Want to see the underbelly of the movie business? John Cusack will show you.
With 76 credited roles under his belt, Cusack knows the lights and darks of Hollywood, and his experience – along with that of screenwriter Bruce Wagner – enables him to sketch a grim portrait of the industry in the new film, Maps to the Stars.
Cusack has been a household name since the release of Say Anything 25 years ago, and he says he’ll have the privilege of performing for awhile longer.
“I got another 15, 20 years before they say I’m old. For women it’s brutal. Bruce [Wagner’s] thing about if you’re 26, you’re menopausal? It’s only absurd because it’s a little bit further than the truth,” the actor, 48, tells The Guardian.
“I have actress friends who are being put out to pasture at 29. They just want to open up another can of hot 22. It’s becoming almost like kiddie porn. It’s f–––––– weird.”
Maps to the Stars also features Robert Pattinson, who Cusack says has healthy instincts in his career choices. Cusack adds that young Hollywood doesn’t receive enough mentoring from more experienced actors, as he did when he began.
“People would look after you when I was a kid,” he says. “There were good people in the business. When I came to L.A., Rob Reiner said: ‘Come stay at my house.’ He taught me. I worked with Pacino [in the 1996 crime drama City Hall]. Pacino would talk to you and mentor you. Now it’s different. The culture just eats young actors up and spits them out. It’s a hard thing to survive without finding safe harbour.”
“You can’t make it up,” says Cusack of the film’s authenticity. “It’s a whorehouse and people go mad.”