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by Frederick Szebin
While each of the four main characters is crucial to the whole, the most important person in the group is undoubtedly Jack Torrance, whose escalating madness and dependence on the hotel's spirit world drives the story. [Director Mick] Garris laughed about casting for the role for his miniseries, an experience he recalled as, "the most difficult casting process of my life! I've been directing for 11 years, and it was unbelievable.... We went through alot of people who didn't want to be the first line of the review, being compared to Jack Nicholson."
"We met Steve Weber and read him opposite Rebecca DeMornay, and he blew us away! I've never seen Wings to this day, so I went in with the advantage of not having seen him as the goofy brother in a sitcom. I could not sing his praises more highly. I think this is going to surprise people and do a lot of good for him. He's also one of the most wonderful people in the world you could ever ask to work with."
Garris felt his job was to encourage Weber, whose acting background includes stage work and features (Single White Female, Jeffrey), to portray Jack Torrance as Stephen King wrote the role, and not as a televised retread of Nicholson's wild-eyed mad man. "He's a versatile actor who really understands a character from the inside out," Garris added about Weber.
"Steven plays it so well,' said [makeup artist Bill] Corso. "It's a credit to his acting. I hope he becomes a huge movie star after this because he's just brilliant. He makes the whole movie; he's amazing to watch."
It seemed almost appropiate that the very building which inspired one of Stephen King's best works seems to be a little haunted itself. "We had freaked-out cast and crew members almost every day the first week we were there," said Cynthia Garris...."Steve Weber was on the fourth floor, which is supposed to be the real supernatural hot-spot and he moved out of his room after two nights. I don't know just what he heard or saw, I just know that he was scared because he'd heard other people on the floor tell him what happened to them."
"Steve Weber was such a chicken!" [Cynthia Garris] laughed. "Before he moved, Courtland Mead's mom went up and played a prank on him - she started pounding on his walls at two in the morning. The poor guy."
The above is copyright 1997 Cinefantastique
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