In honour of his 73rd birthday (Sept. 25, 1944), we flash back to our interview with Michael Douglas on film, family and some of his memorable on-screen kisses.
From Gordon Gekko in Wall Street to his award-winning turn as Liberace, opposite Matt Damon, in Behind the Candelabra, Michael Douglas has cemented his legend in Tinseltown. But if art, as they say, imitates life, Douglas' latest film, the rom-com And So it Goes, walks a fine line. Sure Douglas' character, Oren Little, finds true love in the second half of his life. And, as Douglas notes, "the whole issue with the father with a son going to jail was clearly one I related to." But Little's personality – a cantankerous realtor who finds his life interrupted by a number of extraordinary circumstances, including the temporary custody of his estranged granddaughter – couldn't be further from the truth. Speaking with Douglas on the phone from Los Angeles, he projected a kindness and charm his curmudgeonly character would loathe.
Douglas and I discussed his film, his family, boomer stories on the big screen, and some of his memorable on-screen kisses.
MIKE CRISOLAGO: And So It Goes centres around trials, tribulations, and romances in the second half of life. How important is it to explore perspectives related to aging through film?
MICHAEL DOUGLAS: It's part of our population, it's part of our culture and there certainly should be movies for people of an older age. And I like And So It Goes because it deals with a lot of the problems that older people have – do they have enough money for retirement? Are they required to downsize? Do you, at the twilight of your life, have to change your lifestyle financially, and does that embitter you? And how do you overcome that or keep that spark alive? If you can tell those stories in an entertaining fashion and with humour, so much the better.
MC: Throughout your career you've worked with many brilliant leading ladies. Tell me what it was like acting opposite Diane Keaton in this film.
MD: She's great because she's the first one to confess that, "I'm not an actress. I'm just who I am." And she just brings her persona, as charming and clever and funny… I was fascinated by her quirkiness, love her style, and she has an inherent, wonderful sense of humour that brings the wit and the positive side to any situation. Plus she's a hell of a singer. And a good kisser, I might add.
MC: One of the perks of working with great actresses?
MD: Well Matt [Damon] is right up there too now – we can't forget Matt.
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