Bright Spots & Cozy Niches
I was recently reminded of Hollywoodland, which I think is a good example of a supporting character outshining the leads. Jeffrey De Munn, as George Reeves' agent, completely stole the show for me. His brightness and earnestness made everyone else seem to tread water at their expected level of performances.
Please don't think less of me for this, but I feel the same way about Sandra Bullock in Demolition Man. Don't ask me why or how, but I've seen that film a few times, and I always find myself wishing she was in the movie more.
Even Julianne Moore's pre-stardom two-minute appearance in The Fugitive (one of my all time favs) captivated me to the point where I totally expected them to bring her back somehow later on in the movie. Which they didn't – her role was just simply a small one, but her cup ranneth over with so much "it" factor she felt like an important character.
I've also recently become addicted to Netflix online – I have unlimited instant viewing! (I even got a 20' extension cord so I can watch in my bedroom. Pathetic, I know, but fun!) So far I've seen Dead Calm, and it's a relief to know that Billy Zane has/had charisma. Maybe I just never saw him in the right things but I always felt lukewarm about him (distrust the eyebrows). I also watched the first 10 minutes of Hussy, with Helen Mirren playing a hooker, but got to creeped out with the Warren Beatty sex scene. I'm sure there are tons of deeply legit movies from the late 70's/early 80's, but to me – between the music, the clothes and the film quality – a lot of them just feel… ewy.
Yesterday I watched The Young Visiters [sic?] and fell in love with those zany Brits all over again. I feel such a kinship with their style of comedy. Once, while at an audition, I wondered aloud to a British actress about hopping across the pond to find my perfectly cozy niche (and loads of guys with slightly arrogant yet disarmingly charming accents). She advised I "forget it" – the opportunities are way fewer over there and the circles are even harder to penetrate.
Harder than NYC? Really???
Anyway, I feel at home watching pieces like The Young Visiters and it makes me happy to know that stuff is out there… but sad there isn't more of it. Maybe that's why I've had a rough time getting cast; maybe I lean in a direction not many opportunities lean in. I started an on-camera class last week and right off the teacher remarked that I'm a little "showy" for the camera. And I totally get that. Part of me is looking forward to having that aspect of my actor self beaten down a little (I'm afraid commercials have inflated it) and try new things…
But part of me cherishes it, and longs for the day it slips juuust right into a kindred project.