'Shameless' Star & Comedy Legend Joan Cusack Doesn't Think She's Quirky
Joan Cusack, the woman you can thank for some of cinema's greatest side-kick roles from Runaway Bride to Say Anything... and decades of films in between, is unaware of her on-screen image. Known for her wacky, lovable, and unconventional characters, she's beloved by all. But when asked why she's drawn to quirky characters, she draws a tangible pause. "I may be perceived that way," she says. "But it's not something I think about."
Over the course of 35 years, Cusack, often along side brother John, has starred in dozens of movies that defined the '80s and '90s. From her bite-sized role as "Geek Girl #1" in Sixteen Candles to the voice of Jesse in Pixar's Toy Story series, audiences attribute Cusack's bubbly voice and comedic wit to her roles. In 2015, Cusack takes part in director James Ponsoldt's The End of The Tour, playing an enthusiastic driver for David Foster Wallace and journalist David Lipsky. "I think it was an amalgamation of people I was playing," she says of her role. "But it was a real circumstance. I was playing someone who acted as an audience member to [David Foster Wallace]."
But if the long-time actress doesn't pursue idiosyncratic roles, what does she look for? "Usually it's who's making the movie," she says. "Like when you go to college, it's more important which professor you get rather than what the subject it is. That's how I look at it."
With this philosophy in mind, simply knowing a film about David Foster Wallace was being made by James Ponsoldt was enough for Cusack to sign on the dotted line. "He's amazing. Have you seen The Spectacular Now?" she asks. "Amazing. And he's nice, and he's smart, and he's really talented. It's hard to get that combination. The director is brilliant, the cast is brilliant."