There is an actor I didn't mention in my For Love of Unknown Actors post last July, one who is criminally underused and under appreciated on the cinematic scene, and who has acted in over 60 films -- Elias Koteas. I've had him on the brain for days, ever since THR's Risky Business Blog posted a piece called "Put Elias Koteas in your movie, now" on Friday.
These words sent me into a Koteas tailspin: "He's the kind of actor that lives so close to the skin of the character that he gives off those blurry heatwaves you see above a hot blacktop." This. I've been enamored with the actor since his second feature film in 1987, the John Hughes romance Some Kind of Wonderful. And while he's been in an impressive array of films since, usually finding more of the spotlight in Canadian features like Crash and Exotica, I doubt mainstream audiences know him as anything but that kinda-familiar bald guy, or Casey Jones in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
I love all the fleeting, cinematic glimpses of Koteas, but my favorite always remains the first I ever saw: Duncan in Some Kind of Wonderful.
He starts as the jerk, blocking Keith's way, chastising Watts, and mouthing himself straight to detention, but there's a glimmer of something charming behind it all, which slowly oozes out as he befriends Keith. He's the bad guy with heart -- a jerk to the outsiders and trustworthy to the end with his brethren. It's the role that challenges the assumption that trouble-making means all things negative, and his Duncan was so very much like the detention-ridden kids I knew in high school -- always in trouble with authority, but unerringly protective and loyal.
Alas, his myriad of talents haven't earned him wide fame, but he does have roles in The Killer Inside Me and Shutter Island on the way. But supporting roles and barely-there cameos aren't worthy of his talents, and I echo the sentiment: "So: Elias Koteas. Put him in your f*cking movie. Please."
But for now I ask you: What's your favorite Elias Koteas role?