Pop quiz: Why has John Cusack jumped into the political arena with a pair of videos saying John McCain is a war-profiteering clone of President George W. Bush?
"I know my opinion doesn't matter more than anyone else's and I just make films," he told The Associated Press in a phone interview Wednesday. "But I do feel you have to speak out, and that's what I'm doing."
The 30-second videos, which went out to members of the liberal political activist group MoveOn.org on Wednesday, will begin airing as television ads Thursday. In one, Cusack offers a "pop quiz" to voters, asking them among other things: "Who supports keeping our troops in harm's way in Iraq but not the bipartisan G.I. bill of rights to support them when they return home?"
McCain and Bush both do, Cusack says, adding, "Bet you can't tell them apart."
In the other, he points out that Charlie Black, a key campaign adviser to presumptive Republican presidential nominee McCain, has been a lobbyist for Blackwater Worldwide, the largest private security contractor in Iraq.
In his latest film, the war satire "War Inc.," Cusack makes no secret that he believes the Iraq war was created to profit private businesses like Blackwater and Bechtel Corp., which hold war-related contracts.
"I'm not going to pretend this thing in Iraq was some kind of free market utopia to spread the gospel of democracy through the Middle East," he told the AP from London, where he's at work on another project.
Cusack says he supports Democrat Barack Obama.
Although he has made such films as "War Inc." and last year's "Grace is Gone," in which he plays the husband of a soldier killed in Iraq, Cusack notes this has been his first high-profile foray into partisan politics.