Michael Douglas Moves Us
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Michael Douglas is a a two-time Oscar winner who has played more memorable roles in his career than most actors could ever dream of, from The War of the Roses to Fatal Attraction to his award-fetching turn in Wall Street. With two recent roles—Solitary Man and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps—garnering critical acclaim (and a Golden Globe nomination for the latter), Douglas remains an indisputable Hollywood force. We caught up with the movie legend to find out what inspires and intrigues a man so long in the spotlight, and if awards season still brings about nerves.
What’s your perfect LA day?
MICHAEL DOUGLAS: I don’t live in LA, so when I come out, it’s usually for business reasons. The perfect day would be a play day, and that means a great round of golf. But if it’s my usual day in LA, perfection would be that all my meetings, lunches and dinners are in close proximity, timed beautifully with the flow of traffic and with a great radio station playing in the car.
Why was Solitary Man a project that appealed to you?
Solitary Man appealed to me because of Brian Koppelman’s exquisitely written script. How often does someone in my age range get presented with excellent material? It also was shot in New York on a six-week schedule, so it meant I could live at home and see my family on weekends.
You played a complex, morally flawed character in the film. What or whom did you use for inspiration to become him?
Once I read the script and started to understand [the character] Ben Kalmen, I just started to look around New York. You can find a lot of Bens in restaurants and bars in the city. I did a lot of observing and listening to conversations.
How did it feel to step back into the shoes of your Wall Street character, Gordon Gekko, after so many years?
Once we had a really good script by Allan Loeb, and Oliver Stone came onto the project, I enjoyed the challenge of exploring this character 20 years later in light of what has happened to the world in the past two decades.
Why did you think Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps was a particularly important story to tell now?
It is a drama for today. We have all gone through and been affected by what happens in the picture. It was a way to create a good, current dramatic story that has relevance to the lives we are all living.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PLATON (PORTRAIT); EVERETT COLLECTION (STILLS)