Can we talk about Greg Kinnear for a second? All the way back to his Talk Soup and Later days, I’ve always loved this guy. And it’s pretty remarkable how he’s been able to transition from snarky talk-show host to big-screen leading man over the last decade. (He even scored an Oscar nod for As Good As It Gets in 1998.) But I feel like he’s been grossly under-appreciated in the last few years. He had arguably the biggest role in Little Miss Sunshine, but while his costars Alan Arkin, Abigail Breslin, Paul Dano, Toni Collette, and Steve Carell all received some sort of individual prize or critics-award nomination, he was completely ignored. He’s also fantastic in the Ricky Gervais comedy Ghost Town (his performance is so good it reminded me of Kevin Kline’s Oscar-winning turn in A Fish Called Wanda), but given its pathetic box office I’m sure you didn’t see it.
Now Kinnear is carrying his own film, the true-life biopic Flash of Genius (out this Friday), where he plays professor Bob Kearns, who battled with the Ford Motor Company over his invention of the intermittent windshield wiper. It’s an effective movie, but I fear its conventional structure may make it tough for it to gain enough traction in the awards season. Which is a shame, because he delivers one of his best performances yet. In other words, it’s an underdog of a movie about an underdog of a guy starring an underdog of an actor. Here’s Part 2 of my Oscar Watch interview with the man himself.
Watch Part 1 of the interview here.