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John Bowe (ed):
Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs
Gail Simone:
Birds of Prey
Sarah Vowell:
Take the Cannoli
Howard Zinn:
People's History of the U.S.


The Daily Show
Prison Break
The Office (US)
Kitchen Confidential
Veronica Mars

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Obscure Celebrity Crushes: The Winn-ah!

And so we come to the conclusion of this series. I might follow it up in later weeks with Obscure Celebrity Girl-Crushes and Obscure Screenwriter Crushes, but that depends on Temp Job Du Jour maintaining its dullness.

Anyways, the moment you've all been waiting for...

Obscure Celebrity Crush #1: Adrian Lester

Adrian Lester is pretty damn obscure, and pretty damn pretty, and a fine actor to boot. So it's a mystery to me as to why, after rocking so hard in Primary Colors, he drifted back into obscurity as quickly as he came: aside from the fact that no one on Earth loves Primary Colors the way I do. It's one of my favorite movies, one of the few that I feel the need to rewatch regularly, and Lester is a huge part of that love -- his character is the glue holding that movie together, the moral center and the impassioned outsider.

Plus, he totally gets to bone Maura Tierney's character. And sing country-western with Kathy Bates. And go to Miami with Kathy Bates. Can you imagine how much fun that'd be?

Ultimately, Primary Colors suffers from real-world factors, like the fact that it both tears down and builds up a fictionalized version of an extremely divisive political figure. But as that ship sank, it took Adrian Lester's career with it: some more theater work, a supporting role in Branagh's Love's Labour's Lost (which I have NOT seen, in part due to the somewhat scarring experience of playing King Ferdinand in a summer camp production during a particularly awkward bit of pre-adolescence), and semi-regular appearances on Girlfriends. He'd faded out of the limelight so thoroughly that when I saw his name in the opening credits of The Day After Tomorrow (right after Guy Who Plays Fake Cheney) I was pretty surprised. His role in that movie is tiny and tragic, but enough to remind me of how great he was, that one time in that one movie. How there was just something decent in him.

Last night, I watched a little of Hustle, the British import that he's toplining -- didn't totally hold my interest, but there's potential, and Lester's playing a con man, which is a fun change of pace. He's also using his natural British accent, which I can never argue with.

According to the IMDb, we'll be able to see Lester in the upcoming As You Like It and Spider-Man 3. In the latter, he's been cast as "Research Scientist," which promises to be a demanding role indeed, but hopefully he'll be around for slightly longer than Daniel Dae Kim in Spider-Man 2 (in which Kim has actual lines, however, as opposed to his Crash cameo -- yet another reason, by the way, that Crash is bullshit).

I doubt, at this point, that Lester will ever top his work in Primary Colors, either in prestige or in ability. And maybe that's okay. Part of the fun of having an ultimate obscure celebrity crush is that you don't have to share him. Even though, sometimes, you wouldn't necessarily mind.

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