The Manchurian Candidate: We've got some exclsuive video interviews with the cast of this Friday's political thriller, The Manchurian Candidate.

Starring Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, Liev Schreiber, Jon Voight, Kimberly Elise, Jeffrey Wright and Ted Levine, the film, apsychological thriller, stars Denzel Washington as Army Major Bennett Marco, a career soldier who grows suspicious about his experience in Desert Storm after Squad Sergeant Raymond Shaw (Schreiber), son of the powerful Senator Eleanor Shaw (Streep), becomes a candidate for Vice President.

CLICK HERE for access to our exclusive video interviews with Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, Jon Voight, Liev Schreiber and director Johnathan Demme.

Below are the highlights...

Denzel Washington

On the film...

That's the good thing about having not seen the old one because I don't know the difference… I just think it's better for me, the way I like to work, to come up with whatever I come up with and not have to feel like, "Oh, I can't this" or "That's what they did," or "That was a really good idea and I'll try to imitate that" or whatever. I just didn't want that to be part of it.

On the theme of the film...

The heart is stronger than anything, the spirit wins out and I think that's what the story is saying. The spirit, the bond, the heart, the feeling of these men are more powerful than anyone who attempts to manipulate them, even if it costs them their lives.

On brain washing...

There are some lines in the film when we talk about, I think one of the doctor talk about, "It's not that complicated anymore, we're all brainwashed." You watch enough television, you think that you need a burger [and] you don't even know why, that's brain washing. If you hear the same thing over and over, you'll start believing it.

On technology...

[Is] the technology…there to do all the things we do in the film? I hope not, I hope not. And I guess if there's a positive in the film is that the human spirit will win out.

Meryl Streep

On what attracted her to this project...

I've admired Jonathan Demme as a director for a long time and I wanted to work with him. And I thought I was going to work with Denzel, but we have one scene where he sort of shoves me into some potted plants, but other than that, we were ships in the night. And Liev Schreiber is an actor I really admire, so I was attracted by the cast and the director, but the script is fantastic.

On her role in the film...

I play a loving mother and things go wrong, horrible wrong but it's not for lack of best intentions.

On her character's aspirations...

This character is lit up by her ambition, and her belief, and her optimism, and her gung-ho, “Say, “yes," can-do feeling about what she feels is right for the country, and that involves a very capable, in fact brilliant candidate, which is her son.

On Liev Schreiber...

Liev is a very accomplished actor. He's extremely bright. And this was a really hard role, I mean, so was mine, but his was really hard because he never knew when he was being controlled by forces other than his own self-generated will. And it was a really interesting thing to see [this] sort of, this self wrestle down this other influence that came from an artificial source. I think he does an amazing job. You can really literally see the two forces at war behind his eyes and I think he's amazing in the part.

On Denzel...

Denzel, as a actor, brings such size and a sort of broken dignity to this role that I think a lot of the work that other actors huff and puff to do, he just sort of walks in with it. It's a great quality, it's star quality.

Leiv Schreiber

On what attracted him to the project...

When I heard that Jonathan Demme was directing this incarnation of it, that was very exciting to me. I've always been a fan of his films. And then as the cast started to take shape - Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, Jon Voight - are pretty good company.

On his character Raymond Shaw...

I play Raymond Shaw, who first and foremost, is the son of Eleanor Shaw and is a candidate for Vice President. He is born with a silver spoon in his mouth and he's had a difficult relationship with his mother. He's been trying to separate, joined the army, and then returning from the army, he goes into a political career driven primarily, again, by his mother.

On Meryl's character Eleanor Shaw...

I think Eleanor Shaw is one of those people who decided when she was born what she was going to do and never let up for a second pursuing that. Regardless of what it entails losing, whether it be family, lives, reputation, none of that ever mattered. Her goal was sort of viciously single-minded.

On the conflict with Denzel's character...

Denzel's character, Captain Marco, has a very different memory or at least a dream life, about what happened in Kuwait. Which, you know, given the circumstances of any campaign can be really incendiary right now for him to be popping up and telling these stories. I think that the general consensus is that he's delusional.

Jonathan Demme

On getting interested in the project...

One day, I heard that there was going to be a remake of "The Manchurian Candidate" and that Denzel Washington was going to star in it and would I be interested in reading the script. I was very, very interested because I had such a phenomenal experience working with Denzel several years ago when we did "Philadelphia" together. I gotta tell you, when you get a screenplay and you're reading it to see what kind of movie it might be, and you have the luxury of picturing Denzel Washington going through the motions that the script describes, it can really heat up the experience. So, I finished the script and said, "Yes, of course, absolutely, I would love to do this!"

On his research for the film...

Research, for me, is very important because I feel like I've got to believe everything we put on screen or else why should any other person believe what we put on screen. A lot of research went into the area of brain manipulation and how can you "brainwash" somebody, or how can you redirect a personality, how can you transform a human being into another human being through modern science. Again, in terms of the older movie, brain washing was a very, very brand new thing when the movie came out, when [Richard] Condon wrote his book.

On Denzel...

I am just in awe of the minimalism that Denzel brings to his portrayal of Ben Marco, coupled with the incredible emotional impact on us, the viewer, of that minimalism. I just applaud what he did.

On Meryl as Eleanor...

Eleanor enters a room that is filled with the most powerful members of her party, who have made a very firm unbreakable decision to go in one direction, and she walks in for about 3 or 4 minutes, changes there minds, turns the entire room around. Watching Meryl design the way she wanted to play that scene, watching her explore in terms of the literal ground that she was covering, just the way she circled the room, where she chose to pause, where she wanted to sit down for a minute, where she wanted to leap up again, it was just one of the most joyful experiences I've ever had making a movie.

On Liev as Raymond...

I met Liev late in the game...He walked through the door and sat down, and I knew this was the guy because I liked him immediately. And it's imperative that our hearts goes out to Raymond and I liked him immediately, my heart went out to him. He's so smart, so sharp. I was fascinated by the way he expressed himself and what he had to say, and by the time he left the room, we went through a couple additional motions to kind of like make it official, but I went, “Oh my God! We found the guy with that right combination of brains, emotional appeal, looks.”

The movie he wanted to make...

The movie I wanted to make was the paranoid thriller. The Denzel Washington unraveling, going crazy even as he tries to regain his own idea of what his sanity is, and the closer the gets to he truth the crazier he seems. I just loved that. For me, first and foremost, its the paranoid thriller.

Brian B.