Hollywood veteran Michael Douglas stars as a once-famous actor who now earns a living as an acting coach in The Kominsky Method on Netflix.
The new eight-part comedy comes comes from Chuck Lorre, the man behind Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory.
Michael plays Sandy Kominsky, who has regular run-ins with his agent and best friend, the cantankerous Norman Newlander (Alan Arkin).
‘Sandy has been married three times and has a little too much alimony going out to all his ex-wives,’ says Michael. ‘He’s had good times and bad times, and has a bit of a sardonic attitude towards life.’
There are plenty of prostate jokes, while much of the fun comes from the generation gap between Sandy and his idealistic twentysomething students.
‘He doesn’t get that much work as an actor any more but he’s a pretty respected acting teacher,’ adds Michael. ‘The show is a contrast between the idealism and enthusiasm of his young acting students versus the jaded view of somebody who’s been in the business for 40 years.’
The Kominsky Method also packs an emotional punch as it reflects on the men’s lifelong friendship – think Grace and Frankie for guys.
‘It’s about the absurdities of ageing,’ says Michael. ‘This is dark humour, the kind I love. Like with my movies Falling Down or The War of the Roses, in one moment you go from hilarity to tragedy. That’s what life is all about. I’ve always enjoyed comedy. I don’t get a chance to do it that often and so this is a wonderful opportunity.’
Michael’s not the only big name to appear in the show though, because Danny DeVito – who appeared with Michael in Romancing the stone, The Jewel in the Nile and The War of the Roses – also makes an appearance…
‘The producers said they were thinking of Danny for the part of Sandy’s urologist,’ reveals Michael. ‘So I called him up and asked him to get on board.’