For Kevin Kline “there’s always King Lear”

The terrific Oscar-winning actor Kevin Kline muses on Shakespeare, the stage, Hollywood and where he puts all those awards.

Kevin Kline is an actor I really admire. His range of work, from drama to comedy, from theatre to movies, is terrific and since his film debut in 1982, opposite Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice, if I see his name as part of the cast for a movie, I’ll say “Oh good, Kevin Kline’s in it”.

Life as a HouseHe’d won his Oscar – ‘Actor in a Supporting Role’ – for a hilarious turn as the psychotically funny Otto in A Fish Called Wanda, just 7 years after his debut role in Alan J. Pakula’s film version of Sophie’s Choice and before picking up the statue, he’d made memorable impressions in 2 Lawrence Kasdan movies – as Harold in The Big Chill and Paden in Silverado – as well as Donald Woods in Richard Attenborough’s Cry Freedom.

Kline then went on to deliver more notable performances, post-Oscar, as actor Jeffrey Anderson in the hilarious Soapdish, as the President and his down-to-earth doppleganger in Ivan Reitman’s spot-on comedy Dave, as the emotionally confused teacher Howard Brackett in the marvellous In & Out and as troubled father Ben Hood in Ang Lee’s outstanding drama The Ice Storm.

But my particular favourites in his body of work are when Kline worked again with longtime collaborator Kasdan, giving Meg Ryan a romantic problem as the very gentlemanly thief Luc Teyssier in French Kiss and opposite Kristin Scott Thomas as George Monroe, the architect who discovers a reason to really live in the very underrated drama Life as a House.

Last VegasNow he’s part of a dynamite ensemble in a sort of seniors version of The Hangover – Last Vegas – acting alongside Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas and Morgan Freeman. They’re 4 friends enjoying the party town before Douglas finally heads down the aisle. It’s the kind of comedy role in which Kline excels, making even the biggest moments seem subtle and powerful.

He talks about the movie, as well his illustrious stage career, in this terrific recent interview in The Guardian:

‘the American Olivier’

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