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The Kevin Kline Bio

The Kevin Kline Review –

by Nate Lee

Best Film:

Sophie's Choice

Kline's channeled intensity and the fervor of his relationship with Streep's Sophie make for one of the best dramatic roles ever.

Great Performances You May Not Have Seen:
The Big Chill
De-Lovely (Golden Globe-nominated performance as Cole Porter)
Chaplin (Douglas Fairbanks)
The Emperor's Club (A teacher)
Soapdish (Golden Globe-nominated performance as an actor)
In & Out (Golden Globe-nominated performance as a teacher who is outed before he realizes he's gay)
Definitely Maybe
Over The Top Kevin:
The Pink Panther (Chief Dreyfuss, opposite Steve Martin's Clouseau)
A Prairie Home Companion (Detective Guy Noir)
Chaplin (Douglas Fairbanks)
I Love You to Death
Super-Serious Kevin:
The Ice Storm
Grand Canyon
Life as a House
(SAG-nominated performance as a man with cancer)
Theatrical Kevin:
Cyrano de Bergerac (Cyrano)
The Pirates of Penzance (The Pirate King)
As You Like It (Jaques)
A Midsummer Night's Dream (Bottom)
Wild Wild West (Artemus Gordon)
A Fish Called Wanda (Oscar-winning performance as a pompous and incompetent killer
Silverado (gunfighter)
Dave (Presidential lookalike)
Cry Freedom (South African journalist)
Sophie's Choice (Oscar-winning performance as Meryl Streep's mentally unbalanced lover)
The Real Kevin Kline:
There is the actor's actor, playing actors from Fairbanks to Cyrano to Bottom. But the real Kevin is an involved father – not those melodramatic ones like "Ice Storm" or "Life as a House," but normal like maybe "Big Chill."
Acting Style:
Kline is somewhat typical of successful stage actors, particularly Broadway musical actors, in that he excels at more flamboyant roles. It was his great luck to have "Sophie's Choice" and "A Fish Called Wanda" right out of the gate, films whose success was due in part to his flamboyance. He's quite a contradiction, though, in being so successful at playing a regular guy in a straight romantic comedy like "Dave"; over the top in broad comedy like "I Love You to Death"; and in propelling serious dramatic films.
Bits and Quirks:
Knowing side-mouthed grin with a quick look down and a shake of the head. Hands on the hip. Likes to use glasses in roles. Meaningful squint. The soft voice lets him be friendly or intense. His over-the-top-voice is completely different – a register deeper and, of course, louder.
Great Scenes:

> The speech to both houses of Congress
> The Cabinet meeting where Dave finds a way to fund the shelter
> Firing Frank Langella, his chief of staff

Cry Freedom

> Pulling a gun on the police in his yard
> Meeting with the chief of police
> The police threatening him at the door
> Making his way across the border, dancing in priest's collar

A Fish Called Wanda

> Torturing Michael Palin for his stuttering
> Jealous rants over Jamie Lee Curtis

Wild Wild West

> In drag, with bizarre contraption for breasts

A Midsummer Night's Dream

> Turned into a donkey and Michelle Pfeiffer in love with him

I Love You to Death

> The confession scene in the beginning
> Falling asleep in the spaghetti
> Coming downstairs after being shot


> Gunfighting in the middle of town in his underwear
> Finding the guy who stole his hat
> Gunfight with Brian Dennehy