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Rebecca De Mornay joins film's killer cast

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As the star of The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, actress Rebecca De Mornay is no stranger to the demands of playing a vengeful psycho.That previous experience may serve her well as the star of Mother's Day, the horror remake by Saw II director Darren Lyn Bousman expected to commence shooting in Winnipeg on Sept. 8.

Buzz from the set is that De Mornay is the last -- but most crucial -- actor to be cast after previously announced stars including Jaime King (Sin City), Alexa Vega (Repo! The Genetic Musical) and Briana Evigan (Sorority Row).

The cast is surprisingly glamorous considering the source material -- a notorious 1980 horror exploitation film of the same name -- was anything but pretty. It was about two grungy hillbillies who kidnap and abuse a trio of women at the behest of their crazy mom.

Scripted by Scott Milam, the remake offers a more pertinent twist on the theme when a psychopathic family, headed by De Mornay's character, seeks to reclaim a house after it has been inhabited by a new owner (King) and her family.

De Mornay, who turns 50 today, may still be best known for the role of the seductive prostitute who rocked Tom Cruise's world in the 1983 comedy Risky Business.

The California-born actress won the MTV movie award for best villain for her work as the psycho nanny in the 1992 thriller The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, and her last screen credit was as the star of Vancouver director Bruce Sweeney's American Venus as yet another unstable mom with a fixation on handguns.

De Mornay has visited Winnipeg before, in the company of her one-time fiancé Leonard Cohen when the singer was on tour.

Bousman directed Saw II, Saw III and Saw IV, three films which grossed $450 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.

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De Mornay can take some comfort from the fact she'll be shooting in relatively warm weather. That was not the case for actress Kate Beckinsale, who spent a couple of weeks in Manitoba in March of 2007, braving the sub-zero temperatures off Lake Manitoba, near Eriksdale, for exterior scenes of the Antarctic-set movie Whiteout.

At a press junket for the film in Los Angeles Friday Beckinsale, 36, acknowledged the shoot got uncomfortable at times, especially on her first day, when, she says, "I wasn't able to speak, at all. My whole throat closed up."

"But the crew were great and, if anything, the cold (provided) a mutual point of contact where everyone complained about it... because actors love complaining."

Beckinsale probably suffered worse in Winnipeg when a dental crisis necessitated a trip to the dentist.

"I got a root canal, which was excellent, by the way. It turned out really well."

Beckinsale brought her daughter Lily for the duration of the Manitoba shoot and says she found Winnipeg especially amenable to kid activities.

"It was cold weather but they have great things to do inside with kids," she says. "So I went to awesome museums and children's theatres."

Whiteout opens on Friday, Sept. 11.

randall.king@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 29, 2009 C5

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About Randall King

In a way, Randall King was born into the entertainment beat.

His dad was Winnipeg musician Jimmy King, a one-time columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press. One of his brothers is a playwright. Another is a singer-songwriter.

Randall has been content to cover the entertainment beat in one capacity or another since 1990.

His beat is film, and the job has placed him in the same room as diverse talents, from Martin Scorsese to Martin Short, from Julie Christie to Julia Styles. He has met three James Bonds (four if you count Woody Allen), and director Russ Meyer once told him: "I like your style."

He really likes his job.

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