LOS ANGELES — The '80s were good to John Cusack. He was a teenager then, racking up acting credits in films such as "Sixteen Candles," "The Sure Thing," "Better Off Dead" and "Say Anything."
Now 43, Cusack returns to that storied decade on screen and off as the star and producer of "Hot Tub Time Machine," a comic romp that brings four friends back to their youthful glory days via a mysterious Jacuzzi powered by Russian Red Bull and repaired by a cryptic Chevy Chase.
In the film, opening Friday, Cusack and Chase, along with Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke and Crispin Glover, find themselves at a ski resort for Winterfest '86, where Poison is the headlining band and Day-Glo is the fashion of choice.
Cusack talked with The Associated Press about what he loved and hated about the '80s and what he would do with a real time machine.
AP: What made you want to go back to the 1980s?
Video: ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ Cusack: I remember it being — obviously it was the formative years of my life because I was between 10 and 20 — but I don't remember it being all that cheery a time, so I thought that having some actors who had been in movies back then, going back in time and actually being a movie within a movie, I thought that all that was part of the comic nightmare of it.
AP: What were the most awesome things about the '80s?
Cusack: There was great music, great art, great literature, great films. Those are usually some of the things that I like.
AP: Were you more Motley Crue or The Cure?
Cusack: I was more of the Clash, Fishbone, The Jam.
Video: Actors jump into ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ AP: You did not mention fashion as one of the awesome things about the '80s.
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Cusack: I think that would have to fall under the terrifying things of the '80s. The legwarmers, the scrunchies, the mullets, the primary colors. The list goes on and on. And I have a wide variety of fashion horror shows myself that's available on cable, seemingly all the time.
AP: If you had a real hot tub time machine that worked, where would you go and why?
Cusack: It would be pretty fun if you could go back to when your favorite bands were first playing. Like if you were a drummer, you could go back to Liverpool right when the Beatles fired Pete Best and they're looking for a drummer and replace Ringo Starr. There could be a couple historic opportunities there. Or you could go see the Rolling Stones' first American tour or something, or see David Bowie or see the Sex Pistols when they first came to America at CBGBs. You could do an awesome rock 'n' roll tour and see bands' first explosions.
You could also travel back in time and not meet people that you ended up meeting and going out with. You could avoid a few bad relationships by just actually not bumping into them, so that would be good.
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