Screentime Check: Clocking Michael Caine, Lukas Haas and the Rest of Inception's Bit Players

Inception_dicaprioguns_225.jpgIf you saw Inception this weekend -- and judging from the receipts, you probably did -- then you might have awoken this morning wondering what you actually saw. As in: Was that really Michael Caine, or did you blink and miss him? Click ahead as Movieline helps you answer that questions and more -- but be warned: Spoilers abound.

· Dileep Rao as the chemist

The very chatty Rao -- who is now Hollywood's go-to science nerd in blockbuster science-fiction; see also: Avatar -- has all sorts of theories on the ending of Inception, probably because he had so much time to think about it when slowly driving that van off the bridge. Is that thing still falling?

Approximate screen time: 15 minutes.

· Tom Berenger as the trusted associate

Give Christopher Nolan credit for being Tarantino-like in his casting resurrections. Berenger fills the Eric Roberts-in-The Dark Knight spot in Inception as Cillian Murphy's trusted godfather-cum-business adviser. However, if you didn't know it was Tom Berenger, you might have not even realized it was him underneath all that gray hair.

Approximate screen time: 13 minutes.

· Lukas Haas as the Judas

If you were wondering why the trailer for Inception showed Lukas Haas getting dragged away from a helicopter for the past few months, the movie answers your question within the first 15 minutes: He sells Leonardo DiCaprio's Dom Cobb out. Though before that even happens you kinda figure it will: Haas's original "architect" spends his entire length of screen time sweating and looking like a modern-day Peter Lorre.

Approximate screen time: 11 minutes.

· Pete Postlethwaite as the deathbed father

Hey, Academy Award nominee Pete Postlehwaite, what are you doing in Inception? Oh that's right: Just lying in bed waiting to die as Cillian Murphy's mogul father. No joke: It feels like Postlehwaite says more actual words in the trailer for The Town than he does in Inception. To quote his character: Disappointed.

Approximate screen time: 5 minutes.

· Michael Caine as the shady father-in-law

If you are lucky enough to cast Michael Caine in your movie -- as Nolan has done four times in the last decade -- you have to give the man something to do. Not only is he an icon, but he's Michael F'n Caine, one of the truly great actors currently working. So that his entire role in Inception can basically be seen in the trailer for the film was surprising -- and not in a good way. Maybe he'll do more in the sequel...

Approximate screen time: 3 minutes.


  • Majean says:

    In regards to the Lukas Hass character:
    I get that he sold them out, that is stated in the film, but sold them out of what? What did I miss? Were they originally trying to kill the Watanabee character?

  • CiscoMan says:

    What I got was they failed their mission to steal an idea from Saito (Watanabe), and decided to run from the company that hired them. Lukas Haas then gave them up to said company i.e. told the company where Cobb was going to be. But Saito intervened and, in exchange, tasked Cobb and company to do the inception job? (But then, Saito is "paying" Cobb by clearing his murder rap, isn't he?)
    Geeze, I felt pretty certain about it as it unfolded, but now trying to explain it, I'm not really sure.

  • immature says:

    Yes, after Cobb's team failed to perform the Cobol job, Nash sold them out to Cobol and went on the run. Saito caught him and offered him to Cobb while asking Cobb to perform the inception. Cobb refused to kill Nash, so Saito gave Nash up to Cobol.