Matthew Modine makes the leap to TV in TNT series 'Proof'

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

NEW YORK (AP) — As many film actors make the leap to television, Matthew Modine, one of the stars of TNT's new series "Proof," wants to make it clear: He loves making movies.

"It's always an adventure," he says. "You go off to different corners of the world and meet strange and unusual people and it's such an extraordinary experience and I certainly don't want to ever abandon that about my profession."

Modine, whose film roles include Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket," plays billionaire Ivan Turing, a cancer patient obsessed with finding out what happens after a person dies, in "Proof," which airs Tuesday nights (10 p.m. EDT).

He persuades Jennifer Beals' character, Dr. Carolyn Tyler, to help him find the answer.

Modine, 56, says the show "gives us the opportunity to explore the different kinds of beliefs" (about an afterlife) and perhaps spark a conversation.

And he compares working on "Proof" to the "old school" way of making movies.

"When I started in the industry it (took) three to four months to make a film. There were exceptions, working with Kubrick on 'Full Metal Jacket' I was in England for almost two years. 'Proof' was the old feature-length film production schedule," he says.

He talked about "Proof" and taking his career one day at a time in a recent phone interview with The Associated Press.

Associated Press: When did you first work with Jennifer Beals?

Modine: Jennifer and I made a movie together in Italy in 1988 called 'The Gamble.' It was a romantic adventure story ... with Faye Dunaway. It was not a great movie but it was an unbelievable experience because we traveled. It was wonderful but it was a terrible movie. (Laughs.) But that happens. I don't know how many movies I've made now but I've never started a project where everybody doesn't work really hard and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I think I've learned more from the films that didn't work than I have the ones that did.

AP: How so?

Modine: It's like falling down. You fall down and then learn how not to. You learn what to avoid and what not to do.

AP: At this point in your career, do you find it's easier to accept when something doesn't work?

Modine: Where I'm at now, I'm interested in the performance that day. I try to give it my all and not worry about the results. Of course I want the play, the show, the movie to do well. I want it to be a great success but more importantly I want to do the best I can in that moment.

AP: The first season of "Proof" is 10 episodes. Would you have signed on to the show if it had been more than that?

Modine: I probably would not have done it if it had been a greater number. I've never done episodic television but one of the things that was not appealing to me in the past when people talked to me about it is that it becomes a full-time job and becomes your life. Vincent d'Onofrio, who is a dear friend, talked to me about 'Law & Order' and the reason he chose to do it is because he thought, 'Well, I'll have a normal life. Work five days a week.'... He said it's everything but that. It's really a six-day week and when you're not filming you're memorizing lines and when you're not memorizing lines you're doing publicity for the show. So it really becomes an all-consuming profession.




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