Cusack's 'High Fidelity' Performance

000330 earlyshow john cusack high fidelity CBS

The idea of real guys baring their souls in love and relationships is not one often explored in modern film but that's what is at the heart of High Fidelity, a new comedy co-produced and co-written by the film's star, John Cusack.

Early Show Anchor Bryant Gumbel had a chance to talk with Cusack Thursday.
Cusack categorizes the film as more of a chick flick than a guy's movie: "It's a chick flick in the sense that girls really like it because we sort of cop to the truth in the film," he says.

The film is based on a book by Nick Hornby. "Most guys that I know...Most people that I know who read the book and have now seen the film said, whether they like it or not, they relate to Rob and they've been where he's been, been there done that," Cusack says.

"Nick Hornby captures the circus inside our heads when we're trying to, you know, commit to a woman, because we always sort of are looking over our shoulder. There might be another one coming along. And I'm sure the circus inside a woman's head is equally as insane," he says.

Women might tend to talk about their feelings; men may not as much. "I think women really like the film because it's kind of brutally honest about what we do," Cusack admits.

Rob Gordon, the character Cusack plays, is a record store owner in Chicago, completely obsessed with pop music. "He sort of lives his life autobiographically through the history of recorded music. And he probably spends much too much time thinking and listening to music."

The character is hung up on the breakups of his life. And Rob is always making top-five lists - "like top-five songs about death," Cusack says. When his girlfriend leaves him, "he decides he's going to go back to the top-five breakups of his life and try to figure out what went wrong."

Does Cusack think Rob is telling some universal truths about men or is the movie basically about Rob and his ego? "A lot of people would say, 'Oh, this is just about sort of a slacker and a guy who's sort of a nerd and is not doing anything.' But I think secretly, Nick Hornby is telling the straight truth," he says.

Cusack reflects on how he is both different and like his character. "I got some money," he says. "I don't stay at home. I don't own a record shop. I'm not broke."

"But, yes, I have been there, done that. And most guys have, too," he admits.

Rob Gordon, of course, is clearly commitment phobic. "I'm on the other side of that," Cusack declares. "I think what happens is, that the guys, like, get to a point where, you know, they're 35 years old and they don't want to be that guy who's 45 in a club. "

Cusack is in every scene in this film and has a number of monologues. "I have done films where I was on screen that much. I just think we tried so many sort of stylistic things with it, like we have...Rob actually ort of talking directly into camera."

"The volume of stuff I had to do was pretty intense," he adds.

Virtually the only thing Cusack did not do was direct the film. "Sometimes if you do all that, maybe you actually go completely psychotic and, you know, drive yourself into a wall. So I figured we get a guy like Stephen Frears," Cusack says.

  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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