A/V Room









Out of Time - An interview with Dean Cain

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?
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?
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?
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?
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 life.
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?
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 it.

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?
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.

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