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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

Matthew Wade sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to talk about his new CD, “Diamond from Coal,” his fourth album with his band, My Silent Bravery.