Michael Douglas turns back the clock
The actor talks about revisiting his character from the Ant-Man franchise, acting 30 years younger with Michelle Pfeiffer, and gaining a whole new legion of teenage fans
The 1980s was undoubtedly a good time to be alive. More so, if you were Michael Douglas. The actor, whose films like Romancing the Stone (1984), Fatal Attraction (1987) and Wall Street (where he played the iconic Gordon Gekko), all went on to become box office hits, making him a much-sought-after actor in the industry. A number of landmark films with him in the lead followed, like Basic Instinct (1992), Traffic (2000) and the 2013 mini-series Behind The Candelabra (a biopic on the pianist Liberace).
He reprises his role as Hank Pym in the upcoming Marvel film, Ant-Man and the Wasp. Excerpts from a conversation with the actor follow:
What is it like being part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
First off, I’ve got this whole new generation of fans under 15 years old, all of whom could never see my films before as they were all R-rated, and they’re saying, “Hey, Hank Pym!” It's quite flattering. And there’s a fun factor to it. My whole career has been contemporary films--comedies, dramas, and all that. So, to get into this other world, the quantum realm where anything goes is a trip. It has a family feeling about it, and just some really good actors to work with.
What made you come back?
It’s nice part to have a role like this, that I can come in and out of. For most of my career, I’ve always been carrying the film; I’m in every single scene. Now, I can leave that up to Paul (Rudd) and Evangeline (Lilly).
We hear Michelle Pfeiffer is playing your wife...
In the first film, Ant-Man, there is a flashback that depicts me as 30 years younger. It is really cool. It would be great in this, to have the chance to act with Michelle Pfeiffer, as we looked 30 years ago. Who wouldn’t like that?
What is enjoyable about revisiting a character like this?
The opportunity to work with the people you worked with before. There’s a feeling of familiarity. You don’t have to go in like strangers, and feel your way out. You also get to define your character more. I’m sort of the straight man in this. Hank Pym is the guy who keeps this thing grounded; he keeps a degree of credibility and reality. I am now comfortable in that role, where I may not have been as comfortable early on.