With his dark looks, spiky hair, and piercing gaze, it's no surprise that Timothy Olyphant has mostly been cast as a bud guy. You probably recognized him as the ecstasy-selling drug dealer in 1999's Go, or as Mickey, the killer who posed as a friend-of-Neve in Scream 2. But lately Olyphant has gone good. He was a straight-shooting cop in Gone in Sixty Seconds, and this month he plays a good, but confused, gay photographer in The Broken Hearts Club (what the movie Swingers would have been had it been about eight gay men). Early next year he stars as Mark Wahlberg's best bud in So You Wanna Be a Rock Star.
DOMINIC GRIFFIN: You were a swimming champ at USC--what made you decide to pursue acting?
TIMOTHY OLYPHANT: There's no money in turning yourself into in outboard motor!
Q: What was your first big Hollywood break?
A: The First Wives Club. I played the director who wants Goldie Hawn to be in his movie.
Q: What was it like working on Gone in Sixty Seconds?
A: Honestly, there wasn't much on the page to begin with--the film is about car chases. It's big, giant entertainment and it doesn't make apologies. You show up for the shoot and the lines change, because you're playing second fiddle to a car.
Q: Your costars in that movie, Nicolas Cage, Robert Duvall and Angelina Jolie, are all Oscar winners. Did any of them take themselves too seriously?
A: No. Winning an Oscar may come with some baggage, but Nicolas Cage is still a fly-by-night independent actor. He's still that Wild at Heart actor.
Q: What did you learn about the life of an openly gay man as you were doing The Broken Hearts Club?
A: How to comb my hair. I hadn't combed my hair since I moved out of my parents' house.
Q: Ever been hit on by a guy?
Q: How did you react?
A: Smacked him right in the face. I'm married. Man or woman, it makes no difference, it ain't going nowhere.
Q: Do you turn down a lot of movies that don't interest you?
A: As many as I can and still pay the rent.
Q: Where do you want your career to go?
A: I'm gonna aim low. If they resurrect "The Love Boat" series, I want to be there.