Thursday, December 2, 2010

LOTD Classic Of The Day: "That Guy" Supporting Actors

You've seen these guys a hundred times, but I bet you can't name one of them... until now.

William Fichtner

Where You've Seen Him: Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Prison Break, Black Hawk Down, The Perfect Storm
You might have missed him in: Malcolm X, as "Cop at Harlem station"
To Me, He'll Always Be: the creepy alien sheriff in the short-lived ABC suckfest, Invasion
A poor man's... Kevin Bacon

Joaquim de Almeida

Where You've Seen Him: 24, Clear And Present Danger, Desperado, Behind Enemy Lines
You might have missed him in: Everything he's ever done except 24 or Clear And Present Danger
To Me, He'll Always Be: the bad guy in Clear And Present Danger
A poor man's... Al Pacino with an accent, minus all the yelling

J.K. Simmons

Where You've Seen Him: Juno, Spider-Man, Thank You For Smoking, every Law & Order series ever made
You might have missed him in: The Dale Earnhardt Story
To Me, He'll Always Be: sadistic neo-Nazi Vern Schillinger in Oz, who burned a swastika into poor Lee Tergesen's butt cheeks
A poor man's... Ed Harris, sans flannel

Noah Emmerich

Where You've Seen Him: Miracle, Cop Land, Melrose Place
You might have missed him in: If Someone Had Known, starring Kellie Martin. Tuesday night at 9 on Lifetime.
To Me, He'll Always Be: Jim Carrey's fake friend in The Truman Show
A poor man's... chemically burned Jon Favreau (and a cinch to make the next installment of my Celebrity Skin Club)

Stephen Tobolowski

Where You've Seen Him: Memento, Thelma & Louise, Deadwood, CSI: Miami
You might have missed him in: Alien Fury: Countdown to Invasion
To Me, He'll Always Be: Ned Ryerson, insurance salesman and punching bag for Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.
A poor man's... William H. Macy

James Cromwell

Where You've Seen Him: Where haven't you?
You might have missed him in: Birth Of A Nation (1915), as Lillian Gish's grandpa
To Me, He'll Always Be: Archie's co-worker Stretch Cunningham on All In The Family
A poor man's... James Cromwell

J.T. Walsh

Where You've Seen Him: nowhere lately; he died in 1998. Before that he was in Pleasantville, Good Morning Vietnam, Narrow Margin, A Few Good Men, Breakdown, and more.
You might have missed him in: anything since 1998
To Me, He'll Always Be: Carl's creepy friend in the nervous hospital in Sling Blade.
A poor man's... evil Beau Bridges

Danny Trejo

Where You've Seen Him Heat, Con Air, Desperado, Machete
You might have missed him in: From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter
To Me, He'll Always Be: fuckin' scary
A poor man's... Manuel Noriega

David Morse

Where You've Seen Him: St. Elsewhere, 12 Monkeys, The Rock, The Green Mile
You might have missed him in: The Hugh Grant thriller, Extreme Measures
To Me, He'll Always Be: Jodie Foster's dad in Contact ("Small moves, Sparks. Small moves.")
A poor man's... Russell Crowe

Richard Jenkins

Where You've Seen Him: Me, Myself & Irene; Intolerable Cruelty; There's Something About Mary
You might have missed him in: Blue Steel, but I didn't, because that's my favorite Ron Silver movie ever (not really, I hate that movie, but I told Ron Silver himself in a bar in Toronto that I loved it. I was lying. And a wee bit lit.)
To Me, He'll Always Be: Nathaniel Fisher, Sr. in Six Feet Under, getting flattened by a city bus in the very first episode. Luckily for him, the show featured ghosts.
A poor man's... Tommy Lee Jones

Tom Wilkinson

Where You've Seen Him: Batman Begins, Michael Clayton, Rush Hour, Shakespeare In Love, In The Bedroom
You might have missed him in: The Ghost And The Darkness, which also describes the theaters where that movie played.
To Me, He'll Always Be: Dr. Mierzwiak, founder of Lacuna Corp. in Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind
A poor man's... Jon Voight

John C. Reilly

Where You've Seen Him: Talladega Nights, Magnolia, For The Love Of The Game, Chicago
You might have missed him in: The short-lived TV series Martial Law, co-starring Arsenio Hall, and created by Lost co-exec producer, Carlton Cuse.
To Me, He'll Always Be: Reed Rothchild, a.k.a. Chest Rockwell, in Boogie Nights
A poor man's... Will Farrell

Keith David

Where You've Seen Him: There's Something About Mary, ATL, Barbershop, Men At Work, Dead Presidents
You might have missed him in: Disco Godfather
To Me, He'll Always Be: Charlie Sheen's squad mate in Platoon
A poor man's... Louis Gossett, Jr.

Lane Smith

Where You've Seen Him: As the prosecutor in My Cousin Vinny
You might have missed him in: The Mighty Ducks, Lois & Clark, Son In Law, The Legend of Bagger Vance and a bunch of other shit nobody watched
To Me, He'll Always Be: Roy Hamlin in Hart To Hart. Ok, not really. I saw that on IMdb.
A poor man's... Gene Hackman with better hair

Peter Stormare

Where You've Seen Him: Fargo, Prison Break, Constantine (as Beelzebub), Minority Report
You might have missed him in: Larmar Och Gor Sig Till (Sweden's Maid in Manhattan)
To Me, He'll Always Be: "So I guess that's your partner there in the wood chipper, eh?"
A poor man's... Eurotrash Bruce Willish

Philip Baker Hall

Where You've Seen Him: Every movie or TV show you've ever watched in your entire life
You might have missed him in: Every movie or TV show you haven't watched in your entire life
To Me, He'll Always Be: Videotape advocate Floyd Gondolli in Boogie Nights
A poor man's... Michael Caine, American version

Zeljko Ivanek

Where You've Seen Him: Oz, 24, CSI, Law & Order, Cold Case, and every other law-enforcement show ever made.
You might have missed him in: Lost, as Juliet's husband, in only two scenes before he catches a bus without waiting for it to stop.
To Me, He'll Always Be: something unpronounceable
A poor man's... Pezqvlbluw Klpaxnblzela

Will Patton

Where You've Seen Him: Armageddon, The Client, The Mothman Prophecies, The Rapture
You might have missed him in: Road House 2: Last Call
To Me, He'll Always Be: Scott Pritchard, psychotic fop/chief of staff to Gene Hackman's Secretary of Defense in No Way Out
A poor man's... John Malkovich

William Sanderson

Where You've Seen Him: Deadwood, Lonesome Dove, Fletch, Blade Runner
You might have missed him in: Man's Best Friend with Ally Sheedy
To Me, He'll Always Be: Larry (of Larry, Darryl and Darryl) in Newhart.
A poor man's... Marlon Brando

Here are some fine additions from my boy, Aries:

Daniel Stern

Where You've Seen Him: City Slickers, Home Alone, Diner
You might have missed him in: "The Wonder Years," as the voice of the grown-up Kevin Arnold.
To Me, He'll Always Be: The Rom Com Buddy in the otherwise forgetful Key Exchange
A poor man's... Bachelor Party-era Tom Hanks.

Al Leong

Where You've Seen Him: Die Hard, She's Having a Baby, Lethal Weapon, and any other movie that requires an Asian kung fu master with long hair and a funky 'stache
You might have missed him in: Big Trouble in Little China, as a murderous Wing Kong in the alley
To Me, He'll Always Be: Genghis Khan, in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
A poor man's... Genghis Khan.

Robert Davi

Where You've Seen Him: Die Hard, Stargate Atlantis, a ton of shitty films
You might have missed him in: The Hot Chick, which is probably good for both of you.
To Me, He'll Always Be: Frank Sanchez, baddie extraordinare in the Bond flick Licence to Kill
A poor man's... Joaquim de Almeida.

25 comments:

  1. Cool list! James Cromwell will always be Stretch Cunningham to me too.

    It seems these guys might have the best of both worlds. They get to be actors and have steady work, but they probably aren't chased down by paparazzi or featured in gossip rags all the time the way the big name actors are.

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  2. J.T. Walsh:

    You might have missed him in: anything since 1998.

    Heh. Very true.

    I like David Morse. Poor man's Russell Crowe is very true. Ever seen Proof Of Life? That suckfest even has Horatio Caine in it. I like Will Patton, too, although I couldn't have named him. He was in Gone In 60 Seconds, and I have a ridiculous soft spot for that movie.

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  3. Great list! For me James Cromwell will always be Farmer Hoggett in "Babe" and the creepy molesting dad in "As the World Turns" (my mother's 'story').

    I have to disagree about one entry, though. I think Will Farrell is the poor man's John C. Reilly. JCR is amazing.

    To prove your point, right now, even as I type, Zejko Ivanek is in an episode of "House" showing on USA! He's SO much better than Pezqvlbluw Klpaxnblzela and makes Yuristav Putinpovich look like an amateur.

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  4. All great supporting actors that could easily be some of the best actors around.
    I agree with Daisy - Best of both worlds. Acting steadily with good paychecks and none of the hassles of being a star.
    J K Simmons is my favorite. Will always be Vern Schillinger, even shilling for insurance company on commercials now.

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  5. My aunt's brother in law has Danny Trejo's face with Leonard Cohen's voice. He scared me shitless when I was little, the funny thing, he's the sweetest, coolest gay man I've ever known.

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  6. I love J.K. Simmons, he's in The Closer now. Also, does anyone watch The Walking Dead? Is Noah Emmerich the guy that was in the CDC?

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  7. Damn that Ned Ryerson.

    And for the record, I truly enjoyed JT Walsh's performance as Charles Bushman.

    "You can imagine how bad I wanted my $25 back, huh?"

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  8. If I were a producer/director, my dream project would be to do a production of 12 ANGRY MEN (or an equally compelling ensemble work) with a cast consisting entirely of That Guys.

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  9. Isn't Stephen Tobolowski (sometimes) in Glee now?

    Also, Tom Wilkinson -> The Full Monty, right?

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  10. Love J.K. Simmons. Any guy who cold believably play a neo-nazi man rapist and then a calm, cool psychologist is a great actor.

    Joe Pantoliano used to be "that guy" before the Sopranos. I think that show ruined his career.

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  11. Carolyn - Yes, that is Noah in the CDC. The Walking Dead is fantastic--love that show.

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  12. Yes, Liz, Stephen has a recurring role on "Glee" as Sandy Ryerson, the former director of the Glee Club. He's a great comedic actor. He wears the "sweater tied around the neck" like a pro. :)

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  13. Noah Emmerich in Walking Dead: "I'll probably kill myself tomorrow".
    James Cromwell did a couple of seasons of Six Feet Under. Babe's dad is what we called him around our house for years. He was also Zephram Cochran in Star Trek First Contact.

    Richard Jenkins was awesome in The Visitor as an emotionally constipated professor.

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  14. Daisy, I would imagine that they get a lot of people coming up to them, pointing, and saying, "You're...um...umm....that guy!"

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  15. Thanks Cary. I am really pleased it got renewed!

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  16. Frank, I bet you're right. If anyone asked for their autograph, they could just sign it, "That Guy." :D

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  17. You guys nailed them all, great list.

    To Me:
    William Fichtner - blind scientist in Contact.
    William Sanderson - E.B. in Deadwood
    James Cromwell - Police captain Smith in LA Confidential

    PS: I still can't see a wood chipper without thinking about Fargo.....brrrr

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  18. OMG I love Will Patton - he was in The Postman And Remember The Titans. Proper character actors, not your Hollywood stiffs.
    And JT Walsh - didn't know - RIP.

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  19. I love this post!! William Fichtner played Jimmy MacElroy's dad in my favorite guilty pleasure movie, Blades of Glory. James Cromwell was billed as "Jamie Cromwell" when he played Louis' dad in Revenge of the Nerds, and I'll never forget the first time I heard Shillenger's (J.K. Simmons) voice coming from the yellow M&M on a commercial.

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  20. I actually spotted Al Leong in Big Trouble in Little China years ago. If you have a REALLY good eye you can pick him out as one of the non-survivors on the tuna cannery ship at the very beginning of GINO (Godzilla In Name Only, aka the '98 American movie...).

    Where You've Seen Him Heat, Con Air, Desperado, Machete
    You might have missed him in: From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter
    To Me, He'll Always Be: fuckin' scary
    A poor man's... Manuel Noriega

    If you want real geek points on Danny, look for him in The Hidden...also look for the black-on-mostly-white border collie that brought Freddy Krueger back to life by taking a leak in the junkyard.

    I watch a lot of bad movies, so a lot of these guys (like Keith David and Al Leong) actually are household names in this household :) We play Name That Obscure Actor for fun, though the guys are still trying to catch up with me ID-ing the dog.

    And Peter Stormare will ALWAYS be Dino Velvet!

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  21. I forgot to mention two of my favorite character actors who aren't on the list, Geoffery Lewis and Luis Guzman.

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  22. Keith David was in possibly one of the greatest
    reaction scenes in a movie.

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  23. David Morse is a class act. Enjoyed his CBS series "Hack" a few years back; a shame it only lasted two seasons.

    Ned Ryerson -- HA! "Groundhog Day" is a terrific movie, and Bill Murray's scenes with S. Tobolowski are among its funniest.

    Cary, I know you're no fan of Robin Williams, but JT Walsh was quite good as his nemesis in "Good Morning, Vietnam".

    I thought Al Melvin played Archie's pal Stretch Cunningham. For those familiar with '60s sitcoms, Al Melvin should qualify as the ORIGINAL "that guy." Sam the butcher on "The Brady Bunch," Sgt. Hacker in "Gomer Pyle," and about a hundred other roles, yes?

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  24. OP:
    You might have missed him in: Birth Of A Nation (1915), as Lillian Gish's grandpa

    Ha ha ha!

    To me, James Cromwell will always be: "That'll do, Pig."

    Seriously, this was a great list, so thanks! I love all these character actors. Do you think there are enough to do a list of character actresses?

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  25. "William Fichtner". They missed "GO". Fantasticly hilarious role.

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