Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Rundown: You Know... That Guy!

Everybody knows the superstars by name - big ticket movie stars who make millions per flick.

You see their pictures everywhere. They headline the movie posters and magazines, getting name dropped on all the talk shows. Kids in Sri Lanka could tell you who Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are without fail.

But what about those character actors who steal the picture more times than not, with their always impressive, albeit less hyped performances? What about those actors, usually asked about through questions like "Where do I know him from?" or "What was that guy in?"

Today, we pay tribute to That Guy.

Top Five "That Guy" Actors*
(* actors meaning persons who act, not strictly males...)

5. David Morse
Probably the most recognizable of the list, Morse has made a living playing the creepy serial killer next door (Disturbia), the crooked cop (16 Blocks) or the guy who is a little left of center and steals most scenes he's in, like in The Green Mile. David Morse is the new Tom Sizemore, without the drug addiction and prostitutes.

4. Elizabeth Banks
Remember the sexually-charged book store girl from The 40-Year-Old Virgin who ends up in her bathtub taking care of things herself? That's Elizabeth Banks and she is one of the funniest woman in Hollywood. So far, she's been a supporting cast kind of girl, either in Virgin or the new Ryan Reynolds movie Definitely, Maybe, but she's also got the lead in the next Kevin Smith flick along side of Seth Rogan, Zack & Miri Make a Porno. Yes, that's what it's called. She's going to be huge... trust me.

3. JK Simmons
I know what you're thinking: Who? And that's precisely the point. Fans of the Spiderman franchise know him as J. Jonah Jameson, while Juno watchers would recognize him as Juno's old man Mac McGruff. I first came to be a Simmons fan during his long tour of duty on the insanely good prison series Oz and as Aaron Eckhart's boss BR in Thank You For Smoking. Everyone remembers him, no one knows his name... but now you do.

2. Diane Wiest
D'you know who Brad Pitt's favourite actress is? Yep, it's Diane Wiest, but you don't know who she is or do you? She's currently District Attorney Nora Lewin on Law & Order: SVU and is also a two-time Academy Award winner for her roles in Bullets Over Broadway and Hannah and Her Sisters. Both are Supporting Actress statuettes of course. She gets mega bonus points from me for being in two recent films I loved (Dedication and A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints) and one old school pic that is cheese on celluloid... Footloose!

1. Tom Wilkinson
I don't know why I am continually amazed by Wilkinson's performances whenever I catch him in something new. He's been outstanding for as long as I can remember. Even before I knew who he was, I remember him being great. Flipping through his IMDB page and remembering him as Hugh Fennymen in Shakespeare in Love or as the mob boss Carmine Falcone in Batman Begins, the characters spring to life in my mind. Where Wilkinson stands out for me though is in his Oscar nominated role along side George Clooney in Michael Clayton. Guess who I'm picking to take home the Best Supporting Actor trophy Sunday night?

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