As a fan of film and television, I tend to follow the careers of actors that I like. In so doing, you typically see how the actor begins in roles that are poorly defined or strange and where they feel swallowed by the role. These are often bit parts of experimental films. As they grow they tend to zero in on certain types of roles that fit them well. Then they have their hit or string of hits as they reach their prime. Finally, they wind down by reverting to supporting roles or nostalgia roles.
Consider Robert De Niro, for example, who achieved fame in the very off-the-wall film Taxi Driver. He then slowly shifted to roles that involved cops or mobsters. In so doing, he had a string of great hits like Midnight Run and Goodfellas. He milked that for a while with a few notable standouts like Ronin. Then he started sliding down the backside of his career, playing parodies of the roles that made him famous, in films like Analyze This and the really depressing nostalgia film The Family.
But there is one actor who took a different course. This actor took roles that let us trace his career as if he were the same person on film and his films document his life: Roy Scheider.
Actually, if you hack off the last couple, it really does seem like it could all be the same man. What does this mean? I have no idea. What was the point of this article? Uh. I don’t know that either, but I liked Roy and I do find this interesting. Roy is the only actor where it feels like the main movies of his career take place in the same universe with him being the same character.... The French Connection, Jaws, Jaws 2, Blue Thunder and to a lesser extent 2010.
Interesting or no?