Archive for January, 2009
If you need a Latino actor, there are lots of options: Freddy Rodriguez, John Leguizamo…actually that’s it. If you need an Asian actor, there are also a plethora of options: John Cho. If you need an Indian actor, well, if the population of India is any indication, there are millions of options: Kal Penn. But what if you need an actor who can play Polish? Or Russian? Or Greek? Or Palestinean? Or Cuban? Or Jewish? You could hire actors of those descents OR you can hire one of these three actors:
1. Alfred Molina
2. John Turturro
3. Hank Azaria
These three actors have faces and accents that could easily pass for almost any ethnicity you need. It is quite remarkable actually.
Sapito, Giovanni, Sergei, Pierre, The Italian, Jose, Mike, Rev. Leland Drury, Diego Rivera, Tevye, Rahad Jackson, Boris Blavasky, Snidely Whiplash, Dr. Otto Octavius (Doc Oc), Bishop Manuel Aringarosa, and Eric.
Think about that! He’s played Italian, Spanish, Mexican, French, New Yorker, Russian Jew, Orthodox Priest, Saudi, Russian, Octopus, Non-descript American. He’s a freaking United Nations! Talk about being versatile. Ok I will. John Turturro is similarly ridiculously ethnodrogynous (I just made up a word. What have you done today?)
John Turturro is an Italian-American who has played characters named:
Larry, Pino, Pisciotta, Moe Flatbush, Barton Fink, Roland T. Flakfizer, Dr. Bill Perlman, Herbie Stempel, Jesus Quintana, Joey Knish, Benjamin Kasparian, Howard Cossell, The Phantom/Fartoshi, and Paolo Zane.
We’ve got Italian, Jewish, Spanish, Mexican, Palestinean, New Yorker and non descript American (as apple pie). Not exactly on par with Molina, but in the words of his buddy Adam Sandler, not too shabby! Lets cap it off with Hank Azaria:
Hank Azaria is of Greek descent and has played characters named:
Albert Freedman, Alan Marciano, Agador Spartacus, Walter Plane, The Blue Raja, Mitch Albom, Proffessor Groeteschele, Claude, Patches O’Houlihan, Abraham and Kah Mun Rah.
Keeping in mind that these are characters he’s played in person we’ve got New Yorker, gay Cuban, Spanish, German, French, Irish, Egyptian, British, Russian and Jewish. This doesnt begin to touch his vocal skills on the Simpsons which let him act every other nationality in existence.
(I’d also like to point out that Hank Azaria is the best part of almost every movie he’s in–American’s Sweethearts, Mystery Men, Along Came Polly, Anastacia…)
So here we have 3 wonderful accomplished actors capable of playing multiple ethnicities and therefore extremely varied characters. Not even Denzel Washington or Tom Hanks can boast a resume this impressive. These actors are also consistently working which means that as an actor, if you want to work for several decades, the more you can stretch, the easier a time you will have finding work. Also who wants to play the same character over and over again? (no offense Woody Allen or….soon to become Seth Rogen).