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January 09, 2004 - Image 42

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-01-09

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Everyone's best friend finally finds love in "Chasing Liber ty. "

GERRI MILLER
Special to the Jewish News

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y

ou've seen him in more
than 50 movies. In count-
less romantic comedies, he's
been the hero's best friend
(Family Man with Nicolas Cage,
Serendipity with John Cusack) — and
a loser in love. Or he's the guy whose
funny bit makes him stand out in an
ensemble like Scary Movie 3.
And he can hold his own in dramat-
ic fare as well, as a doomed helicopter
pilot in Black Hawk Down or a jury
consultant who goes tete a tete with
the likes of Dustin Hoffman in the
legal thriller Runaway Jury.
He's even had the lead role in a tele
vision series, ABC's Cupid, a well
received but short-lived show, with an
interesting take on singledom.
Jeremy Piven works more than most
actors in Hollywood, even if he's not a
household name. But his latest film
may do wonders for his recognition
quotient, not to mention his image as
a romantic leading man: He finally
gets the girl.
Chasing Liberty, opening today in
area theaters, casts Piven as Alan
Weiss, a Secret Service agent whose
sparring relationship with partner
Cynthia Morales (Annabella Sciorra)
turns romantic as they follow their
young charge, the president's daughter
(Mandy Moore), around Europe.
"It certainly
was a real treat
to be able to
get the girl
and to play
this —

almost a romantic lead — in an
ensemble," says Piven. "I knew
Annabella would be brilliant in this
role because she's a real tough, smart
girl, and I knew bouncing off her
would really work. So yeah, I was
overjoyed to get the girl in this one."
The Jewish actor also gets to speak
Hebrew on screen for the first time in
a very funny bit that allowed him to
indulge in a little improvisation. The
scene called for him to recite the
familiar words, "Baruch ata Adonai,
Eloheinu melech hdolcim," but director
Andy Cadiff kept the camera rolling,
'and I didn't hear him yell 'Cut!'
That's when I started breaking out the
hip-hop Hebrew," Piven explains
about the inspired moment.
"You always try to find ways to con-
tribute and heighten the comedy or
your character, and I kind of got lucky-
on that one. I thought [the hip-hop

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Jeremy Piven gets to speak Hebrew on
screen for the first time in "Chasing
Liberty."

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