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In The Last of Robin Hood, Kevin Kline at last steps into the role he seemed destined for ever since he played The Pirates of Penzance‘s dashing Pirate King on both stage and screen back in the 1980s: that of Errol Flynn. Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland’s (The Fluffer, Quinceañera) lush biopic that captures Flynn’s last days as he romances teenager Beverly Aadland (Dakota Fanning) made its Toronto International Film Festival premiere on Friday, September 6, with Kline in attendance.

During the post-screening Q&A, Kline said that he had offers to play Flynn throughout his career. He always turned them down, not finding the scripts or the character very interesting until he received (by accident) Glatzer and Westmoreland’s screenplay and was intrigued by this portrait of Flynn at the end of his life, seeking rejuvenation in the arms of a much younger woman as his career and health fade.

That, at least, is the 65-year-old actor’s story, post-Pirates of Penzance/Big Chill stardom. Picking and choosing his roles was not always in Kline’s power. As Washmoreland revealed at the Q&A, Kline did step into Flynn’s shoes once when he was a young man in this 1978 Schlitz beer ad. The future Pirate King is already a dashing swashbuckler in this spot. Resist it though he might for most of his career, Kline – back in the ’70 and now in 2013 – was simply born to play Flynn. – Pam Grady

 

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