Goldblum doesn't clown around in Holocaust film

Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:46pm EDT
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By Cameron French

TORONTO (Reuters) - To play a role some are already calling a tour de force in the film "Adam Resurrected," Jeff Goldblum visited concentration camps and spoke to Holocaust survivors.

He also had to deal with the emotional toll of playing former nightclub clown Adam Stein, a man driven mad by the loss of his family in the Holocaust.

"It's emotional and I knew I had to try to tell the story authentically, which depicts the worst thing that a fellow can go through, but which people have gone through," Goldblum said in an interview at the Toronto Film Festival, where the film had its world premiere this week.

"I was crying a lot for much of the filming."

The movie is adapted from an acclaimed 1968 novel by Yoram Kaniuk and Goldblum spent a full year preparing to play Stein, who draws packed crowds in pre-World War Two Berlin to shows in which he read minds and threw knives blindfolded.

By the time film viewers meet him in an Israeli insane asylum in the 1960s, Stein can still dazzle a crowd and can seduce a pretty nurse half his age. But he has lost nearly everything that really matters to him: his family, freedom and sanity.

Goldblum, who is Jewish, said he felt a responsibility to do justice to the material, which deals heavily with "survivor guilt" experienced by many of those who survived Nazi death camps during the war.

The commitment appears to have paid off for Goldblum, who has been known for playing quirky, intellectual sidekicks in a hot-and-cold film career. Early reviews for his "Adam Resurrected" performance have been overwhelmingly positive.   Continued...

<p>Actor Jeff Goldblum of the film "Adam Resurrected" poses for a portrait during the Toronto International Film Festival, in this September 10, 2008 picture. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>