There are films and actors that for various reasons stay with you and make you go …uh..mmmm….oh?
I have to say that “Living in Oblivion” (1995) did that for me with 4 different actors. Fairly certain I watched it around 1999 or 2000 rented from a local independent movie store that no longer exists. Attracted to films that have one nondescript box it was a super uh..mmm oh? OH!! viewing. First of all, Peter Dinklage doesn’t get enough screen time …but steals the film. Secondly, I have a mad crush on Steve Buscemi and will pretty much watch whatever…..but Kevin Corrigan….I can’t say what it is about him that is so captivating. Its that feeling like you know someone, oh yeah…its that guy ….Is he funny? is he charming? is he really cute? well. yes…but more so he is the guy you were friends with in high school and even though you haven’t seen him in years, that is who you think of when you have fond memories of art class or standing behind the gym having a smoke.
I watched a ton of his films in the few months after Oblivion because I was on a indie film junkie fix craze; “Buffalo 66” (1998), “Slums of Beverly Hills” (1998), “Lulu on the Bridge” (1998) “Henry Fool” (1997), “Detroit Rock City” (1999). That’s when I realized of course that he was always sort in my frame work because of “GoodFellas” (1990) as well as “True Romance” (1993) and “Zebrahead” (1992).
Probably a lot of people will say they recognize him most from television playing Donal Logue’s brother in “Grounded for Life” (2001-2005) and from “Goodfellas” (1990) as Henry Hill’s brother …a monumental film and role of a lifetime…but for me it was that rash of small but pivotal roles in that early 2000’s that made him feel like ..that guy ….the one you can tell anything to and you know you’ll get razzed but also he will have your back no matter.
Listening to a recent Podcast WTF with Marc Maron (Episode 606 may 26, 2015) I found Kevin Corrigan interesting and so invested as a fan of movie and music that listening to him talk validated this sense of connectivity (yes, to a stranger, remember people, he don’t know you okay?) I had felt in watching his performances. Yet, another piece that connected for me was how darn lucky he is ….performances in two pieces of cinematic history, “Goodellas” in his early days where he apparently had the common sense to pick Martin Scorsese’s brain for tidbits and “The Departed” (2006) where not only was he lucky to participate but was present enough in the experience to know and again learn from a collection of actors and a director like no other.
So coming full circle for me was those moments of being incredibly lucky…in the film “The Departed” is a scene that I have always felt was one of those wow this will never happen again what an amazing day at work scenes; that didn’t happen to Kevin Corrigan, so bear with me here a moment. There is a scene (SPOILER ALERT) where Matt Damon shoots Jack Nicholson. Now, yes, Matt has been around the block a little bit and done some great things, but how many times in an actor’s career do you work with Martin Scorsese AND get to kill off the baddest bad guy AND shoot Jack Nicholson at work? For me, that was the best scene of the movie because I can sort of feel Matt Damon’s joy in going to work that day. While I’m listening to Kevin talk about his experience with this director and being so present in the whole experience to ask questions, to wonder about the music choices in other movies, to take an already great job and make it an ever more incredible event so that I felt like I was totally right about him in my own fangirl way – Kevin is pretty cool.
Don’t however, get caught up only in the major films; as a film maven I highly recommend and really insist that you find, rent, borrow, or beg for the small titles. I would normally wind it down to 3 films with a synopsis..but there isn’t one with Corrigan, even uncredited that I would skip — so for now start out slow and find:
Slums of Beverly Hills (1998) Dir; Tamara Jenkins – Cute, almost true, funny and Natasha Lyonne; you can’t go wrong.
Tree’s Lounge (1996) – a really good character study; you can see Buscemi thinking about the film so some of the scenes are a wonderful study of film moments but awkward as part of the story…still so worth watching if you can get past going, OMG! Its Carol Kane! etc…
TV stuff: Really, watch Grounded for Life ..so cute. but also catch “Damages” (2009) its weirdly intense and I think almost too many episodes… & “Fringe” (2009-20011) in which Kevin has like 6 or 7 episodes but you just feel the fit.
and naturally I don’t have to say watch everything by Martin Scorsese …Do I ?