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John Cusack: True Romantic?

In a career that's lasted more than 20 years, John Cusack has starred in a variety of films, from "The Grifters" to "Con Air" to "High Fidelity."

In his latest, the romantic comedy "Must Love Dogs," Cusack plays a newly divorced man thrust back onto the dating scene.

As Jake Anderson, Cusack is an idealist whose emotional role model is Dr. Zhivago.

"If he's going out there again, he wants an epic romance," says Cusack. "He understands there'll be some ups and downs and some exquisite agonies, and he's ready to embrace it all; he's that kind of passionate character."

Cusack tells The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler Anderson has a "bizarre obsession" with Zhivago.

Almost as a joke, Anderson goes on a blind date through an Internet dating service and meets a woman, played by Diane Lane, who also recently started dating again after a divorce.

"The film has a really nice heart, and it sorta shows you how, when it comes to dating, we're all sort of God's fools," Cusack tells Syler.

As for dating in the real world, Cusack jokes he's never been on an Internet blind date with Diane Lane.

On a more serious note, Cusack says, "I think you can start off having very intense conversations and realize pretty soon that you're both in a freefall" into love or dislike.

Fast Facts About John Cusack:

  • On June 28, 1966, he was born John Paul Cusack in Evanston, Ill.
  • Cusack attended New York University in New York City, but dropped out after less than a year.
  • Cusack appeared in industrial films, doing voice-overs in commercials and acting in radio spots by the age of 12.
  • In 1983, Cusack made his screen acting debut as a prep school student in the coming-of-age comedy "Class."
  • In 1984, Cusack was one of the main "nerds" featured in "Sixteen Candles"; sister Joan also appeared in film.
  • Cusack founded New Crime Productions, a Chicago-based theater company, in 1986.
  • In 1991, he had a small role in "Shadows and Fog", marking his first film with Woody Allen.
  • The actor formed the film production arm of New Crime Productions with Paramount Pictures in 1992.
  • 1999 was a big year for Cusack. He starred in "The Jack Bull", a Western written by his father, Dick Cusack, and produced by New Crime Productions. He was featured as an oddly likable but high-strung air traffic controller in Mike Newell's comedy "Pushing Tin."

    Also this year, he starred in the conceptual fantasy, "Being John Malkovich," and he portrayed Nelson Rockefeller in Tim Robbins' "Cradle Will Rock," the true story of a Depression-era struggle between artistic and political interests.

  • In 2000, he took the lead in "High Fidelity," the Stephen Frears' adaptation of Nick Hornby's best-selling novel, with the story moved from London to Chicago and starring Cusack as an immature thirtysomething record shop owner unlucky in love.
  • In 2001, he worked with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Julia Roberts in "America's Sweethearts," and he starred opposite Kate Beckinsale in "Serendipity." The following year, he worked in the less commercial film, "Max."
  • In 2003, Cusack landed an atypical role in "Identity," in which Cusack plays one of 10 strangers who, while stranded by a storm together in a hotel, discover the unexpected connections between one another, even as they begin to turn up dead one by one. Also in 2003, he took the lead in "Runaway Jury," an adaptation of author John Grisham's best-selling legal potboiler, playing Nicholas Easter, the manipulating jury member who tries to control the outcome of a controversial verdict.
  • Cusack has been in Vancouver filming the Menno Meyjes' science-fiction drama, "The Martian Child." He plays a widowed father of an adopted young boy, who is convinced that the boy is from Mars. Later this year, he will also film "The Contract." The Bruce Beresford directed thriller co-stars Morgan Freeman and will be filmed in Bulgaria.

    And in November this year, Cusack will be reunited with Billy Bob Thornton in the dark comedy "The Ice Harvest." Based on a Scott Phillips novel, the Harold Ramis-directed film revolves around a lawyer (Cusack) who is about to embezzle money from his mob superiors on a snowy Christmas Eve.

  • Cusack divides his time between Los Angeles and Chicago.