Wednesday, October 5, 2011


As I sat watching the horror dud DREAM HOUSE this past weekend, it occurred to me that the role of the beleaguered father was not an ideal one for Daniel Craig. He’s not suited to play a family man. Craig looks like he doesn’t need a family. He’s too cool and hard, like Steve McQueen’s meaner brother. He needs to choose more appropriate roles for his talents. In fact, there are a whole slew of actors who could use some career intervention. So let me get my “Dr. Drew” on and speak directly to the following actors who need some career rehab:
You’re not great at playing vulnerable. You’re too fit, too feral, too seething. That’s why that cowboy abducted by aliens didn’t really work. Those foreign creatures didn’t have a chance against you. You’re a panther. (That’s why your Bond is so good.) Mikael Blomqvist should be a good role for you though. That intrepid reporter character may be down on his luck, but he’s like a shark in pursuit of truth and justice. Those are the kinds of roles you should stick with –panthers and sharks.

Ah, the lovely Mrs. Craig. Why are you making so many movies these days without your sassy British accent? You’ve used the same bloodless, colorless Midwestern twang in THE BROTHERS BLOOM, THE LOVELY BONES, THE WHISTLEBLOWER and DREAM HOUSE. Where’s that lovely Cambridge lilt that told Hugh Grant he was shallow in ABOUT A BOY? The veddy, veddy, barbed tongue from THE MUMMY? You’re British. Be yourself.

You’re not Jason Statham. You’re not Bruce Willis. Enough with the action roles. Try acting roles instead. You were brilliant in ADAPTATION. But that was the last time you were and it was almost a decade ago.

Six seasons of SEX & THE CITY on HBO, two movies based on that show, so haven’t you played fashionable career women in New York enough? I don’t know why you’d do something like I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT.

You were doing well there for a while but then you tried bigger and bolder (THE GREEN LANTERN) when you’re much better at smaller and quieter (BURIED). And you’re not very good at farce. Jason Bateman cleaned your comedic clock in THE CHANGE-UP and was even funnier playing you in it! Play it straight, sir. And no sequels in green tights.

You’re getting very close to the same problem Meg Ryan had a few years ago – playing girlish ditzes when you’re pushing forty. You don’t have to give up comedy, but at least play your age. 

I know you can do the whole smoldering James Dean thing, but what else ya’ got? Take a page from fellow young Brit Daniel Radcliffe and swing 180 from your teen heartthrob base. Try the stage. It worked wonders for Danny as he excelled in the psychodrama EQUUS and the musical HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING. Or do you think you’re going to succeed as an actor without really trying?

Go to Broadway too. Do a play that requires the discipline and commitment of eight shows a week. Stay out of the bars after the show and go home and get in bed. Alone. Get your full eight hours and start being an actress again and not a tabloid embarrassment.
God, you were funny as Salvador Dali in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. More comedy, please!

Stop playing spies. After four MISSION IMPOSSIBLE movies, VALKYRIE, and KNIGHT AND DAY, I think you’ve probably played enough espionage to last a lifetime.

For everyone who needs career intervention, we can at least be buoyed by those big stars who really take chances and stretch their talents like Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Vigo Mortenson, Keira Knightley, Ryan Gosling, Kate Winslet and George Clooney, just to name a few. Now if we could just get Ben Stiller to stop making so many comedies and show us more of his dark side. A Bond villain, perhaps? Anything but another outing with the ever-mugging Mr. DeNiro. Fock that. (And Bobby, you could use a career intervention too, actually.)

Who do you think needs a career intervention? Share your thoughts and let’s keep the conversation going.


  1. This is a brilliant piece! All of it so true - although I think Mr. Reynolds belongs on Harry's Law.

  2. I nominate Jason Statham too. We have got to get this guy a career makeover. Tie him down! Enough assassins, killers, robbers and undercover-whatevers! Even in the movie he is filming now he is playing a "ruthless career criminal who has almost no traditional redeeming qualities, aside from efficiency and professionalism; cold, methodical, and perfectly willing to commit murder to get what he wants." It's getting boring and so is he.

  3. Thanks, Dari-anne! So glad you enjoyed this piece. And your comment about Reynolds belonging on HARRY'S LAW was hilarious. Would he replace Paul McCrane?

  4. Fan With No Name, as always, so great to hear from you! Your post is LOL funny. And you are so right about Statham's rut. I had such high hopes for him after THE BANK JOB, his best film by far and one that required an actual fully-realized performance, but since then he seems merely content to take roles where he gets to kick everyone's ass. Enough already!


    Please check your reading glass prescription and get a hearing exam before you end up accepting another script as embarrassing as LITTLE FOCKERS.

  6. Michael, so true about Robert De Niro! You'd think both he and Ben Stiller would have tried to push to make that third Fockers film halfway funny. Who knows, maybe they did and that was the best it could get!

  7. I would recommend Leonardo DiCaprio.
    He often plays roles that look like him ; Floppy hair, expensive suits, intense look. (Google Alan Turing - his proposed next role).
    Would love to see him play off-type.

  8. I totally agree! I used to think Jim Carrey needed an intervention but he broke the mold with The Truman Show, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Majestic and Man in the Moon. I like his smart comedies (The Yes Man, Bruce Almighty, Fun with Dick and Jane) but not his adolescent humor (Dumb and Dumber, Ace Ventura).

    Nominees for Intervention: Julia Roberts. She is difficult to cast...the audience sees Julia, not the character...she has to try extra hard to get past the Movie Star bias.

  9. Animationy, thanks for posting! DiCaprio likes doing period pieces a lot. And he's played a lot of men recently who've lost family or loved ones: REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, SHUTTER ISLAND and INCEPTION all had similar themes of loss. It will continue to as he plays Jay Gatsby. Hmm, perhaps to your point, he could use a little career intervention.

  10. Luana, thanks for posting. You're onto something here! I think that Jim Carrey probably makes too many movies. And after some of the better dramatic efforts he's made, as you point out, should he really be backtracking and doing something like Mr. POPPER'S PENGUINS? I say no. Steve Carrell could start turning down some projects beneath his talent level too. They both need a "Just say no" career intervention, don't they?

    And you're so right about Julia Roberts. I also believe she is hard to cast. Especially now as she's more mature, it's a bit tricky. She's still lovely, but the girlie ingenue thing really doesn't work anymore. (She's got a bit of the same issue that Cameron Diaz has.) And once she smiles that megawatt smile of hers, she becomes Julia Roberts, doesn't she? It's sometimes hard to see the character when that happens.