”It’s sort of a contemporary vision of ‘The Sting,”’ says Edward Burns, ”a con movie with a bit of a wink to it.” The actor plays Jake Vig, a grifter (with a heart of gold, natch) who leads a cabal of con artists in a tangled scheme to steal $5 million for a sleazy gangster (Dustin Hoffman). ”It’s a con-man movie that shows the audience the mechanics of what con artists actually do,” offers Paul Giamatti, who plays Gordo, the team’s uptight ”inside man” whose reluctance to use public rest rooms turns out to be a significant plot point. ”The idea is to give people an almost documentary feel for how these guys pull off a scam.” The film’s modest budget – less than $10 million – required some tweaking of the screenplay (Doug Jung’s first), including switching its original New York City setting to Los Angeles. ”But the toughest thing about the script was how much these characters lie to each other and everyone else in the movie,” says Burns, who had to read it three times to grasp all the twists. ”We had to make sure that at no point the script ever lied to the audience. It got really tricky at times.” (April 25)
Posted February 6 2003 — 12:00 AM EST
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