UnNews:Stephen Root warns character actors of impending doom: "You're not safe either, Malcolm McDowell"

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Sunday, June 30, 2024

WARNING: This column is written for, and addressed to, character actors only. Sexy lead actors who make money, win awards and bang every woman in Hollywood probably won't comprehend the looming danger or see anything to be concerned about. It definitely won't apply to Meryl Streep, either. This is formatted on a series of UnColumns written 15 years ago during a 1980s entertainer apocalypse.
(Editorial distorted, re-worded, parodied, and reprinted here without the express written permission of Mr. Root. However, we did obtain permission from Gary Cole, whose response was simply, "Uh, yeah.")

HI, HOW are you? I'm Stephen Root and I am a character actor. You may remember me from the NBC sitcom NewsRadio. Or perhaps as Milton from the cult classic Office Space. Buck Strickland from King of the Hill? Dwight Dixon from Pushing Daisies? That guy from Dodgeball? Coontz from RoboCop 3? The principal from the movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer. giving detention slips to vampires and corpses? That blind white guy from Get Out? That was all me. Humble brag. I am writing to my fellow character actors because I have a special message to deliver to the world.

Hollywood character actors are dropping like flies.

Just in 2024 we've lost Carl Weathers, Hawaii Five-O actor Tamayo Perry to a shark attack, actor-sumo wrestler-mixed-martial-artist Taylor Wily, tough-guy actor Tony Lo Bianco, Friday the 13th Part 4 actor Erich Anderson, benevolent Bernard Hill, tough-guy actor Richard Foronjy, and Die Hard 2 janitor Tom Bowers (the creator of SAGIndie - which is designed to simply the process of hiring union actors like us for your independent films).

We've already lost 80s comedy bad guy Dabney Coleman, that Black guy in every show Bill Cobbs, and that white guy with that mustache in every show Martin Mull. Yes, we lost my Buffy co-star Donald Sutherland, but we was very much a leading man. Damn good supporting actor, too.

And this just a year after we went on strike and we got a damn good deal. Is this God's way of screwing us over? Who the hell knows? But what I do know is that we character actors are fucking screwed! Whether you're Harvey Keitel or Eugene Levy. June Squibb or Dylan Baker. Kurtwood Smith or Djimon Hounsou. Michael Biehn or Lance Henriksen. Robert Patrick or that guy from Avatar who looks like Robert Patrick, that guy from Don't Breathe. Yeah, that guy. Matthew Modine or Vincent D'onofrio. Steve Buscemi got punched, but it could get worse for him. You're not safe either, Malcolm McDowell.

Say goodbye to the lady to tells the waiter "I'll have what she's having." Say sayonara to the angry customer at the bank just before it gets robbed. Say arrivederci to the guy that the action hero bumps into when he's trying to chase Richard Tyson. What do you mean "Who?" The bad guy from Kindergarten Cop?

Willem Dafoe has been taking refuge in weird indie movies from that Greek guy, Yorgos Lanthimos. Spider-Man has kind of protected him. Hopefully he's still alive by the time the new Nosferatu is released.

If I were Tim Curry, I'd be very worried. But I'm Stephen Root and I'm very worried.

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