John Cusack: I Won't Live Up to Women's Expectations

In an iVillage exclusive, we spoke with the Hot Tub Time Machine star about romance, weddings and surviving the '80s

If anyone understands the '80s, it's John Cusack. Whether holding a boom box overhead in 1989's Say Anything or crashing parties with Anthony Michael Hall in 1984's Sixteen Candles, Cusack was one of the quintessential teen stars of the era. Now, in his latest comedy -- Hot Tub Time Machine (which hits theaters Friday) -- he finds himself right back in the most rad, tubular decade in history. In an exclusive interview, iVillage spoke with the 43-year-old actor about his funny family, his '80s movies, his romantic instincts and crazy requests from devoted fans.

Being funny would seem to be in your genes -- most famously for you and your sister Joan, at least. Was that a big part of your family dynamic growing up?

Yeah, people valued being funny in my house a lot. So I was lucky. And my father was really, really funny. A funny man. On his deathbed someone asked him, "Is there anyone you want to see?" And he said "Rita Hayworth." So it's like to the very end the guy had his wit going. It's kind of an Irish thing, too.

If you could go back and change something about your life, like your character in Hot Tub Time Machine does, what would it be?

There'd have to be multiple stops. There's too many to choose. I'd probably go back and not do some of the movies I did. Unmeet some people that I know.

Would you ever do a sequel to one of your movies from the '80s?


I never thought of it, no. No one ever offered it. I always thought it'd be fun to do the same character twice, but no one ever asked me to. I suppose if Hot Tub Time Machine does well we could do another one of those. That's sort of like a character who was in the '80s.

What about Hot Tub's version of 1986 brought back memories for you?

I remembered a bunch of stuff for sure. The fashions, particularly, were pretty horrendous.

Do you recall wearing those clothes?

I mean, yeah, I wore them in movies! I have proof!

Did you ever sport neon colors?

I didn't do neon. I thought I was cooler than that. But I still wasn't very cool.

Fans really embraced your Say Anything character, Lloyd Dobler. Do you have any crazy fan stories?

I do actually, but I'm not sure what I can say that you can say in print. What would be a crazy fan story?

Women throwing underwear at you, maybe?

I wish I had those kind of stories! Strangely, I do get invited to a lot of weddings of people that I don't know, which I find very interesting. But what would I do there? Meet them for the first time? It's a very strange thing. Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs. I feel sort of like one of these clowns. My office keeps sending me things saying, "Someone is requesting you to attend their daughter's wedding. Do you know the Belnicks?" I'm like, "Who? No, I don't know them." They have to keep asking because they don't know if it's a good friend who's inviting me to their wedding.

Maybe they want you to send a gift.

I don't really know what they expect. Do people do that? Do they invite strangers to their weddings?

Guess so! There are women who think of you as knowing some secret to being the most perfect and romantic guy.

(Laughs) If that's what they think, then I think they'd be surprised to know how probably ordinary I am. I certainly don't feel like I have the secret.

So you're not the guy that every woman has always dreamed you are?

I don't think so, no. But I like that. It's nice to be thought of that way. I'm a pretty good guy though. I'm certainly not perfect. And I'm not a saint.

Are you romantic?

I can be. But then sometimes I can not be. Depends on if the mood is right.

So you're just a typical guy.

Yeah. I think I can be when I'm in the right mood. To me it's all whether you're in the right mood or headspace. I can be a great guy and I can be as much of an idiot as every other person I know.

PLUS: Watch a preview of John Cusack in Hot Tub Time Machine

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