Samuel L. Jackson, Willem Dafoe in 'XXX 2: State of the Union'

XXX2: The Next Level

Action, Adventure, Thriller | PG | 1 hr 40 m
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Samuel L. Jackson (“Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones”) and Willem Dafoe (“Spider-Man”) join Ice Cube, Scott Speedman and U.S.-based Filipino actor Ramon de Ocampo in Columbia Pictures’ bold, new action-thriller “XXX 2: State of the Union,” the follow-up to the blockbuster franchise film of 2002 (which starred Vin Diesel).

In “XXX 2,” the winds of political change are rumbling through the halls of America’s Capitol as a popular President is being targeted for assassination by a radical splinter group of dissenters deep within the U.S. government. Only two people stand between anarchy and freedom: One of them, Augustus Gibbons (Jackson), has just survived a hit on the National Security Agency's top-secret headquarters and is on the run. The other, a decorated Special Ops soldier, Darius Stone (Cube), sits under close guard in a military prison. Gibbons once again finds himself in need of an outsider and Stone is his man. The new XXX agent must uncover the insurgents from within. It is the nation’s only hope to stop the first coup d'etat in American history.

Jackson returns in the role of Augustus Gibbons, the tough-as-nails NSA operative. He says he enjoyed the thought of having another shot at fleshing out the darker elements of Gibbons’ character. "I'd always envisioned Gibbons as a sort of rebel who happens to be part of the government,” says Jackson. "He believes in the things he's doing but has always been considered an outsider. The fact that he runs this secret organization his own way appealed to me. I guess that's because of my own rebellious nature."

Versatile actor Willem Dafoe was handed the meaty role of U.S. Secretary of Defense George Deckert. Dafoe’s casting as a government power player with a hidden agenda gave him the opportunity to portray a complex character whose allegiances place him in direct opposition to the President he serves.

"My character has a worldview that is more like a politician than a general,” says Dafoe, “and he thinks there’s something terribly wrong with the leadership of the country he loves. Given his background and the resources at his disposal, he does what he can to change the government.” Yet, despite this unorthodox approach to the problem, Deckert doesn’t see himself as a subversive. Quite the contrary, adds Dafoe, “He regards himself as a patriot who believes a regime change is the only solution."

For Ice Cube, the chance to work with actors such as Jackson and Dafoe were added incentives for taking on the project. "Sam is one of my favorite actors and I've followed him throughout his career,” he says. “It was so nice to find out that working with him was a piece of cake—-like we had been doing it forever." As for Dafoe, he adds, “He is one of the best actors out there. Having him in the film was a real plus. He's the clean-up hitter on a very talented squad of players."

Opening on April 27 across the Philippines, “XXX 2: The Next Level” is released by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

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Profiles

Willem Dafoe

William J. Dafoe (born July 22, 1955), known professionally as Willem Dafoe, is an American film, stage, and voice actor, and...  read more »

Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel Leroy Jackson (born December 21, 1948) is an American actor and film producer. He achieved prominence and critical acclaim in the early 19...  read more »

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