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You're here to fall in love, to experience love. But now I need you to listen very carefully, and take what I say very seriously, alright? Don't try to escape. Don't cry out for help. And do not try any of your kickboxing tricks. Now I'll do what I can to help you not break these rules, but if you do Kate, you will really disappoint me. There now. See. That didn't hurt did it? Don't worry. You're with Casanova.
~ Casanova explaining his rules to Kate as he is sedating her.
Good night...sweet Kate.
~ Nicholas Ruskin's last words before Alex Cross kills him.
Casanova (real name: Nicholas "Nick" Ruskin) is the main antagonist of the 1997 film adaptation of James Paterson's 1995 thriller novel, Kiss the Girls, the second installment of the Alex Cross series. Like his literary counterpart, he is a serial killer/rapist and the accomplice of the Gentleman Caller, while working as a police detective.
He was portrayed by Cary Elwes, who also played Lawrence Gordon in the Saw film franchise, and Sir Edgar in Ella Enchanted-while his voice when in his Casanova guise was dubbed by an uncredited Jeff Kober, who portrayed Patrick Channing in The First Power and Eugene Hoff in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and in later airings by Tony Goldwyn-who also played the Gentleman Caller in the same film.
In the 1997 film adaption, quite a bit is changed regarding Casanova. While his overall characterization is faithful to that of the original novel, being a serial killer who began his life of crime with the rape and murder of Coty Pierce, her sister, and her mother when was a teenager, as well as his modus operandi of kidnapping women to take him to his lair where he'd rape and kill them should they break his rules, there are still various differences:
How Nick met Will Rudolph is omitted entirely, as well as Will's first crime which lead to how Nick discovered him.
Nick is described in the novel as being 6'3, muscular, with long hair and a beard. In the film, he is of average height and built, is not bearded, and has short hair.
He and Will never break into Kate's house and beat her into a coma, and she aids Cross in tracking them down to their hideout.
Nick is married to a woman in the original novel, but in the film, he has no wife.
While he seemed to care for Will in the novel and wanted to avenge his death, in the film he sees Will as expendable and nothing more than someone to share his crimes with. This is evident when he nearly shoots him to death for showing fascination over his "collection" of women in his lair. He also shows a distrust of Will due to his methods getting him caught by the cops.
There's no hint of Nick possibly feeling empathy or remorse for his victims as he kills them, nor is there any indication that he suffers from Dissociate Identity Disorder. While he wears a mask as he does in the film, there's no given explanation as to why, so one is left to assume he does so to keep his identity a secret should any of the girls escape. In the book, it's implied that each mask represents his different personality.
Nick's overall fate, as well as how Cross discovered he was Casanova, is drastically is changed in the film:
After William Rudolph is killed by Cross, Nick goes over to Kate's house to cover for the next police shift. Cross deduces that Nick is Casanova when he studies both their hand writing and sees the similarities. He tries to telephone Kate at her house, but Nick, already prepared for this, cuts her telephone wire before he can call her. Cross is then forced to drive over there.
As Nick is helping Kate make dinner, he reveals himself as Casanova and they engage in a fight. He overpowers her for a while and attempts to rape her. However, she gains the upper hand and handcuffs him to her stove. Unfortunately, he grabs her kitchen knife and slits her arm, weakening her. He then tears out the glass tubes and attempts to blow them both up with his lighter. When Cross arrives to try to talk him down, Nick gives a speech about how he feels his "animal self" come alive any time he looks at a beautiful woman and that he merely wants to break them down through rape and torture, and how Cross, deep down, is no better than him. He also taunts him about how he raped Naomi the whole time he had her in captivity for more than a week. He attempts to turn on the lighter, but before he can do so, Cross manages to shoot him through a milk carton so the muzzle blast from his pistol does not ignite the gas. Nick consequently dies as a result, thus putting an end to the extent of his heinous crimes.
Casanova sedating Kate.
Casanova catching up to Kate.
Nick as a police detective.
Nick with Alex.
Nick with Kate.
Nick revealing himself as Casanova to Kate.
Nick impressed after Kate slices him with her kitchen knife.
Nick attempting to rape Kate.
Nick unleashing the gas in the house.
Nick attempting to blow the whole house up.
Alex pointing his gun at Nick.
Nick's "animal self".
Nick provoking Alex by telling him about his time with Naomi.
Nick's well deserved death from his bullet wounds.
Cross' claim that he would ignite the gas in the house if he open fires is most likely false. This is shown on Mythbusters in the episode Inverted Underwater Car, as the narrator said that Cross had nothing to worry about, since methane does not ignite well, and shooting through milk still ignites hydrogen.