Unhearalded Supporting Characters that are just flat-out cool.

You ever find yourself watching a mediocre movie on cable, something that most people didn’t bother seeing in the theater, and noticing that one of the peripheral characters are just subtley cool? A guy/girl so cool that they could have stolen the movie had they been focused on more? One with such an interesting backstory, charismatic manner or just meancing body language that it could have made them into the next Darth Vader if the role and direction had just called for it? Well, thats what this thread is all about. Who ya got?

Mine? I was watching Arthur last night for the second time (I fell asleep the first time). Not the Arthur with a drunken Dudley Moore, though it’s really great, and not the cartoon with the bespectacled rodent. I’m talking about the Clive Owen/Keira Knightley vehicle wth swords and arrows and some goofy twist on the King Arthur legend.

Have you seen it? Hmm.

Anyways, the main bad guy is flat out cool. The Saxon general. Tall, long blonde hair and beard. The way he speaks and moves is graceful and menacing. Cold hearted and evil, but has a certain respect for a decent adversary. The fluidity of his swordplay has flashes of other characters like Nameless (from Hero), Achillies, but with a grit you’d expect to see in Gladiator. If they’d have made this guy a better developed bad-guy this movie could have really been something.

Anyone agree? Anyone have a similar one? Doesn’t necessarily need to be a bad guy or a action movie. Just has to be a guy who most movie watchers walk away not having a clue what the characters name is. A guy who probably wasn’t very prominent in the movie posters. But a guy, who in his short screentime, really left a impression on you.

I would happily watch a movie focusing on Hans Gruber, Alan Rickman’s charismatic terrorist leader from Die Hard. It would have to be a prequel, though.

The wise-cracking, blasé receptionist/secretary/pal, usually played by the great Polly Walters. She only made a few films and always had small roles, but stole every scene she was in. “The heck with the gangsters—let’s follow the switchboard operator for the rest of the movie!”

Just about every character M. Emmet Walsh has ever played!

Can’t know the character’s name, eh? That would rule out Hans Gruber and the like.

I’ll play:

• The badass woman Air Force pilot from X-Men 2 who managed to lock on and get two missles off amidst swirling tornados before ejecting.

• The bartender from Vanilla Sky who saw right through Tom Cruise’s touch-guy-I’m-hideous schtick and wound up doing shots with him.

• The guy from the bridge scene in Apocalypse Now who fired his missle launcher at the Vietnamese guy that was screming “G.I.! Fuck You!!” and took him out.

• The Russian customs officer who gave Clint Eastwood a hard time in Firefox.

• The computer guy from Wargames that figured out that WOPR was running a simulation.

• The Recall salesman from Total Recall that sold Quaid his trip. The red haired technician from that same scene was pretty good too.

As far as cool/amusing minor characters go, I always found that I liked Kowalski and Ferreti(?) a lot more by the end of the StarGate movie than I did Dr. Jackson and Colonel O’Neil :slight_smile:

I suppose Wedge Antilles from Star Wars doesn’t exaclty count, as he, along with most of the cool minor characters in the original SW movies are now immortalized in fandom, along with such figures as Admiral Piett and Crix Madine. :slight_smile:

Lieutenant Corwin from Babylon 5. The hardworking Lieutenant who we see outside of the command deck maybe three times in the entire show, who’s job it seems is to be the only junior officer with the guts make snappy comebacks to Commander Ivonova during her tirades? :cool:

In Wing Commander 4 (the greatest movie they ever made for the PC, and not a bad computer game either) there’s the helmswoman on the BWS Intrepid who has no lines, does nothing but steer the ship and in one scene ignores Maniac (played by none other than Biff Tanner himself, Todd Marshall) as he flirts with her.

Captain Panaka was cool in SWEp1

Bruce Campbell was good in Hudsucker Proxy, as the foil to the female reporter whenever she was brainstorming.

David Schwimmer as the Duty Officer in Flight of the Intruder

In the Wing Commander movie, I rather liked the officer who reported to Admiral Tolwyn, as well as the officer on the Tiger Claw who looked at the radar and announced when bad guy/good guy ships were showing up.

in Babylon 5: A Call to Arms there is this one un-named junior officer on the EAS Excalibur, wears glasses and I want to say is the helmsman or the navigator. Had maybe 4 lines in the entire movie, but he just LOOKED right on the bridge of that ship.

I always liked the psychologist guy who shows up periodically on Law and Order.

Do the two Sergreants who work in the SGC on Stargate count?

I’m with you on this one. He was slimy, but damnit I’d have bought from the guy. Bet there’s an awesome spinoff there where he’s having a torrid affair with the girls in the sales office behind his vindictive, park avenue wife’s back. Think Closer meets Wall Street meets Skinemax.

As for the rest, I think we have to eliminate some of the guys who just have bit parts. Not sure I’d go so far as to call the X2 a character, she only had about 12 seconds of screen time.

I’m not going to call the “can’t know the guy’s name” rule to strictly, but I agree that Hans Gruber doesn’t fit the mold of “unhearalded” or event “supporting” since he gets almost as much screentime as Bruce Willis. The Blonde guy in Die Hard who shoots up the telephone junction and gets killed on the giant crane hook is a better choice. Even the sarcastic black computer wiz is a good choice. (“Looks like the police have themseles an RV!”).

Omniscient, do you mean the leader of the Saxons or his son? Either one would fit the bill IMO. I liked the Saxons more than the Britons in that piece of crap. 'Cept Kiera…mmmm.

You reminded me of something though, I liked the bad guy in the first Highlander movie. I LOVE the scene that opens to his praying hands at the table full of candles (whatever that’s called) in a Catholic Church, and then starts laughing as is tamps out the candles with his hands. And then IIRC, he wags his tongue at a few nuns. Not that I have a problem with Catholics or religion in general, but he was just SO bad that I wanted to see more of his antics.

::shrug:: works for me - your thread. They were memorable and I didn’t know their names, so I thought I’d offer them up.

Howz about:

• Mickey Roarke’s character from Body Heat that teaches William Hurt how to make a firebomb detectable to the arson squad

• (Although I am a fan of this actor, so he’s not all that unknown to me) The lead singer from The Good Ol’ Boys in Blues Brothers. "It’s gonna be kinda hard eatin’ corn on the cob without any FUCKIN’ TEETH!

• Wilford Brimley’s role as the DA in Absence of Malice where in his one scene he walks in and cleans house.

• Vincent Schiavelli as the German-speaking assassin from Tomorrow Never Dies

• Mike Yanagita in Fargo. “Can I sit over here next to ya?”

Cornfed Pig, from the animated series Duckman, just knocks me out. I want a spinoff starring Cornfed.

The hitman who almost kicks Matt Damon’s ass in Bourne Supremacy. The one whose house Bourne breaks into. That guy seemed pretty badass. My apologies if my memory is bad and I screwed up the details.

Bigger names:

Boba Fett in the Star Wars films

Frankie from Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Along those lines, I’d like to see more of Jimmy Smits as Bail Organa.

Outbreak with Dustin Hoffman.

Remember the scene where the government officials have to decide whether or not they are going to firebomb the town, so they get a panel together in a room? The guy who leads that panel discussion (played by J.T. Walsh, RIP) does such a good job that it really seems like a normal day at the office for him. I would have watched a movie about that guy. (imdb credits his uncredited role as Chief of Staff, so really I could just watch The West Wing, I suppose.)

“This is a copy of the US Constitution. I’ve read it cover to cover. Nowhere in it does it mention anything about firebombing 2400 people. But it does say, repeatedly and emphatically, that no American shall be deprived of life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness without due process.”

That whole scene was pure gold. Even though he was a character actor, he was one of the greats. I had no idea he died (7 years ago!) until I looked up his name on imdb while composing this post. Sad, that.

I mean the leader, not his son. His son was good. They had an interesting dynamic there, but the Saxon General was the uber-badass with all the sweet lines.

I think that’s a no-brainer. This thread should probably be called the “Boba Fett Memorial Supporting Characters who are cool” thread. Good call.

I nominate Kit-Kat from Hudson Hawk, played by David Caruso. Definately the best thing he’s ever done. I think he didn’t come off as an arrogant prick because he didn’t say anything. Of course, I’m the only person in the world who likes this movie :slight_smile:

To me, my brother! Can I call you Parthy? I watched that movie over and over as a kid. My brothers and I can quote it. And it took me years to find out it was not considered a great movie. Or much of a movie at all. :smiley:

Hudson Hawk is quite highly regarded by a number of us here on the board. And you’re right, Kit-Kat’s a great character.

I was just thinking about that character in relation to this thread. Glad to see him mentioned! He has two of my favorite quotes in all of movies:

"Now we’ll talk all day if you want to. But, come sundown, there’s gonna be two things true that ain’t true now. One is that the United States Department of Justice is going to know what in the good Christ is goin’ on around here. And the other is I’m gonna have somebody’s ass in my briefcase. "

“We can’t have people go around leaking stuff for their own reasons. It ain’t legal. And worse than that, it ain’t right.”

Zathris from Babylon 5. Although seeing as there is apparantly dozens of Zatris, hard to say which one.

How about Wilford Brimley in Hard Target, John Woo’s best American movie, where he plays Jean-Claude Van Damme’s drunken Cajun uncle? For a fat old drunk guy, he can ride a horse, shoot flaming arrows at the bad guys, whoop and cheer and joke, and catch bullets in his trusty flask in his hip pocket. How did he get to be such a badass?