Ant-Man and the Wasp: Interview with Star Michael Douglas

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Interview with Star Michael Douglas

 

                                      

Origins

MD: I have two sides to my family, including the Danielovich side from Belarus, but I can’t say I really wish that I was back there around the time when my grandfather decided to get out of there and, you know, it was a lot of purges going on.  The Cossacks were riding strong, so I could imagine but on my mother’s side we’d been on the island of Bermuda for 400 years.  400 years I could follow my mother’s family back since they first got there, and I mean that’s a path which I would have liked to have followed and known a little more about.  They originally were Scottish.  We lived in Bermuda and it’s very hard to get away from it but to be able – I think a lot of it has to do with being a gypsy, our gypsy life and moving around but to go there, when I go back to Bermuda and I can literally trace my great-great-great-great-great-great-great everyone for 400 years.

 

Film as Global Unifier

MD: What’s so wonderful about a movie like “The Ant-Man And The Wasp” as the world is fractionalized and there’s so much division between countries and areas, our neighbors, to imagine this movie is going to be seen around the world, it’s going to be a big success, people are going to laugh in about 60 different languages and it’s a reminder for you about how wonderful and magical this business is that we’re all involved with, that you’re all in your different countries and then at this divisive time and the United Nations can’t get anything together or anybody else, that the movie business finds films that have a common language and remind us of how close we are rather than how far apart we are.

 

Roots of Evil

MD: I think excess in anything can be evil.  On the other hand, I think the United States is largely responsible for creating philanthropy.  Philanthropy is an American invention and then going back even to World War II and the Marshall Plan, the idea that you would, you know, do so much to rebuild Germany after the war was a phenomenon thought and question and sort of helped create the statuses today.  I mean, I personally am always amazed when I hear about Sunni Shiite conflict between tribes of the same faith and religion and yet wonder how 70 years later our best trading partners were our enemies in World War 2 in Japan and Germany and how quickly we were able to solve those issues and why certain other frictions go on forever so yeah, there’s somewhere in the middle.  I mean, there are abuses.  There’s certainly an issue of disparity, a disparity of money in terms of that as the world grows at 1% becomes wealthier.  On the other hand, at least in this country the amount of money that’s given away to charities, the amount that the Gates Foundation, for instance, is doing, stopping polio around the world and others, you know, is a unique example.

 

Acting in Special Effects Movie

MD: It’s the variety, it’s the mixture.  When they came to me with the Ant-Man I’ve never done a green screen movie.  All my movies were character driven pieces and I’d never done a – and so I was anxious to do that.  Obviously, the history of Marvel, why not be in a worldwide this is a successful venture as they’ve been or hopefully and they were very kind in terms of – and I had the joy of being in a supporting role, so I didn’t have the responsibility of carrying a movie.  Also, they orchestrated my time, so I wasn’t like hanging around for long periods of time and they pay you well (laughter).  Where do I sign up, you know, so and it turned out, you know, as I became part of the Marvel family and I drank the Marvel Kool-Aid that I said these are – this is a nice group.  They’re very intelligent, they cast really well, their directors are sharp and smart, and I mean let’s face it this is now I think 20 out of 20 is this the 20th?  They haven’t missed.  I don’t know anybody in the history of our business who’s done and saying that, yeah, they’re big comic book pictures but they each have their own kind of life and their world so I’m looking forward to seeing the movie but to hear the people say oh, it’s even better than the first one out of the box and it appeals, oh it appeals to even the younger kids and all of that so for me as an actor that’s great.  Then, yeah, I mean, so now “The Kominsky Method” I love comedy.  I haven’t done a lot of comedy.  I’ve done 3 or 4 comedy pictures but to work with Chuck Lorre and to do 8, you know, again under the streaming method, no commercials, can be 25 minutes long, can be 35 minutes long, you can say whatever you want language-wise, it’s like a little film and it’s great for your acting chops, you know, good.  It’s just another piece, you know, so I hadn’t done it for a while.  You know, I’m 73 years old.  I’m happy to know people still watch you and there’s still parts so I like to, you know, mix it up.  It’s variety.

 

Comic Sensibility

MD: I teased them because, you know, as Dr. Pym I sort of was responsible for all the plot, all this and like they cast me because I got a degree in quantum mechanics because I mean I don’t have any idea what the hell I’m talking about, so but I turned that then meanwhile Paul gets to ad lib that he’s very funny so I used to tease him about that but the idea was Paul was not my idea of my protegee, right, he was a cat burglar who took my suit and I’m sort of stuck with this guy so I think there was a certain tone of humor in looking at somebody who’s a little bit of an idiot, who intellectually is much below me but Paul is a great writer and has a wonderful comedic sense and I think in this new one where they were kind of finding the tone in the first one, this new one they’re more comfortable even being more humorous than the first one and I think as far as Marvel is concerned, it just makes for more of a good menu with some of their other darker pictures.

 

Power as Actor

MD: I think Evangeline is warming me up.  That’s very, very nice.  You know, I got a few movies.  I’ve been doing this for a while.  I think that as a producer and somebody who’s starring in most of my pictures I know what the responsibility is as #1 on the call sheet to create the most comfortable environment I possibly can.  Some actors try to intimidate other actors.  I embrace them.  I want them all to be as good as they possibly can because the only thing that matters is a good movie.  I don’t want to be good in a bad movie.  When the movie is good, everybody benefits so I think if you’re a younger actor like Evangeline or even Paul or, wow, look at these credits and you come in, but my intention is only to make them as comfortable as quickly as possible so don’t try to intimidate but to do and Evangeline’s got no problem.  She’s taken off.  I tease her because the end of the first movie the little trick at the end when we go down and I show her her mother’s suit and basically giving her the blessings that she’s going to go on and become the Wasp and in the suit we shot it, I look at Evangeline, she has this glowing look and she’s looking at this suit. I knew Evangeline’s head she’s going I’m going to be this superstar, have to be a super.  She knew the next one was probably going to happen, and this is what happened, so she’s done great and all the power to her.

 

First Paychecks

MD: My first paycheck was like $85 for an off-off Broadway show.  My first movie paycheck was paid by Steve McQueen who was the producer and it was a movie called “Adam At 6:00 AM” and I think I got $3,400 for the whole movie but also in the movie I drove this tangerine orange Porsche.  It’s a beautiful car and when the movie was over, and Steve said congratulations and he held up these car keys.  He said, here and he gave me that Porsche. Back then I was sharing a one room apartment with Danny DeVito on the Upper West Side, so the money was sent on food or booze, I don’t know. It wasn’t on laundry.

 

Investment in Art

MD: My first big money after “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” I invested in art, and initially I loved German Expressionism.  I realized even back in 1975 it was really expensive.  It was really expensive, so I started getting what’s called the Hudson River School, American, turn of the century Hudson River luminescence painting.  Albert Bierstadt, Moran, artists like that and I collected for a while and then what happened one day or sort of is I was looking at a painting on the wall and as beautiful as the painting was it was next to a window which had a lovely view and I found myself looking at the beautiful view and so I started buying land, and I realized that I enjoy much more the environment and houses.  I am now in the process of downsizing so if you know of anybody who wants to buy a beautiful farm in Majorca. The joy and the fun that I have now is with property.

 

Investing in Wall Street

MD: I thought I was during the tech boom in the 1990s and I used to invest myself.  I do have friends that I’ve known for years from school who are investors but since then and since the ’07, ’08 crises in which you could understand how quickly one can get hurt I’m very conservative and sort of turn this over to people that are more knowledgeable than I am.

 

 

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as TV Series

MD: I am involved indirectly because we brought it to them.  It’s a series called “Ratched” which is sort of the story of Nurse Ratched leading up to when she was at the house, what was her life before that turned her into that woman and it’s still in early development stages.  A couple of bumps in the road script-wise so it’s going on.

 

Son Leaving Family Nest

MD: Catherine and I, our son Dylan is going away to college next year.  We have our daughter Carys who’s in what’s looking like a big house now. We look at each other and say boy, I’m so glad we get along, you know.  You can certainly hide behind the kids for so long and now you understand what happens.  I have to start thinking about project like that, you know, about a couple who, you know, who are sort of like a happy family and then all of a sudden, the kids are gone, and they look at each other, you know, and be sort of a take-off on “The War of The Roses.”

 

New Movies

MD: “Animal World” is coming out next weekend.  It’s coming out June 29th, director Han and a wonderful, wonderful young Chinese actor named Li Yi Feng and I had – it was a wonderful experience.  I went over, we shot it in Hainan. It was difficult for me because of a customs rating for anybody of my team to come over with me so I basically went over there alone and it was a wonderful experience.  Again, it was a perfect example of the magic of moviemaking and how we all speak the same language.  I had a young American lady who was a translator and she used to translate for that talented Ling Ling. Director Han does not speak any English at all and I had a great experience.  I’ve just seen the movie.  It was at the Shanghai Film Festival and I’m so glad you mention this because I was going to keep this as my ace in the hole because I think it’s going to be a really big movie.  China is the biggest market in the world and so I’m really happy.  I’m excited to be a part of it and I had a wonderful, wonderful experience there.  I just sent them a little video wishing them all good luck on their opening night.

 

Leisure

MD: When I don’t work, it’s Golf. I love to travel a bit but I really love golf.  I’m debating, I’m trying to get talked by my wife into going – I am curious about catamaran, sail catamarans, trying to think about chartering a catamaran.  She’s not too high on the idea, but I’m working on that but golf is obviously my major avocation.  Once I gear up, I find myself dreaming about golf, I find myself thinking about the swings.  I’m consumed.  I came to the game late and so I really want to try to get better. I have a couple of courses near my home in New York and then I have places where if I go to Bermuda or wherever I am I try to look ahead to find courses.

 

 

 

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