Kasdan Meets Kline: It's the Kev and Larry Show!

It's a gorgeous spring day in Manhattan, which seems to have both actor Kevin Kline and writer-director Lawrence Kasdan restless. Though they're sitting next to each other on one side of a large table in a hotel conference room, they take turns hopping up to glance through the blinds at the sunny weather outside.

They're here to talk about Darling Companion, which opened Friday in limited release. It's Kasdan's first film since 2003 and only his fourth since 1994's Wyatt Earp.

But Kasdan, first into the room, is already telling stories about Kline. On the relatively low-budget comedy-drama, the cast would be retrieved from its hotel each morning in a van and, Kasdan says, as they were driven to the location, Kline would start a monologue that seemed endless.

"Kevin never stopped talking and he was hilarious," Kasdan says. "The cast loved him. Although, once in a while, Diane Keaton or Dianne Wiest would say, 'Can't you shut him up?'"

Kline, entering the conference room, quickly defends himself, saying, "It was some bizarre altitude sickness. Really, I was so jazzed just to be working with these people. And we were all in this big van, like we were on The Big Chill. So I had a captive audience. Although I was told to shut up a lot by Dianne."

Darling Companion, which opened Friday, is about a married couple -- played by Kline and Keaton -- whose marriage is tested when the husband loses the wife's dog. It's the sixth film on which Kasdan and Kline have collaborated since Kasdan made his directing debut in 1981 with Body Heat. Indeed, as Kline reveals, they met for the first time when Kline auditioned for the Body Heat role that ultimately went to William Hurt.

"What I liked about Larry is that he's so real -- that's what made me love him even when he didn't hire me," Kline says. "He was so unpretentious."

"He wasn't right for Body Heat," Kasdan says. "But I was quite taken with him. When we started casting The Big Chill, he was the first person I wanted to see."

Since then, they've made five more films together: Silverado, Grand Canyon, I Love You to Death, French Kiss and now Darling Companion.

"At this point, we have a wonderful short-hand," Kline says, adding with a chuckle, "We don't speak. We text."

This interview continues on my website.