Quinn Applies Practical Magic - Toronto Sun, 29 October 1998

by Bob Thompson

Aidan Quinn has made a decent career out of doing his regular guy with a little sweetener.

That's what Sandra Bullock ordered when she cast him to play her love interest in Practical Magic.

Bullock stars in the witchcraft comedy with Nicole Kidman. Quinn, the co-star, portrays a cop investigating a disappearance, but his pivotal purpose is to convince us he falls for Bullock's unloved witchy woman.

"We needed somebody who could establish quickly that he was normal and nice, and that was Aidan," reports Bullock at a Century City hotel.

When Quinn is told of the praise later, he grins bashfully.

"She's lying," he says. Maybe not.

Some of Quinn's more memorable parts have him doing the just-folks hunk -- in Desperately Seeking Susan and Legends Of The Fall, for instance.

His salt-of-the-earth quality is hardly an act. He grew up in Chicago, but moved to Ireland with his Irish-born parents.

By the time he was 18, Quinn was back in Chicago, and sure of only one thing: School wasn't for him.

"If I hadn't moved around a lot, I might have ended up a snot-nosed mid-western jock with no international perspective.

"I really wanted to be a writer, but I didn't have the discipline to be a loner."

Acting was the next best thing, first in Chicago, and later in New York where he made a "regular guy" name for himself in separate productions of Sam Shepard's Fool For Love and Lie Of The Mind.

In the mid-'80s, Reckless and Desperately Seeking Susan established his career in film.

After more than 20 movies, he has a solid reputation as a straightforward and hard-working trouper. And his acting status will likely go up a few notches with the release of This Is My Father next spring.

The film, mostly set in 1930s Ireland, was written and directed by his brother, Paul, and filmed by his other brother Declan.

"It's about a man who goes back to Ireland to find out about his father," says Quinn, who plays the dad in flashbacks.

In This Is My Father, Quinn is an everyman struggling to make sense of what's around him.

Sometimes that's how Quinn says he feels in real life, stuck in the glamour capital of the American movie industry.

"I go to the parties and the premieres if I have to," he says. "But I'm not interested in arse kissing.

"I always hope I get the part because I can do the job. That's all I care about."

Fitting in didn't seem to matter when he started and certainly doesn't now. He tells this story to make that point.

"I was at this fancy L.A. restaurant once," he says smiling. "I didn't understand the menu, so I asked the person near me to help.

"When I looked up I said, 'Oh my gawd, you're Barbra Streisand.' And I said it so loudly, everybody looked up at me, not her."

Taken from the Canoe.ca website