The first time I interviewed Michael Douglas may have been the single worst interview moment of my life.
After all, Douglas is a legend, a guy who has been part of this business his whole life, as accomplished as a producer as he is an actor. I could spend an entire day just talking to him about "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" or what it was like to do a TV series with Karl Malden in the '70s.
The interview was supposed to be for "Last Vegas," the film he did with Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, and Kevin Kline. They put all four of them together for the interview, which would be a daunting room under the best of circumstances. Since the movie wasn't screened for me the night before the interviews, I walked into that room not having seen a single frame of the film. And as soon as they smelled it on me, they just got awful. All four of them. They checked out, and I don't blame them. It was a doomed conversation.
I saw Douglas again this past year at Toronto, and he was great. We talked about "Beyond The Reach," and while it wasn't a long conversation, it was definitely a huge step up from that first one. I missed him on the set of "Ant-Man" because of some unfortunate timing, but finally caught up with him at the press day for the movie, where we talked about how the process went versus his original expectations for it.
One of the craziest things about the film is the opening scene, where they have the Michael Douglas of 30 years ago play a scene thanks to the magic of visual effects. It's an amazing moment, made more amazing because we know what that Douglas looked like, and if they'd gotten it wrong, there would be no margin for error. Here's hoping we haven't seen the last of Hank Pym in the Marvel universe.
"Ant-Man" opens Friday.