Between small roles in giant films (Iron Man 2, The Green Mile, Charlie’s Angels) and leading roles in quirky indies that disappear instantaneously, Sam Rockwell has produced some of the best overlooked performances in modern film. Charismatic and versatile, as comfortable in the skin of the sweetheart, weasel, villain or nutjob, Rockwell has a unique presence that adds flavor to every project. But too few people are familiar with him and his work. Here’s your chance to get to know Sam Rockwell.
The Way Way Back (2013)
Rockwell commands attention in a Bill Murray-esque role as the off-kilter mentor to a struggling adolescent working at a waterpark for the summer. Though the entire ensemble impresses, Rockwell steals the film with a charming characterization that’s as worldly wise as it is juvenile.
Seven Psychopaths (2012)
Offering a brilliantly unhinged performance that anchors an equally unhinged film, Rockwell’s peculiar talents are on full display in Martin McDonagh’s good hearted bloodbath. With a supporting cast that includes Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson and Tom Waits, the film should sell itself.
This near-one-man-show offers Rockwell the room to prove himself, and he does so with aplomb. Duncan Jones’s SciFi feature manages to openly homage many of the greats while still offering a singular, unique vision. But it’s Rockwell who astonishes with a turn that dives deep and leaves an impression.
Based on a Chuck Palahniuk novel, Choke follows Victor – a sex-addicted con artist with mommy issues – through some unexpected life turns. Both concept and character are unusual –just the kind of project where Rockwell shines. Hip, damaged, funny, desperate, incredibly flawed yet redeemable, Victor would prove a tough nut to crack for many actors. Not Rockwell.
Snow Angels (2007)
David Gordon Green’s family drama offers one of Rockwell’s most nuanced and heartbreaking dramatic turns. So often the glib cat or loose cannon, Rockwell proves here that an intensely personal role is just as comfortable a fit. As the wounded, estranged father involved in a small town tragedy, he hits all the right notes and leaves you breathless.
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2007)
George Clooney had the good sense to offer Rockwell his first major lead, and he absolutely nails this fictionalized (or is it?!) biopic of Chuck Barris, part time Gong Show host, part time assassin. Working with a gift of a screenplay by Charlie Kaufman, Rockwell easily inhabits both the peculiarity of the TV personality and the insanity of the government agent fantasy. Whatever the film’s flaws, Rockwell keeps you glued to the craziness.
Sam Rockwell..get to know him!