“Oh … that guy!” how many times have we all said that while watching a film or TV show? I know my mum says it often, “it’s that guy who guest starred on Friends as Monicas boyfriend!” she said of Jon Favreau while watching Iron Man. We often remember a face from a certain things and refer to them as that ‘that guy’, but fail to remember the name.
There are a lot of actors who show up in a lot of things and when we see them the ‘that guy’ reaction happens. Well Bea and I have compiled a list of their top (or favourite) ‘that guy’ actors. These are actors who show up, and often get that response, they might not be the lead but they certainly always leave an impression.
Marcey’s Pick: James Badge Dale
James Badge Dale has really become one of the newer ‘that guy’ actors to step out of Hollywood. He generally plays smaller or supporting roles and his face always sticks out, because you know you’ve seen him before. My first experience with the actor was with 24, where he was a main player for the third season. Once I started seeing him pop up in other things he automatically became ‘that hot guy from 24’. He has done some fantastic work in recent years, with The Pacific, The Departed, Shame, Iron Man 3 and numerous other things. Lately he has been popping up in smaller roles from Flight to The Lone Ranger. Hopefully the day will come when he will be the lead in a bigger film, and instead of being ‘that guy’ more will remember him by name.
Bea’s Pick: William Fichtner
William Fichtner has one of those faces that you remember and although his name may not always register, you always find yourself saying “Hey, wasn’t that guy in (insert any movie title here)? Looks like him.” When you see his name credited next to his character, you find yourself thinking “THAT’S him!” Fichtner has been in the business since the mid 80’s (his professional debut being in the soap so soapy it’s bound to sting your eyes “As The World Turns” no less) and he has had a consistent and rewarding career. Even in idiotic films such as “Drive Angry 3D” (go ahead, call me a fuddy duddy), the moment he appeared, I was happy to see him because I knew he could bring a reliable charisma to an otherwise charmless film. When he popped up as the cantankerous bank manager who whipped out a shotgun all to defend his bank in “The Dark Knight” you can bet I was mightily impressed and entertained.
Fichtner has that innate talent to turn a role that could have been completely thankless into something memorable, plus, quite a few of the characters he has played have started off as somebody antagonistic only for it to morph into a protagonistic role, a great example of this is his perhaps most well-known television role in “Prison Break’” when he played Agent Alexander Mahone, a relentless bloodhound if there ever was one. In the hands of a lesser gifted actor, Mahone would have been a total waste of space and time but Fichtner doing what Fichtner does injected some much appreciated character and conviction into the role. Fichtner may never achieve the status of leading man (though I hope that won’t be true), but he can always be counted on to add that extra ‘oomph’ no matter how big or small the character may be. Thanks, Bill!
Marcey’s Pick: Jeffrey Combs
Jeffrey Combs is without a doubt one of my all time favourite actors, and earlier this year I had the pleasure to meet him at Oz Comic Con. It was funny when he said “it’s interesting and good to know where people know me from, and what they are fans of” I replied I loved everything he did. But it is true, he’s known as ‘that horror guy’ or ‘that DS9 guy’. I will admit, I did first really notice Mr. Combs as Weyoun on DS9 and it was his voice that was extremely distinct. I remember he was in a random film, and I wasn’t paying much attention until I heard that voice and my reaction in fact “it’s that guy from Deep Space Nine!”. The rest was history, I completely fell in love with his work and once I saw Re-Animator I knew he was something special.
Re-Animator has since become my all time favourite horror film, and Herbert West is easily one of my all time favourite film characters. After that discovery, I tracked down everything I could with Jeffrey, and boy is there a lot of stuff! He is a horror icon and he’s certainly a sci-fi one too. He has an amazing body of work and it’s no wonder he has become a ‘that guy’, he’s everywhere!
Bea’s Pick: Mark Boone Jr.
The Boone Boy has been in the business for a looooong time and has worked consistently in character roles that mainly regale him to the scuzzy low-life scumbag or the grizzled blue-collar hard-yakka-fella who proves he is more than what he seems, but it is always a pleasure to see him. Some of his most notable credits include his regular spot on the superb television series, “Sons of Anarchy”, “Die Hard 2”, “Batman Begins”, “30 Days of Night”, “Memento”, “Armageddon”, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, “Seven”, “John Carpenter’s Vampires” (where I first saw him) and in the horrendous “Halloween 2”… and that is just to name a few. A native to Ohio, Boone Jr. was formerly stand-up comedian and is a good friend of Steve Buscemi, he unquestionably has integrated himself into the minds of the audience with his unmistakbly gruff bearing and swagger, even if his name has not been so firmly engraved into their thoughts. Nevertheless, Mark Boone Jr. is a highly skilled and competant acting motherfucker and he’s going to continue to contribute his talents to future blockbusters and smaller-known indies alike. Keep truckin’, Mark.
Marcey’s Pick: Elias Koteas
I really have so much love for Elias Koteas, he is a favourite of mine and I have had such a long time crush on his amazingness. He has had a pretty interesting career and he is very much the chameleon with the roles he takes on. Did you know he was Casey Jones in two of the three live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film? Back then he had lovely long locks. Now I loved and crushed so hard on that character as a kid, yet I didn’t quite know who the actor was. My love affair with Mr. Koteas didn’t hit me until I discovered David Cronenberg’s Crash. He played Vaughan, this very mysterious and oddly sexy character, he just struck me so hard and I was in love.
I naturally looked up who played Vaughan, and when I saw he was the same actor as Casey Jones I was so amazed. Anytime I saw him in anything else he was ‘that guy from Crash’, and I loved telling people when he showed up “oh he played Casey Jones!” to which the response was “get out of here!” To some he is ‘that guy from TMNT’ but he is definitely a ‘thats guy’. He has had an amazing career and there are some fantastic films and performances out there from him. It is funny that he often gets confused with Chris Meloni, who could easily be another ‘that guy’. If you want to see something really amazing with Mr. Koteas and another actor on this list, check out Exotica.
Bea’s Pick: Dwight Frye
While Karloff, Chaney and Lugosi were the definitive figureheads of Universal, Dwight Frye was never too far behind in terms of being the supporting player. Renfield and Fritz from “Dracula” and “Frankenstein” are perhaps his most public domain roles, but Frye popped up in numerous uncredited roles in other Universal features and that’s not even counting the other work he did for other studios. People then and now may not know him by name, but they sure as sugar know him by face and voice, traits that have retained an immortal legacy all of these years on. Although Frye himself felt frustrated by the fact he was type-cast as the resident loonie post-Dracula during his career, without Frye we may never have had a Renfield who set the bar for what Renfield should be, we may never have been enlightened and appreciate about how wonderful character actors truly are and the Allies may never have won the war. Why do I say that? Frye worked on war planes in World War II. Now you just got a mental image of Renfield working on a bomber, how does that make you feel? 😉
Marcey’s Pick: Bruce Greenwood
These days Bruce Greenwood is known as ‘that guy from Star Trek’ as he has struck out at people as playing Christopher Pike in the rebooted series. He is an actor who has an incredible body of work, and he shows up in all sorts of films. Did you know Mr. Greenwood has even played JFK? Yep, that was him in Thirteen Days alongside Kevin Costner. In recent films he has shown up in smaller roles, with The Place Beyond The Pines and Flight. Some of his best work can be found on the independent scene, his turn in Meek’s Cutoff I found to be amazing and I was shocked to find out it was Bruce all along as I did not recognise him!
He is very versatile actor and no matter what he is doing he gives 100%, check him out in The Riverman, the film isn’t great but Mr. Greenwood is rather phenomenal. To tap off his line of work, he has been voicing Batman/Bruce Wayne! When I watched Under The Red Hood I was very much taken with the voice work and I found out after the film finished that it was Mr. Greenwood doing the work! Amazing stuff, and he has continued voicing the Bats in Young Justice. With a bunch of films in post production, Bruce is certainly not stopping his amazing run of work.
Bea’s Pick Miguel Ferrer
You wouldn’t think it to look at him, by this fella is the cousin of George Clooney. Trufax. Apart from having the blessing of possessing one of the best voices ever, there is the probability you have seen this guy in one of your favourite movies because he has been in a Brando-load of them- in my case, it is “Robocop” where he plays the young upstart Bob Morton who essentially the one who created Delta City’s new law enforcement officer. While Ferrer has carved an admirable career in playing villainous or at least douchey chracters, his Bob Morton was actually a good guy, despite the fact he did coke with hookers- hey, at least he wasn’t axe murdering them. Although he is a character actor to the highest degree, he always injects his own brand of pizzazz and more sub-zero than Sub Zero coolness to each of his roles that it’s difficult to forget him even if you don’t quite remember his name. By the way, I should mention that Ferrer’s voice acting role in Disney’s “Mulan” as the beastly HunShan Yu has the distinction of being the first villain who was most likely a paedophile. Damn.
Marcey’s Pick: Michael Ironside
Oh Michael Ironside, you are on cool mofo! I love this man, he’s fantastic! He really has become a ‘that guy’ because he shows up in so much with all sorts of roles. Sometimes he remains under the radar and other times he’s right there and his performance is crazy. He’s perhaps best remembered as Richter from Total Recall and playing against type in Starship Troopers. I am a big fan of his more understated performances, like with Visiting Hours, he’s that quiet and scary killer, who definitely is very messed up.
He is a hard working actor, and he has been in so many things, which is why I think he’s become a ‘that guy’. When he shows up the reaction is “that guy from Total Recall”, and despite knowing him well by name (not personally, I aint that cool) I often think of him as “that guy from Total Recall” as well. Mr. Ironside is an iconic actor, he might not always be a leading man but he definitely leaves an impression.
Bea’s Pick: Sean Pertwee
Son of English actor (and third Doctor Who) Jon Pertwee, Sean Pertwee has had a steady resume in film, television and video games of multiple genres, lending his talent and charmismatic machismo to each of his projects. His most arguably well-known appearance was as Sargeant Wells in Neil Marshall’s awesometacular 2002 werewolf affair “Dog Soldiers” where he famously gets his intenstines partly torn out by a pugnacious werewolf only to have a mutt try and chow down on him much to his chagrin. In addition to this, he has lent his vocal talents to many advertisements as well as the videogame “Killzone” and “Killzone” as two completely different characters, not to mention his other theatrical credits including “Event Horizon”, “Doomsday”, “Equilibrium”, and “The Devil’s Playground”. In the horror and science fiction circles, Pertwee is like that gem of an old friend who pops by and it welcomed with open arms. Not only this, but it’s obvious that Pertwee cares a lot for not only the genre that he has made a name in, but for his fans- he knows what his audience wants and he delivers without fail every time. He never disappoints, no matter how sub-standard the movie itself may be.