Just a few hours before John Cusack hit the airwaves voicing his opposition to presidential candidate John McCain, the star of this summer’s “War, Inc.” called SheKnows for a one-on-one chat about his life on film.
From the London set of “Shanghai,” his latest film, John Cusack is affable and eager to chat about his passion for “War, Inc.” and the difficult task it was to get made.
The world traveler has spanned continents filming movies in the last few years including the Bulgaria set of his political satire with biting power, “War, Inc.” Cusack co-wrote and produced the picture that also stars his sister, Joan, pop cultural phenomenon Hillary Duff and Oscar-winners Sir Ben Kingsley and Marissa Tomei.
John Cusack’s acting track record is long and well documented. From his first humble beginnings in “Sixteen Candles,” where he and sister Joan were literally chosen off the Chicago streets by John Hughes, to his audience favorite “Say Anything,” Cusack commenced a career for the ages. Of late, his films have run the gamut from the Michael Bay big-budget “Con-Air,” independent films such as compelling “Grace is Gone” and “Martian Child” to the story of his hometown White Sox “Eight Men Out” that introduced him to legendary filmmaker John Sayles.
John Cusack feels he is simply just getting started.
His politically charged satire, “War, Inc.,” finished second behind “Indiana Jones” for per-screen average in its first week in limited release. First Look Studios is opening the film in more markets June 13 including Cusack’s Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle and Austin.
This film is not to be missed.
SheKnows: Was it more difficult to get “War, Inc.” made versus your other films, considering the subject matter and the feel of the times?
John Cusack: Oh, yes. It was totally impossible in many ways. That was part of the charm of the whole thing. People thought we were insane.
SK: The final product is priceless. I just adored that movie. I know it’s a serious subject matter, but I laughed constantly.
John Cusack: Well, you know, the people who seem to like the movie think there is more than one kind of way you can laugh. Some say, ‘that’s not funny.’ Well, it’s not really meant to be funny. It’s meant to make you laugh, but to make you laugh because you’d rather not cry.
SK: Right, that’s it exactly. Like the tanks being sponsored by casinos.
John Cusack: Yeah (Laughs).
SK: When the cast came together, as the writer, you had to be thrilled with the actors who answered the call.
John Cusack: They were the guys who came on first. We were all loaded from there. All the studios in town passed on it. One very brave studio took it, First Look, and they would do it. But, we had to do it for a small budget in Bulgaria. We didn’t even have enough money for the budget or enough days (to film). We just thought it’ll be the punk rock ethos. Just do it yourself. Do it now and let’s make a virtue out of our limitations. But we got all those actors to do it and they all came on to do it for a fraction of what they would normally get for a movie. So we had Sir Ben Kinglsey, Marissa Tomei and Hillary Duff, all in Bulgaria getting crazy.