Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Great character actors: Brian Dennehy

What can I say, I love Brian Dennehy. Being a child of the eighties Brian Dennehy had a way of popping up in so many movies I enjoyed in those impressionable years. As far as character actors go he's tops in my book. An actor's actor with over a 150 movies and television shows to his credit, not to mention his producing and directing work. He has a comfort on screen that you rarely see; a true professional.

Brian Dennehy has always seemed to me to be the working mans actor, The kind of guy who works in Hollywood but doesn't live there. I remember watching something with Patton Oswalt one time where he told this anecdote about working with Brian Dennehey on Ratatouille. As I remember it they were at the Cannes film festival for the premiere of the film. There was this table filled with all these delicious foods at the after party and all these A-list Hollywood types weren't touching any of it, so he just went up there by himself and started piling the food on a plate. As he was doing this Dennehy comes up behind him with a big plate of food and in a booming voice says, "We're character actors, so nobody cares if we're fat. Hell, somebody's got to play the neighbor." What a badass.

I don't really have a favorite Dennehy movie. I think the first time I ever saw him was in First Blood, playing the asshole sheriff intent on running John Rambo out of town. Or the asshole sheriff in Silverado. Or the asshole in Never Cry Wolf. He's good at playing an asshole. But let's not forget his softer side as the touchy-feely alien in Cocoon, or Big Tom in Tommy Boy. The man has range.

Hopefully we'll get plenty of Dennehy for years to come but lets not forget those moments on and off screen that made him the legend he is.

By the way, disregard the second half of this first video unless you're a huge Bruce Vilanch fan.

1 comment:

  1. His acting highpoint had to be playing Cobb in Silverado, although I always felt he was shortchanged for his tremendous work in the F/X movies. He and Bryan Brown together...that was like a two-hour primer on the Strasberg method...