The Music of Chance' Gives Actors Second Chance

A father-son relationship is the focus of''The Music of Chance,'' the second
movie in which James Spader and Mandy Patinkin have played opposite each

JIM MORET, Anchor: Opening in movie theaters this weekend is a new, low-budget film called 'Music of Chance.' The project stars Mandy Patinkin and James Spader, and the fact that it's low-budget makes it all the more interesting for the two actors. Cynthia Tornquist has the story.

CYNTHIA TORNQUIST, Entertainment Correspondent: James Spader stars opposite Mandy Patinkin in this story about two men who's chance meeting changes their lives forever. Spader portrays a gambler down on his luck. Patinkin plays a drifter named Jim Nash, returns his life savings over to Spader to enter a poker game with two eccentric millionaires played by Charles Durney and Joel Gray.

[scene from 'Music of Chance']

CHARLES DURNEY: And these past seven years is the one time our luck has failed us.

JOEL GRAY: That's why we're so keen on this rematch.

JAMES SPADER: What makes you think anything's gonna be different this time?

Mr. GRAY: We took lessons.

MANDY PATINKIN: They lose everything to, [unintelligible] characters played by Charles Durney and Joel Gray. Whose names are flower in stone very much
like Laurel and Hardy. And they are then to pay off their debt.

TORNQUIST: James Spader was the first to be cast, but when he was initially approached he passed, because the role he was being offered was not the one
he wanted.

Mr. SPADER: It was sent to me with the idea of 'Nash' and I said, I don't want to get in the way at all of this other situation with this other actor, but that's the role I'd play if I was going to do this film, ever.

TORNQUIST: So the film's director Philip Hoss agreed to let Spader play the role he desired and gave Patinkin the role of the drifter.

Mr. PATINKIN: The most interesting aspects of the piece to me are the father-son relationship between Nash and Pozzi and, to me, it's also a journey of learning that the most worthwhile thing you can find in your life is when you realize that you can be- that someone else needs you.

TORNQUIST: The film marks the second time the two actors have worked together. Previously, they appeared in a scene in True Colors and became
fast friends. While The Music of Chance is a low-budget film, the actors found other rewards.

Mr. SPADER: If I'd been able to afford to do it for free, which I couldn't at the time 'cause I always seem to take so much time off, you know, that by the time I end up working again, I'm just, you know, I'm borrowing money from my accountant, or something, you know, to pay my bills, but I'd even play him again for the second time, I think, for free.

TORNQUIST: And on that level it would seem that The Music of Chance may be an opportunity for its stars to take new directions in their careers. Cynthia Tornquist, CNN Entertainment News, New York.