You get to pick and choose your projects. What was the biggest draw to this one?
I read the script and it was so interesting. Very rarely do you find something that makes you say, "I want to play this." It had a good script, a good solid story, and yet, the character was elusive and different for me. I've never played anyone like this, and I knew that it would have to be an extreme character. I thought it was interesting to try to find a way to express what it is to be a true zealot. The way I believe Jack is. He's the real thing. And of course it had Barry Levinson as the director, which is a big, big plus.
The film is called, 'You Don't Know Jack.' What did you learn about Dr. Kevorkian?
I didn't know that he was as committed as he was. I didn't know that he was as humorous and intelligent as he was. And I didn't know how creative and interesting a person he was. Painting, writing, music - even teaching himself Japanese while he's in a court of law. All these things are so admirable to me. I would like to be that smart. And here was an opportunity to actually play someone that smart. That's fun. That's what being an actor's about. The other thing I learned about Jack was that he wanted to be there for people. His patients and their families felt more comfortable and safer when he was administering euthanasia. They could've done it by themselves, but they would've been upset because they wouldn't know what to do if it went wrong. They were so fearful of that. He was there, because it gave them a comfort zone.
The story deals with some heavy issues, but it doesn't feel like a heavy film - why is that?
This is the trick that Barry pulled off. The story just keeps unfolding. It doesn't feel like it's taking a stand on one thing or another. It's a very eclectic kind of movie, and Barry did that. At one point I had said to him, "You know, those biopic kind of movies can get a little tiresome." But Barry said, "No, I think I can do this the right way." And he did. He actually did.