Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Underrated Allstars: White Division

*note: this is the second in a 2-part tribute to some of my favorite lesser-known actors.

Stanley Tucci

Too-choo train has been a Wood Family favorite ever since his wacky supporting role as "Muerte" in the underrated film Undercover Blues. That show is great – if you haven't seen it, do so at your earliest convenience – and The Tooch is simply fantastic. "My name is Muerte, my name is death. Don't you forget that."

That was in 1993, otherwise known as a looooooooooong time ago, and for most of the 90's – and early 2000's – Stanley has been in some seriously random crap. America's Sweethearts? Maid in Manhattan? The Core? I mean, seriously, The Core?

But, Mr. Harvey Dent Aaron Eckhart and Million-Dollar Baby Hilary Swank were also in that trash-heap of a movie so it just goes to show that you can't always judge an actor by the crap they're in. (Sometimes, however, you can. Exhibit A: Lindsey Lohan. Exhibit B: Sandra Bullock Exhibit C: Hillary Duff)

What I love about The Tooch is his range. He is pretty much the go-to guy for supporting older male characters. He seems to have cornered the market as the elderly sassy-gay-best-friend (Devil Wears Prada, Burlesque) even in movies where technically speaking he's heterosexual (Easy A, Julie and Julia).

As I have said before – read: over and over again – I am in love with Emma Stone and thought she was dynamite in Easy A, but How Freaking Awesome where Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson as her post-hippie California Parents?

Answer: Legendarily.

Even with such loveable characters as his forte, he still makes a dynamite pervert sociopath serial killer (The Lovely Bones) or Financial Executive (The soon-to-be-release Margin Call, do yourself a favor and see it).

I don't know if he's ever headlined a movie but frankly, if I were to ever do Hollywood, I'd want to be just like him. Taking care of business, one movie at a time.

David Strathairn

First thing's first. For a 62-year-old man, Strathairn looks good, and has awesome hair.

Strathairn has been around for a while, and even though I had always like him for being the blind guy on Sneakers, he kept off my radar, for the most part, until his star-making turn as Journalist legend Edward R. Murrow in Good Night and Good Luck.

Sure, I'm a sucker for film-noir, and I rever Murrow on a level that reaches god-like status – I was honored with the Steady Eddy award from The Utah Statesman, of all my awards its the one I'm most proud of – but GNGL is an incredible movie with an incredible cast, including David.

That's when I started noticing. There he was all along in The River Wild with Merryl Streep. There he was hunting Matt Damon in The Bourne Supremacy. There he was macking on Elizabeth Banks – respect – in The Uninvited – which, by the way, is not bad as far as horror flicks go.

The guy has an impressive resume, bouncing around between just-often-enough forays into mainstream popcorn before returning to independent, artistic fare. Looking over his filmography, which includes guest stints on House, Monk, and The Sopranoes, you get the feeling that this guy just makes a living out of doing what he feels like doing. If only we all could be so lucky.

And, he has awesome hair.