James Mason
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

James Mason

North by Northwest

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About Him

Living… incognito. Vandamm is trying to get his hands on United States government secrets. Jumping from eloquent villas to chic modern mansions, Vandamm enjoys the best of the late fifties while roaming around the country.

Profession… international spy. Vandamm doesn’t have any allegiances and will sell anything to the highest bidder. This could include the United States government, but they can’t afford him.

Interests… a taste for the finer things in life. Vandamm enjoys art auctions and high design. A patron of the theater, Vandamm is fond of critiquing other spies’ cover stories. He once says, “Has anyone ever told you that you overplay your various roles rather severely, Mr. Kaplan?”

Relationship Status… unattached. One has to be, when thwarting international police. Phillip has a mistress, but views her as wholly disposable.

Challenge… following through with a valuable sale. A mysterious FBI agent, George Kaplan, comes out of the woodwork and throws a wrench in his plan. Kaplan, claiming to be an advertising agent named Roger Thornhill, plays convoluted mind games and slips through Vandamm’s hands multiple times, placing undue stress on Vandamm’s most recent project.

Personality… clever and self-assured, Vandamm enjoys the lifestyle that espionage affords him. Not only does he relish the riches, he loves the opportunity to exercise control over other people. Vandamm injects a certain amount of levity into his illicit proceedings with funny quips like “That wasn’t very sporting, using real bullets.” The world is a game to Phillip Vandamm – one with high stakes that he does not intend to lose.

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