LOS ANGELES — Anthony LaPaglia hit an artistic high with the 2001 film “Lantana,” in which he created a striking portrait of a police detective in full-blown midlife crisis.
It was such a fulfilling experience that the hardworking LaPaglia, at 42, toyed with the idea of giving up acting. He was lured back after a year off, however, by the CBS missing-persons drama “Without a Trace.”
If that makes him sound like a dilettante retiree, forget it. He’s so candid in assessing why few projects equal “Lantana” — or even try — that a listener fully believes LaPaglia would walk away from his craft.
“Sometimes I really get the chance to do something juicy and rise to the challenge. But, to be perfectly honest, by and large most stuff being made today has no substance whatsoever,” he said.
“Lantana,” one of the recent rare films that assumed moviegoers might be older than 25 and willing to invest time in the complex emotional lives of grown-up characters, became a benchmark for LaPaglia.
What’s changed? “Everything. Attitude,” LaPaglia says.