Cusack was 23 when he made Say Anything. Now, some eight years later, he says that working on that film is still one of his most treasured memories: "Lloyd Dobler was simply the best part of who I could ever be." And so who is John Cusack, really? He smiles that killer smile. "You know how in The Grifters, my character, the con man Roy Dillon, had such a dark heart? I'd have to say I'm right smack in the middle of Lloyd and Roy."
When asked what kind of research he did for the role of the journalist who becomes involved in a murder investigation in Savannah, Georgia, Cusack smiles and points toward the tape recorder that sits in front of him. "I've been watching you guys watching me for years. I kept all that in mind," says Cusack, who cowrote Grosse Pointe Blank. "Plus, I AM a writer, so I drew on that too."
"Making my sister (Joan Cusack played the hit man's assistant in GPB) laugh is still one of the best things I can do. There's a scene where she's wearing this jacket with epaulets and I say, 'Hey, Sergeant Pepper, back off.' That line wasn't scripted, and when I said it for the first time, this smile started in Joan's eyes and then just spread to the rest of her face before she burst into laughter."
Joan Cusack just had a baby named Dylan John. "She better have another baby," Cusack says of his sister, "because if she doesn't, this one is going to be spoiled rotten. He's the first baby in the family, and it's not unusual for 12 adults to be standing around, smiling at him, and waiting to do anything he needs, which right now is little more than changing his diaper." Cusack says he would love kids of his own, but not until he's "very settled in a relationship - I'm not the single father kind of guy." And no, he's not about to tell us if there is someone on the horizon who has mother-to-be potential.
"I feel very blessed, very fortunate, very happy. I love my work, I love my friends, I love my family. There was a period when I didn't work for about two years when I was about 25, 26, and I couldn't imagine what I would do with my life and that was scary. But now I have other things I love. I'm a pretty good kick boxer; I'm a pretty good writer; there are things I could fall back on. And you know how it is - the minute you realize that your options are unlimited, things just start falling into place all around you." And then Cusack, who claims not to be superstitous, knocks a wooden table two times, just to be sure.