November 18, 2010

Chris Brown, a Suave Outlaw in “TAKERS”

Grammy®-nominated recording artist Chris Brown, already the star of the musical hit “Stomp the Yard,” plays Jesse, one of the suave outlaws in Columbia Pictures' new action-thriller “Takers.” A recent No. 1 box-office hit in the U.S., “Takers” also stars Matt Dillon, Jay Hernandez and Hayden Christensen.

In the film, a group of young criminals bankroll their extravagant lifestyle with a series of painstakingly planned bank robberies while a dedicated police officer makes it his personal mission to stop them. After years of meticulously planned heists, the crew is convinced by one of their own to risk it all for one last big score, but pulling off the job of a lifetime with a dogged detective and a vicious rival gang on their tail is a tall order, even for these seasoned pros.

For Chris Brown, “Takers” was a chance to break away from his image as a musical artist who sometimes acts. “This role is different from any of the others I’ve played,” he says. “The earlier movies played to my strengths, which is cool, but it’s also good to be able to use your other abilities.”

The film marks producer Will Packer’s third project with Brown, who was only 19 when the film was shot. “I may not be able to krump like he can, but nobody produces a Chris Brown movie like me,” laughs Packer. “He was in his element in the first two films. In “Stomp the Yard,” he was a kid who was part of a dance crew, which was like breathing for Chris. In “This Christmas,” he was a kid who could sing, which is also not much of a stretch. He dances, runs, jumps, plays basketball. Anything athletic, this kid can do and with boundless energy.”

Which made him perfect, in Packer’s view, for the action genre. “He gets an opportunity to really showcase another side of his talent in this film,” says the producer. “He’s jumping from moving cars, jumping off a building, bouncing off the roof of a taxi and loving every minute of it. There is nothing that he does not believe he can do, so of course he insisted on doing his own stunts.”

That didn’t always sit well with the producer. “One of my responsibilities is to protect our key talent. There definitely were times on set when we wanted to have a trained stunt man, someone who does this for a living every day as opposed to one of our main actors, do it. Chris didn’t always agree. Sometimes he would push back, but it’s great when you have an actor that wants to give a hundred and ten percent.”

Brown’s headlong dash though downtown Los Angeles to escape the police is one of the film’s most thrilling set pieces. Using elements of parkour, a highly athletic, acrobatic sport, Brown surmounts seemingly impossible obstacles without any outside assistance. “I had to jump from one story to the story below on a building by scaling a wall,” he says “It was difficult because I had to grab while I was free-falling. It actually came out great.”

But even more fun than the stunts for Brown was the opportunity to work with so many actors of such high caliber. “I’m a fan of all these people,” he says. “I watched them work while I was growing and wanted to be like them. To be a part of that magic is incredible.”

Opening across the Philippines on Nov. 24, “Takers” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit for trailers, exclusive content and free downloads. Like us at and join our fan contests.

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