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'Argo' Fills Small Roles with Familiar Faces

October 24, 2012

One of the lessons Ben Affleck says he learned on his way to becoming a director is, "Cast every part like it was the lead in the movie.''

Given that Argo — his third time at bat — has more than 120 speaking parts in three locales (Washington, Los Angeles and Tehran) as it tells the true story of how six American diplomats escaped from Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis, that is a tall order.

But one of the pleasures of this cross between a political thriller and a Hollywood satire, which held up well in its second week in theaters on its way to a total of $43 million so far, are the many familiar faces who stand out even in smaller roles.

Affleck headlines as the CIA operative behind the covert operation, along with John Goodman as a makeup artist and Alan Arkin as an old-school gruff producer, both of whom help create the illusion that the six diplomats are a crew for a fake sci-fi flick titled Argo. Below that is an ace backup team of popular actors from TV: Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) as a CIA officer; Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights)as Hamilton Jordan, then-president Jimmy Carter's chief of staff; Clea DuVall (Carnivale) as one of the diplomats; and Victor Garber (Alias) as Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor, who harbored the refugees in his home. Read More