Ashton Kutcher, left, and Tom Selleck co-star in "Killers." (Melissa Moseley / Lionsgate )
In the action comedy "Killers," Tom Selleck plays an overprotective father by way of Robert De Niro in "Meet the Parents." So when Ashton Kutcher's suave but secretive Spencer Aimes moves in on his just-divorced daughter, played by Katherine Heigl, expect things to get messy. Real messy. Turns out Spencer moonlights as an international super spy.
Will super cowboy Selleck see any of the action? Will he and @aplusk come to blows?
"Well, I can't say," Selleck, 65, said with a laugh. Could that be sort of an answer in itself? Sounds like father dearest -- known simply as Mr. Kornfeldt in the film -- might be in on the spy game. Hollywood doesn't hire that mustache for nothing, and in this movie, it's married to Catherine O'Hara.
"I can say Kutcher was a real gentleman, hard-working and quite good in this movie," Selleck said. "And I'm not just saying that. It's a tricky part, having to do the comedy and all the action. He was down for it."
Selleck signed on to work with director Robert Luketic, whose credits include "Legally Blonde," "which I really, really enjoyed," the actor said. "I thought the film sounded like a pretty fun concept that would be hard to mess up with this cast."
It didn't hurt that "Killers" was shot on location in France, where Selleck says he spent his downtime "filling up on bouillabaisse, doing a lot of reading and working on a script. I can't complain." Back home at his California avocado ranch, the labor's a little more physical -- and he doesn't even enjoy the results. "I don't eat them," he said. "I sell them, and they're very good, but I don't spend a lot of time eating them. Not a big vegetable guy."
He's awaiting word on a potential long-term project: a CBS cop show for which he filmed the pilot last month. If picked up, it would be his first headlining role on TV since "Magnum, P.I." The drama revolves around three generations of a New York family of cops. Donnie Wahlberg plays his son, and Len Cariou, most recently seen as a Bernie Madoff-type in FX's "Damages," will play the family patriarch.
If it doesn't go, expect another western -- and soon. Last month, Selleck was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers by the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma. It's an accomplishment he's especially humbled by.
"It's the real deal," he said. "They're real cowboys, and they understand the life for real ... and them honoring me and saying I belong there is a very big deal, one of the biggest validations of the work I've chosen to do." The Hall is like "a Who's Who of anyone I ever wanted to watch growing up, from Roy Rogers to William Boyd to Gene Autry to John Wayne to Jimmy Stewart, Henry Fonda, a mentor of mine...."
"I'm always looking for a western. They're hard to get off the ground," he said. And there's also the rumored sequel "3 Men and a Bride," which could see Selleck playing another overprotective dad. As far as Selleck knows -- and hopes -- the project is moving forward. "It's a very interesting idea, and I'd be very much interested in doing it," he said. "That first movie ["3 Men and a Baby"] is very special to me. I'd love to work with [Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg] again."
Selleck said he'd always be in the market for a good comedy, particularly since he's still accosted by fans of the dashing doctor he played who swept Monica off her feet in the TV series "Friends." "I spend most of my time trying to convince people that Monica really does love Dr. Richard," Selleck said. "Just because she married Chandler? Doesn't mean a thing."
Tom Selleck on his 5 most memorable projects
"Quigley Down Under" might still be his favorite project:
"It's certainly been profitable for MGM, and it seems to have a lot of fans. I loved filming it."
...but "Monte Walsh" is right up there, too:
"To me, it's a very large part of me and how I think of the West. It was enormously successful, and it's just one of my favorites. It's about the end of the cowboy era and someone who refuses to accept it.... I always said Monte Walsh was going to be a cowboy no matter what."
"In & Out" was important to show he was a team player:
"I hadn't done any ensemble work, and I think this town thought I was only interested in doing leads or vehicles. I'm proud of my work in it. It was a tricky part, because I was playing a character who was less than scrupulous, but he carried the message of the movie."
Of course, he's still getting over "Christopher Columbus: The Discovery," for which he won a Razzie for his brief performance as King Ferdinand:
"I certainly don't regret any of the movies I've done except maybe 'Christopher Columbus.' It's not a very good movie. I did it to work with Marlon Brando.... Thankfully, I'm in it for about five minutes. "
"Ike: Countdown to D-Day" helped him stretch:
"Frankly, when they sent me the script I thought, 'What are they thinking?' I hadn't played an actual historical figure before. I'm particularly proud of it. I know it's used in a lot of schools. The script made me cry so I decided to take a risk and try it."