A cat-and-mouse thriller, Beyond the Reach sees Michael Douglas turn in a terrifying performance as a crazed poacher who hunts the very tracker he has hired to help him cross the Mojave Desert. At 70 years of age, Douglas is as compelling in the role as he was playing Gordon Gekko in Wall Street (1987). Having earned rave reviews for his performance as Liberace in Behind the Candelabra, a role that won him an Emmy in 2013, Douglas will soon star in the superhero movie, Ant-Man.
Relaxed and still dashing, Douglas chats to MiNDFOOD about his dynamic career.
Tell us how Beyond the Reach came about.
I produced the movie. It’s based on a novel called Death Watch, which was written by Robb White, which I read back in 1972. I thought it was a really good cat-and-mouse thriller. Back then I was thinking more about playing the younger role, of course. Anyway, I acquired the literary rights, thought it was a good tight thriller and was happy to play the older role.
You’re so good at playing the villain. Do you like it?
I’ve always focused not so much on characters but the films and the plots. This guy [in Beyond the Reach] was six degrees north of [Gordon] Gekko and probably a little crazier. They’re fun parts to play but for me it’s always trying to be in a good movie first and foremost.
What keeps you working?
Well, I love what I’m doing, I really do. I had cancer about four or five years ago and coming out of that, you’re not quite sure where your career is going to go. I had a wonderful opportunity with Behind the Candelabra and that was a great piece of material. It was great to work with Matt Damon and Steven Soderbergh and from that a lot of offers seemed to come forward, which I was kind of surprised about as I’m 70.
I’ve always enjoyed producing and I’m getting more involved with my company in cable television so it’s easier to get smaller pictures done, like Beyond the Reach.
Are you shocked that you’re as in demand now as you were in your 30s and 40s?
I don’t know. I just think, take it while you can. I certainly appreciate this right now.
What’s your secret to looking so youthful?
A couple of things happened – I went gluten-free a few years ago and for a guy whose weight really only varied a couple of pounds in my life, I dropped about eight or nine pounds. Being gluten free is also supposed to help your memory but I haven’t seen too much of that, I have to admit. It makes you feel better, though. And on the last movie I did, the hair and make-up guy gave me a really good aloe cream I use.
Why do you think so many Australians are doing well in Hollywood right now?
I think in general American actors are too concerned about their image. They’re more concerned about their persona than actually playing the parts and Aussies don’t seem to care about that stuff.
Your memories of Australia?
We had a wild time when we were promoting One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest many, many years ago. We were on the same schedule as The Eagles tour and had a great time in Sydney hanging out together.
‘Beyond The Reach’ is available for digital download, Blu-Ray & DVD from 15 July.