Ray Wise Was Always More Than ‘That Guy’

When Leland Palmer first appeared in the pilot episode of Twin Peaks– His daughter has died, although he does not know it yet – he exudes very specific characteristics of a businessman who pushes with a pencil. You know the type. He is not the president. He works for the president. He’s tense and nervous and that tension is worrying. The moment he realizes something is wrong, Sheriff Truman removes his hat and walks toward him, and his wife collapses on the other end of the phone, Leland tries everything in his power to hold it together. “My daughter died,” he said, and tears began to fall. Much of the rest of the pilot is spent on the verge of tears, and the dark side of his character is initially masked by the grief of a man who wears his helplessness on his face at all times. It’s one of the great TV shows someone made The Great TV Actors: Ray Wise.

“Anyone who has a good little role for me and I love writing and can do something with it, I’m there!” Wise said in an interview earlier this year. “You know, it doesn’t really matter how much they’re going to pay me or any of these things.” With 248 proxy credits, IMDb underscores this stance. And who even knows how accurate this number is. The second credit on that list is an episode of the old TV series love lifewhich makes IMDb think he appeared in it in one episode in 1976. “I think I did about 950 half-hour shows,” he said. AV . Club In 2008. The internet got me wrong before, but there is a difference between 1 and 950, and that difference is only bigger than 949. “When I started dealing with the series, I was more theatrical, like a stage actor, a little bigger than life,” Wise said AV . Club. “As I did more and more love life, became more normal. I learned the value of underestimation. It was a great training ground for me.”

Learning how to act naturally while starring in a TV series is the perfect Ray Wise origin story. There is nothing natural in his performance style, save magnetism, a crucial relic of that play, which he honed on stage in the evenings while collecting his paycheck in love life During the day. Ray Wise is the leader, probably “that guy” who didn’t win that title because once you look at him you won’t forget his name and face. It suggests, always, that there is danger and agony lurking beneath the surface. His friendliness and sudden warmth are evident even when he plays the devil.

in 1982 swamp thing, where the rest of the cast churn out cowardice, act like they’re in a cheap 1950s movie and look like they’re doing a parody, one of them beating them up. he is he is The man from the 1950s movie. He doesn’t even sweat (although it caught fire and exploded and turned into a swampy thing). He committed, perfectly, while also acting, to a Capital A. In a Reddit AMA in 2014, Wise revealed his passion for these kinds of classic popcorn flicks, telling one interviewer, “I’m what you would call a die-hard horror fan! As a young kid, I grew up The 1950s were a time of great horror, fantastic creature features, great science fiction with invasions from outer space, and then great horror outfits like the HAMMER movies where I became fascinated by Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.” The love is real, and respect for even the most diverse species is evident in his energy as an actor.

This is the reason why the evil followers of Wise exist RobocopLeon Nash, perfectly named, is unforgettable. It consists of the film’s henchmen: from above to just the right degree, often without any dialogue. His face, posture and presence are sufficient tools. Two decades later 24Wise made great use of these tools in playing Vice President and Puppet Master Hal Gardner. He’s the guy who wants to enforce martial law through legal loopholes, definitely the friend of the season, and sets off alarm bells with every side look and smile trace. Only it turns out that it is the boss who hides dark secrets, as Wise Gardner takes something out of the hero. It’s a kind of television evolution that depends on two important factors: poor writing, and the actor being willing and able to sell it anyway. This is the magic of Ray Wise.

Of course, part of selling it is simply doing the work, and the sage is the kind of guy who will never let his work get half done. One of his early credits was in the classic 1980 TV movie Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders II. The auspicious stuff – the kind of unadulterated cheese that it seems hard for a real actor to take seriously. “You might think it’s going to be difficult,” Wise said. AV . Club, “But every job, once you get there and start doing it, you take it the same way. And it becomes a dangerous thing, because it is not easy to do, even if it is a silly thing. You still have to be professional and perform.” This professionalism is present in every role Wise plays, be it Ken Cosgrove’s father-in-law mad menor Marvin from Fresh off the boator President Michael Duggan in footage from Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2or even the multiple PureFlix movies he has appeared in.

Let’s stop for a moment. did you see God is not dead 2? The film revolves around a teacher, played by Sabrina the teenage witch, who teaches her students the wise words of Jesus Christ and MLK, and with her efforts is put on trial for violating the separation of church and state. Enter: Ray Wise, playing an ACLU attorney named Pete Kane who at one point declared, “We will prove once and for all that God is dead.” Spoiler: God is still alive at the end of the movie, despite Mr. Kane’s valiant efforts. I’m sure he’ll get God next time. Now, I wouldn’t really recommend anyone to watch God is not dead 2 (or the first movie, or the third movie, or even the fourth movie), but if you watch it, which you shouldn’t, you won’t be blamed for cheering on Kane’s devious lawyer, and not just because of the facts from the case on his side, and right-wing evangelicals are a bunch of hypocrites Apple pie eaters are literally destroying America as we speak. It’s the chapter that brings him to the joint. There’s no shadow of a teenage witch, or even of Ernie Hudson (playing a judge!), but the second sage walks into the room, you know you’re in the company of greatness, and utterly outdone by everyone else on screen with his demonic magic. Take this, Christians!

Wise put his demonization to better use in the soon-to-be-disappeared CW series combine, in which he played the devil himself, dressed in a suit and tie and enough charisma to lure the weak and execute the herd, he says in one of the episodes. This is probably the most enjoyable performance of his career, not only in characterizing the Devil, but in the obvious joy that Wise takes in playing him. That wicked smile is in spades, as is the staggering brag, and it’s contagious as hell. Wise often talked with relish about playing the role, no doubt partly in the fact that it was a real-life series regular (which is pretty rare in his career), but also because playing Lucifer in a comic series gave him a lot of scenes to chew..and that doesn’t mean that Wise pork meat. There is no over-acting in Ray Wise’s performance. He poses exactly what the specific part calls for, no more, no less, and without any hint of condescension.

While Wise seems to be a game to find meaning and attraction in every job he does, no matter how big or how cheap, he isn’t often given the opportunity to flex his muscles with deep material. Good evening and good luck It is a rare exception. In George Clooney’s film Edward R. Morrow, Wise plays CBS News journalist Don Hollenbeck, who publicly endorsed Morrow’s reporting on Joseph McCarthy and was painted as pink in turn. Dealing with a difficult divorce and communist accusations, Hollenbeck committed suicide in 1954. He’s not a huge character in the movie, but Wise plays him with full humanity. Hearing his colleague read aloud the newspaper’s criticism of his support for Morrow, Wise’s face was grim with the appearance of a man who could not bear the burden of living. “George was very knowledgeable about my work and career, and as soon as he saw me doing the character, he felt like I was the perfect guy for her,” Wise recalls in his book AV . Club an interview. “It was something I really identified. I think George saw aspects of Hollenbeek in Leland Palmer. They were both tragic men whose lives ended tragically.”

Understanding the similarities between Leland Palmer and Don Hollenbeck is a stark example of Wise’s ability to empathize as an actor. He has said in many interviews that he was upset when David Lynch, finally, told him that Leland was the killer in Twin Peaks. “The whole idea in my mind of abusing and killing my daughter was anathema to me, as Leland. I had just had my daughter. She was two years old when I started Twin Peaks. I was feeling very paternalistic because I was playing the character. So it all really bothered me.” consequence In 2017. Lynch assured Wise that his character “will come out with the salvation, with the full realization, and the forgiveness that has been given to me.” This poignant and complex deliverance has come, and as anyone could expect, the sage has thrown into his final moments, making Leland Palmer’s tragic humanity evident in doing some of the worst things anyone can do.

The shattering menace of that humanity is further explored in the prequel movie, Twin Peaks: Firewalk with me, which Wise himself described as Lynch’s masterpiece. A poignant reclamation of Laura Palmer’s character, it’s no surprise that a sympathetic actor like Wise appreciated the polarizing film as a statement about redemption, even as his character’s monster was made more explicit. It is the work that the sage hands over to himself, and there is no vanity in that. Perhaps this is why Wise is seen in the role of Leland again, only for a brief period, in Twin Peaks: Back It was an emotional experience for fans of the show. More than just a strange father who molested and killed his daughter while she was possessed by an evil spirit, in the hands of Wise, Leland Palmer’s tragedy is that he was never less than human. I’m sure his doctor Simmons of Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders II It was no different.

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