March 28, 2010 in Features

The ’80s not all that hot

Sandy Cohen Associated Press
Associated Press photo

John Cusack
(Full-size photo)

The ’80s were good to John Cusack.

He was a teenager then, racking up acting credits in films such as “Sixteen Candles,” “The Sure Thing,” “Better Off Dead” and “Say Anything.”

Now 43, Cusack returns to that storied decade on screen and off as the star and producer of “Hot Tub Time Machine,” a comic romp that brings four friends back to their youthful glory days via a mysterious Jacuzzi powered by Russian Red Bull and repaired by a cryptic Chevy Chase.

Q: What made you want to go back to the 1980s?

A: I remember it being – obviously it was the formative years of my life because I was between 10 and 20 – but I don’t remember it being all that cheery a time, so I thought that having some actors who had been in movies back then, going back in time and actually being a movie within a movie, I thought that all that was part of the comic nightmare of it.

Q: What were the most awesome things about the ’80s?

A: There was great music, great art, great literature, great films. Those are usually some of the things that I like.

Q: You did not mention fashion.

A: I think that would have to fall under the terrifying things of the ’80s. The legwarmers, the scrunchies, the mullets, the primary colors. The list goes on and on.

And I have a wide variety of fashion horror shows myself that’s available on cable, seemingly all the time.

Q: If you had a real hot tub time machine that worked, where would you go and why?

A: It would be pretty fun if you could go back to when your favorite bands were first playing. Like if you were a drummer, you could go back to Liverpool right when the Beatles fired Pete Best and they’re looking for a drummer and replace Ringo Starr. There could be a couple historic opportunities there.

You could also travel back in time and not meet people that you ended up meeting and going out with. You could avoid a few bad relationships by just actually not bumping into them, so that would be good.

The birthday bunch

Actress Conchata Ferrell is 67. Actor Ken Howard is 66. Actress Dianne Wiest is 62. Singer Reba McEntire is 55. Rapper Salt (Salt-N-Pepa) is 44. Singer Rodney Atkins is 41. Actor Vince Vaughn is 40. Actress Julia Stiles is 29. Singer Lady Gaga is 24.

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