Sunday, April 08, 2007

Typecasting? FUGEDABOUTIT! More like, thank GOD for the work, says every, overweight, slick-headed ensemble member of Sopranos cast

It's going to be really hard for me to write a comprehensive post today because my mind is elsewhere thinking about the sacrifices my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, made by rising from the dead for me, some 2000 years ago today.

Now that THAT Disclaimer is over...

About three weeks ago I went to a student filmmaker night at the Anthology Film Archives in the good old East Village. While all works there were amateur, one film featured stood out...not because it was good but because it wasn't some abstract attempt at depicting what would happen if a Quentin Terantino film took a Jean-Luc Godard film behind the middle school and got it pregnant.

This film was written by and starred two guys that I could have gone to high school with in that they were your typical, tri-state area Italian Americans. However, if I did go to high school with them they will have their asses kicked at our 10 year reunion since they are now both trying to make it as actors. Their film's thesis was that Italian American actors really have to struggle more than your average thespian to defy the typecast as a mobster. In the scene's climax, both actors are blatantly made fun of in a audition, which prompts them to wax poetic about the impact of Italian culture on America.

Okay, these goombas do have somewhat of a point; every time I channel surf and see Joe Pesci, he is usually talking about how he is going to bring someone to swim with the fishes (Or something like that, I automatically change the channel unless it turns out to be Home Alone, aka the greatest movie of all time).

But let's be honest. EVERY type of casting is type casting. Even if someone isn't looking for something as obvious as a greasy Italian, a drunk Irishman, or a subservient yet wacky black sidekick, they're still type casting. I for one think the typecasting of "hot people" is a much more widespread and grosser injustice than any Italian Stallion assumption.

Plus, if it weren't for typecasting, everyone's favorite television mob-sploitation show, The Sopranos, the reason we are all here today would be TOTALLY different. You all know Langlieb, our resident Sex and the City expert and hater of Polish people. However, while he doesn't like to talk about this much, Langlieb had a short lived career as a child actor. He actually auditioned for the role of Anthony Soprano, Jr. Among other things our loyal readers have learned about Langlieb is that he is a short, hairy Jew. (Please click the link for photographic evidence.) Can you imagine how these nine seasons would have gone if Langlieb was the legacy that Tony Soprano was working for?

Tony: (heavy breathing, followed by whispering) So, Big Pussy, we need a hit put on that spic before he dips in any more to (heavy breathing)
Tony: (heavy breathing) Keep it down, BP. Little Tony is upstairs memorizing all of the presidents and needs peace and quiet if he will ever move on to cabinet members!
Big Pussy: Sorry, boss. What's that smell?
Tony: (heavy breathing) I actually have a salami hero in at least three out of four pockets at all times.

Therefore, I do believe that all actors, including the aforementioned young, goomba filmmakers, should embrace their types. Stereotypes in the casting world are there fore a reason, that being to make entertainment more like the real world. Until we can live in peace and non-judging harmony in real life, color and creed blindness is not to be in TV or movie land! Don't go making stupid short films about how you are discriminated against just because you are angry that The Sopranos is ending before you had the chance to get cast as Italian Guy #3 oggling a stripper at Bada Bing. I guess you will have to find another in to get onto Celebrity Fit Club.


Anonymous said...

You must tell me the name of said film IMMEDIATELY. And obviously I'm a little biased, but I agree with them, and would argue that Italians are among the most stereotyped on screen. I think I have a paper to that effect somewhere around here...
- KC

Jeanette said...

You know, I can't remember the name. I know the director is a student at the Digitial Film Academy in NY, and that it has been entered in several small festivals. It needed work, but there were a few funny moments.

KC why must your initials surround your identity with such MYSTER!?