Site Updates
News in Short
Contacts
   
 
   
Soap Box Poets
Viewers Views
Chatroom
Message Board
   
  
   
Starfish
Autographed Items
Events
Fundraisers
   
 
   
Terms of Use
Disclaimer
 
 
   
ALIAS
'PHASE ONE'

2003

poster

TV Miniseries

Director:

Jack Bender

Language:
English

Running Time: 60' ea.

Main Cast:
Jennifer Garner - Sydney Bristow
Victor Garber - Jack Bristow
Rutger Hauer - Anthony Geiger
Lena Olin - Irina Derevko
Ron Rifkin - Arvin Sloane
Michael Vartan - Michael Vaughn
Bradley Cooper - Will Tippin
Carl Lumbly - Marcus Dixon
Kevin Weisman - Marshall Flinkman
Merrin Dungey - Francie Calfo
David Anders - Mr Sark
Terry O'Quinn - Kendall
Greg Grunberg - Weiss
Elizabeth Penn Payne - Techie #1
Ira Heiden - Techie #2

Screenplay:
J.J. Abrams

Plot:
In a comfortably appointed 747, Sydney poses as a call girl and models lingerie for an unnamed fat man. She gets close to him, surprising him with a choke hold and demands to know the location of Server 47. He tells her, and she knocks him and downloads data from the terminal. She searches the plane for a parachute and fends off a guard — but the fat man appears brandishing a gun and fires at Syd …

At the CIA, Vaughn pulls Sydney aside and says that it isn't working between them because he's going crazy with passion and worry for her. She agrees but they rationalize their chemistry is helping bring down SD-6. Weiss interrupts and they end the conversation. Kendall reveals that Sloane is MIA and has been replaced as head of SD-6 by Anthony Geiger. Syd and Jack's new mission is to get close to him.

At SD-6, Sydney introduces herself to Geiger, professes loyalty and, under his questioning, tells him that she felt it was her fault that Sloane had Danny killed. Later Sark tells her that he's nervous about Geiger, who has looked into Sloane's secret files on Server 47. Syd then tells Jack that this mysterious server could have crucial information about the Alliance that could make them vulnerable.

Vaughn locates the Server 47 — it's on a continuously airborne 747 that lands only to refuel and is guarded by a man named Macor (the fat man).As payment for spending his life on the jet, he's supplied with an unlimited number of call girls. Syd's mission is to gain access to the server in the main cabin by playing a high-priced hooker.

Vaughn and Weiss observe Sydney's conduct via a monitor from a cargo plane flying at a lower altitude. They watch with disbelief as Macor's shot misses and as Syd picks up a gun and fires — puncturing the plane's hull and depressurizing the cabin. Macor is sucked out and drawn into the jet engine. Struggling against the vacuum, Sydney manages to find a parachute and jumps to safety.

In L.A., Will tells Francie that he must quit her restaurant because he got a job as a travel writer. She's genuinely happy for him and an innocent kiss turns romantic. Later on, they tell Sydney.

Kendall is reluctant to move on the info downloaded from Server 47 because the risk is too great if it's incorrect. Sydney suggests they verify the security code at the SD-6 computers with what's in the new info. If it matches, then the info is accurate.

Meanwhile, Geiger notices a strange email that Sloane had written and runs a program that tracks keystrokes. The email reveals that Sloane knew that Jack and Syd were double agents working against SD-6!Geiger confronts Jack. Jack calls Syd and tells her to come down to SD-6, but to take surface streets because the highway is jammed — a coded phrase meaning he's been compromised. Geiger tortures Jack with electrocution, hoping to find out who Jack's working for.

Sydney is frantic because she can't help Jack and knows Kendall will think a rescue is too risky. She tells Will and Francie to leave town because someone is looking for her. She then meets with Dixon and reveals to him the truth about SD-6 and her role as a double-agent. She asks him to hack into SD-6's innermost server and make visible to the CIA the code that will verify their info. Dixon is dubious but acquiesces. When the CIA receives the code, Kendall orders a global assault on all Alliance and SD cells.

A CIA team overruns SD-6. Sydney finds Jack just in time and shoots Geiger. As the CIA gains control of the facility, Sydney and Vaughn see each other amidst the carnage and kiss passionately!

Later Sark, who has escaped unharmed, phones Sloane and informs him that Phase One is complete. A pleased Sloane asks him to check in on their "new asset." Sark phones … Francie. But it's a double. She's murdered the real Francie, who lies on the floor with a bullet to her head!

Rutger's Notes:
After finishing the shooting on ALIAS and it coming out so quickly I'll spend a few word on the process.
I had a blast. And blasts of this kind will keep an actor as myself going. For quite a while. Just instant and mutual connections. Yumm. Jennifer Garner and Victor Garber were great partners to spar with and I think I got something interesting done. Jack Bender directed. Knows his stuff. He's good and most helpful. After I was done J J Abram seemed happy and pleased. And although "Geiger" gets shot the producer may want to bring me back.

I'm gradually becoming an expert in the craft of "dying". On screen that is Quite an unusual achievement. It's funny.

I think I can be happy with the "work" results but did feel the claustrophobics of TV still very much lounging nearby and it's always about size, scale, emphasis, and the ever so present sensitive pressure points of
habit and tradition. It tends to have many different faces. TV attitude. It's "hold" on all material and immaterial matters. But the big difference basically is "Scope".

I adore working under a tight schedule. It forces decisions. And I can't think of any other way of working than to go by instinct, guts and being flexible. Those are the best and the hardest sources to listen to. Out of all things getting in the way I tend to always meet myself being in the way most of all. Preconception, hopes, willpower, anticipation, etc.

I think - while working out our moves - we had one moment where we extended ourselves beyond the expectable or logic. Nice. Hope I'm right. Not that big deal but great for it to happen.

While looking at various episodes of the series I felt that there was plenty of room for "sense" and more "fatherhood". Mostly in the scene between "Geiger" and "Sydney". The characters all spend so much time in that (cold&tough) environment so that it would be expected for any of them to be ready to spend some "warmer" time at a given moment. Trust takes a hell of a lot longer to build. But just one moment. It was written in the script that Syd breaks down in tears suddenly. I explored many venues to see where GEIGER was part of that. In many films characters break down at a given moment. But it is always the right moment. I like it much better - especially for those tough characters - that they break when they're not supposed to. With the
father/daughter relationship on such icy ground as well, I felt much opportunities for a little "spread" of vulnerability. Never hurts. It would all depend on Syd/Jenn's reponse. And I eliminated the hidden "bad boy" warnings in the text as the story would reveal itself clearly enough. As long as the audience could follow what's going on now.

Sitting at home studying I basically felt I had 3 different moves/strokes.

1. Trying to mildly charm the young female character "SYDNEY".
2. Mildly wet "JACK" 's appetite by considering them both for a     promotion.
3. Then instead, torture him - especially mentally - for a long time to     see if he would somehow break.

On the day as we approached the scene with Sydney I felt she was unavailable/not able - for reasons which I have no doubt were solid - to reach this "fatherhoodish" plateau. Of course the actors "have been living" with these characters for so long now. It meant I had to readjust to a little less leverage to get the audience on the
right (the wrong one of course) leg. I'm good at surprising. Still just a trick. The trick basically being to diffuse the focus and let the energy flow organically in the opposite direction (or something) of where it needs to go
later, etc. GEIGER's approach had to be friendly and casual as hell in order to still find a nicer playground. Not too friendly. Alarmbells going off. That's what the director wanted. I was grinding through that part. Too friendly is such a giveaway. In the earlier short Interview I left in the Aliasboards.com I mentioned I had no idea who GEIGER is/was. LOL. Guess what. I like that. And it's true. What I gave him though was a certain "je ne sais quoi" which is exactly that. Just something. But for sure. Patience. A terrible patience. A very confident and time-consuming patience. Based on a certain "je ne sais quoi" confidence that he will get to what he needs to know. So although there's just a little chat with SYD he'll have many more. Not necessarily to rub things the wrong way just then and there. Yet, asking about her dead lover is - to put it mildly - a blunt move. The opening line was a command. "Tell me about Danny Hecht". In a few takes I putzed around with it. Had a file on him with his name on it in my hands. Tried: "What can you tell me about Danny?". Just having a little fun. Less pressure. Anyway. You get my drift. We worked the scene nice, long and hard. Jennifer is a real tiger. The connection and energy there was quite strong between us. I felt many similarities. Not to mention, I enjoyed working with her and director Jack Bender immensely. The atmosphere on the set was really friendly and full of surprising craft. Love it. Unusual to find so much of it in one place. I walked away from the set that day feeling elevated. Felt we did reach a plateau. But a different one. Probably on the level of power. Will evaluate after I see the episode.

***

Luring in JACK was my next scene a few days later. In a short scene GEIGER invites Jack and Syd to sit down with him to talk about some things and a promotion. GEIGER asks Jack to call his daughter into the meeting.

I get to meet Victor in the make-up trailer. He's warm, polite, reserved, kind and witty. Like him. I have been thinking what more to do in the office on the set. It is not too exciting but I find out soon enough that the scene will be shot somewhere else. I take out the badguy hint in the text and add a few small touches to even more hide the red herring. There is a visual warning with more impact. All doors will automatically close. But it can play as if creating more privacy. Jack Bender is still trying to emphasize danger. I resist and do not play too nice again. Works fine, even better I dare say.
Today the crew and atmosphere is slightly pressured and fatigued. We chew our way into a different location. The conversation room is a place with little light. And many stainless steel "tools" to add to the conversation. It has been used before in the series. Grey and dark and nasty. My interpretation will work very well in there. Quiet. Simple. Slow. Time is not a problem here. Well, not for GEIGER that is. He will get answers if needed. We struggle our way through but we do well.

After I'm done shooting all my scenes I get a nice and warm applause from the crew.
And after viewing the work on Superbowl day I feel I made a nice mark. I am very curious to see if they will bring me back. It can easily be done.

Set Shots:


Back to the Filmography List


 
Visitors since October 29, 1999

 
   
I've Seen Films
Festival
 
   
 
 
   
Rutger Hauer Film Factory
   
   
 
  
   
Photo Galleries
Hot Shots
 
   
 
 
   
TV Interviews,
Documentaries
   
   
 
  ©Rutger Hauer
 1999-2014