By: Susan Howse
Welcome to the Same Page Team’s hunt for the best supporting supporting actor!
- The candidates can’t have ever even been nominated for a major award. No Oscars or Golden Globes. Even the Emmy’s are frowned upon, given the golden state of current television. We’ll call this ‘The Steve Buscemi Rule’.
- Here’s where it gets fun. In a play on the old desert island game, once you select your candidate, you are allowed to watch their movies, but also the entire movie library of every single one their co-stars… but nothing else, ever again.
- No voice credits, short films or TV work may be considered. Live-action feature films only. Motion-capture (like Andy Serkis as Gollum in Lord of the Rings) has been deemed acceptable.
That’s it. That’s the game. Who would you choose?
Who’s worked with the best the most often, but never been individually recognized? Who’s the best supporting supporting actor?
You can read Dan Grant’s case for Kevin Pollak here.
Over the next several weeks, several other Same Page contributors are going to look to figure this out. Here’s Susan with her case for Alan Tudyk.
It’s been awhile since I’ve written for the Same Page Team, but after Dan’s challenge the other week — I had to throw in my hat for my nominee. Without further ado, I present the case for Steve-the-Pirate! I mean, Alan Tudyk.
Candidate: Alan Tudyk
Top 10 Movies (Rotten Tomatoes)
*With the voice credits of: Zootopia, Moana, The Good Dinosaur, Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph and Big Hero 6 removed.
- Knocked Up
- 3:10 to Yuma
- Oddball and the Penguins (Oddball)
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Tucker and Dale vs. Evil
- Wonder Boys
- Welcome to Me
Worst Rated Film: Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (Why would I mention his worst rated film? Because I cannot believe that this was the actual title of a film made that hoped to make money. My bet is that he bought some sort of sweet sound system or like a delicious steak dinner with the earnings from this film –- not to boost his career).
Dodgeball: An Underdog Story, A Knight’s Tale, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Oscar/Golden Globes Supported
Rogue One (Best Achievement in Visual Effects, Sound Mixing) – Nominated
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo (Best Actor) – Nominated
Helen Mirren, Trumbo (Best Supporting Actress) – Nominated
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Best Achievement in Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing) – Nominated **yes, this actually happened.
3:10 to Yuma (Best Sound Mixing, Best Original Score) – Nominated
I, Robot (Best Achievement in Visual Effects) – Nominated
Wonder Boys (Best Motion Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing, Actor – Michael Douglas) – Nominated
Wonder Boys (Best Song) – Won Golden Globe
Patch Adams (Best Actor – Robin Williams, Motion Picture & Score) – Nominated
The Argument for Steve-the-Pirate
Comedies almost never get nominated for awards. For example, Chaplin’s Modern Times, Monty Python & The Holy Grail, Bringing Up Baby and Knocked Up all have Rotten Tomatoes scores of 90% and above, yet never got Hollywood award recognition, while Crash had a score of only 75% and won Best Picture (although that’s a whole argument on its own). There are cases where comedies make the cut, but the fact that good comedies often get ignored for their “lowbrow nature” is pretty unfair. As such, comedic actors often get relegated to the side. Now, if you add a comedic actor who still hasn’t quite gained the point of name recognition, you get a poor, hilarious schmuck that is often overlooked.
Well this is your time: Alan Tudyk, this your moment in the sun.
Tudyk is an actor whose career spans 99 film and TV credits over the past twenty years (with his first major feature being Patch Adams). However, before researching for this article, if you had mentioned his name, I probably wouldn’t have known it. He was just that guy, who was in that funny movie. He was Steve-the-Pirate from Dodgeball or Wash from Serenity or probably the understudy to someone funny in Band of Brothers (he wasn’t — but it seems like he would shine in a role like that).
The first movie that I saw him in was in little film called A Knight’s Tale starring the late and great Heath Ledger. This was before Ledger’s serious turn, and smack dab in the middle of his teenage heartthrob era. Tudyk plays Wat, the quintessential best mate of Ledger, who aids his friend with becoming a jousting knight. The movie is classic early 2000’s teen fodder, but it does feature a killer soundtrack.
While Tudyk has gained a bit more fame in the past 10 years and has one shared co-lead in Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil, a hilarious underrated film mocking the slasher film tropes alongside Breaker High’s loveable Tyler Labine. He is normally considered a side-kick or comic relief. He has numerous voice credits, but those accolades are not in consideration. The one I will draw attention to however, is K-2SO in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Betcha you didn’t know it was him, acting all hilarious in motion capture. This is probably the role he has gotten the most attention for – and you’d never know it was him. I am a huge Star Wars nerd so I’m pretty pumped that he was in this film (and also that I can credit it to my deserted island stash!)
Continuing the sci-fi vein, Tudyk is a staple in Whedon-verse (Joss Whedon, prolific sci-fi writer/director of the 2000s). While I can’t talk about his roles in Whedon TV, luckily one of the best of those shows got made into a movie so I CAN talk about that. HA, DAN, HA. Serenity is a feature film sequel to the TV Series Firefly. Tudyk plays the titular ship’s pilot, who bravely fights alongside his space cowboy crew mates in the film. Orson Scott Card, one of the most famed sci-fi authors of our time, has even stated that Serenity was “the best science fiction film ever” . So if you don’t take my word for it, maybe take the author of Ender’s Game’s.
He has had a few turns in more serious films, like Trumbo or 42 but the section above that Tudyk pales in is the Oscar/Golden Globes supported category. But whatever, unlike those snobby film students I took classes with in undergrad, I can like an actor that doesn’t have a role in a classic auteur film. Give me my silly comedies or sci-fi romps and I’m happy.
P.S. If we added a category for MTV Movie Award supports, he’d clean up!
Desert Island Library
The Apatow Crew (Seth Rogen/Paul Rudd/Jason Segel/Jonah Hill from Knocked Up)
Hank Azaria (Dodgeball)
Christian Bale (3:10 to Yuma)
Elizabeth Berkley (Meet Market)
Ewen Bremner (Death at a Funeral)
Steve Buscemi (28 Days)
Russell Crowe (3:10 to Yuma)
Warwick Davis (Rogue One)
Michael Douglas (Wonder Boys)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity)
Harrison Ford (42)
Tyrese Gibson (Transformers: Dark of the Moon)
Anthony Hopkins (Hearts in Atlantis)
Michael Jeter (Patch Adams)
Jason Lee (Tell)
Heath Ledger (A Knight’s Tale)
Viggo Mortensen (28 Days)
Frances McDormand (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Wonder Boys)
Barry Pepper (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials)
Missi Pyle (Meet Market, Dodgeball)
Harold Ramis (Knocked Up)
Tim Robbins (Welcome to Me)
Ben Stiller (Dodgeball)
Michael Stuhlbarg (Trumbo)
Will Smith (I, Robot)
Forest Whitaker (Rogue One)
Kristen Wiig (Welcome to Me, Knocked Up)
Robin Williams (Patch Adams)
I had to weed down my list to films I’d actually want to watch on a desert island (sorry David Morse –- no Dancer in the Dark for me!) But due to a lot of ensemble casts, it really expands my library. There are also have a lot of smaller actors who I could have written about on here if award nominations were ignored. I’m lookin’ at you, Michael Jeter.
With Barry Pepper’s films, I can view those war movies that the history major in me loves. With Jason Lee, all the Kevin Smith comedies or Seth Rogen with the Apatow ones. With Harold Ramis, I got my Ghostbusters fix and I have the guilty pleasure of Show Girls with Elizabeth Berkely. With Tyrese Gibson, I may finally watch those Fast and Furious films with all my desert island boredom.
But the main reason I’m pumped? Warwick Davis. That means Labyrinth, Return of the Jedi and all of the Harry Potters. Unfortunately it also means The Phantom Menace — but I can use that for kindling.
So with all this to take in and the hilarious movie library he has provided me with, Alan Tudyk has my vote for Best Supporting Supporting actor. He may not have the years of experience under his belt like other actors nominated, but I think if we give him time and continue to watch him grow, he will continue to reap more of those “Ooohhh, that guy!” roles in the future. He is able to play the best friend, the side-kick, the unassuming hero. So, don’t let them keep the skies from you, Alan Tudyk, this gal is rootin’ for you: a true Underdog.