Interview by: Graeme Kay
DEAN Cain was in London recently to promote his new film, the
action thriller Out of Time (released on Boxing Day), in which
he stars opposite Denzel Washington.
Graeme Kay caught up with the TV's Superman in his London hotel.
Indie: You came into acting from pro-American football. How
different are the worlds of professional sport and Hollywood?
A: The main difference is that when you're playing pro-football,
if someone wrongs you on the field, you can respond immediately.
You can take them out. That's what you're taught all the time;
to think like a warrior.
In Hollywood, you don't have that option. If someone insults you,
or your craft, you can't punch them out, you have to find a more
subtle way of taking revenge.
Indie: You had to leave the pro-football world fairly early
because of injury. For a lot of pro sportsmen that kind of trauma
can send them off the rails. Did getting into acting help insulate
you from that kind of personal crisis?
A. I don't think I was ever really in danger of going off
the rails. I had a very untroubled childhood and, of course, I
had the advantage of going to Princeton. So when my football career
ended, I had somewhere to go
Indie: You mean landing the role of Superman?
Indie: Do you think that playing that part for so long has
caused you trouble with typecasting. Are you aware of any parts
you've lost because of playing Superman?
A. It may have. But I couldn't give you examples. The lucky
thing about Out of Time is that the director, Carl Franklin, had
never seen me in that role - I don't think he'd have recognised
me as Superman even if I'd turned up in costume. So when I walked
into the audition, all he saw was a former pro-footballer who
was the right size and shape for the part.
Indie: The character you play in the film, Chris Harrison,
is also a former football star. Did that make him easier to play?
A. Yeah, well I could identify with him.
Indie: It's often said that when an experienced pro sportsman
meets a less accomplished player, the latter tends to raise his
game. Was there an element of that in your relationship with Denzel?
A. Yeah, to a certain extent. Before we did that scene in
the bar, where we are shaping up to go at each other, the director,
Carl Franklin, warned me that I shouldn't feel intimidated by
Denzel's reputation, and that helped me get psyched up.
To use a sporting analogy, when you've got an opponent like Denzel
you either move up a gear, or you get blown off court, and I think
that during that scene I played the best I've ever done in my
Of course, it helped that I'd been up all night worrying about
it, so that when I did arrive on set I was pretty cranky and pissed
off, meaning I had the right attitude.
Indie: After years of playing the ultimate good guy, Superman,
was it good to play a baddie?
A. Yeah, that was nice. But it wasn't really a deliberate
attempt on my part to get away from the Superman image. It was
just a role that I liked and a script that I liked. Believe me,
I wasn't handed this part on a plate I really had to fight for
Indie: The film is shot in very sultry conditions. You can
almost feel the heat coming off the screen. How much did the weather
affect the performances?
A. Significantly. The weather was like another character,
especially at night. That kind of humidity and heat can be very
oppressive and that causes your emotions to run higher, so it
really is a hot, sexy film. Just the sort of thing the British
need on a cold drab day in December.