CANNES — John Cusack plays a Florida swamp-rat and scumbag in Lee Daniels’ new film, The Paperboy.
“I was thrilled!” Cusack said Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival, where The Paperboy is in competition. He called it a relief from other recent roles. “I felt I was let out of some cage somehow.”
When he first met Daniels (of Precious fame), the director insisted he could step up his game, telling Cusack: “I just think you’ve got more to give than you’ve been giving lately.” Cusack now calls that “music to an actor’s ears.”
Cusack has also just been cast as former U.S. president Richard Nixon in Daniels’ next film, The Butler. “I haven’t quite processed it yet,” Cusack said with a grin. Another Paperboy co-star, Matthew McConaughey, will appear as John F. Kennedy in the true story of a butler who serves a succession of presidents at the White House.