Meeting Greg Kinnear

Listen to Liane Hansen and Greg Kinnear as Kinnear reveals his true feelings about Verdell, the animal actor in "As Good as It Gets" and more...

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Gemma Watters, Weekend Edition

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Greg Kinnear with Liane Hansen. Gemma Watters, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Gemma Watters, NPR

I've always had a fascination with windshield wipers. I remember as a child, sitting in the driver's seat of my parents' Volvo 440. I used to flick the wiper lever up and down, watching the wipers go back and forth, squeaking against the dry windshield with each stroke, and I would count the seconds between wipes. It never crossed my mind that someone had dedicated their time to inventing the wonderful wipers — until I saw the preview for Flash of Genius, by first-time director Mark Abraham.

Greg Kinnear was absolutely wonderful to meet. He was extremely passionate when talking about the role of Robert Kearns, inventor of intermittent windshield wipers. After hearing about the film and speaking to Mark and Greg, I had an urge to sit in a car, play with the windshield wipers and reminisce about my childhood.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I'm from the United Kingdom, so I really have to be a fan of Robert Kearns because if there's anywhere in the world that would benefit from such an invention, it's the U.K.

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If anyone deserved the Oscar for best supporting actor in 1997, it was Greg Kinnear. He wuz robbed! But maybe he'll get his chance again with Flash of Genius.

Sent by Leslie Bell | 9:02 AM | 9-28-2008

In 1970, we owned a VW square back in which my husband installed a delay switch on the wiper control. We joked about being the only ones with this feature, but my husband never tried to patent the device. We sold the vehicle, complete with modified wiper system in 1972 or 3. When this option started to show up in new cars, we began to wonder if the fellow who bought our car was reaping the rewards of my husband's ingenuity.
Lebanon, NH

Sent by Sue Brewer | 10:30 AM | 9-29-2008