The Film That Lit My Fuse is a Deadline video series that aims to provide an antidote to headlines about industry uncertainty by swinging the conversation back to the creative ambitions, formative influences and inspirations of some of today’s great screen artists.
Every installment asks the same five questions. Today’s subject is Michael Douglas. Faced with having to live up to the legacy of his iconic father Kirk Douglas, he burnished his own legend as a two time Oscar winning producer and movie star, with a Prime Time Emmy Award for playing Liberace opposite Matt Damon in Steven Soderbergh’s Behind the Candelabra. Douglas won a Best Actor Oscar for his iconic turn as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street, and another for producing One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Douglas exited a starring role on The Streets of San Francisco to take that leap, gaining rights from his father (who starred in the Broadway adaptation of the Ken Kesey novel), and was the one who told Kirk Douglas he was too old to play a role that director Milos Forman tapped Jack Nicholson to play. Nicholson won an Oscar. Here, Douglas spins some incredible yarns about his formative days that led to a superstar career starring in films including Basic Instinct, The China Syndrome, Fatal Attraction, Traffic, Wonder Boys, Falling Down, Romancing the Stone, The War of the Roses and many others. Aside from The Kominsky Method, Douglas is also reprising in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, his third turn in the hit Marvel movie franchise. Watch how films like The Graduate and 2001: A Space Odyssey (the latter with a little pharmaceutical help) influenced his road.
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