crash" - U.S. studios afraid to release James Spader's new flick
-- James Spader has been on some Tuff Turf in his career. He's even
had his share of Bad Influence. None of this prepared him for the
Crash his career would take when he met Canadian director David Cronenberg.
Spader stars with Holly Hunter and Rosanna Arquette in Cronenberg's
subversive erotic thriller Crash, which opens on Friday. It's the
story of people who are sexually aroused by the carnage of car accidents.
The film caused a wave of controversy this year at the Cannes Film
Festival and still doesn't have an opening date in the U.S. "Studio
people are afraid of Crash. It makes a statement about whoever releases
the film. Miramax took a lot of flak for releasing Kids. The same
will happen for whoever releases Crash," admits Spader.
In Canada, Crash is being released by Alliance Films, which helped
fund Cronenberg's film. Spader says he knew and embraced the fact
the film would be controversial. "As soon as you read the screenplay
you know what kind of movie you're in. You accept the fact you're
pushing the envelope with this movie." In the four months since
it was released in Europe, Crash has found as many fans as it has
detractors. "We were the No. 5 film in Europe this summer and
we were only playing in France. We out-grossed every other movie in
France." Spader insists he was not trying to exorcise something
in his own life or personality by starring in Crash. "I have
my own artistic sensibilities and Crash complements them. It is a
provocative, challenging, disturbing film made for adults. "It's
not a skeleton in the closet for me."
Spader is also starring in the gangster thriller 2 Days in the Valley.
He plays a sadistic hit man. "I like to say of my character in
2 Days in the Valley that he has turned a hobby into a profession.
He loves his work. It just happens to be a deplorable occupation."
Just before he went to work on Crash and 2 Days in the Valley, Spader
starred in the sci-fi hit Stargate. It was written and directed by
Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin, the team responsible for this summer's
mega- hit, Independence Day. "Roland called me when he was casting
ID4. He told me he'd sort of recycled my Stargate character. "He
implied the role was mine if I wanted it, but at that time there was
talk of a sequel to Stargate so we both thought it was better that
I not repeat things." The role went to Jeff Goldblum. The sequel
to Stargate fell through when MGM decided to turn it into a TV series
One of Spader's earliest films was Less than Zero, a look at the crippling
effect of drugs on jet-setters. Spader's co-star was Robert Downey
Jr., whose losing battle with heroine addiction has landed him in
protective custody. "I knew Robert before, during and after Less
than Zero. It's incredibly sad but not surprising, what's happened
to him. "I'm grateful that I was able to clean up my wild life.
Getting married and having children did that for me. I guess some
of us just can't grow up." Spader says he doesn't allow celebrity
to impact on his life. "I don't spend time with masses of people.
I rarely go to Hollywood or industry functions. "When I'm not
working, I avoid the fame track. I spend every summer with my extended
family. My wife and kids take road trips to visit all our friends
Though his oldest son is seven, Spader says he "never sits down
with him to watch one of my films and I never intend to. "If
my kids choose to see one of my films, that's their prerogative. My
movies are not the centrepiece of our household." Next month,
Spader will begin filming the medical satire Critical Care, for director
Sydney Lumet in Toronto. His co-stars will be Helen Mirren, Anne Bancroft
and Albert Brooks.
© Express Writer by Louis B. Hobson