John Cusack plays Brian Wilson in the new film Love & Mercy, and in a new chat with The Daily Beast, the actor not only spoke about his role in the film, but his thoughts about various hot-button issues.
The reporter prompted Cusack by asking about a recent CNN poll that showed President Bush’s approval ratings are higher than President Obama’s.
“Well, Obama has certainly extended and hardened the cement on a lot of Bush’s post-9/11 Terror Inc. policies, so he’s very similar to Bush in every way that way,” Cusack said. “His domestic policy is a bit different, but when you talk about drones, the American Empire, the NSA, civil liberties, attacks on journalism and whistleblowers, he’s as bad or worse than Bush. He hasn’t started as many wars, but he’s extended the ones we had, and I don’t even think Dick Cheney or Richard Nixon would say the president has the right to unilaterally decide whom he can kill around the world. On Tuesdays, the president can just decide whom he wants to kill, and you know, since 9/11 there are magic words like ‘terror,’ and if you use magic words, you can justify any power grab you want.”
Noting he didn’t have any interest in playing the typical celebrity PR game, Cusack expanded, “No, I don’t care about any of that shit. All those people are just full of hot air and networking and stuff. If you’re speaking out about basic Rubicon lines that should or shouldn’t be crossed, if you can’t be against state-sanctioned murder being made acceptable or economic policy, making the difference between language and meaning so absurd that Orwell and Kafka laugh, these are not heavy-duty things, these are just basic, Cartesian things. They’re common sense, and were debated constitutionally a long time ago. “
When it came to his portrayal of Wilson in Love & Mercy, the discussion turned to the role drugs have played in the lives of so many of our greatest entertainers. “ll those things will lower down the doors of perception into the spiritual world — or deeper parts of the psyche depending on your ideologies or worldviews. In a way, every time you take a drug it’s like a prayer — you’re trying to get to a higher state of consciousness where things flow through you. It would be wrong to say that the music comes to you because of that, but it’s part of the experimentation.”
Read the full chat with Cusack over at The Daily Beast.