Sam Rockwell is a fine actor. I enjoyed watching him in The Green Mile many many moons ago. I liked his performance Matchstick Men, but I disliked his character. I liked him in Moon (both him and his character). Oh, I also liked him in Galaxy Quest. These days, I no longer like the characters that he portrays. I don’t think that this is his fault. I think that he is regularly cast in these roles because of his previous success. He’s the cocky jerk character. He’s been this character (more or less) since Matchstick Men. Nobody can fault him for the roles that he gets cast in. He’s an actor and this is his job. If I were him, I’d be grateful for every cocky jerk role that I got.
Can you be critical of Sam Rockwell as an actor? Yes… but only for one acting quirk. He has a scene where he is chewing/eating in every movie. Now, I haven’t bothered to research this and I truly don’t know if Sam Rockwell’s eating screen-time exceeds the average actor’s eating screen-time. But I have the suspicion that the following “thing” happened. One day Sam Rockwell realized that many successful actors divulge their acting secrets on DVD commentary. Sam Rockwell then chose to emulate the most popular actor of the early 21st century… Brad Pitt. Sam Rockwell, smart enough to know that he can’t just pretend to be Brad Pitt, chose to snatch an acting quirk of Pitt’s.
In Ocean’s 11, Brad Pitt is always eating. In the DVD commentary, he mentions something to the effect that as a thief, he is always on the run and therefore always having to eat-and-run. Regardless of the reason, when you watch an actor act while eating, it lends an authenticity to the performance. Probably because everybody eats, and you’re used to talking to someone during a meal. So hearing Brad Pitt deliver lines wile eating is oddly comforting. I suspect that Sam Rockwell in a 21st century attempt to create a “new” recipe for acting compiled the most useful tips from DVD commentaries into a formula for marketable performances.
This is my suspicion to why Sam Rockwell eats in every movie. As I said, I have no real evidence. I’ve just noticed a pattern in Sam Rockwell’s performances, and I no longer enjoy watching him chew/eat/drink.
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