John Cusack talks 'Raven' and kickboxing

John Cusack is trying to get the conversation focused toward his new movie, "The Raven," which opens Friday.

But every interview recently has been about his role in the 1989 movie "Say Anything" as kickboxing average student Lloyd Dobler, who falls in love with the valedictorian, played by Ione Skye.

"I think it's because I still kickbox all the time and people really love that movie," said Cusack, who has appeared in more than 70 movies during his 30-year career. "The sport of kickboxing gave me something and I still stay in pretty good shape because of it. Can we now talk about 'The Raven'?"

One more question: Aren't you a black belt?

"Yeah, something like that," said Cusack, who has been working with former world kickboxing champion Benny "The Jet" Urquidez. "I'm not really sure at this point. I focus more on the technique than the belts."

That's one of the reasons Cusack wanted to do "The Raven." He knows there have been many stories told about Edgar Allen Poe's book, but this one is different. The movie is a fictionalized account of the last days of Edgar Allan Poe's life, in which Poe pursues a serial killer.

"I've always loved horror films and I wanted to get into the mind of Poe," said Cusack, who grew up in Chicago and is a huge sports fan. "This movie has a very different vibe than my previous movies. This is a combination of Gothic, horror and fantasy."