Monday, November 28, 2016

Ed Harris Appreciation

By Sati. Monday, November 28, 2016
Edward Allen Harris
28 November 1950 (Tenafly, New Jersey, USA)<

Acting is not a competition to me. One of the first things I learned about acting was, the only person you compete against is yourself.

Ah, blue eyes....

Well, ain't that a happy coincidence - I just finished watching new Westworld (I did wake up at 3 AM only to discover my live stream didn't have audio. I almost killed myself.) and it turned out that today is 66th birthday of the wonderful Ed Harris who plays the show's most badass character - the Man in Black. He is also the master of expressions. This is from the promo for finale of Westworld. I have been laughing about this all day.

Harris himself says that he wouldn't be surprised if this is the role he will end up being known for and you can tell how much fun he has playing it and doing all the Western stuff (he also directed and starred in a very entertaining western Appaloosa which I saw over the weekend).

But there is quite a competition for the best of his roles - no, I have not seen The Abyss beyond first hour (I think this upcoming Friday will see 5th try) but there is Glengarry Glen Ross, Pollock, The Rock, Truman Show, Apollo 13, The Hours and dozens of others. The great thing is that it's usually so hard to categorize his characters - with every episode he makes his character in Westworld more and more sympathetic, he plays one of the most ambiguous antagonists I've ever seen in an action movie in The Rock, and it's hard to think of his character in Truman Show as simply evil. But he can be straight up a bad guy (A History of Violence) and a good guy (Apollo 13) too. He can go way over the top like in his hysterical rant in Glengarry Glenn Ross or be wonderfully subtle like in The Hours. He can do it all.

We will also see Harris in new Darren Aronofsky's film and he already confirmed he is coming back in season 2 of Westworld, which means I can relax while I watch the finale this Sunday (new system, I'll wake up about 90 minutes before I normally do to watch it. So 4 AM. My life is hell). But I swear every episode they try to kill him off. But if the man says he will be back, then he will be back.

Apollo 13
Favorite films:
Glengarry Glen Ross 
Gravity
The Hours
Apollo 13
The Truman Show
The Rock
China Moon
Sweet Dreams

Westworld
Best performances:
Pollock
Apollo 13
Glengarry Glen Ross
The Rock 
The Truman Show
Westworld
The Hours 
Enemy at the Gates
Sweet Dreams
A History of Violence 
Game Change

Trivia:
  • To learn how to paint in Jackson Pollock's style and portray his art in the film Pollock (2000), he had a studio built on his property and spent some time painting and working on Pollock pieces. 
  • Credits acting for helping him get over his shyness as a young man. 
  • Was named one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in the World (2001). 
  • Admitted in a Movieline interview that he would have loved to play Jesus Christ in The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), and Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991). 
  • And also and this is particularly lovely - he has been married to the same woman, actress Amy Madigan, for over 30 years! I read recently that they got married during a break while filming Places in the Heart and their only witness was their dog. And a bit of trivia for Westworld fans - his only daughter's second name is Dolores!

14 comments:

  1. Ed Harris, one of those guys where you can put him in an awful movie and still put in a performance for the ages. He's one of those guys who can't suck. He's just fucking awesome and he is so perfect for the MiB role. ***SPOILERS***











    I think William is MiB.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think so too but I really really hope it isn't the case. Jimmi Simpson turns into THIS? What?:D

      Delete
  2. Ed Harris is great. You should see Winter Passing, that's a nice little indie he's in. I liked him in The Way Back too, that film is pretty underrated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did, I remember two things from Winter Passing - his terrible wig and the fact that the main character drowns a kitten :/

      The Way Back seems bleak as hell

      Delete
  3. Great post! He is certainly one of our finest. I love his work in The Truman Show. The Hours too. Such a great, against-type role for him. Glengarry Glen Ross is next level, but I always think of Baldwin, Lemmon, and Spacey before him there for some reason.

    I hate that you're having so much trouble with The Abyss. I love that movie. I think if you get to the end you'll see why. I have a great comparison, but it might give the ending away. As far as James Cameron's movies go, I'd rather watch The Abyss over Aliens any day (T2 being my favorite Cameron).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Oh damn I'd hate Aliens but I love the franchise. I HATE that Cameron change the direction of it from horror sci-fi genre to action movie. 100 Aliens is nowhere near as frightening as one that seems impossible to kill

      I will really really try to watch it again, in one sitting on Friday

      Delete
  4. Oh man...that picture of young Ed is a marvel to behold! He's such a talented actor. Despite all these tremendous roles you listed, I always remember him in Stepmom (lol...I know). I'm still working my way through Westworld...I'm only on episode 4, but so far it's great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He is actually 45 there but man, Apollo 13...I almost drowned in drool when I saw it for the first time few weeks ago.

      Delete
  5. Is there anyone alive that doesn't like Ed Harris? The guy is about as solid a performer as the come. I think my favorite role ever is probably The Abyss (I saw it in the theater...first try, too). I'll never forget his kickass proposal in Stepmom, as I think most guys consider stealing that move when the time comes. Soooo....smooth. Cheesy, sure, but smooth as f--k, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was born the year The Abyss was released, I think :) I need to watch Stepmoom now ;D

      Delete
  6. Awesome tribute! You have a great taste for older men. LOVE Ed Harris since The Rock. I also love him in The Abyss, Truman Show, Apollo 13. I think I read you didn't finish The Abyss but I really like that one, hope you give it another shot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes that is the only kind of taste I have :)

      You think you read it because it's actually right there in the post you left a comment on.

      Delete
    2. Oh I meant to say I think I read it before (not on this post), but maybe not. In any case I hope you give The Abyss another look. Oh another film I like Harris in that you might not have seen is The Adderall Diaries, it's an indie film I saw at TCFF where I got to interview the director (who went to my university here in Minnesota). The film is just ok but Harris is good, as always.

      Delete
    3. Yeah I mentioned it a lot because it was like 2 months I've been trying to get through it :lol: I will try again tonight

      Oh that's the Heard/Franco one, right?

      Delete