Keep­ing things in­ter­est­ing

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES -

JEFF Gold­blum has never been very good at sit­ting still. So when he was asked ear­lier this month to pose for a por­trait, he han­dled the sit­u­a­tion in his typ­i­cal antsy fashion.

“Let’s play a game. It will be a so­cial lu­bri­cant,” he im­plored a room full of pub­li­cists and as­sis­tants ob­serv­ing his photo shoot, from which he was try­ing to dis­tract him­self. “I name two ac­tors, and you have to say which one you’d rather have sex with.”

The on­look­ers ap­proved – on the con­di­tion that Gold­blum would an­swer such a ques­tion him­self. He agreed, that is un­til he was asked to choose be­tween Rachel McA­dams and Diane Keaton, his co-stars in the new film Morn­ing Glory.

“Well, well, I can’t an­swer that,” he smiled coyly.

Gold­blum, 57, is the kind of guy who likes to keep peo­ple on their toes – in his own life and on screen. The ac­tor, per­haps still best known for his droll turns in the sci-fi clas­sic The Fly and Steven Spiel­berg’s Juras­sic Park, ad­mits he has had no prac­ti­cal ap­proach to his ca­reer.

“I’m more hig­gledy-pig­gledy. More flib­ber­ti­gib­bet,” he said, sit­ting in the corner of a ho­tel res­tau­rant af­ter the photo ses­sion. “Not flib­ber­ti­gib­bet. But, um, but, um – more present-ori­ented.”

What­ever that is, it’s a method that seems to work for him.

In Morn­ing Glory, Gold­blum plays Jerry Barnes, a tele­vi­sion net­work ex­ec­u­tive who hires an in­ex­pe­ri­enced pro­ducer (McA­dams) to run the sta­tion’s flag­ging morn­ing news show, Day­break.

When his new hire is un­able to rein in the show’s ec­cen­tric hosts (Har­ri­son Ford and Keaton), Barnes threat­ens to can­cel the show un­less the rat­ings turn around.

Play­ing the grumpy author­ity fig­ure is some­thing that’s slightly out of Gold­blum’s wheel­house – he’s more of­ten the comic foil, as he was this sum­mer op­po­site Ja­son Bate­man in the ro­man­tic com­edy The Switch.

When asked why he found Morn­ing Glory more ap­peal­ing than any num­ber of other projects sent his way, Gold­blum seems to credit his col­lab­o­ra­tors.

“The di­rec­tor, Roger Michell, was par­tic­u­larly smart, sweet, gen­er­ous – you know, in­ter­est­ing, fun, funny,” he said, shrug­ging slightly. “And Rachel McA­dams. Do­ing all those scenes with her. I liked that idea.”

Still, the ac­tor – who de­scribes him­self as “noth­ing if not

con­sci­en­tious” – said he pre­pared duly for the part, de­spite the fact that the sup­port­ing role did not en­tail much screen time. The rest of the cast had spent time with the pro­duc­ers of such morn­ing shows as To­day.

Gold­blum too wanted to meet with a real-life coun­ter­part to do his own re­search, so the pro­duc­ers set up some time be­tween the ac­tor and Phil Grif­fin, pres­i­dent of MSNBC.

“He’s the guy who I think held the com­pa­ra­ble job to my job in the film,” Gold­blum re­called. “He was very open and took me around the show sets and talked to me for a few hours and told me all sorts of things about how the job works and what that en­tailed.”

The ac­tor re­cently com­pleted a four­month stint in London, where he ap­peared in a pro­duc­tion of Neil Simon’s The Pris­oner Of Sec­ond Av­enue at the Old Vic The­atre.

Since, he’s re­turned to his home in Los An­ge­les, where he of­ten plays gigs with his jazz group and has also be­gun tak­ing voice lessons. He may soon re­sume teach­ing classes at Play­house West, the act­ing school he helped found in the 1980s.

In Au­gust, he an­nounced he would not re­turn to Law & Or­der: Crim­i­nal In­tent af­ter two years on the TV drama.

“It had sort of ex­hausted its in­ter­est for me. I was de­li­ciously sat­is­fied with my de­li­cious ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said. “I now feel par­tic­u­larly picky. Like, I want to do some­thing only if it’s of se­vere in­ter­est to me.”

How those choices af­fect his rep­u­ta­tion as an ac­tor, Gold­blum says, isn’t of any con­cern to him.

“I don’t know what peo­ple think of me. What do I care?” he asked.

“I don’t even know what I think of my­self. I like be­ing noth­ing in par­tic­u­lar.” — Los An­ge­les Times/McClatchy-Tribune In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices

Ac­tor’s ac­tor: Jeff Gold­blum ad­mits to hav­ing no prac­ti­cal ap­proach to his ca­reer.

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