You’d think the ensemble cast for Argo could not be challenged, but that would be a mistake. At every location, meeting, and level of government, Zero Dark Thirty is populated by familiar faces. And interestingly, many (not all) of these actors are prominently known for their television roles.
Jessica Chastain: She’s amazing. And while she is starring in basically every film that comes out these days, some people (like me!) might remember her role as Veronica Mars’s disappeared pregnant neighbor in the season one episode “The Girl Next Door.”
Jason Clarke: I associated Jason Clarke with his starring role on the defunct show, The Chicago Code. I championed that show until the bitter end, so I hope Jason Clarke at least gets a big film career as a consolation prize. Bonus!: I remember where I saw him most recently: in Texas Killing Fields being hunted by…Jessica Chastain.
Kyle Chandler: He really wins this year because he is also in Argo. Of course, his prominent television role is Friday Night Lights (I know, I know, I need to watch) but I can’t help but constantly think of his stint on Grey’s Anatomy. Remember how that one time there was a bomb and Kyle Chandler needed to diffuse it?
Jennifer Ehle: I honestly can’t look at her without thinking about her role opposite Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice.
Harold Perrineau: Lost. Oz. Sons of Anarchy. The Unusuals. (And Wedding Band? Sorry, Wedding Band fans — it’s a goner.)
Mark Strong: You might know him from every film ever, but his role in Kick-Ass sticks out to me.
Jessica Collins: One of those, “don’t I know her from something?” The answer must be I know her from Rubicon. Yet another show I watched to the bitter end. It really just served to prove that AMC can and will ax shows.
Fredric Lehne: You may know him from every television show ever: American Horror Story: Asylum, Lost, Supernatural, etc. Seriously, he is the epitome of the character actor.
Mark Duplass: How can you not love him?? He’s making his mark on TV (The League, The Mindy Project) and in film (Safety Not Guaranteed, Your Sister’s Sister).
James Gandolfini: Tony Soprano himself!
Stephen Dillane: You may also know him from everything in the world but these days I tend to shout out (mentally) “Stannis!” whenever I see him. So, Game of Thrones but also Hunted, John Adams, etc.
John Barrowman: a.k.a. Captain Jack Harkness from Doctor Who and Torchwood, as well as his recent gig on CW’s Arrow. Singer, actor, host and all-around constant personality…in Zero Dark Thirty. Randomly great.
Joel Edgerton: Discussion of all other roles must be preempted because I just discovered (remembered/had a flashback to) the fact he is “young” Uncle Owen in the Star Wars prequels. I instantly seized upon a mental image of the trading card I have (yes, I collected Star Wars cards but I was waaay more into my Lord of the Rings collection…) and knew this to be true. And then my mind exploded. I guess I should quit wondering where this Joel Edgerton guy came from if he has actually been on the fringes all these years.
Chris Pratt: Parks and Recreation! But before Parks and Rec, my thought would have been Everwood! Wow, that really takes me back…
Taylor Kinney: This guy pops up on The Vampire Diaries, then starts dating Lady GaGa, and now has a starring role in Chicago Fire. So I imagine he made some kind of deal with the devil.
Christopher Stanley: Honorable mention since whenever I see him I can only think of Mad Men; “Henry Francis.”
Mark Valley: Human Target, Fringe, Boston Legal, and Body of Proof apparently, etc. All I can think about for some reason when I see him is that he was married to Anna Torv. But not any longer…
Sometimes my head just aches when I, pardon me, go down the rabbit hole with Lost. I mean, how does the plot intertwine so well with, and among other things, literary allusions? After The Age of Innocence I delved straight into John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. My main goal was to identify the quote Ben uses without refreshing myself on the scene. Mission accomplished. Oh yeah, it was a pretty fantastic read too. I can’t tell you when I feel in love with Benjamin Linus but I know it was probably not this season of Lost. Nowadays it is hard to not be in love with him in any scene (and how did I originally cope without him until he appears in Season 2, Episode 14?); regardless, the scene in which he quotes the novel is definitely a standout scene from the third season. It is so deliciously amazing.
But the parallels! Rabbits, for one. It is no coincidence Ben is carrying the bunny with him (across rough terrain no less). One, he is proving a point. Two, Ben loves bunnies. Just look at Young Ben. And it is headache-inducing just to think about the significance of the White Rabbit/Alice in Wonderland to the Lostverse. Rabbits are a big part of Of Mice and Men. In fact, it may be one of the most mentioned words in the entire text. The quote Ben gives? Not surprising. “A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t make no difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you. I tell ya…I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick.” This IS Ben. Just look at Young Ben, so lonely in Dharmaville, with his pet rabbit as his only friend. What happens? He goes nuts and defects to The Others. What happens…he literally gets sick with a tumor. It isn’t really surprising that Ben chose to commit that part of the book to memory.
My thoughts as the scene progresses: I feel like the ability to utter that line is the only takeaway Sawyer has from the book. It sounds similar to these tidbits my parents come up with out of context. (My dad loves to quote this one line from Julius Caesar: “I come to bury Cæsar, not to praise him” but that must be some holdover from high school). Also blocked the part about puppies being killed. ‘Tis true, but Ben probably wouldn’t like that. But what does he care? For all the talk of rabbits, none were harmed during the creation of this American classic.
Ben’s pause says to me: “Sigh, of course you would mention the number one book I identify with in life by making a stupid joke out of it.” The fact that Ben has been carrying that bunny just makes me happy. Ah, your typical Ben-gets-beat-up moment. I am never amused at this. Then…Alcatraz! Was J.J. somehow plugging a show that wasn’t going to premiere until 2012!? I love how Ben says “We’re a lot better.” So modest. Clearly this was his brainchild. And the icing on the cake: Ben breaks out his Of Mice and Men quote. And I can’t tell if he expected Sawyer to know it or was ready to pounce on him with a comeback. I want to say the latter but Ben gets so pissed off when Sawyer doesn’t know what he is talking about…loses his calculating cool a bit. But then it is off to being a BAMF again.
It is like the universe knew I needed a sign to keep watching Once Upon A Time. As long as they include callbacks to Lost, I’m in. And by in, I mean a casual viewer.
Below I indicated my undying love for Ewan McGregor; he mainly serves as my constant. The entertainment world is populated with numerous actors and actresses who never fail to amaze me….like John Hawkes. He was primarily regarded as a successful indie/character actor before his Academy Award nomination for Winter’s Bone last year. John Hawkes seems wary of his new prominence and recognition. However, I have to admit I’ve known him for years but it wasn’t for some darling indie:
In 1999, my friends and I thought this movie was the height of all entertainment. I especially enjoyed this scene where John Hawkes and Freddie Prinze, Jr. rock out to White Snake’s “Here I Go Again.” It has left me with a legacy of forever associating John, White Snake and that song with this movie. This was, after all, my first exposure to the song. I also know the majority of the dialogue not only in this scene but in this entire movie…and I wouldn’t trade it for the world! I also later connected John to this:
My dad’s obsession with The Perfect Storm ensured I would remember him from that; he never fails to turn up and do a memorable guest role either, I especially loved his turn on Lost as Lennon. I was excited to one, buy the first season of Deadwood at a good price from Costco, and two, to realize he was a main cast member. Now I just need to find time to watch it. While he was steady working for years in the business, Winter’s Bone really put him on the map and rightly so. His performance is what sticks with me, and the implications of what his last words mean, haunting. Martha Marcy May Marlene capitalized on his enigmatic personality and he aptly demonstrated how a group could worship him as their leader. Looking at his growing docket for 2012, I expect to see his star on a continued rise, whether he likes it or not.