Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The weekly glass of bourbon

It's time for another round of bourbon, i.e. the "That guy files," where we celebrete a great filmmaker (usually actor) who hasn't gotten the credit or recognition they deserve.

This week we are celebrating the sandpaper-voiced bad-ass Michael Wincott. Wincott, who has had an active career for almost 30 years, has starred in television, stage and movies and has performed in the films of some of the most influential American directors of the past two decades, including Oliver Stone, Jim Jarmusch and Ridley Scott. Known for his trademark raspy-voice and tough-guy attitude Wincott has usually been saddled with a variety of bad guy roles, though he is capable of showing a great deal of sensitivity in his acting. Among his more memorable roles are as Guy of Gisborne in in the Kevin Costner/Bryan Adams masterpiece Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. He also starred in Eric Bogosian's (he of the fantastic Jewfro) Talk Radio and in the Oliver Stone adaptation of that play. Wincott also had a memorable turn as Doors producer Paul Rothchild in Stone's The Doors, managing to convey the hurt and confusion of Rothchild toward Jim Morrison in just a few key scenes. I am always especially impressed with the scene where they are recording the Soft Parade album and Morrison is starting to fade away because of the drugs and booze, his looks and voice cracking in all sorts of nasty ways. Rothchild is the only one who has the guts to confront Morrison (masterfully played by Val Kilmer) about his lifestyle and the scene is surprisingly subtle and simple in it's emotional honesty. I don't think there are many actors who could handle a short, pivotal scene as well as Wincott did in that film.

An interesting aspect of Wincott's life is that he is good friends with Rolling Stone's guitarist and cosmic pirate Keith Richards. Wincott also briefly dated Mick Jagger's daughter when she was in her late teens (Wincott was, needless to say, much, much older) which infuriated Jagger to no end and reportedly delighted Richards.

Tough guy actor who is capable of a variety of roles and acting styles and who is cool enough to seduce Mick Jagger's (supermodel) daughter... needless to say we should all raise our glass.

1 comment:

R Logan L said...

For me, he'll always be Rochefort from The Three Musketeers.