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BATTLESHIP (2012)
ABOUT THE CAST
Release Date: May 18, 2012
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Peter Berg
Screenwriter: Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Rihanna
Genre: Action, Adventure
MPAA Rating: PG-13

****

CAST INFO

TAYLOR KITSCH (Hopper) will be seen next in the 2012 film Savages. Directed by Oliver Stone, the film tells the daunting story of a fight against Mexican drug cartels. Kitsch will star alongside the riveting Salma Hayek and Benicio Del Toro, and plays one of the parts in a love triangle that becomes endangered when the threat of the cartels becomes all too personal. Production for this movie began in July 2011.

Kitsch was recently seen on the big screen in Steven Silver's The Bang Bang Club. Starring as Kevin Carter, Kitsch played one of four young photojournalists whose graphic images drew the world's attention to the last stages of apartheid in South Africa. Based on a true story, this gripping drama portrays the stresses, tensions and moral dilemmas of working in situations of extreme conflict. The film premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival and was screened on April 21 at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. Its theatrical release was on the following day, Friday, April 22, 2011.

Director Peter Berg previously directed Kitsch on NBC's critically acclaimed sports drama Friday Night Lights (based on Berg's 2004 feature film), in which Kitsch plays the role of Tim Riggins, a troubled Texas high-school fullback who struggles to find his identity while wrestling with personal demons. The fifth and final season of Friday Night Lights (FNL) premiered on April 15, 2011, and ran throughout the summer season.

Prior to enlisting with Berg for his tour of duty on Battleship, Kitsch starred in the title role of Disney's 2012 live-action film John Carter, a sweeping action­ adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars), which was released on March 9, 2012. Based on the novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs and directed by two-time Academy Award® winner Andrew Stanton (WALL-E, Finding Nemo), Kitsch plays John Carter, who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions among the inhabitants of the planet, which include Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter discovers that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.

During one of FNL's summer hiatuses, the prolific actor filmed the 2008 feature Gospel Hill, alongside Julia Stiles, Danny Glover, Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson. Directed by actor/director Giancarlo Esposito, the story focuses on a bigoted former sheriff of a Southern town and a civil-rights worker whose intersecting lives are still haunted by events that took place decades before.

Kitsch, who grew up in British Columbia, Canada, began his career in 2002, when he moved to New York to study with renowned acting coach Sheila Grey. He landed his first major feature film back on familiar ground (Vancouver) the very next year in David R. Ellis' cult classic Snakes on a Plane, starring Samuel L. Jackson.

His additional feature film credits include Renny Harlin's horror flick The Covenant; Betty Thomas' comedy John Tucker Must Die; and Gavin Hood's 2009 sci-fi action-adventure, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, in which he starred as Gambit alongside Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Ryan Reynolds and his John Carter co­ star, Lynn Collins.

ALEXANDER SKARSGARD (Stone) is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood. He began his act ing career at the age of eight and worked steadily in films and on Swedish television. Skarsgard went on to study theater at the Leeds Metropolitan University in the U.K. and at Marymount Manhattan College in New York. He returned to Sweden and appeared in a number of productions that made him a star in his native country. A visit to Los Angeles landed him a part in the hit comedy Zoolander (2001), where he starred alongside Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell.

Skarsgard returned home to Sweden to continue honing his acting skills with roles in film and theatrical productions, including Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Bloody Wedding. In 2003, he co-wrote and co- directed an award-winning short, Att döda ett barn (To Kill a Child ), which was shown at the Tribeca and Cannes film festivals.

His first big break in the U.S. was with the HBO miniseries Generation Kill (2008). His portrayal of Marine Sgt. Brad "Iceman" Colbert astonished critics and audiences alike. Immediately following that film, Skarsgard was cast in the role of Eric Northman, a 1,000-year-old Viking vampire, on HBO's hit series True Blood (2008), where he currently stars alongside Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer. The show rode to success on quality scripts, great acting and the public's obsession with the vampire genre. True Blood is currently in production on its fifth season.

Skarsgard will next appear in Fox Searchlight's The East (2012), directed by Zal Batmanglij and starring Brit Marling and Ellen Page; What Maisie Knew (2012), directed by David Siegel and Scott McGehee, and starring Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan; and Disconnect (2012), directed by Henry Alex Rubin and starring opposite Paula Patton, Jason Bateman and Andrea Riseborough. His recent film credits also include Lars von Trier's award-winning Melancholia, starring opposite Kirsten Dunst, and Rod Lurie's remake of Straw Dogs. His other films include Géla Babluani's 13, starring Sam Riley, Mickey Rourke and Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson; the independent film Metropia, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival; and the animated film Moomins and the Comet Chase, with his father, actor Stellan Skarsgard.

RIHANNA (Raikes), the 24-year-old Barbados-born beauty, has already earned the coveted title of international super star. From her break­ through multiplatinum album "A Girl Like Me" to her ubiquitous global smash "Umbrella," in just a few short years, Rihanna helped redefine the path of popular music for a new generation.

With the global release of her sixth Island Def Jam studio album, "Talk That Talk," in November 2011, Rihanna took another giant step in her journey to dominating popular music and fashion worldwide. The album's first single, "We Found Love," was a No. 1 hit in some 20 countries. At age 23, Rihanna became the youngest artist in Billboard chart history to earn 11 Hot 100 No. 1 hits.

"Talk That Talk" was a worthy follow-up to Rihanna's previous album, "Loud," which was released in November 2010. The singles "What's My Name?" (featuring Drake), "Only Girl (in the World)" and "S&M" became Rihanna's eighth, ninth and tenth No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits, respectively.

In 2005, Def Jam Recordings released Rihanna's dynamic debut album, "Music of the Sun," which garnered much attention due to the popularity of her highly addictive, dancehall-flavored first single, "Pon de Replay." A year later, she released her platinum-selling second album, "A Girl Like Me," featuring the No. 1 singles "SOS" and "Unfaithful."

With two successful albums under her belt in just two years, Rihanna dropped her multiplatinum third LP, "Good Girl Gone Bad," in 2007. The album's first single, "Umbrella," featuring Jay-Z, went on to win Video of the Year and Monster Single of the Year at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards. Her fourth studio album, "Rated R," was released worldwide in November 2009, and its first single, "Russian Roulette," was her twelfth Billboard Hot 100 career hit.

Rihanna has won six Grammy Awards, five American Music Awards, 18 Billboard Music Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards and six People's Choice Awards, among many others. Outside of the U.S., she holds multiple MOBO Awards, including Best International Act (2007 and 2011), and BRIT Awards for Best International Female Artist (2011 and 2012) from the U.K.

Rihanna's influence is also attested by her social-networking and online stats. She has the most viewed YouTube page of any solo artist, with more than two billion hits. She is the most popular female artist on Facebook, with more than 53 million fans, and has more than 14 million Twitter followers.

Her impressive discography and her growing collection of the music industry's most cherished awards have proven that this is only the beginning for Rihanna. With her beauty, fashion and business senses to match, this international superstar will continue to rock the world for years to come.

After being prodded by friends to look into modeling at age 16, BROOKLYN DECKER (Sam) met with Charlotte- based Evolution Talent Agency, which helped her land her first gig in 2002 as the face of prom dress designer Mauri Simone. At 18, Decker moved to New York City and signed with Marilyn Model Agency, the prestigious agency that also represents Adriana Lima and French First Lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. She quickly rose to stardom within the industry, gracing the pages of magazines, including Vogue, Elle, GQ, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Pop and Teen Vogue.

Decker's big break came in 2006, when she first appeared in the wildly popular SportsIllustrated swimsuit issue. Her sophisticated, all-American look earned her a recurring spot on the 2007, 2008 and 2009 issues. In 2010, Decker cemented her place in pop culture history by appearing on the cover of the magazine and was consequently named Esquire.com's "Sexiest Woman Alive," and received the Spike TV's Guys Choice Hotter Than Hell award.

Last year, Decker starred in her first role in a feature film playing a young school teacher romanced by a plastic surgeon (Adam Sandler). In Columbia Pictures' comedy Just Go With It, Sandler enlists his assistant (Jennifer Aniston) to pretend to be his ex-wife, in order to cover up a careless lie. Decker's performance in the film earned her a Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Breakout: Female.

The young actress will also appear in Lionsgate's What to Expect When You're Expecting, which is scheduled for release in May 2012. Directed by Kirk Jones, Decker will play the role of Skyler in one of the film's interlocking stories, alongside Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez and Anna Kendrick. The perennially perky character, who is married to a much older man, sails through her pregnancy with twins much to the consternation of her peers.

Decker has also appeared in NBC's comedy sitcom pilot Lipshitz Saves the World, which led to guest-starring roles on NBC's Chuck and ABC's Ugly Betty, as well as the USA Network hit Royal Pains.

When she is not working, Decker is an avid sports fan, cheering on her favorite teams, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels and the Carolina Panthers. Inspired by her love of sports and her aunt's personal struggles from being born with a corpus callosum in her brain, Decker became active in the Special Olympics in her hometown of Charlotte in 2004, and is now a global ambassador for the organization.

In April 2009, Decker married professional tennis player Andy Roddick in a private ceremony in Austin. The couple lives in Brooklyn, New York, and Austin, Texas, with her English bulldog, Billie Jean.

One of Japan's most sought-after actors, TADANOBU ASANO (Nagata) made his English- language debut in the big-screen adaptation of the Marvel comic, "Thor." His work in Hollywood continues with the English- language adaptation of the famous Japanese samurai tale, 47 Ronin, co-starring opposite Keanu Reeves.

Born in Yokohama, Japan, Asano made his acting debut as a teenager when his father, an acting agent, arranged his audition on the television program San­ nen B-gumi Kinpachi Sensei 3. At age 16, he gained notice as a love-struck teenager in his motion-picture debut in Joji Matsuoka's 1990 feature Bataashi Kingyo (Swimming Upstream ). Five years later, he parlayed that success in Hirokazu Koreeda's film festival and art-house hit, Maboroshi no Hikari (Illusion ), playing a man who widows his wife and orphans his infant son by inexplicably throwing himself in front of a train. He also won acclaim for his next film, one that many cite as his breakout role, Shinji Aoyama's 1996 crime thriller Helpless.

In the last dozen or so years, Asano has created a unique gallery of edgy and offbeat characters in such films as the samurai epics Gohatto (Taboo ), in 1999, and Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman in 2003; Sergei Bodrov's Mongol, in which he phonetically mastered a Mongolian accent to portray the 12 th century warrior Genghis Khan in the movie that earned an Oscar® nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in 2007; international festival favorites Akarui Mirai (Bright Future ), which screened at the Cannes Film Festival, and Chikyu de Saigo no Futari (Last Life in the Universe ), which screened at the Venice International Film Festival, where he won the Upstream Prize for Best Actor in 2003; and the extreme, ultraviolent Japanese crime film that introduced him to Western audiences, Koroshiya (Ichi the Killer ), in which he played a psychotic gangster.

His other big-screen credits include Yume no Ginga (Labyrinth of Dreams ), Gojoe: Spirit War Chronicle, Electric Dragon 80.000 V and Dead End Run, all for director Sogo Ishii; Snow Prince, in which he reteamed with director Joji Matsuoka; Aitsu; Seishun Dendekedekedeke (The Rocking Horsemen ); Nemuranai Machi: Shinjuku Same; 119; Yonshimai Monogatari; Focus; Acri; Pikunikku (Picnic ); Tokyo Biyori; Samehada Otoko to Momojiri Onna (Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl ); Soseiji (Gemini ); Hakuchi (The Innocent ); Kujaku (Away With Words ), directed by cinematographer Christopher Doyle; Jirai wo Fundara Sayonara (One Step on a Mine, It's All Over ); Distance; Kaza-hana; Mizu no Onna (Woman of Water ); Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman; Cha no Aji (The Taste ofTea ); Tokyo Zombi (Tokyo Zombie ); Ranpo Jigoku (Rampo Noir ); Umoregi (The Buried Forest ); Taga Tameni (Portrait of the Wind ); Naisu no Mori: The First Contact (Funky Forest: The First Contact ); Invisible Waves; Watashi no Guranpa (My Grandpa); Kohi Jiko (Café Lumière); Chichi to Kuraseba (The Face of Jizo); Kabei: Our Mother; Viyon no Tsuma (Villon's Wife), which received an Asian Film Award nomination; Tsurugidake: Ten no Ki (Mt. Tsurugidake); Yume no Mani Mani; Donju (Dumbeast); Ranbo to Taiki (Vengeance Can Wait); Yoi ga Sametara, Uchi ni Kaero (Wandering Home); Korede Iinoda! Eiga Akatsuka Fujio; Sutekina Kanashibari (A Ghost of a Chance); and Gekko no Kamen (Mask of Moonlight).

Asano has garnered several acting awards over the years, including two Best Actor prizes for Picnic and Gojoe: Spirit War Chronicle at the Yokohama Film Festival; a Hochi Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for Gojoe: Spirit War Chronicle; and Most Popular Performer Award (1997) and two Best Supporting Actor awards for director Takeshi Kitano's Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman (2003) and director Yoji Yamada's Kabei: Our Mother (2009) at the Japanese Academy Awards. Asano also received two Japanese Academy Award nominations for Best Actor for director Daisaku Kimura's Mt. Tsurugidake (2009) and director Kichitaro Negishi's Villon's Wife (2009).

In addition to his acting talents, Asano has directed R246 Story and the short films 42 One Dream Rush and Tori. He is also accomplished as a vocalist, guitarist, painter and clothing designer.

GREGORY D. GADSON (Mick), who makes his pro fessional acting debut in Battleship, is an active-duty soldier with nearly 24 years of military service. A United States Military Academy (West Point) graduate, Gadson served in every major global conflict of the past two decades, including Operation Desert Shield/Storm (Kuwait), Operation Joint Forge (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq).

A decorated officer, Gadson was commander of the 2 nd Battalion, 32 nd Field Artillery in Iraq when, on the evening of May 7, 2007, he was severely wounded by an improvised explosive device and lost both legs above the knee. Gadson remains on active-duty service in the military and currently serves as the director of the Army Wounded Warrior Program ( wtc.army.mil/aw2).

His awards include three Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. He is a graduate of Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and holds a master's in information systems from Webster University and a master's degree in policy management from Georgetown University.

In 2008, Gadson was named one of Reader's Digest's Heroes of the Year, and in 2010, he received an NCAA Inspirational Award. In 2008, Gadson was also named honorary co-captain of the NFL's Super Bowl XLVI champion the New York Giants.

LIAM NEESON (Admiral Shane) has become one of the leading international motion-picture actors today. Whether it is his Academy Award®-nominated role of Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg's highly acclaimed Schindler's List (1993), his award-winning portrayal of the legendary Irish Republican hero in Michael Collins (1996), or his role as controversial sex therapist Alfred Kinsey in the critically acclaimed Kinsey (2004), Neeson continues to display an acting range matched by few.

In January 2012, Neeson starred in the box-office hit The Grey. Directed by Joe Carnahan, this action- adventure featured an oil drilling team that struggled to survive after a plane crash that stranded them in the wild of Alaska. Hunting the humans was a pack of wolves that saw them as intruders.

In February 2011, Neeson was seen opposite Diane Kruger and January Jones in Unknown, a psychological thriller about stolen identity. Neeson also co-starred in the Warner Bros. remake of the 1981 film Clash of the Titans, which tells the myth of Perseus and his quest to battle both Medusa and the Kraken monster in order to save the princess Andromeda. A sequel is currently in the works for release in 2012.

In 2010, Neeson appeared in After Life, opposite Christina Ricci. The film involves a young woman caught between life and death and a funeral director who appears to have the gift of transitioning the dead. Additionally, he was seen in the remake of the popular television series The A-Team, alongside Bradley Cooper and Jessica Biel; as an ex-con in Paul Haggis' The Next Three Days; and as the voice of Aslan the Lion in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

The year 2009 saw the debut of the BBC film Five Minutes of Heaven, which received rave reviews at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

In 2008, Neeson starred in Taken, the runaway box- office hit about an ex-soldier trying to track down the Albanian slave masters who have kidnapped his daughter. Neeson also reteamed with Laura Linney in Richard Eyre's The Other Man. In May 2008, he reprised his role as the voice of Aslan in Disney's box-office success The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, the sequel to the 2005 hit The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrob e. That same year, he also returned to the stage at the Lincoln Center Festival in Gate/Beckett, directed by Atom Egoyan.

In 2006, Neeson graced the screen in the classic revenge drama Seraphim Falls, opposite Pierce Brosnan. In 2005, he appeared in Ridley Scott's crusades epic Kingdom of Heaven, and co-starred in Batman Begins, directed by Christopher Nolan.

In 2004, Neeson's portrayal of Alfred Kinsey in Bill Condon's Kinsey, co-starring Laura Linney, garnered him a Best Actor award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Prior to that, Neeson co-starred with Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson and Keira Knightley in the Working Title film Love Actually (2003), written and directed by Richard Curtis.

Neeson returned to Broadway in 2002, co-starring with his friend Laura Linney in Arthur Miller's classic The Crucible. Neeson's performance as John Proctor earned him a Tony Award nomination.

In 2002, he starred opposite Harrison Ford in the true story of Russia's nuclear submarine tragedy K-19: The Widowmaker, and in 2000, he starred opposite Sandra Bullock in the black comedy Gun Shy.

Neeson starred in the box-office phenomenon Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace (1999) in the role of Qui-Gon Jinn, the Master Jedi Knight who bestows his "force"-ful wisdom upon Obi-Wan Kenobi and the young Anakin Skywalker. That same year, he starred opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones in Jan de Bont's The Haunting.

In 1998, he starred as Jean Valjean in the screen adaptation of Victor Hugo's "Les Misérables," co­ starring Geoffrey Rush, Uma Thurman and Claire Danes; and played Oscar Wilde in David Hare's play The Judas Kiss, which opened in London's West End and subsequently on Broadway.

Neeson starred in the title role in Neil Jordan's Michael Collins (1996) for which he received Best Actor honors at the Venice Film Festival, a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture—Drama and London's prestigious Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actor. The film also received the highest honor in Venice, The Golden Lion award.

In 1993, Neeson received worldwide attention for his starring role in the Academy Award®-winning film Schindler's List. In addition to receiving an Academy Award® nomination for Best Actor, he was nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA.

The Irish-born actor had originally sought a career as a teacher after attending Queen's University Belfast, and majoring in physics, computer science and math. Neeson set teaching aside and, in 1976, joined the prestigious Lyric Theatre in Belfast, making his professional acting debut in Joseph Plunkett's The Risen People. After two years with the Lyric, he joined the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, the famed national theater of Ireland. Neeson appeared in the Abbey Theatre Festival's production of Brian Friel's Translations, and a production of Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars, for the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, England, where he received a Best Actor Award.

In 1980, John Boorman spotted him playing Lennie in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and cast him in the epic saga of the Arthurian legend, Excalibur. Following this motion-picture debut, Neeson has appeared in more than 40 films demonstrating a wide range of characters, including Dino De Laurentiis' epic remake of The Bounty (1984), directed by Roger Donaldson and co-starring Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins; the critically acclaimed Lamb (1985), for which he received an Evening Standard Drama Award nomination for his haunting portrayal of a priest tormented by doubts about his faith; Andrei Konchalovsky's Duet for One (1986), co-starring Julie Andrews; as a political terrorist in A Prayer for the Dying (1987), with Mickey Rourke and Bob Hoskins; and a Jesuit priest in Roland Joffé's The Mission (1986), co-starring Robert DeNiro and Jeremy Irons.

Neeson received critical acclaim for starring as a deaf and mute Vietnam veteran, opposite Cher, in Peter Yates' courtroom drama Suspect (1987); as a passionate Irish sculptor, opposite Diane Keaton, in The Good Mother (1988); and as scientist Peyton Westlake, whose disfiguring accident forces him into hiding, in Sam Raimi's fantasy-thriller Darkman (1990).

Neeson next starred in David Leland's gritty contemporary drama Crossing the Line, based on William McIlvanney's acclaimed novel "The Big Man" about an unemployed Scottish miner desperate for money who is thrust into the high-stakes world of bare- knuckle boxing.

In 1992, he starred as a Nazi engineer in David Seltzer's adaptation of Susan Isaacs' best-selling novel "Shining Through," opposite Michael Douglas; and as a disgraced policeman accused of murder in the erotic thriller Under Suspicion.

Neeson then continued to star in a succession of films, most notably playing the sensitive art historian vying for the affections of Mia Farrow and Judy Davis in Woody Allen's controversial Husbands and Wives (1992).

His other credits include Ethan Frome (1993), with Joan Allen; Michael Apted's Nell (1994), starring Jodie Foster and Natasha Richardson; Before andAfter (1996), with Meryl Streep; and Michael Canton-Jones' Rob Roy (1995), co-starring Jessica Lange, in the title role.

Neeson made his Broadway debut in the Roundabout Theatre's 1993 revival of Eugene O'Neill's 1921 drama Anna Christie, co-starring Natasha Richardson, and received a Tony Award nomination for his performance.
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Studio photos, notes and videos © 2012 Universal Pictures