iOS app Android app More

The Air I Breathe Premieres Without Whitaker


"Forest is like a reincarnation of Gandhi," Sarah Michelle Gellar crowed to a TV camera of her costar Forest Whitaker at the premiere of The Air I Breathe Sunday night, "And Kevin would sit outside my trailer playing guitar." That would be Kevin Bacon, another costar along with Andy Garcia and Brendan Fraser. Gellar was the first to sign on for the film, and Bacon claimed he got involved because, "I just wanted to play a character named Love."

Shot early last year in Mexico and based on a Chinese proverb, the film consists of four motions telling four overlapping stories of love, happiness, pleasure and sorrow. Whitaker plays a sad sack businessman who turns to gambling, Sarah Michelle Gellar a pop star, Kevin Bacon a surgeon and Brendan Fraser a psychic henchman. Garcia plays a crime boss known as Fingers because of his penchant for cutting off digits one by one when debtors don't pay up, an act shown on screen. Despite Gellar's upbeat descriptions of life on the set, the film is a gritty, dark tale in the manner of Babel.

Before the film, Fraser apologized for his heavy sweating and repeatedly spoke of the importance of "courage" in his life. And when asked to about his look for the night, Garcia, dressed in an ascot, slicked back hair and horn rim glasses, described it simply as "presentable." Gellar, who arrived with husband Freddie Prinze Jr., claimed she had yet to see the film and looked forward to the evening's screening as a chance to do so. But it appeared she didn't get to see quite all of it, as between the red carpet and the Q&A directly following the film, she had already changed outfits.

And while Whitaker missed the premiere, he has made his supporting character the film's main draw since winning his Oscar in February. Of the victory, producer Darlene Caamano admitted. "It was amazing. It felt like such great timing." The film has yet to find distribution.

AirBreathe.jpg
Fraser, Gellar, Garcia, and Bacon at the premiere, from AP

For more HuffPost coverage of the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival, go here.

- Katherine Thomson