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Michael Douglas on Acting Advise and "It Runs in the Family"

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By Rebecca Murray and Fred Topel

It Runs in the Family

Kirk, Michael and Cameron Douglas in "It Runs in the Family"

Your parents neither encouraged you nor discouraged you to follow in their footsteps. What advice would you give to your children if they want to follow your lead?
Cameron's off and running. You know, we'll see. I think the only advice you really have to give them is that you've got to make sure that you love acting. If the only reason you're doing it is to be a star, then you're going to be very disappointed, very disappointed. If it's because it's in your blood [that you've] got to do it and you'd be happy doing theater in New York or whatever, then by all means. But, if the only reason you're doing it is you want to be a movie star, then it's going to be tough.

Do you think your relationship would have been very different had your father not suffered a stroke?
I think his whole life changed when he was 70. His last chapter really changed when he had the helicopter crash and questioned why he was still alive and other people died. I think that's the time when he rediscovered his Judeo roots and starting really working on the Old Testament and became much more spiritual.

Will audiences see this as the Douglas family story?
I hope not. I look at it and I think it's the Gromberg family well cast by members of the Douglas family. Obviously, people try to read things in but when I saw it, I was very happy with that. I was concerned it was going to become like a vanity production, and then just all about our family. I think everybody plays their roles properly so hopefully, it will be a story of this New York family.

Are you going to be doing work with the United Nations?
I am. One of the other things I wanted to mention is I have a documentary coming out April 27 on Showtime - Sunday at 7:00 - called "What's Going On?" It's a documentary I did down in Sierra Leone about child soldiers, the child soldiers that they use and drug up and they commit all sorts of atrocities. It's a very powerful, very moving documentary.

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