Michael Douglas looks at life as a "Solitary Man"

Tue May 25, 2010 8:34am EDT
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By Iain Blair

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - In his long career, Michael Douglas has excelled at playing ethically-challenged men such as the cheating husband in "Fatal Attraction" and financier Gordon Gekko in "Wall Street," which won him an Oscar.

After a difficult 2009 dealing with his son's arrest and imprisonment on drug charges, which Douglas called "very sad, very upsetting," the actor is back doing one thing he does best, playing a rogue in low-budget "Solitary Man." It debuted in major U.S. cities last week and hits theaters across the United States this Friday.

Douglas took some time to talk with Reuters about "Solitary Man," and reprising the role of Gekko in "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," which premiered at this month's Cannes film festival and lands in U.S. theaters in September.

Q: What sort of film is "Solitary Man"?

A: It's a tragic-comedy, very unpredictable and you don't know if it's going to be poignant or whether you'll just laugh, and all that really appealed to me. It's basically about this guy's mid-life crisis and how he deals with it. Plus, we have a great cast. Susan Sarandon plays my ex-wife, Mary-Louise Parker plays my girlfriend, Jenna Fischer is my daughter, and we have this wonderful new actress, Imogen Poots, as my girlfriend's daughter. I think you're going to be hearing a lot about her.

Q: You play a car dealer who screws up both his business and marriage. Much in common?

A: Well, he's about my age, he's from New York where we live, and he's thinking about his mortality, so yeah. (Laughs) Beyond that, I'm happily married -- and I'm not in the car business, although that remains to be seen.

Q: Any surprises working with Susan Sarandon?   Continued...

<p>Honoree Michael Douglas arrives for The Film Society of Lincoln Center's 2010 Chaplin Award Gala honoring him in New York City May 24, 2010. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi</p>