Monster's Ball: Jeanne Louise Bullard
EW Staff
October 24, 2001 AT 04:00 AM EDT

On a darker, sexier take on ”The Green Mile,” Thornton (who shows up in three other films this fall) stars as a racist Georgia death-row attendant who falls for the wife (Halle Berry) of his most recent victim. Problem is, neither executioner nor widow knows anything about their deadly connection. (For the sake of authenticity, not to mention maximum creepiness, the movie was shot on location at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, also known as ”The Farm.”) Heath Ledger and Peter Boyle play his son and father, respectively, and suffice it to say, many of the characters (we’re not saying who) don’t make it to the closing credits.

”When I read the script, I didn’t see it coming,” says Berry of the film’s surprise demises. ”Each time I was like, ‘Whoa!’ When [one character] died, I thought surely nobody else was gonna die — two people had died already. And when [another one] died I went, ‘Oh my God! Just shoot yourself in the head!’ But that’s why I loved it.”

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