Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Great (film) Debates vol. 43

There are the famous, the infamous, and the other guys. And many of the other guys deserve a little more fame (or infamy).

What actor do you wish would be better known (or “given more prominent films”)?

Panelist: Tennessee Jed

Tim Roth. I think he is a fantastic actor. He isn't exactly not known, just underutilized.

Panelist: ScottDS

After Firefly, my answer would've been Nathan Fillion. However, given that he's currently starring in a popular TV series, I will now go to my second answer: Connor Trinneer, who played Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker III - chief engineer and everyman - on Star Trek: Enterprise. I can't explain it but I became a fan of his pretty much after his first scene. His post-Enterprise career seems to consist of various guest roles as well as an arc on Stargate: Atlantis. I haven't seen him in anything else so it's possible he isn't a bigger star simply because he's not as good an actor as I think he is.

Panelist: AndrewPrice

As so often happens, Jed stole my answer. Tim Roth is a great actor and I've been super impressed with him since Reservoir Dogs. So I'll go with Adrien Brody. Yes, he's well known, but he's not the A-Lister he deserves to be. The man can act!

Panelist: BevfromNYC

Philip Seymour Hoffman, though I think his wish to do great work overshadows his desire to be better known. As an aside, I am surprised at how truly talented Daniel Radcliffe has turned out to be. The kid can sing, dance, AND act for real!

Panelist: T-Rav

There are several I could name, but one guy I'd like to see get more screen time is Britain's Jared Harris. He's a bit better known than he used to be, partly because of his stint on Mad Men, but he should get more props as a character actor, with his ability to play a variety of types very convincingly.

Comments? Thoughts?

85 comments:

AndrewPrice said...

As an aside, if any of you have read my books and wouldn't mind posting reviews, that would help a lot! I'm drifting toward the Top 100 in Kindle and your reviews could help me break into that elite group! Thanks! :)

shawn said...

Currently I would have to go with Micheal Fassbender for the fact that he almost single- handedly salvaged the mess that was "Prometheus".

Tennessee Jed said...

well, Andrew's pick speaks for itself. Roth is a guy that when I try to think of him doing a bad job, I just can't think of any.

Scott - Enterprise was actually the first "Trek" series I watched regularly, although when it first ran. HDNet ran it a few years back on a daily basis while I was recovering from surgery. I suppose the fact I had just gotten into really big screen HD didn't hurt either. Still, I think I was too smitten with Jolene Blalock to give "Trip" a fair chance, and wanted her to get with the captain.

Philip Seymour Hoffman is a great choice, Bev. It's hard to look at an Oscar winner as underrated, but you are right, he could be in a lot more films than he is. I still hold a little "mini-grudge" against him for beating out Joaquin Phoenix for the oscar. Both were fantastic, but I gave the edge to the latter since he had to sing as well.

Rav - it's really ironic you mention Harris after his character just hanged himself out of a job on that fantastic series . . . pity :( Also, I happened to watch him as Dr. Moriarty in the Holmes movie last night, and he was great in that role. As much a fan as I am of Robert Downey, Jr., and as much as wanted to like it, I thought that movie completely sucked.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

Donal Logue. Always like him in whatever he's in.

Patriot, The Tao of Steve, and a short-lived f/x show called Terriers.

Tennessee Jed said...

probably not even worth mentioning, but I meant to "Enterprise" was the first Trek series I watched regularly since the "OST"

Tennessee Jed said...

Floyed - Donal Logue is a very likable actor. He does seem to definitely be more of a character actor for supporting roles or "ensemble" casts, though

Tennessee Jed said...

gave you a heartfelt review today A.P.

tryanmax said...

Before he threw in with Will Ferrell on several of his crap projects I would have said John C. Reilly.

But that frees me up to give a much more satisfying answer in Sam Rockwell, though he seems to be coming up and getting his due.

Tennessee Jed said...

I agree Max, but that is still a good answer, because even if you grant that Rockwell is gaining some notoriety, it still asks "who would you like to see be given more prominence?"

AndrewPrice said...

Morning everybody! I have the same problem with Reilly, I see him as too linked to Ferrell, who I really don't like.

Tennessee Jed said...

Scott - another thought that just occurred to me about Trinneer is that his character Trip was definitely meant to be "Bones" McCoy like in his demeanor, so how can one not like that! :)

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn, I've liked him a good deal in the roles I've seen him in as well. I suspect he's an up and comer.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I wasn't a fan of the new Sherlock Holmes film either. The first one I thought was nicely done and quite diverting. But this just never interested me.

I'm a huge fan of Phoenix as well. He's never disappointed me.

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, I don't think I've seen much with Logue in it. I just scanned his career and he doesn't ring a lot of bells. I'll have to watch for him in the future.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I saw the review, thanks a bunch! :)

By the way, Without A Hitch keeps climbing the chart. It started at 10,582 overall on Thursday and is now up to 339 overall and so far (fingers crossed) keeps going up every three or four hours. Hitting the Top 100 would be fantastic!

(Also, it's top 4/5 in legal thrillers right now.)

AndrewPrice said...

Jed and tryanmax, I've liked Rockwell a lot. I didn't initially realize how excellent he was in Galaxy Quest until I saw him play a very different role in Moon. He's a very good actor.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed and Scott, I liked him as Trip, but I didn't care for the series itself, so I had a hard time wanting to see more from him. But he was also in Stargate Atlantis and that's where I really started to like him as an actor. I'm not sure what other roles he would be good for, but he is definitely solid when it comes to science fiction.

BevfromNYC said...

Did you know that Jared Harris is Richard Harris' son? Frankly most of the really well trained good actors and actresses spend most of their time toiling in the theatre and they do movies and television to keep food on the table and to fund their theatre habits. I know both Harris and Hoffman have their own small theatre companies in NY and Hoffman was nominated for three Tony awards.

tryanmax said...

I particularly enjoy Rockwell because he is a full-body actor. I don't personally know his biography, but I'd be surprised if he doesn't have some extensive dance background. The amazing thing, however, is how he completely hides this when the character calls for it.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I didn't know that about Harris, but you are right that the best actors seem to have an affinity for theater. I think it's probably because those people really do have a love for acting rather than just a love for celebrity.

T-Rav said...

Yeah, Jed, that was too bad. I would have rather seen one or two others on that show off themselves than him, but oh well.

I still haven't gotten around to seeing the second Holmes movie. I kept hearing conflicting reports about it, but my gut told me I would be disappointed. Incidentally, the first one just started running on TNT, and during the bits where Moriarty appears in shadow, Harris' voice is dubbed over the original actor's, which I found amusing and also unnecessary.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's true. He doesn't just give you facial expressions. I think that helps him convey his character's emotions a lot better because people do speak with their bodies.

T-Rav said...

I didn't know that, Bev. But then I don't follow theater all that much. It would certainly explain the flexibility of actors such as Harris and Hoffman.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I hate it when they do that. Especially when it's as obnoxious as the end of Return of the Jedi. Ahhh!

ScottDS said...

Good answers, everyone!

Jed - Yeah, Tim Roth isn't exactly unknown and he did just star in a TV series for a couple of years but he seems to be one of those guys that filmmakers don't know what to do with. He would've been perfect in the Harry Potter films (I read he was considered for the role of Snape which eventually went to Alan Rickman).

I'd love to see Roth in one of those Richard Curtis romantic ensembles (you know, with Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, and the rest of the gang).

Andrew - I'd like to see what Adrien Brody could do in a contemporary film. He always seems to be in these dark intense films - he needs to play it light one of these days!

Bev - I love Philip Seymour Hoffman. Dare I say it, I think he isn't better known because he's the consummate character actor where you forget about the actual performer! (I could've phrased that a tad more eloquently.)

T-Rav - I don't watch Mad Men but Jared Harris had a nice run on Fringe... talk about versatile! He's another guy I'd like to see in more stuff, especially movies.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I often wonder things like that myself, how good certain actors would be if they did something completely different. I think Brody has a lot of range and I don't really doubt that he could do anything.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott and Jed, Roth is known now because he's on a television series (and he's always been known in acting circles, you'd be amazed how many big roles he turned down). But his film career really hasn't been known.

He's one of those guys that people who have seen him think he's great but nobody else knows about him.

Koshcat said...

Difficult one as truly good actors will find work, but there are those whose acting always seem above and beyond those around them, even if it is a small role, i.e. they don't "mail it in". One of my favorites that fits this is John Malkovich. Granted, he is well known but I don't really think it is really appreciated how much and how varied of work he has done. Loved him in Secretariat. Maybe not the right actor for this question.

tryanmax said...

Theatre helps actors for a variety of reasons.

1. More roles: Theater isn't as bound by "types" as cinema seems to be, and stage directors are more adventurous about casting against type where it does exist. This gives actors exposure to a greater variety of characters.

2. Memorization: This helps in internalizing the character. Among stage actors, it’s said that you can’t act until your lines are memorized, and it’s true. I’ve heard more than enough stories about screen actors who don’t know their lines during shooting to disgust me.

3. No retakes: You’re expected to get everything right the first time, but to also be prepared to improvise should something go wrong. On camera, the pressure is basically off. Yes, shooting time = money, but just knowing that you can do it over if you really boff big-time should be extremely relaxing.

4. Repetition: Even if a show has a short run, by the time curtain goes up on opening night, you’ve rehearsed every scene about a zillion time. But you still have to make it look unrehearsed and spontaneous. And you’re expected to give every audience the same performance; no trying something new when things get old.

5. Total Exposure: There are no close-up on the stage. In every moment, the stage actor must express himself from head to toe because, while the guy in the front row can read your face, the guy in the cheap seats can only read your body.

So, basically, on four out of five points, stage acting is harder. Not coal-mine hard, but there is definitely a lot more asked of the stage actor than the screen actor.

T-Rav said...

What's the matter, Andrew? Didn't you like seeing Hayden Christensen edited into the closing scene? :-)

It doesn't bother me as much as some stuff does, but I am a fan of continuity in movies, so yeah, it does get under my skin a bit.

T-Rav said...

Jed, I think Tim Roth is a pretty good choice. The two movies that stick out in my mind are Pulp Fiction and The Incredible Hulk, the latter of which he did a great deal to make watchable. I never saw that show "Lie to Me," though; it seemed just too gimmicky for me.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I think Logue had a minor part in The Patriot, as the racist militiaman who eventually learns to respect his black comrade and so on. One of my least favorite bits about that movie, frankly; it was kind of maudlin and kitschy. But he did all right, I guess. I don't remember him from anything else.

T-Rav said...

Scott, I'm a little upset that Harris' character was just killed off on both of those shows, especially Fringe, where he always livens things up. (Er, spoiler alert?) I think he's especially good when playing a villain; he brings enough humor to the part to make him consistently watchable, no matter how bad the character may be. I'd like to see what he would do with a really prominent film role.

LawHawkRFD said...

I think I'll go with the Sam Rockwell crowd. I first saw him in Lawn Dogs, and thought he was strictly indi material. But he went on to strong supporting roles and/or leads in mainstream film. He can do comedy as well as drama, and he always "becomes" the part.

Tennessee Jed said...

I first saw Roth in "Vincent & Theo", and "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead". When he showed up in Reservoir Dogs, it was one of those "where have I seen this guy before" things, but by Pulp Fiction, he was locked in. Still, the role that really, really put him on top for me was as Archibald Cunningham in Rob Roy. I mean, a sissified, sneering, purely cruel swordsman (in more ways than one.) That role was out of the ball park. I wanted to like "Lie to Me" but the Hollywood lib script writers ruined it.

Tennessee Jed said...

Harris is great as a villain, and yet his vulnerability in the character of Layne Price was incredibly and superbly moving.

Tennessee Jed said...

Hawk - I went over to imdb to check out Rockwell's filmography. Like a lot of movie stars, they began to hone their chops on some of the good t.v. dramas such as Equalizer, L.A. Law, NYPD Blue, and yes, even Law & Order.

I think the first time I really began to notice him was around the time of Green Mile and Heist. Throughout the earl part of last decade, he kept showing up in supporting roles and doing well. To me, Rockwell has a "memorable" face and looks like a real guy who you could remember from junior high. Great actor and great choice :)

Tennessee Jed said...

Tryanmax - I agree with your comments about theater and would add, that on stage, there are no stunt doubles, CGI, etc. It's pretty much an actor's gig so to speak; dialog driven.

Tennessee Jed said...

Bev - that was a nice pick-up on the Harris dad/lad connection. I didn't know that either, but now that you mentioned it, you can see some of the facial resemblance.

Tennessee Jed said...

Koshkat - yeah, I understand where you are coming from with Malkovich, but people may under-appreciate the multi-dimensional nature of his talents, from "Of Mice & Men" to "Line of Fire" to "Secretariat" . Anyway one wants to classify him, he is a great actor.

Kit said...

Nathan Fillion, though he's got a show.

Adam Baldwin, but being a conservative means continued under-appreciation.

I would also like to see Jewel Staite in some more things.

I agree about Daniel Radcliffe. He was a good Harry Potter, despite having the wrong color eyes. (Nerd Alert!)

Lot of good actors in the Harry Potter movies, two in particular that don't get enough love: Matthew Lewis, who was perfect as Neville, and Evanna Lynch, who was perfect as Luna Lovegood.
The quality of the video isn't perfect but its still pretty good: LINK

BevfromNYC said...

Tryan - Stage actors are the coal miners of entertainment.

Kit said...

I liked it in the final movie when Luna said "Harry Potter, you listen to me right now!"

BevfromNYC said...

Tryan - Stage actors are the coal miners of entertainment.

Kit said...

Zachary Levi of CHUCK as well as the female co-star Yvonne Strahovski.

I would also like to see more of Jeffster. :)

AndrewPrice said...

I'm back folks. Sorry about that. had to move some furniture so it wouldn't die in the fire that's about to sweep our town.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, I agree about John Malkovich. I first noticed him in Dangerous Liaisons and have been a huge fan ever since. And while he is "famous" he doesn't really get noticed by the public, if that make sense.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's an excellent list. I too have heard stories about actors who have to read their lines or learn them scene by scene. You can't do that in theater. I think theater is a more immersive experience for the actors.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Nope, did. . . not. . . like. . . it. . . at. . . all!

I have so many problems with the edits he made that I won't watch those versions. I just won't.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Roth is even better in Reservoir Dogs, which is actually my favorite Tarantino film.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew!! I was just seeing the fires on the news! How close is it? Be safe!

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, What an awesome list of Roth moments!

"Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead" is fantastic and he is hilarious.

His character steals the film in "Rob Roy."

I love the scene where he's taking about the cops and the drugs and the bathroom in Reservoir Dogs -- very surprising (won't spoil it here) and very well acted.

And he is a key figure in Pulp Fiction too.

He's impressed me every time I've seen him.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, It's not close to my house, though we can see the plumes of smoke out the window in the mountains. BUT it is within about three miles of my sister's house (who is not in town right now). So we went over and grabbed her valuables and brought them here so they wouldn't burn.

The problem is that the fire is spreading through the air rather than as a wall of flame, and that makes it hard to fight because the wind is blowing hot ash all over the western end of town. And that's apparently causing trees to burst into flame now and that part of town is very old (1900) and will burn easily. So they've evacuated that part of town.

But where we are (12-15 miles away), I can't imagine it reaching us -- there just isn't enough kindling to get here.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Jewel Staite is intensely cute. She should be in romance films.

I agree about Radcliff. I thought he was great as Harry Potter, but I figured he was permanently typecast after that. Yet, he's proven himself a couple times now as a strong screen presence with good acting skills.

Kit said...

I've also seen videos of Jewel at panels at some conventions. She seems like a pleasant person.

She also had a famous "Prank War" against Nathan Fillion. Funny story.
LINK

Nathan Fillion is a notorious prankster.

ScottDS said...

I 110% agree about Jewel Staite.

Speaking of underused Canadian actresses, I would like to submit Caroline Dhavernas who starred in a short-lived Fox show titled Wonderfalls. She recently starred in some ABC medical show but it was cancelled. She does a lot of stuff in the Great White North but she isn't as well known down here in the States.

BevfromNYC said...

Daniel Radcliffe has made some very good choices since Potter. Mostly he has chosen to "mature" in the theatre to prove that he really CAN act, sing, dance.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit and Scott, Staith seems like a really sweet girl.

I don't know Dhavernas.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That's true. A lot of great actors get brought down by horrible choices. Radcliffe has really carved out a strong post-Potter career and he's done it almost instantly. I am convinced he will go far.

T-Rav said...

I haven't seen The Woman in Black, but my sisters have and said Radcliffe was very convincing in a different role for him. He seems like he might have some good comedic skill as well.

I don't know about Emma Watson, though--it seems like she's deliberately taking on some racy roles to counter her Hermione Granger persona. That doesn't strike me as a good move.

T-Rav said...

But Andrew! With the recent edits, you get to hear Jar Jar shouting "Wesa free!" at the end in the shot of Naboo. Would ROTJ be the same without that?!

And let's not forget the necessity of learning that Han did not, in fact, shoot first....

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Are you trying to get my blood pressure soaring? Well, see your obnoxious examples and raise you a: "Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!"

T-Rav said...

Well, under the present circumstances, I probably shouldn't do that. Stay un-incinerated out there, and calm yourself with some Red Letter Media reviews.

Firefly said...

Donal Logue won our hearts in Grounded for Life, thought we first saw him in Gettysburg. Tim Roth was wonderfully despicable in Rob Roy - Bonus: that was also our first introduction to the marvelous Brian Cox. Nathan Fillion seems to have landed on his feet quite nicely; we hope that Adam Baldwin will be as successful along with every one else in the 'Verse.
However, (thank you You Tube and Netflix)I recently stumbled upon Richard Armitage, who can do actioners (MI5, the recent BBCA hepped-up version of Robin Hood, and BBCA's Strike Back), comedy (Vicar of Dibley) as well as period romand (North and South). He is cast as the mighty Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit. We'll see.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Don't worry, I am determined to remain un-incinerated!

AndrewPrice said...

Firefly, I like Armitage a good deal. He's a solid actor. I can't wait to see The Hobbit!

Firefly said...

So far, IMHO, The Hobbit seems to be the highlight of the pending holiday movie season.

Soonertroll said...

I've always liked what William Fichtner brings to supporting roles. He reminds me of Ed Lauter. I thought that before he reprised the role of Capt. Knauer in the remake of The Longest Yard.

Tennessee Jed said...

Firefly - First time I saw Bryan Cox was as the original Hannibal Lector in Manhunter back in the mid 80's. I must admit that my number one guilty pleasure is "Castle." Castle and Beckett have filled in for Harm and Mac in the weekly t.v. drama sexual tension department, although Castle and Beckett finally did it to close out the season. This pushes new ground since it has long been held that making such a move is "death" to the series. We'll see.

Tennessee Jed said...

I do hope Emma Watson does well. She is definitely wholesome cute, but I didn't like what the "mean girls" of Brown did to her (bullying, assuming that story was actually true.)

Kit said...

Tennessee Jed,

Castle/Beckett is a pretty good romance.

The primary article I found on Emma Watson was from the Daily Mail, which can be rather tabloidish when it comes to celebrities.

Kit said...

"This pushes new ground since it has long been held that making such a move is "death" to the series. We'll see."

I think that usually happens because they can't keep the drama going. When the whole show is built around a "will they/won't they" question and the question is answered, "Yes", what do you do now?

So they will have to keep the drama and the tension going after the couple got hitched. OFFICE did it but they also had a large number of supporting characters to keep things going. CHUCK, however, did it well. Of course that show was often one step away from cancellation.

AndrewPrice said...

Firefly, I'm looking forward to it a lot. The images I've seen look incredibly good.

AndrewPrice said...

Soonertroll, Fichtner is excellent and I can see the resemblance to Lauter.

Tennessee Jed said...

Kit - it will be interesting to see how Castle works out. In may be seen as a risk since Castle is routinely in top ten ratings wise. That show does take a kind of Ellery Queen approach to it's stories.

As far as Emma Watson, it's a hard situation for her just as it was for "harry" himself. These were kids who pretty much grew up in their roles. Sometimes, the career takes off, sometimes they are trapped by their association with the character they played for so long to the exclusion of all else. In the worst case, you get a George Reeves suicide (unless he was murdered, of course.)

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I don't if it was true either, but it sounds pretty nasty. I like Watson, but I haven't seen her doing anything besides Harry Potter yet.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, It's hard to keep up a series because you can't keep building up suspense forever.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That's true, some child actors really take off but most end up just fading away. I personally don't know that Watson has much that will help her take off.

Kit said...

"Jed, That's true, some child actors really take off but most end up just fading away. I personally don't know that Watson has much that will help her take off."

Fortunately, she's pretty secure with millions in the bank.

rlaWTX said...

I used to feel this way about Michael Biehn. (I still do somewhat, but I figure at this point in his career what you see is what we're going to get.)

I had to look up most of these names...

I had higher hopes for Eliza Dushku after Buffy. But looking at her list on imdb, it turns out I'm just not watching the right things...

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Yeah, I think Biehn's day is past. I never paid much attention to Dushku truthfully.

Soonertroll said...

Biehn's acting rang is limited. A fact painfully confirmed to me watching the deleted man out of time scene from The Terminator. His performance in that scene had to have been part of the reason Cameron cut it, though he said it was cut for pacing in the commantry.

Though to be fair to Biehn, he's a better actor then Sam Worthington. Being an aussie actor seems to carry a cache in Hollywood in the last decade, I guess it's the masculinity gap with American actors I've read about rearing its head.

AndrewPrice said...

Soonertroll, I sadly agree. I've seen Biehn in a lot of B-movie lately and also in Planet Terror, and he just comes across so limited. I like him, but I don't think he could handle many roles.

I despise Worthington! You should read my reviews of Terminator Salvation and Avatar to see my utter contempt for him. He's the most lifeless actor I've ever seen!

rlaWTX said...

I think his most interesting role was in Tombstone. My favorite is Aliens.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I agree with that. I liked him best in Alien and is most interesting role was Tombstone. I never really disliked him in anything, I just don't see him having a lot of depth.

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