Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Save up to 70%
Empire
Film Studies 101
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


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Astonishing Movie Star Music Video Cameos
Hiccup, Rhodey and Spidey join the party

Empire's Jurassic World Covers Unveiled
You're going to hear her roar

40 Of The Unlikeliest Movie Character Posters
Would you put these one-sheets on your wall?

Who Is The Vision, Anyway?
An introduction to Avengers: Age Of Ultron's newest addition

Jenny Agutter: Role by Role
From Tin to Captain America to The Railway Children

80 Of The Best Movie Star Adverts
From Sly Stallone selling bread to Hugh Jackman dancing for iced tea

The 15 Most Controversial Alternate Endings
How some of your favourite films could have finished...

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Subscribe now and save up to 70%

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe now and save up to 70%
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)