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Streeped in talent: The biggest stars in 'The Giver'

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Hitting theaters next weekend is the much-anticipated film "The Giver." Adapted from a young adult novel of the same name and written by Lois Lowry, the project has been in the works for almost two decades as actor Jeff Bridges. He originally intended to direct the film as a starring vehicle for his father Lloyd Bridges. But as things go in Hollywood, adapting a novel to the big screen can take time and a great deal of patience. Now, Jeff Bridges' dream will finally be realized, but he will be the actor to play the character, The Giver, since his father passed away in 1998. Also playing a dual role as producer for "The Giver," Bridges has helped to assemble some of the biggest and most talented stars to join him in a film that just may be the biggest hit of the summer.

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In "The Giver," Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep plays the role as the Chief Elder that selects Jonas (the young protagonists in the film) to inherit the position of the community's Receiver of Memories. In this, most-honored position in the community, he will become the keeper of ancient memories.

Although Meryl Streep as described herself as "just a working actor" at the last Palm Springs International Film Festival while receiving its Icon Award, we all know that Streep is considered to be the greatest living actress in the business today. Streep has been nominated for 18 Academy Awards and has taken home three Oscars for her work in "Kramer vs. Kramer" (1980), "Sophie's Choice" (1982) and just recently for "The Iron Lady" (2012). Only Katharine Hepburn has won more Oscars in a performing category.

Ms. Streep works for two advocacy groups, Mothers and Others, which she co-founded in 1989 and Women for Women International. She is also is a member of the Board of Trustees for Vassar College and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Along with honors she has received from the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Streep has been honored with a Commandeur de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government, the 2008 honor by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, a Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Film Institute in 2004, the 2010 National Medal of Arts by President Obama and in 2011 she received a Kennedy Center Honor.

Streep has been busy with other films as well. She will soon be seen in Tommy Lee Jones' "The Homesman," Disney's new musical based on the Sondheim Broadway hit "Into the Woods" and will co-star with Carrie Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter in "The Suffragette." Her next film set to start production soon is Diablo Cody's ("Juno") new film titled "Ricki and the Flash."

Playing the pivotal role of The Giver is Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart"). Bridges is part of an acting dynasty that includes his father Lloyd Bridges ("Sea Hunt") and his older brother Beau Bridges ("Masters of Sex") and boasts one of the most successful careers in Hollywood. His stardom came early in his career. At the age of 22, he starred in Peter Bogdanovich's "The Last Picture Show," which also starred newcomer Cybill Shepherd. The role earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He received another nomination by the academy three years later for his performance in Clint Eastwood film "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot." In 1984, he received Academy Award attention for his role in the science fiction drama "Starman" and in 2001 he received his fourth Academy Award nomination for his performance in the political drama "The Contender." Almost a decade later, he finally won an Oscar for heart wrenching performance in "Crazy Heart." And in 2010 he teamed up with the Coen Brothers for a remake of the John Wayne classic "True Grit." This highly successful western landed Bridges his fifth Oscar nomination.

Bridges is also an accomplished musician and photographer. His book of photographs "Pictures: Photograph by Jeff Bridges" was published in 2003.

Alexander Skarsgård and Katie Holmes play the parents to the film's protagonist Jonah. Skarsgård was born in Sweden and quickly became one of the most sought-after talents in Hollywood. He started working in film and Swedish television as a child. He studied theater at Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK and at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. He returned to his home country where he began his adult career. It was on a visit to Los Angeles that Skarsgård received a part in the Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell film "Zoolander."

But Skarsgård didn't hit it big in America until 2008, when he was cast in the HBO miniseries "General Kill." Currently Skarsgård stars opposite Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer in the very popular HBO series "True Blood." In this series he portrays a 1,000-year-old Viking vampire. His recent film credits include "What Maise Knew," "Disconnect," also starring Jason Bateman, and "Hidden."

Katie Holmes may most be remembered as the third wife to actor Tom Cruise, but this actress has an extensive career herself. Her film roles included "Batman Begins," "The Ice Storm," and "Pieces of April."

Holmes also starred opposite Norbert Leo Butz in the Broadway production of "Dead Accounts" and also starred in Arthur Miller's "All My Sons."

Grammy Award-winning musician Taylor Swift is final big star to star in "The Giver." Swift plays the role of Rosemary. Her character is the first child who was designated to be the Receiver of Memory, but after five weeks of training with The Giver she was asked to be released from the community.

When the book was adapted, the filmmakers wanted Rosemary to be able to play the piano. When a production executive saw Taylor at one of her concerts he was certain she would suit the role of Rosemary.

Taylor tells how she was attracted to the project: “I remember that the book deeply affected me when I read it at school. When reading the script I pictured the characters played by these incredible actors, Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep, who'd already signed onto the project. I was thrilled and honored to play Rosemary.”

Although Taylor is only 23 year old, she is a seven-time Grammy winner. She is the youngest Grammy winner to be recognized for Album of the Year. She is also the only female artist in music history to twice have an album hit the one million first-week sales figure. She is not only a performer but writes all of her music as well. Along with her popular recording career she is a fan favorite and has the popularity to pack large venues for her concert dates. She has hosted "Saturday Night Live," has appeared in the film "Valentine's Day" and guest starred on the CBS drama CSI.

"The Giver" will be put into a wide release on Friday, Aug. 15.

This is a "sponsored post," meaning the company who sponsored the article compensated me for writing the article. The opinions I have expressed, however, are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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