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FORD EXPLAINS TRAFFIC DECISION
Mr.Showbiz.com
posted September 5, 2000
     Now that What Lies Beneath has grossed $150 million domestically and has been seen by millions, perhaps it's safe to reveal that Ford's college professor character is actually a very bad man. After Mosquito Coast, though, Ford was famously quoted as saying, in effect, that he'd never portray another bad guy.
   
What changed his mind more than a decade later? "There comes a point when you've exhausted your opportunities playing good guys," he said, smiling. "And a script comes along when all the current impressions people have of you and what you can do can be turned on its ear. The dramatic potential of such a situation is very high. For me it was an exciting opportunity to play this character."
 

    As for his bailing out of Traffic, the Steven Soderbergh-helmed drug drama opening this December, Ford confirmed that he did so simply because he was reluctant to play two dark characters back to back. "I was attracted to Traffic and the potential to work with Steven Soderbergh," he said, "but finally I came to the conclusion the character's circumstances were rather grim. … I wanted to attend to other opportunities rather than play this character plagued by his daughter's drug addiction."
   
Michael Douglas stepped into Traffic for Ford, who has yet to decide on his next career "opportunity."