Michael Douglas in King of California

He's glorified greed, fended off a psycho ex-girlfriend and even served as president of the United States -- but at heart, Michael Douglas has always been plain ol' crazy. In King of California, a festival crowd-pleaser from first-time director Mike Cahill, Douglas is Charlie, who's just been released from a mental institution and is convinced that there's Spanish treasure buried under the local Costco; Evan Rachel Wood, as his teenaged daughter, plays Dulcinea to his Don Quixote. Though Douglas has always excelled at playing characters who are slightly unhinged (as Kim Voynar notes in her review), Charlie is what you'd call certifiable, and in a way this role brings Douglas back full circle -- he did, after all, launch his movie career by producing an indie about nutjobs called One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. After endearing himself forever to this interviewer by chatting at length about the finer points of Cal football (go Bears!), Douglas spoke easily about his attitudes on directing, his lovely co-star and his recent return to madness.

Cinematical: It's rare to see you in an indie. Do you think that's because you see fewer smaller scripts these days, or do they just not jump out at you?

Michael Douglas: First of all, my whole career began in indie pictures to a large degree. I don't know. You know, I just haven't been been offered ... maybe people just get intimidated. I've had a few, but I haven't made that many movies really since I got married. If you look back, since 2000 I've only done about four pictures or something like that, so maybe that has something to do with it.