Monday, December 27, 2010

The Working Class - Miguel Ferrer

So it's been a hectic couple of weeks for your resident pop culture warrior. I won't get too into it, but I had to change my relationship status on my various social networks from "involved" to "on the market, I guess", and dealing with ramifications from said life change. This hasn't been helping my creative juices to flow all over your faces, and a week-long trip to New York didn't give me a ton of chances to sit down and write for a while. All of this non-writing time did give me a chance to brainstorm for a bunch of new features on this blog.

Today we will talk about the other guys. No, not that Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell buddy cop/torture device, I'm talking about the anti-Pitts and the anti-Swayzes. The guys who you have seen a dozen times but have to either look up their name or swear to commit it to memory because you know you'll run into them again. These are character actors or bit players that have transcended the small roles that they play and make a great career out of them.

First up is a guy that I have seen in random movies playing assholes for decades. I recently got to re-appreciate him as FBI asshole Albert Rosenfeld in a show that I should have committed to memory by now but have only just recently begun watching, Twin Peaks. Meet Miguel Ferrer:

At 55 years old and with over 100 acting credits to his name, Ferrer has definitely made a name for himself in both the film and television mediums. Oldest son of acclaimed stage and screen actor José Ferrer and singer Rosemary Clooney, Ferrer started off his career as any aspiring actor: doing television and walk-on Start Trek movie parts. Soon though, the angry demeanor and surprisingly intimidating glare got him the role of Bob Morton in Robocop, which is how I and I'm sure a lot of other people got their first good dose of Ferrer. The role of Morton was a juicy one, and he even got a screen death that every aspiring actor dreams of: getting his knees blown out with a shotgun and crawling towards a live grenade just as it explodes.

Since then, Ferrer has popped up all over my cultural landscape. After the aforementioned Twin Peaks, he would be featured as the bad guy in numerous movies, but I always remember him most vividly as professional thief/asshole in Blank Check, where he literally gets the shit kicked out of him by a 10-year old.  Other favorites include his numerous spots on Tales From the Crypt and his role in Hot Shots:Part Deux (yes, a pretty bad little spoof, but at least Ferrer proved he had comedy chops to go with his assholism).

 It would be hard for me to discuss a lot of the roles he has done. The tricky thing with anybody featured in The Working Class is that though the person may rule, the movies and shows they are in are usually pretty shitty. It takes a lot of wading through crap to even find them in it sometimes, and it could be for just a few seconds. Sometimes that's all it takes to become a legend, though.

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