Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
100 Greatest Videos Games Of All Time
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Empire Visits The Hobbit's VFX Team
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
4Music's Size Does Matter
Introducing your new favourite app
Feature
Lee Daniels On The Butler’s Presidents
A director's blow-by-blow on Cusack, Rickman and co

submit to reddit

1 2 3 4 5
Back 4 of 5 Next

John Cusack As Richard Nixon

Lee Daniels went to his Paperboy collaborator John Cusack with the role of Richard Nixon. Leaving aside the neatness of Tricky Dicky being played by one of The Grifters, Cusack’s sweaty, prowly presence injects a certain edge to his scenes opposite Forest Whitaker. “John is a caged, rabid animal,” enthuses Daniels.

John Cusack As Richard Nixon

“I love working with John Cusack. He’s terrifying, he’s electrifying, and he inspires me to be a better director. He’s a fiery, intense presence on set. We never, ever rub up against each other but he fuels me. I can’t explain the relationship – it’s like Nicole Kidman in The Paperboy or Mo'Nique in Precious, we just feed off each other. As an example, there was a scene between Cecil and Nixon in The White House. Cecil is holding a martini for him – “I have your martini, Mr President” – and Nixon is listening to the tapes. I yell 'action!', Forest delivers the line and Nixon is just there (mimes Cusack, head down, pressing the tape recorder, stopping, rewinding, pressing play again) and it’s been minutes – I’m counting four, five minutes – to the point where Cecil is about to drop the martini, and John suddenly goes (jerks his head up), “HUH?” It was extraordinary. He didn’t tell either of us he was going to do it. It’s what I live to do. We’re sitting there wasting film but we’re diving into character and making Forest better."

"Was Nixon the most racist of these presidents? I think they all were. Racism is what we have been taught to believe. If you’re taught to believe that African-Americans are inferior, it’s engrained in you; it’s very hard to unbelieve what you’ve been taught. All of them were."
 

1 2 3 4 5
Back
4 of 5
Next

Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.

Your Comments

1
I thought robin Williams was playing Truman. More

Posted by seanofthedead on Friday November 15, 2013, 18:58

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Many Deaths Of Sean Bean
The actor talks us through his on-screen offings

Rogues Gallery: Powers Boothe
Sin City's Roark talks us through his most memorable baddies

Richard Attenborough: In Celebration
Saluting a man who made a lasting impact on cinema and beyond…

Exclusive: Luc Besson Talks Lucy
'There is no bullshit with Scarlett Johansson'

Video: Daniel Radcliffe Talks What If...
On Gordon Ramsay, swearing and date movies

The 24 Best Film-Related Ice Bucket Challenges
The viral craze that won’t quit takes in some of Hollywood’s finest

Who Shot First? The Complete List Of Star Wars Changes
An exhaustive chronology of George Lucas' post-release tinkering

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)