Are people going to see Jack Kevorkian differently after watching this film?
Well, I think a lot of people have the wrong impression of the man because he only exists through little sound bites. That's the impression we have of him. So there's very little known about the man, his private life, his relationships, etc. -- which are some of the elements we try to show. We're not trying to glorify the character, but we are trying to give a better picture of what he was about, how he thought, how he viewed the ethics of it all. I think that's one of the interesting aspects of the film.
The film focuses on Kevorkian's dedication to assisted suicide, and then there's his downfall. Can you talk about the story a little bit?
What happens is that he is so committed to this idea and believes that he is so right, that there's a point where he wants to push the issue. His might not be the best way to approach it, because he doesn't look at the nuances of it all. He just wants to bring it to a head and resolve that question. It basically leads to his incarceration and eight years in prison. He is so committed to what he believes should be a reality, that he can't deal with all of these obstacles, as he sees them. He wants a conclusion, so he presses ahead with a kind of single-mindedness that he possesses. And it is his downfall, certainly in that he went to prison for eight years.
How did Al Pacino take to playing Kevorkian?
I think Al responded to the character. He can't be doing an imitation; he has to try to get the essence of Kevorkian. He takes certain elements that resemble him, but he can't act just as Kevorkian did, nor is that a requirement. It's not like he's playing FDR, where there are certain requirements to fulfill. He tries to get to the general sensibility and the humanity of the character.