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Aidan Quinn on Dark Matter

Written by: Sal Crivelli, Special to CC2K

ImageAidan Quinn spoke well of his experience doing Desperately Seeking Susan and called for more female executives in Hollywood. He’s also starring in a slightly delayed drama about cosmology and the nature of genius: Dark Matter.

CC2K got to hear from the stars and filmmakers of Dark Matter in New York last week. The movie is based around the true events of a young, idealistic Chinese exchange student at a leading astrophysics university in Iowa, and the harsh realities of inter-scholastic politics.

The film stars Oscar-winner Meryl Streep, and longtime second-string actor Aidan Quinn (no relation to Anthony Quinn, by the way). This film ushers in relative newcomers to American cinema, including the author (Billy Shebar) the director (Shi-Zheng Chen) and the lead actor (Ye Liu). The film has already gone to Sundance, and will finally enjoy a theatrical release on April 17 after being bogged down in its own stream of politics – the movie features a campus shooting, and the studio was reluctant to distribute such a film in the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy.

Liu seemed excited about the project (though my Mandarin is a little rusty). Shi-Zheng Chen, the director, seemed happy the film was being seen at all. What he certainly didn’t count on was American backlash from a Chinese director presenting a film featuring a protagonist murdering people on his college campus.

Overall, in both the lead and director’s minds, this film is already a year old. The two are looking forward to new projects, though nothing is truly set in stone for either, at this point.

Aidan Quinn is enjoying his occasional acting as a way of choosing projects that are of particular interest to him. In his interviews, he professed a strong opinion about mainstream entertainment (most notably, film and television), a desire to see more female executives, and even fielded some questions he thought were long forgotten: specifically, what Madonna was like in Desperately Seeking Susan (in which Quinn was also a star, in 1985). In actuality, he never actually worked with Madonna, but did speak positively of her.

Dark Matter has already won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at Sundance, for its themes including science, mathematics, and technology, and its inclusion of a scientist as a major character.

Author: Sal Crivelli, Special to CC2K

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