Mombasa, Kenya, Africa
|Behind the Scenes|
|“||You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.||”|
Zak Eames is an essential part of the secrecy and deceit within the dream world. Eames can project the image of anyone, essentially forging an identity as a literal physical manifestation. Combined with his ability to mirror other people's mannerisms and behaviors, he is a very capable doppelganger. This skill comes in handy, and can help convince another person that whomever team needs him to be in order to aid their deception. He frequently uses a Heckler and Koch P2000 throughout the first level defending the taxi and city warehouse from projections, a South African MGL grenade launcher and a SIG SG 552 assault rifle with custom arctic camouflage while planting charges in the hospital. He is portrayed by actor Tom Hardy. He is also seen holding a Beretta 92FS Inox in the poster. Eames' totem is a poker chip.
Eames' personality is much akin to that of James Bond, coming off as quite the suave, smooth talking flirt with an English accent. He is also somewhat of a prankster and has a penchant for dry humor, evidenced by his constant oneupmanship and incessant teasing of Arthur. Aside from his friendly rivalry with Arthur, he is somewhat of a loner, choosing to work apart from the rest of the group for the majority of the mission. Unlike Arthur, who seems to enjoy the technical aspects of the dream world, Eames appreciates the creative capabilities it allows. He also loves to find out what people keep locked up in the innermost confines of their mind.
During the events of Inception, Dom Cobb recruits Eames as the team's forger, sensing the need for thief with Eames' specific talents and capabilities. After meeting Cobb in Mombassa, Eames agrees to the request and introduces Cobb to Yusuf, a chemist who can tailor compounds to the particular needs required to accomplish an inception. In preparation for the job, Eames closely observes the behaviors and mannerisms of Peter Browning, the godfather of Robert Fischer, the mark for the inception job. In imitating Browning, the Inception team intends for Eames to gradually persuade Fischer into believing his father, Maurice Fischer, had intended for Robert to dissolve his father's company and build something for himself.
During the first level of the dream within the dream within the dream, Eames and his colleagues are furious to learn that because of the level of sedation required to stabilize the multiple dream levels that death, which would ordinarily wake the dreamer up, will actually cause them to fall into Limbo, a dangerous location where a dream has no limitations including the perception of what is reality. However, in order to avoid Limbo, the team is forced to finish the job as quickly as they can. Eames, as Browning, successfully suggests to Fischer in the first level that his father had wanted Fischer to create something for himself.
In the subsequent level, a hotel dreamed by Arthur, Eames transforms into an attractive woman to serve as a distraction to Fischer so that Cobb can pull off a risky tactic of revealing to Fischer that he is dreaming, without turning Fischer's subconscious against them. During the next level of the job, a snowy mountain in a level dreamed by Eames, the forger is tasked with distract Fischer's militarized subconscious while the rest of the team guides Fischer to a hospital where the inception should take place. Though the attempt appears to have failed when Cobb's subconscious projection of his wife, Mal kills Fischer, Ariadne suggests that she and Cobb go to Limbo to find Fischer and send him back to the third level, where Eames must resuscitate him so that Fischer can enter a strongroom where his subconscious will reveal if he has accepted the planted idea. Ariadne's plan succeeds and Eames blows up the hospital in order to wake everyone sleeping on the mountain level. Simultaneously Arthur causes the kick in the hotel elevator, and the van driven by Yusuf in the city hits the water after falling off a bridge.
Eames' most valuable ability is the ability to project, within the dream world, the image of other humans. Combined with his ability to mirror other people's mannerisms and behaviors, he is a very capable doppelganger. He is more than capable of physically defending himself and other members of the group, able to fend off several soldiers while planting charges around the snow fortress during the Fischer inception job. This may be a sign of the possibility of Eames' having prior experience in the military or obtaining extensive self-defense training. He is also quite skilled at speaking in such a way as to allow even lay people to understand the basics of complex topics.
- (About Inception) "Nah, it's perfectly possible, it's just bloody difficult."
- "Arthur? You're still working with that stick in the mud?"
- "If you're gonna perform Inception, you need imagination."
- "There's no room for a tourist in a job like this, Mr. Saito."
- "Your condescension, as always, is much appreciated, Arthur, thank you."
- "Thank you for your contribution, Arthur!"
- "This, Ariadne, would be a kick..." [kicks Arthur's chair]
- "You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling."
- "So now we're trapped in Fischer's mind battling his own private army and if we get killed, we'll be lost in limbo 'till our brains turn to scrambled egg, hm?"
- (About planting an idea) It’s not just about depth. You need the simplest version of the idea, the one that will grow naturally in the subject’s mind. It's a very subtle art.
- He was known as The Forger in some promotional material.