Actor Joe Mantegna jumped at the chance to star in new comedy WITLESS PROTECTION - because it was written and directed by one of his former drama students. Charlie Carner was Mantegna's "prize pupil" when he taught at Columbia college in Chicago, Illinois. The Godfather: Part III star says, "I've just been thrilled to see his progress over the years and see him turn into the fine writer director that he is. "When Charlie called me and said, 'I'm shooting this movie in Chicago I would love you to be in it,' to me it was like a circle completing itself. What a thrill to be in a film that my former student had written and was going to direct."