"I got in trouble the last time I did [a press junket]," Corbett exclaims. "You cannot believe how much how trouble I got in! So I am not talking about anything but Bigger Than the Sky today. I learned my lesson good and well."
Although he refused to recap what he said last fall, it’s hard to forget that Corbett declared an end to his career just four months ago. His exact words were: "I’m getting out of acting. I’m bored. I’ve been doing this for so long and I can’t do this anymore. I’ve got one more to promote after this one and then it’s, ‘Thank you, Jesus, I don’t have to do this anymore.’"
Corbett was quick to retract those statements while doing press for Sky.
"When you do these interviews, you kind of have to make yourself laugh," Corbett explains. "I think the last time I said that, I was kind of joking. I don’t think I am going to quit acting, I was kind of just having fun with myself saying those things out loud … because I don’t know what else (besides acting) I would do to express myself."
Maybe Corbett was in better spirits about his profession due to the fact that Sky is not the latest teeny-bopper flick, but instead a coming-of-age story about Peter Rooker (Marcus Thomas), a friendless man with a dead-end job who decides to escape his routine by auditioning for a small role in a local community theater production of "Cyrano de Bergerac."
Despite having no experience as an actor, Peter lands the lead role and becomes completely drawn into the crazy world of "theater people." From resident ladies-man Michael (Corbett) to leading lady Grace (Amy Smart) and a colorful cast of new on-and off-stage personalities, including pompous actor Ken (Sean Astin) and high-strung director Edwina (Clare Higgins), Peter soon finds that the world of theater has changed his life.
The script, penned by Rodney Vaccaro, was conceived in response to the Sept. 11 attacks.
"I felt that there is so much violence in the world right now and I wanted to do something sweeter, something more romantic," Vaccaro explains in the film’s production notes.
However, Astin, who shares the screen with his mother and television star Patty Duke ("The Patty Duke Show"), expressed his concern that people might not see the film for peripheral reasons.
"The title sucks and the poster sucks, so I am not sure that those things are going to make people want to go see it," Astin says. "The original title, Caught in the Act, I thought was a clever little title."
However, director Al Corley explained that this title was snagged by Lifetime Television and he was, therefore, left with no choice but to think up an alternate name for the film.
Despite the title, screen stars Astin, Corbett and Thomas felt an immediate connection to their community theater characters.
"I’ve always liked characters that go on a journey, characters that don’t know where they are in life and what move to make next," Thomas says. "I can relate to Peter. I know what it is like to be lost and wanting to be loved."
Although Corbett said he thought that, "all of the characters are universal
in theater," he expressed his apprehension about returning to the stage,
a place he used to call home when he first started acting.
"I’m afraid to do theater now," Corbett says. "People know who I am now [so] I get offered plays here and there. It was so much easier to do it when nobody knew who I was.
"I can’t even imagine somebody spending money just to see me now. I have this fear of being bad … . So I can’t do it. I have this phobia of, ‘Hey, I am not worth 15 bucks!’"
Bigger Than the Sky is currently playing in limited release.