prior to its wide commercial availability, the first feature film to be made with the camera. The film was also the first feature produced on the EX1 to be edited on the Avid Media Composer, which did not yet support the new MP4 high-definition files generated by the EX1. Several modifications to both the camera and media composer were made based on the experience.
DI color correction was performed by Stephen Nakamura, often considered the finest color correction artist in the industry, who was the colorist on such features as Valkyrie, Quantum of Solace, Body of Lies, The Bourne Ultimatum, Zodiac, Michael Clayton, Spiderman 3, The Departed, The Aviator and Pearl Harbor , to help the film maintain its unique 1970's look through Technicolor Digital Intermediates and Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging and special effects house Industrial Light and Magic.
Working with boutique sound designer Jeff Davis, the Dolby sound mix was performed at George Lucas's Skywalker Ranch, the Academy Award mixing artists behind not only Star Wars and Indiana Jones, but films such as Benjamin Button, Wall-E, Iron Man, There Will Be Blood, Pirates of the Caribbean, Zodiac, Mystic River, Harry Potter, Minority Report, Jurassic Park, Pearl Harbor , and dozens of others.
The Producers are also grateful to The
Rolling Stones, Bette Midler, Sarah McLachlan, Robbie Robertson, Sam Samudio,
and others for permission to use their classic songs in the