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Naming Names

By RD Heldenfels Published: July 27, 2005

In ''Commander In Chief,'' a new series starring Geena Davis as a vice president who suddenly ascends to the nation's top office, Davis plays a character whose last name is Allen. The last name of the dead president in the series is Bridges. Five years ago, ''Commander In Chief'' creator Rod Lurie made a movie called ''The Contender,'' in which Joan Allen played a nominee for vice president and Jeff Bridges played the president.

No coincidence, either.''I've been talking for years to Joan about doing something like this (series),'' Lurie told me after the ''Commander'' press conference. ''When the idea came up, she said she couldn't do it. Lives in New York, all sorts of reasons. So I told her, ''I'm going to make you remember this forever. I'm going to call her Allen.' And then I said, may as well call (the president) Bridges. Connect the two. I think they both happen to have great names.''

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