You know how it is; occasionally you sit down to watch a movie and maybe you’re a fan of the major cast and maybe you’re not, but at some point in the middle of it one of ‘those guys’ makes an appearance and a smile comes to your face.
Within the star-machine that is Hollywood we often forget that as good as our DiCaprios and Pitts and whoever else there are a lot of folks (usually) needed to make a movie and it is in this realm of the not-so-up-front spotlight of the Supporting Role that some guys (and gals) earn a place in our hearts. As an example let me throw out a name and maybe you’ll see just where exactly I’m going with this: William Fichtner. If you don’t recognize him by name google him, I’d be willing to bet most of you will know him by sight.
Patrick Fischler is an actor who I’m sure I’d seen before David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, but after his short yet insanely nightmarish and jarring scene in that film his face is forever implanted on my brain.
In a good way.
Since then he’s shown up in quite a few things I’ve enjoyed, most notably an episode of Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing (sixth season, Impact Winter) and of course in the last couple seasons of Lost as Phil.
Again, it is within the realm of guys such as Patrick that stories really unfold; support is important, so important, and it can kill you as quick as bad sound if you don’t take it seriously. A lot of great series or movies suffer when they’re lead has no support – I can’t think of an example of this in a negative light at the moment but I can give you a case of the inverse; John Carpenter typically casts his movies with less-than-big names, utilizing a lot of strong supporting character actors and actresses, and this is what makes flicks like Prince of Darkness or They Live so damn awesome (well, that and killer story and execution too in J.C.’s case). It’s what made Deadwood amazing and what made a film like William Friedkin’s To Live And Die In LA borderline terrible (there’s that negative example I was looking for, going all the way back to one of my first blogs)*.
The point is whenever Patrick Fischler shows up on screen I become more interested and a smile flits across my face, because I know he can act and now I know the casting is serious. It is in celebration of you that I raise my glass and walk out behind the local Winkies to tussle with a homeless man of compromised cleanliness!!!
* To Live And Die In LA is almost a cheat to mention here as exposition because the leads are fairly awful in it, so within the shadow they (I’m looking at you there Mr. William ‘Haunches’ Peterson) cast it would be pretty hard for anyone to shine a ray of hope. However, I do still dig the movie, if only for Willem Dafoe and that totally insane, backwards on the 110 Freeway in rush hour-like traffic car chase.