‘Traffic’ picking up more cast members

Christensen, Grace to join Douglas, Zeta-Jones

With Michael Douglas committed to the part of Ohio judge-turned-drug czar Robert Lewis in “Traffic” and Catherine Zeta-Jones set for the role of pampered mother-turned-drug smuggler Helena Montoya, director Steven Soderberg has selected two little-known actors for major roles.

Erika Christensen, star of last season’s short-lived CBS sitcom “Thanks,” has nabbed the plum part of Robert Lewis’ drug-addicted teenage daughter, Caroline, while Topher Grace (“That ’70s Show”) will portray Seth Abrams, the hard-core weekend substance abuser who draws her into his world of drugs and danger.

Negotiations are ongoing for both actors, as well as for cast members Don Cheadle and Benecio Del Toro.

Although international distribution is firmly in place through Graham King’s Initial Entertainment Group, the domestic distributor has yet to be determined. A major announcement on the project, however, is imminent. Production on “Traffic” is slated to begin April 9.

Harrison Ford briefly committed to Douglas’ role in the drama. That was followed by negotiations to bring in Kevin Costner, which proved fruitless.

Christensen’s previous feature work was in the 1997 Universal comedy “Leave It to Beaver,” in which she played Wally Cleaver’s girlfriend, Karen. She is repped by Innovative Artists and manager Randy James at James/Levy/Jacobson.

Grace, who is repped by the Gersh Agency, had no acting experience aside from school plays before nabbing a lead role in the Fox sitcom “That ’70s Show.” “Traffic” will be his first feature film.

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