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KIRK DOUGLAS
By Nick Gray


Kirk Douglas "I thought maybe the picture I just finished - It Runs In The Family, would be my last. That was my 86th picture, but now Illusion makes it my 87th. So I don't know," says Douglas. "Something may come up and I could have a new career because now, since my stroke, if they need an older guy with sloppy speech, they have to come to me. I have the monopoly."

Illusion is a magical and innovative new film by writer/director Michael Goorjian. A modern retelling of Pierre Cornelle's 17th century play L'Illusion Comique, the story concerns a legendary film director, who, as he lies dying, is given one last chance to affect his estranged son's life.

Goorjian, an Emmy winning actor who seamlessly plays the role of Douglas' son from teenage to adult years, first had the idea for Illusion four years ago. He began the picture independently and embarked upon a year and half process to find an actor to play the role of the father, Donald Baines. A number of names were considered, and then the legendary star Kirk Douglas was suggested.

"When I read the script of Illusion I knew I had to do it," says Douglas, "It was a very intriguing script, and the role was very appealing to me; it was a challenge."

It was a rare privilege for a young director to work with an actor of Douglas' magnitude. Goorjian was amazed by his vitality and enthusiasm. "Working with Kirk inspired me. You don't have to be young to still be excited about acting. He was just as excited as I was doing my first play," says Goorjian.

Just completed, Illusion is already garnering attention for its unique romantic storytelling. It won the screenwriting award at the prestigious Hamptons Film Festival, as well as favorable attention for Douglas' stunning performance.

"This movie is important in two ways," observes Stella Henry, one of the country's foremost experts on Aging in America (Her new book will be published by HarperCollins in 2006). "Firstly, it acts as a wake-up call to remind us that today's longer life expectancy gives us the opportunity to address and deal with unresolved issues. And secondly, also important, is that Kirk Douglas is a role model. He shows us that you can be over 80, have an impairment, and still be a movie star. You don't see that on screen very often."

Look for Illusion in film festivals and theaters.

"I thought maybe the picture I just finished - It Runs In The Family, would be my last. That was my 86th picture, but now Illusion makes it my 87th. So I don't know," says Douglas. "Something may come up and I could have a new career because now, since my stroke, if they need an older guy with sloppy speech, they have to come to me. I have the monopoly."

Illusion is a magical and innovative new film by writer/director Michael Goorjian. A modern retelling of Pierre Cornelle's 17th century play L'Illusion Comique, the story concerns a legendary film director, who, as he lies dying, is given one last chance to affect his estranged son's life.

Goorjian, an Emmy winning actor who seamlessly plays the role of Douglas' son from teenage to adult years, first had the idea for Illusion four years ago. He began the picture independently and embarked upon a year and half process to find an actor to play the role of the father, Donald Baines. A number of names were considered, and then the legendary star Kirk Douglas was suggested.

"When I read the script of Illusion I knew I had to do it," says Douglas, "It was a very intriguing script, and the role was very appealing to me; it was a challenge."

It was a rare privilege for a young director to work with an actor of Douglas' magnitude. Goorjian was amazed by his vitality and enthusiasm. "Working with Kirk inspired me. You don't have to be young to still be excited about acting. He was just as excited as I was doing my first play," says Goorjian.

Just completed, Illusion is already garnering attention for its unique romantic storytelling. It won the screenwriting award at the prestigious Hamptons Film Festival, as well as favorable attention for Douglas' stunning performance.

"This movie is important in two ways," observes Stella Henry, one of the country's foremost experts on Aging in America (Her new book will be published by HarperCollins in 2006). "Firstly, it acts as a wake-up call to remind us that today's longer life expectancy gives us the opportunity to address and deal with unresolved issues. And secondly, also important, is that Kirk Douglas is a role model. He shows us that you can be over 80, have an impairment, and still be a movie star. You don't see that on screen very often."

Look for Illusion in film festivals and theaters.


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