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Knight and Day

Frank Jenkins

A story of a girl who gets mixed up with a spy trying to clear his name.

Call it a pretty fair showbiz sinecure when you get regular calls from Tom Cruise or his production people offering you roles in his films.  So far, I’ve appeared with Tom in Born On The 4th of July and Mission Impossible doing bit parts that support his starring turns in those films.  It’s a reliable way to get noticed even if your screen time is short as mine typically is.  I was beginning to think my run as one of the Cruise regular players had ended when I didn’t get called to reprise in the sequels to Mission Impossible, so it was a pleasant surprise to hear that I had a part in Knight and Day playing a curmudgeonly old poop that hit it big in the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes and can’t figure out how he could be so lucky.  Nothing particularly new or challenging in that until I read further in the script to discover that said curmudgeon turns out to be the grieving father of Roy Miller, Tom’s character who is an ultra-talented, ultra-covert special agent on the run.  Celia Weston, a talented New York stage and screen actor, plays my wife and Tom’s equally confused mother.

The gag is that both of us think our beloved son is dead, killed in a helicopter crash when he was serving overseas in the military.  Obviously, our son is not dead and has been keeping an electronic eye on dear old Mom and Dad along with using his technical expertise to insure they regularly win enough money to keep them living in comfort.  All that comes together in one scene when we are paid a visit by Tom’s love interest, played by Cameron Diaz, who is trying to find the guy who saved her life on an airplane.  See the film for the rest of the plot development.  It’s too hard to explain here.

Working with James Mangold, a really talented action director, was a treat but I was a little sad to learn I wouldn’t have any scenes with Tom himself since he was overseas shooting another sequence at the time my part was shot up in Boston.  That was mollified on the evening of 8 October when the Producers brought me a cell phone and I heard Tom calling from somewhere in Spain to thank me for appearing in his movie and to wish me Happy Birthday.

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