A Minute With: Paul Giamatti about "Barney's Version"

Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:49pm EST
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By Iain Blair

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Paul Giamatti has always excelled at playing quirky characters in offbeat projects such as "Sideways" and "American Splendor."

In his new film "Barney's Version," which opens in theaters on Friday, the New York-based actor stars as the colorful Barney Panofsky, a TV producer whose life continually runs out of control.

Giamatti spoke to Reuters about the film and his career.

Q: This is not your usual comedy. Describe it for us?

A: "I'd say it's a dark, romantic comedy. I loved it the moment I started reading the script. It's this intimate character study, but it's got this big scope -- it covers 30 years, Barney's three wives and two continents, so there's a lot of life in it."

Q: And Barney is definitely not your usual hero. There's a lot of bad behavior.

A: "You're right, but I see him as a frustrated romantic. He offered me the chance to do a bit of everything, as he goes through so many different colors and emotions."

Q: How much of you is there in Barney?   Continued...

<p>Paul Giamatti smiles during the news conference for the film "Barney's Version" at the 35th Toronto International Film Festival September 12, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Cassese</p>