I sometimes think about some of my favorite actors and I wonder, “Why do they not get the credit they deserve?” Will Smith gets every accolade in the book – even when the critic doesn’t like his performance! I am not bagging on Smith at all. I love his work. He is all around, an outstanding artist. But what about our supporting actors that often steal the scenes? We often hear about the likes of William H. Macy, and Don Cheadle.
Here are two of my favorite actors. They often go unmentioned in pretty much every project I have seen them in.
The first is Jeffery Wright. Who is he you ask? You may most recently remember him to be the American CIA buddy to the newest James Bond character, portrayed by Daniel Craig - or Colin Powell in the W. film by Oliver Stone. Wright also played next to Will Smith in Ali. However, my favorite performance of his was in the 2000 remake of Shaft, where he played a crazed drug dealer, named Peoples Hernandez. I was thrown back when I learned that he was not some extra pulled off of the streets to play this character. The emotion and realism he brought to Peoples was uncanny. Even if you don’t like remakes, or this movie, it is worth watching just because of him. By the way, another forgotten and well-acted character in this movie was the main antagonist, Walter Wade, Jr. He was played by a then lesser known Christian Bale, of The Dark Knight fame.
A perhaps better known supporting actor that is my absolute favorite would be Will Patton. He is probably best known for his sidekick role with John Travolta in the 2004 iteration of The Punisher. Patton was really great in that movie. But he also chose some other really well-played roles in Gone in Sixty Seconds (Atley Jackson), Remember the Titans (Coach Bill Yoast), Armageddon (Charles ‘Chick’ Chapple), and more. The role I always remember him playing though was against Kevin Costner, in The Postman. For whatever reason, pretty much every critic in existence really HATED this film. I cannot for the life of me see what they see. This is an outstanding film. While Costner does a mediocre job in carrying the film, the weight is lifted every single time that General Bethlehem is on the screen, played by Will Patton. His portrayal of a Copier Salesman turned renegade General is truly remarkable. The power he appears to posses takes over every scene. I was only able to find this movie for sell in a single warehouse DVD web site. I absolutely love it!
Anyhow, back to the main point. Other than a single awards category nod, these supporting actors need more recognition. It astounds me that you do not see more A-List actors pointing the finger to specific supporting stars who made their performance increase exponentially by their presence and sheer talent.