Salinger making his mark despite 'Captain America'

November 02, 1990|By Los Angeles Times

HOLLYWOOD -- If Matt Salinger had serious aspirations as a writer, he might have suffered the plight of living in his father's shadow. But the son of J.D. Salinger -- author of the classic novel of teen-age Angst, "Catcher in the Rye" -- aspired from an early age to be an actor.

"When I began, it was very important for me to succeed or fail based on my talent alone," Salinger said. Early on, he considered adopting a stage name, "but never very seriously.

"I love my father and I'm proud of him and I wouldn't feel psychologically comfortable formally hiding who I am and who my parents are."

Salinger, now 30, landed his splashiest role last year when he starred in "Captain America," based on the popular comic book character. But the action-adventure, produced by 21st Century Films, is still without a release date at Columbia Pictures.

The movie has the hero on a mission in World War II, frozen in ice for 40 years, returning to deal with a vastly changed world, and to fight for justice.

"The script [by Stephen Tolkin] was wonderful," says the athletic Salinger, who stands 6 feet 4. "I loved the character."

But not the shoot. Salinger claims that cost-cutting measures were taken that damaged the picture, including scenic locations scratched from the schedule.

(Producer Menahem Golan insists he spent the entire $12 million originally budgeted for "Captain America." He considered shooting a new ending, he adds, but opted to use the one already shot. "The film is finished," Golan says flatly.)

Salinger has logged a resume of impressive film and TV credits, including director Sidney Lumet's "Power," the title role in CBS' "The Hunt for Claude Dallas," and the lead in another CBS movie, "Deadly Deception."

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