THE BEST THING about the new thriller “The Raven” is John Cusack’s amped-up performance as Edgar Allan Poe.
Cusack lost 30 pounds and pushed himself to the point of exhaustion to play Poe, a sometime action figure in “The Raven” who gallops on horseback through the fog and shoots guns. Cusack, however, said the really taxing aspect of the role was trying to achieve Poe’s famously agitated mental state.
“He was a starving writer and a pretty serious alcoholic, so I thought it was correct for him to be very lean and working on the edge. It was very hard to get into that psychic space, which is right at the border of being crazed and deranged,” said Cusack, who researched the role thoroughly, and ended up admiring Poe on many levels.