An unfortunate choice of typecast roles…

If you’ve seen a romantic comedy or a sitcom, you’ve probably seen Judy Greer. In case you don’t know who I’m talking about, here’s a picture:

Judy Greer

Not bad, right? She’s a pretty attractive woman, and you can tell that she has great comic timing and is probably a really great actress.

I say “probably” because I have literally only seen her act in one kind of role every time I see her, and I’ll bet you my ’94 Mercury Tracer that you have, too. If you recognize her at all, you know what role I’m talking about. It’s the overly slutty and usually super desperate supporting woman — the best friend, the secretary, the coworker.

For those of you who don’t believe me or don’t really know what I’m talking about, here are a few quotes from two of her most popular roles. Let’s see if you recognize a common theme…

“Casey” (27 Dresses): “He asks if you want a drink. You smile and say, ‘Vodka soda.’ If you already have a drink, you down it. Then there’s some flirting, some interoffice sex, an accidental pregnancy, a shotgun wedding, and a life of bliss.” (explaining how to respond to a man’s advances)

“The only point in wearing an awful bridesmaid dress is to have a drunken groomsman rip it to shreds with his teeth!”

“Kitty” (Arrested Development): “Well, this is the last time you’ll see these!(flashes boobs)

I understand that she’s a character actress, and that these crazy roles are part of what she does.  Character roles are fun, and are actually often more challenging than many other types of roles, believe it or not.  You have to have good comic timing and enough understanding of the role to make it a believable performance, not just a shell of a character that happens to be funny.  I know all of this.

My question to you is this; When do typecast character roles stop being good for an actor’s career?  It’s been working for her so far, that’s for sure.  But then again, take this guy:

The \"O\" Face Guy

No idea who he is?  Take another look — he’s Greg Pitts.  You may know him as the “O” Face Guy from Office Space…and that’s it!  There have been interviews with him in which he actually admits that his choice of character roles in that movie has essentially cost him his career.  He hasn’t appeared in hardly anything since then where he hasn’t played either that exact character, or something similar to it.  Don’t believe me?  Look at his role in a recent Sarah Silverman show episode!  Other victims of the Typecast Syndrome: Kelsey Grammer, Seann William Scott, and the entire cast of Seinfeld.  Most of these actors have tried to break their typecasting streak, but precious few have ever succeeded.

Some have embraced their roles and been really successful, like Jackie Chan and Chuck Norris.  When you look that those guys, though, who could blame them?  Being a hero is a cool typecasting groove to get into.  It lasts and lasts, and people love you more each time you play another one of those roles.

To me, though, the morally bankrupt, desperate slut role doesn’t really stick as a great typecast to get into.  Of course I’m no expert — but I feel that if Ms. Greer continues to take these types of roles, her career is probably going to end pretty poorly…with nothing to show for it but a career trail of mediocre characters.

So, my point is this:  Judy Greer, I like you!  I’ve heard you say in interviews that you’d like to move on to more serious roles.  Do it fast, before you become Kelsey Grammer…or the “O” Face Guy.

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Guilty Pleasures
May 9, 2008, 11:03 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I really am fascinated by the things that people enjoy in their spare time, even though they’d never admit it. I think it tells a lot about a person — not everything, of course, but I don’t think you can ever really know someone unless you know what they secretly long to do when no one else is around.

The part I find especially interesting, though, is why people feel the need to hide certain things about themselves. Take my list for example; here are ten things I like that I tend to hide from most people.

In no particular order:

1. lima beans

2. Dashboard Confessional

3. chick flicks

4. V8 and other forms of tomato juice

5. country music (when I’m in the mood, which is actually pretty rare)

6. One Tree Hill

7. Enrique Iglesias

8. seeing people get hurt

9. Battlestar Galactica (well, I don’t hide that so much…)

10.somewhat stale/mostly hard bread

Now, I think it’s pretty obvious why some of those things are on there — I have weird taste in food. I mean, who likes lima beans and tomato juice? Why would anyone in their right mind actually seek out stale bread? I have no idea, nor do I really know why I like them. All I know is that when I was a kid, my entire family used to dump their unwanted lima beans onto my plate and I would vacuum them up like a normal kid inhales Halloween candy. Whenever my parents have V8 in the house, it’s always gone in less than a day…and no one knows what happened to it. I also hate when soft, fresh bread gets stuck to the roof of my mouth. The solution? Only eat hard, crusty/stale bread! Or toasted. Toasted is usually better, actually.

Why would I ever tell anybody about these things? I would seem like a nerd! (Which is why, I suspect, I put Battlestar Galactica on there…I’m a girl. Other girls don’t approve of that show, to which I respond “give it a chance!”)

Other things on on there because they’re not good, and I know they’re not good. Dashboard Confessional is overly emo. The lyrics aren’t supposed to make you feel good; they are supposed to make whiny teens say “oh my gosh, I can totally relate to that!” Grownups don’t like Dashboard. Grownups also don’t like the music of Enrique Iglesias. It’s not good! It’s the musical equivalent of choosing Cheez Whiz over brie. I like to listen to it when the weather gets warm, though, because it makes me feel like I’m 15, carefree and at the beach. Go figure.

Same goes for country music. I’m not supposed to find it entertaining — people who like country music are pegged as rednecks. I’m not a redneck!

One Tree Hill and chick flicks…I guess I don’t like falling into the “typical girl” category. I don’t like the way guys talk about girl stuff, and I want to seem like one of those super cool chicks who’s extra fun for her boyfriend to hang out with. There is nothing I hate more than hearing “she made me watch one of her dumb girl movies,” or “my girlfriend watched the crappiest shows.” I don’t want to be that girl! I want to be Cameron Diaz in “There’s Something About Mary.” Admit it; you do, too.

Also, when someone gets hurt you’re not supposed to laugh. You’re supposed to be sympathetic and feel bad, like a good person should. I’m a good person, I swear! I just can’t help it, though; when a starchy businessman trips over his own tasseled loafers or a little kid plants her face into the Stop & Shop floor, I bust a gut. Call it schadenfreude or whatever else you’d like…I just find it amusing.

So I guess my guilty pleasures list shows that I am a semi-typical girl who wants to seem atypical, often enjoys bad music, likes weird food, is a little nerdy, and cares about people — but not enough to feel bad when they injure themselves, in many instances. I don’t like these qualities about myself but I just outed them — think of me what you will! …I just over analyzed that to death, didn’t I?

Distraction! Distraction! Over here!

To counter that dissertation-esque list, I now include a harmless list of ridiculously pointless pet peeves that I have. Now, forget about the whole first half of this post!

1. When restaurants only give you a thin little slice of lemon for your water — how are you supposed to squeeze it??

2. People who look at their cell phone to avoid saying “hi”

3. Pronouncing “hospital” like “huss-pital.” There’s an “o” for a reason.

4. Myspace people who try to seem quirky and original by writing their “About Me” section like this: “I can’t sit still for more than five minutes. People say I’m fun, but I think I’m crazy. I like peanut butter. Will Ferrell is my homeboy. My mom is the coolest. If you give me five minutes, I’ll give you all the time in the world. Lollipops make me happy.” It’s not original. Everybody is doing it.

5. While we’re on the subject, myspace girls who constantly write things like “Don’t hate me because I’m fabulous!” and “Don’t be jealous of me + my girlz.” Relax, nobody’s jealous of you.

6. When Fergie says “like a child misses their blanket” in that song “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” Employ an editor.

7. When someone answers the question “How was your weekend?” with “Productive.”

8. That weird smell that some Pepsi bottles have under the cap. What IS that??

9. Coworkers who hum. You’re not in your kitchen.

10. Office humor-type jokes.

What about you guys? I’d love to see what YOU secretly love/can’t stand!