ML - Vegas Magazine

2013 - Issue 7 - November

Vegas Magazine - Niche Media - There is a place beyond the crowds, beyond the ropes, where dreams are realized and success is celebrated. You are invited.

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interviews. Turteltaub laughed when describing his new friend on set: "Kevin never has a really good idea—he has 11. It can be wonderful or a pain in the neck. The 11th idea could be it, but at some point people have to eat lunch." Turteltaub had never worked with Kline before Last Vegas, yet the director stayed chatting with him so long the first time they met that his wife had to come break up the party. In fact, while each member of the movie's Brooklyn-raised "Flatbush Four" is a Hollywood icon, none of the men had ever worked together—or with Turteltaub. ("I was scared to death," he says.) But they had a good time together during the 11-day shoot in Vegas, where the locations included Aria (the production's home base), the Strip, Binion's, even baggage claim at McCarran Airport. Rare nights off yielded dinners at Sirio Ristorante and Jean-Georges Steakhouse, and they saw The Beatles LOVE and O, which Kline calls "spectacular." In his downtime he frequented Blossom, the Chinese restaurant inside Aria, where he stayed, and relaxed in his suite. Looking back, he admits that the inner workings of our hospitality town impressed him. "Whenever I called room service, I'd say, 'I'll have the chamomile tea,' and they'd say, 'Oh, fantastic! Excellent choice!'" Kline says. "'And an order of toast.' 'Oh, spectacular!' They're genuinely enthused, very upbeat." While the film's bachelor party devotees hit a loud nightclub and throw a penthouse bash for the books, the actors had very early call times and Kline needed some rest. One evening, that almost didn't happen. "There was some party keeping me up," he says. "I called downstairs, and four people showed up in uniforms with walkie-talkies. They weren't trained acoustical engineers, but they pinpointed the source of the music, the throbbing noise. It was shaking my windows, and they identified it as across the street and about a mile away and dispatched someone. The efficiency with which they swooped in to deal with that was quite impressive." Kline's lengthy conversations lead one to believe that his wife must be a very patient woman. Phoebe Cates, a 1980s starlet in classics like Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Gremlins, retired from acting in the 1990s to raise their two children—no full-time nanny in this Hollywood household— and help her actor husband when he needs it. "She comes from a family of producers and grew up going to the theater constantly," Kline says. "She is really smart. Usually she's not terribly interested in [acting], but if I really need advice, I will ask her for it, and she will give it." In Last Vegas, Kline portrays a socially awkward man who's been given a free pass for the weekend (and some accessories to help make it happen) by his adoring wife. He hasn't attempted to pick up chicks in four decades, and, as the actor says, "hilarity ensues." Retired and bored, in love with his wife but apathetic, his character looks wide-eyed at the anything-ispossible Strip as a way for him to get his mojo back. Kline wanted to make sure the audience understood that loneliness and would root for the character on his quest for some age-inappropriate tail. "Kevin would make choices here and there, try certain things, and sometimes Turteltaub would say, 'Okay, great, but don't do it,'" jokes De Niro. "Or he'd do it. You never know what you're going to get, but that's good." Freeman, who has known Kline since the 1980s, got a kick out of his approach—even if it meant longer days on set. "I don't have a problem with actors like Kevin," he says. "'How else can I do this? How else can I present this? Can I make this funny? Can I make it funnier?' That's the kind of actor he is, and he's fun." As Turteltaub suggested, sometimes it's hard to believe that certain favorite movie characters over the years were played by Kline. In fact, some fans don't recognize him at all. They might see an actor who looks vaguely familiar, but they can't quite place him. And that suits Kline just fine—it's all part of his strategy. "I've felt since the very beginning of my career that the less people know about me personally, the more advantageous it will be for them if they're watching me act, the more they can suspend disbelief," he says. "There are brilliant and successful actors about whom we know intimate details, so some can transcend it. But I just want to stack the deck as much as I can in my favor by being discreet or closemouthed about my personal life." Even the turning point of his career, the experience that convinced him that he belonged on stage and in front of a camera, was about the acting, pure and simple. "I took a part on Broadway in On the Twentieth Century, which I first turned down, then got talked into doing it," he says of the 1978 production. "The part grew in rehearsal, and a song was written for me. We developed it, and the part turned into a really good part, whereas on the page it was not. It got great reviews, and I got a Tony Award. That was when I realized, Well, I'm glad I did this. I almost didn't. I learned a lot of lessons: how something appears on the page isn't necessarily how it's going to end up, that there is a process. That was the moment: 'I guess I must be doing something right here.'" V "I just want to stack the deck as much as I can in my favor by being close-mouthed about my personal life." —KEVIN KLINE 94 VEGASMAGAZINE.COM 090-095_V_F_KevinKline_Nov13.indd 94 10/22/13 10:25 AM

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