The Komin­sky Method

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Michael Dou­glas stars as an ac­tor turned Hol­ly­wood act­ing coach in a new Chuck Lorre com­edy. Alan Arkin co-stars.

The Komin­sky method Avail­able from Fri 16 novem­ber, net­flix

IT’S CER­TAINLY A busy Novem­ber for Michael Dou­glas. As the vet­eran ac­tor’s star is un­veiled on the Hol­ly­wood

Walk of Fame, the 74-year-old takes the lead role in new Net­flix com­edy

The Komin­sky Method, which hits

our screens on Fri­day.

The eight-part se­ries comes from Chuck Lorre, the brains be­hind The

Big Bang The­ory, and sees Dou­glas play­ing a once-fa­mous ac­tor, Sandy Komin­sky, who now earns a liv­ing in Los An­ge­les as an act­ing coach.

Among the cast is 84-year-old Alan Arkin as Sandy’s cranky long­time agent Nor­man, House ac­tress Lisa Edel­stein as Nor­man’s pill-ad­dicted daugh­ter Phoebe and Nancy Travis as Lisa, a di­vorcee who takes les­sons from Sandy.

‘The show is about com­ing to grips with the re­al­ity of get­ting older,’ says Lorre. ‘There’s plenty of hu­mour in the enor­mous cul­tural gap be­tween Sandy and his fresh-faced stu­dents, most of whom are five decades younger than him.’

For Dou­glas, who is mar­ried to Welsh ac­tress Cather­ine

Zeta-jones, the se­ries is a rare chance to show his com­edy skills after mak­ing his name in some of Hol­ly­wood’s big­gest dra­mas (see panel, below).

We met up with Dou­glas dur­ing film­ing to hear more…

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT The Komin­sky Method? It’s about the ab­sur­di­ties of age­ing. This is dark hu­mour, the kind I love. Like with my movies Fall­ing

Down or The War of the Roses, in one mo­ment you go from hi­lar­ity to tragedy. That’s what life is all about. I’ve al­ways en­joyed com­edy. I don’t get a chance to do it that of­ten and so this is a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity.

HOW WOULD YOU DE­SCRIBE YOUR

CHAR­AC­TER? Sandy has been mar­ried three times and has a lit­tle too much al­imony go­ing out to all his ex-wives. He’s had good times and bad times, and has a bit of a sar­donic at­ti­tude to­wards life.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHAL­LENGES

FAC­ING SANDY? He doesn’t re­ally get that much work as an ac­tor any more, but he’s a pretty re­spected act­ing teacher. The show is a con­trast be­tween the ide­al­ism of his young act­ing stu­dents ver­sus the jaded view of some­body who’s been in the busi­ness for 40 years.

DANNY DE­VITO GUEST STARS AS SANDY’S DOC­TOR IN THE SE­RIES. WAS IT YOUR IDEA TO OF­FER YOUR OLD FRIEND A PART?

When I was read­ing this script, the pro­duc­ers said they were think­ing of Danny for the part of Sandy’s urol­o­gist. So I called him up and asked him to get on board.

DID YOU HAVE AN ACT­ING COACH WHEN YOU WERE

YOUNGER? Early on, I went to a very re­spected coach named Wynn Hand­man in New York. He did a lot for my con­fi­dence. My old­est son, Cameron, who is also an ac­tor, re­cently got out of prison and went to Wynn’s classes for a re­fresh. I couldn’t be­lieve Wynn is still teach­ing at the age of 96.

IF YOU WERE A COACH, WHO WOULD YOU USE AS A GREAT EX­AM­PLE OF ACT­ING?

It would have to be Jack Ni­chol­son in

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which I pro­duced. We filmed a lot of re­ac­tion shots from Jack – he didn’t speak, but just re­acted to other peo­ple. It was such a good les­son in lis­ten­ing.

DID YOU HAVE AN ACT­ING MEN­TOR?

Karl Malden on The Streets of San

Fran­cisco. He had an un­be­liev­able work ethic. His stamina and dis­ci­pline set an ex­am­ple for every­body else.

DO YOU THINK THE BEST WRIT­ING IS NOW

ON TELE­VI­SION? The kind of movies that I did in my early ca­reer were char­ac­ter-driven, but those films have be­come less and less pos­si­ble. In the past 11 years I’ve been do­ing in­die movies, things like King of Cal­i­for­nia,

Soli­tary Man and Be­yond the Reach. I did them for no money and they ended up play­ing in a cinema for a week.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE WATCH­ING ON TV?

I’m a news and sports junkie. I don’t re­ally binge-watch shows. I don’t know where any­one gets the time to do that.

YOUR FA­THER, KIRK DOU­GLAS, TURNS 102 NEXT MONTH. TELL US ABOUT YOUR

RE­LA­TION­SHIP WITH HIM. I’m very proud of him. He was an im­mi­grant to the US and it was a real rags-to-riches story. He had a lot of suc­cess, but in 1991, when he was in his sev­en­ties, he was in a he­li­copter crash. Two other men died, so he started ques­tion­ing why he was still alive. He had this sud­den change to be­come more spir­i­tual. It made him a kinder, more gen­er­ous man.

ALAN ARKIN PLAYS SANDY’S CRANKY AGENT NOR­MAN NANCY TRAVIS AS ACT­ING PUPIL LISA

DANNY DE­VITO AS SANDY’S UROL­O­GIST

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