Down at the Corral–of Actors

Posted: August 25, 2010 in Actors
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Every director has a list of dream actors. Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, you know. But my list of dream actors doesn’t have any A listers. No B listers, either. I’m not big into wrestling egos, but I also love the value of casting a fresh face, someone who can be the character, not Brad Pitt playing the character.

So I just added another actress to my dream list, and I wanted you to be the first to know. Her name is Sally Phillips, and I love her.

She’s new to me, a British comedian. I stumbled across her on a time wasting tear on Hulu, in a show called Smack the Pony.

She was apparently in Rescue Me, a show of which I have never been able to stomach an entire episode, and she was one of the underutilized friends in Bridget Jones Diary.

British humor, yeah. The combination of subtle, realistic, character based sketches that remind me of long form improv and Chicago (excellent) mixed with broad absurdist moments (hit or miss). A tendency to linger too long, and always sort of meandering. When I watch British TV shows, I am generally struck with how much easier it is to get on TV in the UK than in the US. It’s a nice change. The kinds of things that would never last past episode two in the US can go a full season in the UK.  Which is seven episodes. So that might explain something, too.

Regardless, I was watching, and I was enjoying the whole show, laughing gently as one is wont to do watching British comedies, and one actress really stood out to me. Sally Phillips. I had to hunt up her name, but it is Sally Phillips.

I could use her.

I mean, if I was casting a project right now, which I am not, and if I had the budget for hauling over actors from the UK, which I am not currently working with (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) or if I had a role that fit her type, which I could have, someday.

But if those three things lined up, I want Sally Phillips.

Let me tell you why. Sally Phillips is an actress with a wide range of skills. She can do a number of characters, and most of them don’t feel like “characters”, they feel like people.  She has terrific timing, and she can pace a reaction to take full advantage of an awkward situation. She is a wonderful actress.

But there are other wonderful actresses. What makes Sally so special is that she is innately appealing. And what you need to have, particularly in a lead, is someone who can win over an audience without trying. She could be a sympathetic lead.  Give this actress cancer, and there won’t be a dry eye in the theater. I mean, theatre. Cause she’s a Brit. Ha, ha.

So she’s going on my wish list. And if I’m really good this year, maybe Santa will leave her in my stocking.


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