Friday night, Joe and I sat down to watch Mirrors, a horror movie starring Kiefer Sutherland. This post isn't a movie review but I'm just going to go ahead and say it wasn't very good. It wasn't convincing enough to really scare me and the big action sequence at the end made me laugh. There was a final reveal that I'm sure was supposed to blow your mind but I kinda saw it coming.
What this post is about is actors who cannot overcome their better-known roles. And it's not through any fault of their own, necessarily. It's just that in my mind, they are stuck for me in that one character forever and ever.
Case in point, Kiefer. I think he's a talented actor. But he's Jack Bauer now. Watching Mirrors, all I could think is "Jack Bauer ain't scared of no ghosts!". And every time he'd yell "DAMMIT!", Joe and I would burst into a fit of giggles and wonder what tools Jack's man-purse might hold. There's one line where he hears a voice and he calls out "Where are you? I need to know where you are so I can help you!". I swear, it was 24 all over again.
Another actor I have this issue with is Dustin Hoffman. I have enjoyed him in so many roles. But he's Rain Man (one of my favorite movies ever even though it stars pre-crazy Tom Cruise). Playing some crazy smart scientist in Outbreak, I couldn't buy it because I expected him to tell me he bought his underwear at Kmart, Cincinnati, Ohio. (By the way, is it just me or does Cincinnati look like the dumbest word ever?) Oh, he's gonna save us from the monkeys? Better hope he doesn't have to take a Wapner break during the crisis! Someone get him his fishsticks and lime green jello because it's Wednesday, people!!!
I'm not sure why Kiefer and Dustin (we're on a first name basis) are so stuck for me. Plenty of other actors have had memorable roles that don't interfere with my ability to see them as other characters. Johnny Depp comes to mind - nobody throws themselves into outlandish roles with more abandon than him. But I easily accept it and move on. And Dustin plays a wide variety of roles (I'll give you the argument that Kiefer tends to play the same character most of the time) so it doesn't make sense to me.
Do you have this problem with anyone? How do you overcome it?