Cast and Crew

Go to:
Christopher McQuarrie | John Ottman | Micheal McDonnell | Kevin Spacey | Chazz Palminteri | Stephen Baldwin | Gabriel Byrne | Suzy Amis | Benicio del Toro | Kevin Pollak | Pete Postlethwaite

Bryan Singer -- Director

Bryan SingerBryan Singer, the thirty-something USC graduate has directed 4 full-length feature films, all of them redifining their particular genres, all of them edgy fare: 1993's Public Access (which shared the Grand Jury prize from Sundance); of course, The Usual Suspects; 1997's Apt Pupil (with Sir Ian McKellen and Brad Renfro, based on the Stephen King novella); and most recently, summer 2000's X-men, a smart thriller, which has already reached blockbuster status.

His production company, Bad Hat Harry Productions is named after a line from one of his favorite movies, 1975's Jaws. He grew up in New Jersey, being childhood friends with Ethan Hawke, and meeting writer Christopher McQuarrie in high school.

As one interesting bit of trivia goes, Singer (who is Jewish) began a "Nazi club" as a child. Not understanding the meaning or significance of the hollocaust, he and his young friends would run around the neighbourhood, having donned swastikas and army boots. His parents, appauled, would later explain to him the difference, giving him his first taste of how the world and the views therein can be twisted to particular whims.

Back to Top

Christopher McQuarrie -- Writer

Christopher McQuarrieMcQuarrie attended high school in New Jersey. While this may not seem overly important, there he did get to know a young man by the name of Bryan Singer. So now you see where it's going eh?

After working abroad, and at a detective agency in New Jersey, McQuarrie joined Singer in co-writing Public Access. They began colaboration again in 1994, when McQuarrie told Singer of a small story he was envisioning of five ex-cons who meet in a police line-up. The rest, as they say (including the Oscar that rocketed him to the A-list) is history. In fact, the role of Verbal Kint was written with Kevin Spacey in mind.

McQuarrie's newest major project is the recently-released The Way of the Gun, his directorial debut, which stars James Caan, Ryan Phillipe and Benicio del Toro.

Back to Top

John Ottman -- Editor, Composer

John OttmanOttman grew up in San Jose, California, and showed great interest in film scores and film itself from a young age. He attended USC film school, where he not only met future-collaborator Bryan Singer, but also won a Student Academy Award for Summer Rain.

Ottman found his calling in editing Singer's Public Access, also having found time to score the film. This led to both The Usual Suspects and Apt Pupil being guided by Ottman's hands twice over.

He has also worked on Incognito, Lake Placid, The Cable Guy, and Snow White: A Tale of Terror. Most recently Ottman's feature directorial debut Urban Legends: The Final Cut was released to theaters, with Ottman editing, scoring, and directing. Quite a feat indeed.

Back to Top

Michael McDonnell -- Producer

McDonnell, the producer of the film, began in film working as a deck hand on a yacht owned by director Tony Bill. He worked as a devellopment executive, and as associate producer of Five Corners starring Jodie Foster. As a director, he made the first feature snowboarding film. He worked as a producer under and umbrella deal with Imagine Entertainment. Growing tired of producing, he worked as a line producer for directors Michael Apted, and Greame Clifford, among others.

Also working in theater, he produced the world premiere of Torch in the Sky, which was written in 1927.

Back to Top

Kevin Spacey

Kevin SpaceyBorn July 26, 1959, in South Orange, New Jersey, as Kevin Spacey Fowler. Spacey grew up in Los Angeles. He has previously won a Tony award (supporting actor, 1991) for Lost in Yonkers. Besides his Oscar for The Usual Suspects, he recently won a Best Actor Oscar for American Beauty, a film many believe has and will rocket him to superstardom.

Some of Spacey's more popular (and more recent) films are: The Negotiator, Seven, LA Confidential, as well as a just-realeased yet excellent film, The Big Kahuna.

Spacey played Verbal, the crippled con man who is central to the story. The weakest of the characters, he proves to be the strongest of all, his secret hidden to all but two men...

Back to Top

Gabriel Byrne

Gabriel ByrneBorn in Dublin in 1950, Byrne had a very...varied lifestyle. For 4 years, he attended seminary in England, that is until being expelled for smoking in a graveyard at 16. He then returned to Ireland, doing all sorts of jobs, most of them leading to dead-ends, just to pay the bills.

He studied for three years, and just when the Byrne family believed their son to get a real job, he decided to become an actor. He toiled in television and plays until he was cast in John Boorman's Excalibur, which exposed him as a serious actor. Later on, he worked in America until Miller's Crossing garnered him accolaids that led to, among others: Little Women, Cool World, Stigmata, and End of Days, playing Satan, no less. Quite a jump, for a former priest-in-training. And an Irish one, at that.

Byrne played Dean Keaton, the criminal who couldn't escape his past. He was the least enthusiastic to pull the heists, and in the end lost everything, including his life, when he looked the devil in the face.

Back to Top

Chazz Palmintery

Chazz PalminteriPalminteri grew up in the Bronx, a youth that led to his break-out into acting. He had been touring clubs and doing bit parts, until he wrote a one-man play, The Bronx Tale, based on his life in the Bronx.

After moving to LA, he began a string of appearances on television, begining with Hill Street Blues. A Bronx Tale was then produced, and went on to become a huge critical hit. Robert DeNiro was in the audience, and with his help, the play was translated to film, with Palminteri in the lead role.

He has also starred in Mulholland Falls, Faithful, Bullets Over Broadway, and recently HurlyBurly, Analyze This, and Stuart Little (voice). Palminteri presently has a deal with MGM to write and direct a bio of rocker Dion.

Palminteri played Agent David Kujan of Customs, a man who did his job well but was not without bias. It was he who was told first-hand the story of the men and Soze by Verbal, using the crippled con artist to find out what he wanted to know. Only in the end, did he find that it was he being used...

Back to Top

Stephen Baldwin

Stephen BaldwinBrother to William, Daniel and Alec, Baldwin attended State University of New York, and modelled for Calvin Klein briefly. He was spotted by an agent when at work in a pizza parlour, and made his debut in 1987's The Prodigious Hickey for PBS. His first film role was in Homeboy one year later. For three years, begining 1989, he starred as Bill Cody (pre-Buffalo Bill) in The Young Riders.

Baldwin has starred in many major films including: Fled, Bio-Dome, 8 Seconds, One Tough Cop, as well as starring as Fred Flintone in early 2000's Viva Rock Vegas.

Baldwin played McManus, the somewhat high-strung entry man. One of the more complex of the five suspects, McManus had been Fensters partner for four years. As well, it was he who knew Redfoot and introduced his friends to the man...

Back to Top

Kevin Pollak

Kevin PollakPollak had always had a gift for comedy and improvisation. According to the tale told, at 13 he began his Bar Mitzvah speech with: "A funny thing happened on the way to the temple..." In fact, by 17, he was working the stand up circuit in his home town, San Francisco, and worked briefly with Dana Carvey before Carvey was hired for Saturday Night Live.

Pollak shined in several films (A Few Good Men among them) before reeling in starring roles. These included Jacob in the Grumpy Old Men movies, Casino, That Thing You Do, The Whole Nine Yards, and End of Days.

Pollak had the roll of Todd Hockney. Hockney was the explosive expert who brought skill and attitude to the projects he worked on. As Verbal said: "...he was the one guy who didn't give a damn about anyone."

Back to Top

Pete Postlethwaite

Pete PostlethwaiteBorn 1945, Warrington, Cheshire, England, Postlethwaite gained noteriety as a respected veteran of the British stage and television. He made his feature film debut in 1984, which has led to international face and name recognition.

His parts often include quirky character-driven dramas (Among Giants), Shakespeare (Romeo + Juliet, Hamlet), and more mainstream fare which he infuses with his powerful screen presence (The Lost World: Jurassic Park).

Postlethwaite played Kobayashi, Keyser Soze's second in command, a lawyer, a sophisticated gentleman, and as much of a con-man as any of the suspects.

Back to Top

Benicio del Toro

Benicio del ToroBorn in Puerto Rico, 1967, to lawyers, del Toro moved to Pensylvania at 13. He attended University of California working towards a business degree when he became hooked on acting. He would go to New York to study in the Circle in the Square Acting School, then grab a scholarship to the Stella Adler Conservatory.

Del Toro moved to LA, where he worked steadily in TV (including Miami Vice) and film until 1995, when cast in The Usual Suspects. He was an unknown at the time, but that was soon to change.

He then followed up his success with several well (and poorly) thought-out film choices including: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Excess Baggage. He is also starred in Christopher McQuarrie's derectorial debut, The Way of the Gun.

Del Toro played Fenster, the quirky criminal who had worked with McManus. Fenster was one of the least-develloped characters, but retained several secrets in his own right.

Back to Top

Suzy Amis

Suzy AmisDubbed "the face of the 80's", Amis was a one-time model, and a graduate of The Actors Studio. Her first feature film debut was in 1985's Fandango, where she was to meet future husband Sam Robards (son of Jason Robards Jr.)

Amis has also starred in Blown Away, Firestorm, and Titanic (1997).

Amis starred as Edie Finnerin, the girlfriend of Dean Keaton. She was a lawyer who was working on a dispostition hearing which happened to entwine her in the crimes. Despite having little screen time, her character was one of the more important to the storyline.

Back to Top

The Screenplay | The Awards | Cast and Crew | Still Gallery | Main Page | Links | My Photography | Email & Feedback