When you see cult favorite actors like John Cusack doing super-mega-effects blockbusters like Roland Emmerich’s 2012, you start to wonder how that particular bit of casting came to be. I spoke to Cusack recently, and found that apparently the deciding factor in choosing a project is often the people he’ll get to work with. For example, this is his third time working with co-star Amanda Peet.
“Any chance I can,” Cusack told me about wanting to work with Peet. “We did Identity and we became friends there and had a great time, and she came in to do The Martian Child, and we thought ‘well, there were our two chances to work together,’ and then Roland allowed us to do it again. Usually a studio wants you to pair up with someone you’ve never been with, so we were thrilled, really. We couldn’t believe our good luck. I just like to hang out with her and see her because she’s such a great girl. A great person.”
That feeling is mutual. “I like everything about him,” Peet told me about Cusack. “He’s brilliant. Brilliant. And fun, and sweet, and he’s on time and he’s not some diva asshole. There are people out there at his level who just come to work when they feel like coming to work, whether other people have children or anything.”
One of the more fun scenes in the film involves watching him work off of the incomparable Woody Harrelson, whom Cusack has nothing but gushing praise for as well. “I’m such a fan of his. Have been for so long. I saw Kingpin on cable the other night. He’s been so good and so funny for so long. There’s nobody like him. There’s no other American like him. He’s a unique individual. He’s a character. They broke the mold with him. We got to work together on The Thin Red Line, and we passed like ships in the night in a scene. We got to hang out a lot there and we became friends, but I hadn’t gotten a chance to work with him one on one, so I was really happy to. He’s one of the funniest, greatest guys there is. He’s really, really funny in this one.”