I’ve had that movie-goer experience of Al Pacino, Holly Hunter, Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Freeman, Kathy Bates – even pre-puberty Dakota Fanning moving me with the power of their incredible acting talent.
Bob Hoskins can’t do that. Bob Hoskins doesn’t have that power. It doesn’t matter either. He’s great, not because he can act, but because Bob Hoskins is that perfect type of actor to be - if you can’t act.
Roger Rabbit Bob Hoskins…
He’s not talented, clever or tall – so watching him makes you feel talented, clever and tall, and doesn’t leave you feeling like you abused him in the process. It’s all good with Bob.
Mermaids Bob Hoskins…
Even theater critics wouldn’t criticize Bob.
Mrs. Henderwhats-her-name Presents Bob Hoskins…
My high school had a Bob Hoskins; I think most high schools did. Bob is that short guy that tags along with all the big bullies. He’s there with the tough guys even though he couldn’t beat up your pet gerbil. Why is he there? He’s there because the bullies like him – they don’t want to beat him up, but they can’t leave him alone – so they tell him to tag along.
Bob just smiles and enjoys the ride. He does that eye thing. It’s not an acting eye thing. It’s not a clever eye thing, but you laugh anyway because Bob Hoskins is great to hang around with.
“You wanna beer, Bob?”
You laugh – not clever, but you laugh.
Yup – if you’re going to be an actor, and you have no talent; don’t be Leonardo DiCaprio and make it abundantly clear how little talent you have by taking on larger-than-life roles that make you look like a moron.
Don’t be Nicolas Cage and be fantastic in Raising Arizona and then positively ruin every movie you’re in afterwards. I think Cher liked Bob Hoskins after Mermaids. I think Cher wanted to murder Nicolas Cage after Moonstruck.
Don’t be Ben Stiller and dedicate your life to acting so embarrassingly stupid that the suicide hotline sees a 44 percent jump in crisis calls the week after one of his movies come out.
Don’t be Seth Rogan. Please, please don’t be Seth Rogan. Seth Rogan, please stop being Seth Rogan – take a night job at a Cistercian monastery or something.
And certainly don’t be Robert De Niro – one of the most talented actors in the world for the first fifty years of his life who has apparently decided to be as bad in the 21st century as he was good in the 20th.
If you’re an actor with no talent, just tag along with some actress with real ability – Cher, Judi Dench, Jessica Rabbit, and do the eye thing, smile, and maybe pant a bit like her pet bull dog.
Just be like Bob – good old Bob – my favorite talentless actor.
I still miss him.
editor's note: Headley's Go Figure Reads colleague, Stanley McFarland has begun a new blog, Confessions of McFarland It deals with Politics, religion, economics, and cultural issues.
Yeah, go visit Stanley's boring blog. Here's the video.