News / Arts & Entertainment

Art Imitates Life in Spy Thriller 'Salt'

Angelina Jolie stars as "Evelyn Salt" in Columbia Pictures' contemporary action thriller SALT.
Angelina Jolie stars as "Evelyn Salt" in Columbia Pictures' contemporary action thriller SALT.

Multimedia

Audio

Angelina Jolie stars in a new fast-paced espionage thriller about a top CIA operative accused of being a 'mole' - a Russian agent planted in America's intelligence network. Here's a look at the action-drama Salt.



"Do you think everyone is who they say they are?"


Evelyn Salt travels the world as an oil company executive. In reality she is a versatile spy, working undercover for the Central Intelligence Agency; but that changes when a Russian defector shows up at her Washington office claiming to have information about a 'mole' poised to commit an assassination.

"The name of the Russian agent is Salt. Evelyn Salt."
"My name is Evelyn Salt."
"Then you are a Russian spy."

In an instant "Salt" goes from trusted colleague to suspected traitor and, using skills honed in trouble spots around the globe, she escapes in a desperate attempt to clear her name.

"Somebody is setting me up."
"Don't make me put you down …I've got to bring you in, Salt. It's over. Face down. There's nowhere to run. Quit now."

The chase is on, pursued by the people who trained her, while  the clock is ticking on the planned assassination.

Angelina Jolie stars as "Evelyn Salt" in Columbia Pictures' contemporary action thriller SALT.
Angelina Jolie stars as "Evelyn Salt" in Columbia Pictures' contemporary action thriller SALT.

Angelina Jolie stars as Salt and calls the role a unique combination of daredevil action and realistic drama.

"I've been so fortunate in my career that I've been able to balance both and audiences have accepted me in dramas," Jolie says,  "and they've let me do big action movies and accepted me there.

"This time in Salt is the first time I've been able to really combine both. It's the first time I've been able to do an action movie based in reality and have a really nice depth of back-story and play with characters and accents and voices and all that …and also just jump of things and play."

The Salt character was originally written for a man (Tom Cruise was supposed to play the role); but Jolie is pleased that the gender change did not turn on the character's sexiness.

"We made a point not to use her sexuality or her femininity in the film in ways that is usually done in films, especially in this kind of genre," explains Jolie.  "I don't think the film is lacking in any way for it. That was a conscious choice we made to not let it become anything other than a really good spy movie with a tough spy …who happens to be a woman."

Chiwetel Ejiofor as "Peabody" in Columbia Pictures' SALT.
Chiwetel Ejiofor as "Peabody" in Columbia Pictures' SALT.

English actor Chewitel Ejiofor plays the counter-intelligence expert chasing after Jolie's Salt.

"What I liked about this character was that he was smart. He always seemed to me to be a good pursuer," Eljiofor says. "There was an in-built drama and tension in somebody who was so determined. It felt like that propels an audience along in the drama as well. With Angelina's character being so good at evading it felt like it needed both elements to push the drama and the tension of it."

Liev Schreiber co-stars as "Salt's" boss at the CIA and he calls the spy movie genre one of his favorites.

Liev Schreiber stars as "Ted Winter" in Columbia Pictures' contemporary action thriller SALT.
Liev Schreiber stars as "Ted Winter" in Columbia Pictures' contemporary action thriller SALT.

"I think they are so compelling to people because I think we all have this incredibly private persona that no one knows or will ever know," Schreiber says. "You're married for 20 years or work at the same place for 20 years and do the same thing every Thursday with your friends and yet you still feel like no one really knows you. I think that characters like Salt appeal to that interior, private place in people. 'You have no idea what I am capable of. You have no idea who I really am.' "

But what about when the real world intersects with the Hollywood version? Star Jolie says the recent arrests of Russian 'sleeper' agents living secret lives in America (exactly what her character is accused of in Salt) adds a twist the filmmakers never expected.

"There are obviously two feelings. One is our relationship with Russia as a country has improved and there are many, many things that are hinging on our relationship becoming more and more close and working together," notes Jolie. "So the political side or citizen in me wants to hope that it doesn't adjust anything relating to that. The side of me that makes a film about this situation thinks "my God, what timing. This is just bizarre." It's just strange. It feels like we're walking in some kind of odd reality."

Salt also features Polish actors Daniel Olbrychski as the mysterious defector who sets the plot in motion and Oleg Krupa as the Russian leader who is the assassin's target. The screenplay is by American writer Kurt Wimmer; and Australian Phillip Noyce directs the adventure that races through locations ranging from North Korea to Washington D.C. and New York City.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

Avery Sunshine is known for her irresistible combination of soul, jazz and gospel influences. She’s traveled the world entertaining audiences with her powerful voice, inspiring lyrics and infectious spirit. She joins host Shawna Renee on "The Soul Lounge" to perform and share the stories behind her new album, "The Sun Room."