The Cast: Xander Berkeley
XANDER BERKELEY (Ryan) is instantly recognizable to fans of films like "Terminator II: Judgment Day", "A Few Good Men," "Air Force One," and "Sid and Nancy." But it was his performance in "Apollo 13" as the unctuous public relations representative that finally brought him critical accolades. "I've know Scott (McGinnis) and Robert (Patrick) for more than 10 years," Berkeley remembers. "I jumped at the chance to star in the first film for their new company."
Berkeley appeared in a number of off-Broadway productions and landed his first feature film role in "Mommie Dearest." Along with his continued work in feature films, Berkeley finds time to work in television, including the Showtime original movie "Roswell" and a guest-starring role in the Emmy-nominated "The X-Files."
In addition to "Within the Rock," Berkeley can be seen in "Shanghai Noon," "Heat," "Leaving Las Vegas," and the smash TV hit "24."
The Cast: Caroline Barclay
CAROLINE BARCLAY (Dr. Dana Shaw) broke through into the public eye last year in the science fiction thriller "Species." At the age of 7, she decided to follow in the footsteps of her mother, a Canadian actress, and at 10 years old she won the coveted Prix Anik award for young Canadian actresses.
After high school, Barclay moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. She immersed herself in acting study and promptly began accumulating an impressive list of credits which include "Roxanne," "Caroline at Midnight," "SFW," "Candyman II," and "Black Day Blue Night."
In one of her acting classes, she met a young actor named Scott McGinnis and seven short years later, they married. McGinnis is one of the producers for "Within the Rock." He and Barclay have worked together twice before in the films "Last Gasp" and "Caroline and Midnight. "
The Cast: Bradford Tatum
BRADFORD TATUM (Cody Harrison) never had any aspirations towards a career in acting. His interest in medicine and physiology combined with his talent as a sculptor seemed to predestine him for the career of his choice-an osteosurgeon bone specialist. However, at the age of 13 he suffered from a terrible stutter and, at the suggestion of a school counselor, he tried out for a part in the school play. The confidence he found there inspired him to pursue the craft after graduating, first in New York and then back in Southern California.
In a very short time he has caught the attention of the film and television industry. He recently completed the feature film "Powder" for Disney and "Down Periscope" for Twentieth Century Fox. On television, he has a recurring role in ABC's "Murder One," in which he plays a deputy district attorney. That was a change of pace for the young actor who has been cast frequently as a tough guy. "It was amazing," Tatum says, "to wear a suit and not have to threaten someone with a blunt instrument."
Tatum continues to pursue his career as a sculptor and currently several of his pieces are on display at the prestigious Desmond Gallery in Hollywood.
The Cast: Barbara Patrick
BARBARA PATRICK (Samantha "Nuke-Em" Rogers) first met director Gary Tunnicliffe when they worked together on Clive Barker's "Lord of Illusions" in which Barbara co-starred and Gary created special effects. Tunnicliffe won't reveal whether he wrote the part of "Nuke-Em" with Barbara in mind, but at the first table reading of the script, she inhabited the character so completely that the other actors asked if the part had been written for her.
"There are a lot of similarities between Nuke-Em and me," Barbara is quick to say. "As women in a field surrounded by men, we both feel the need to be as tough as the guys." Tough comes easy to this woman who wrote and starred in her first play in 6th grade. When she felt that her co-star had not delivered her very best performance, the playwright responded by beating her up. School officials promptly suspended her and a rebel actress was born.
After years of work in feature films (including "Zero Tolerance" and "Body Shot," in which she worked with her husband, Robert Patrick), television ("Civil Wars" and "Summer Fantasies") and on the legitimate stage ("Crimes of the Heart," "Equus," "Follies," and "Erotica"), Barbara is most enthusiastic about being a part of 360 entertainment's debut production. "They had an idea, they brought it to the right people, and BANG--it's off the ground! The best thing about this whole experience has been the confirmation that in Hollywood the doors are always open."
The Cast: Brian Krause
BRIAN KRAUSE (Luke Harrison) starred in "Return to the Blue Lagoon" and is best known to horror fans as the shape-shifting star of Steven King's "Sleepwalkers," but the opportunity to play Luke helps to dispel his fear of being typecast as the archetypal "jock." The chance to play a more adult role reflects his desire to play different kinds of characters, and also the inescapable fact that he's growing up ("I started shaving just a few weeks ago," he says with a laugh).
Although he has a number of television and feature film credits, Krause feels that in some ways "Sleepwalkers" best prepared him for the more difficult parts of "Within the Rock." "We're wearing these full body space suits and helmets all day, it's hot and the air is full of dust and smoke. I think some of the cast wasn't quite expecting this level of discomfort," Krause mused between takes. "But on "Sleepwalkers," I had to undergo hours of special effects make-up for my transformation and wear special contact lenses for hours at a stretch so I had a little better idea of what was in store for us."
Krause is recently married, and he and his wife were expecting their first child in 1996. He says he hopes to do a film before then about having a child "so at least I'll know what to expect."
The Cast: Duane Whitaker
DUANE WHITAKER (Potter) is not the kind of man who sits around waiting for things to happen. This native of Lubbock, Texas, jumps in and makes them happen. When he arrived in Los Angeles in 1981, he promptly began acting, writing, and directing local theater. During this period, he met Barbara Patrick ("Samantha 'Nuke-Em' Rogers") and eventually met her husband, Robert Patrick, when Whitaker directed him in a play.
During this same stint in local theater, Whitaker wrote and starred in an independent feature, "Eddie Presley," that was adapted form his own stage play of the same name. He struck up a friendship with an unknown actor in a smaller role by the name of Quentin Tarantino. When Whitaker happened to run into him at a coffeeshop late one night years later, Tarantino told Whitaker he was perfect for a role in a film Tarantino was about to begin shooting. That movie was the Academy Award winning "Pulp Fiction."
In between acting assignments, Whitaker found time to write, produce, and direct an independent feature of his own, "Together and Alone," a picture he refers to as a "no budget Robert Altman kind of study of Hollywood" which was recently submitted to the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. Whitaker is clearly a man of great ambition. "I want to split the difference between John Cassavetes and John Sayles."
Whitaker is the co-writer of "Texas Blood Money" (the sequel to "From Dusk to Dawn") and co-stars in the film with Robert Patrick.
The Cast: Michael Zelniker
MICHAEL ZELNIKER (Archer) is perhaps best known for his portrayal of trumpeter Red Rodney in Clint Eastwood's award-winning film "Bird," and for his Canadian Academy Award winning performance as Doug Alward in "The Terry Fox Story, "with Robert Duvall.
Zelniker was born and raised in Montreal, where he received a degree from a conservatory theater school. He moved to Toronto where he began compiling extensive theater credits, appearing in more than 25 plays. His work caught the attention of Canadian filmmakers who cast him in several award winning films including "Ticket to Heaven," "Heartaches," and "The Terry Fox Story."
Since moving to Los Angeles, Zelniker has worked both in television ("Murder She Wrote," "In the Heat of the Night," "The Neon Empire") and feature films ("Naked Lunch," "Queen's Logic," "Touch and Go"). Most recently, he has starred in a couple of independent films, "Air Time" and "Night Canvas."
The Cast: Calvin Levels
CALVIN LEVELS (Banton) owes his career to the proximity of the Karamu Community Theater in his hometown of Cleveland. Located just one block from his home, the community theater provided a convenient starting place for an eager 4-year-old to explore the professional world of make believe. The acting bug stayed with him through college at Cleveland State University, and upon graduation it seemed the most logical thing to make the trip to California. Once in Los Angeles, he auditioned for the esteemed acting teacher Lee Strasberg and studied under Strasberg's tutelage for the last five years of the master's life.
It was merely a vacation trip that brought Levels to New York in 1981, but on his first day in the Big Apple he auditioned for and won a role in an off-Broadway production, "Open Admissions," which subsequently moved to Broadway and garnered a number of theater awards for the play and for Levels.
As the conclusion of the run, he moved back to Los Angeles, where he began working steadily in films like "Point of No Return" and "Adventures in Babysitting," and in numerous guest-starring roles on television shows like "The Heat of the Night," "21 Jump Street," "Midnight Caller," and "All My Children."
The Cast: Michael Jay
MICHAEL JAY (The Creature) took his assignment as the Creature very seriously--in fact, he volunteered for what many would consider a thankless task. Spending hours and hours under pounds of latex foam on a dusty, hot sound stage playing a role that is guaranteed to ensure anonymity is not usually the first thing an actor thinks of when envisioning the perfect part. But, for Jay, an aficionado of the science fiction/horror genre, it was a golden opportunity to do what he loves best.
Please don't use the word "monster" when referring to Jay's alter ego either. He has a very decided opinion about that word. "A monster isn't real, it's like something from a little kid's fairy tale. We've created something that you really and truly believe could be alive. It has a whole biology, like the way it curls into a ball, using its armor plating to protect itself like and armadillo," Jay says. And he insists, "That's no monster. That's a Creature."