ReelzChannel sat down recently with Greg Kinnear to talk about Flash of Genius, in which he plays a college professor and part-time inventor who fights the auto industry, claiming that the intermittent windshield wiper was his invention.
ReelzChannel: What did you think when you first saw the script?
Kinnear: Yeah, it's not the most dynamic subject matter. I'm happy to say that this is, ultimately, not about the intermittent windshield wiper. It is about this guy's journey, though. I thought it was amazing -- he's a gruff, prickly son of a gun, and not the most likeable of guys. Alan Alda tells him in the movie. But I, ultimately, really found myself rooting for him. I wanted him to succeed, and I felt what the Ford Motor Company did to him, and the fact that he was marginalized in that kind of way -- I can't imagine setting aside my family and stuff to make that journey, to be in that guy's shoes. It's as frustrating as it is rewarding to watch the journey.
RC: His fight was so dynamic. How were you able to prepare for those court scenes?
Kinnear: The courtroom was a big portion of the movie -- I mean, he spent a lot of time and a lot of years there. Obviously, it's condensed. But the most jaw-dropping parts of the courtroom stuff were real.... Him representing himself and cross-examining himself on the stand -- that all happened. That was the part where, as I read it, I really felt like [there] was something about this guy. He was a real character and I felt for him. I didn't feel like he wasn't emotional or sentimental. If anything, like I said, he could be awfully tough. But he had this kind of innocence about him that was a little intoxicating.
RC: Tell me about working with Marc Abraham? It was his first time directing.
Kinnear: Well, I've worked with a few first-time directors. Marc was great -- I mean, he'd been trying to tell this story for a long, long time. He was really, obviously, deeply passionate about it and had talked to Bob. Not the easiest conversation to call Bob Kearns and say, "Hey, we're from Hollywood. We want to make a movie about your life." But he'd done all the legwork and had gotten this script into a really nice place. With first-time directors, in particular, you can often tell the quality of their work based upon the acting. There were so many little day parts -- people who came in, worked not even a full day, and helped contribute to this movie -- and they're all fantastic. Across the board, the actors in this movie are really solid. He should be applauded for that.
RC: You're promoting two movies at the same time. Are these interviews like whomp, whomp, whomp, whomp...