Jodie Foster

We are now less than three weeks to go until it opens!!

How 9/11 Affected ‘Flightplan’s’ Cast and Story
LOS ANGELES ( – It’s been four years since the horrifying terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 that shook the world and made their mark on the Toronto International Film Festival as well — stranding thousands of visitors when the airports closed and shutting down the film screenings and events. The world has changed since then, with security tightened and paranoia heightened.
At a press event at this year’s festival, the cast of Jodie Foster’s latest film “Flightplan,” explained what they learned about the crew that’s essential to making the flight not only comfortable, but also safe for the passengers. Sean Bean (“Lord of the Rings”) plays the pilot of Alto Airline’s 8474 plane, a monstrous double-decker aircraft, who must decide whether Foster’s character, Kyle Pratt, is merely a distraught mother worried about her missing child or a mentally unstable woman who is a danger to everyone stuck in the air at 30,000 feet.
Less obvious is the responsibility that rests on the shoulders of the flight attendants, whom Erika Christensen says are “not just waitresses in the sky.” The 23-year-old starlet plays the film’s newest stewardess Fiona and reveals that her family has a history with aviation.
“My grandmother was a flight attendant, my mother had a pilot’s license and my grandfather was a pilot. That’s how my grandmother and grandfather met,” says Christensen. “They have a huge responsibility. On the one hand they’re glamorous and serve your food, and on the other hand, they’re nurses and security guards and a bunch of jobs rolled into one. They have a huge responsibility for the people on the plane. So, respect to them.”
Another result of the 9/11 tragedy is the increase in plainclothes air marshals that provide the muscle and firepower to guard the passengers.
“I know that the number of air marshals before 9/11 was in the three digits. And a couple of months after 9/11 it was in the four-digit area,” explains Peter Sarsgaard, who plays a passenger in the film who helps Pratt search for her missing child. “A lot of people were hired very quickly after 9/11. There are a couple of mistakes and problems, but we’re very lucky. It could be a lot worse.”
In researching the film, the “Skeleton Key” actor also says that he can now make an informed guess about who on the flight is an incognito air marshal.
“They sit in first class, and a lot of them are former military,” he says. “Former military, sitting in first class, wearing a blazer, not doing anything, and not talking to anyone is a pretty good sign. Also on a high-risk flight, [like] New York-LA or on a big plane, that’s more likely. Sometimes I’ll look around and I’ll guess.”
Because of the ethnicity of the Sept. 11 terrorists, the filmmakers had to carefully consider the portrayal of the film’s Arab characters that Foster’s character believes are behind her daughter’s disappearance.
Says writer Billy Ray: “I thought it was a better idea to use the imprint of 9/11 … so that we can deal with the notion that we’ve all become sort of racial profilers of necessity — deal with that openly and honestly, but not in a prejudicial way at all.”
“Flightplan” takes to the air beginning Friday, Sept. 23 nationwide.