Name: Stanley Tucci
Occupation: Actor, director, writer, man after my own heart
Likes: Variety in roles, falsetto ranting, working with the same people, food, theater.
Dislikes: People asking him about 3lbs. (presumably), not getting cred for being awesome (presumably), bald jokes (presumably), and being asked to say “Raising the bar” (presumably).
Can you imagine a more adorable man?! He’s not what you might call “hot,” but I certainly will (age gap be damned!). Despite the slightly awkward revelation in Julie & Julia that Julia and Paul Child frequently partook of…afternoon delights, I must admit that Mr. Tucci looks like a pretty good kisser. In any case he is a total muffin*, and I think all should love him–maybe not exactly as I do, but you get the picture.
My fave thing about Tucci is the types of movie roles he’s taken. My first run-in with Tucci was delivered care of 1992’s Beethoven (years later, I would come to cherish the pairing of Charles Grodin and Tucci). Perhaps the more fortunate among you can remember his hilarious turn as the not-so-fearsome Morty ahem, Muerte in 1993’s Baby Blues with Dennis Quaid, Kathleen Turner, and that baby? I should note, that when I was much older and screening the 1987 Madonna/Griffin Dunne classic (and personal fave) Who’s That Girl, I realized that Tucci also has a bit part in this film, so technically this is my first run-in with him.
Anywho, since those high-brow indie days, he has expanded his horizons. Beyond the supporting roles he’s played over the years, his having produced, written, and directed both Big Night (which spawned an Italian cookbook written by Tucci and his mother) and The Impostors garnered him a special place in my heart. Recently, he has become much more of a household name with pretty great roles in Julie & Julia, The Devil Wears Prada, and a guest spot on frequent collaborator Tony Shalhoub’s show Monk (as an actor playing Monk). Plus he was Puck in 1999’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. A-dorable!
If I could only choose one movie to recommend to people, I think it would definitely have to be The Impostors. Two unappreciated actors (Tucci and Oliver Platt–literally and figuratively) get involved in shenanigans on an ocean liner. Set in the 1930s and employing classic/classy slapstick, this is one of the funniest films I’ve seen. Plus, it has a great cast! Tony Shalhoub, Alfred Molina, Michael Emerson, Steve Buscemi, Lilly Taylor, Allison Janney, Richard Jenkins, Hope Davis, Dana Ivy, and Isabella Rossellini. While everyone is hilarious (cue thanks for Tucci’s writing and talent), the standouts have to be Campbell Scott as the insane German crew director Meistrich, Billy Connolly as the randy homosexual wrestler Mr. Sparks, and Woody Allen as the uncredited audition director. Just see it. If you din’t like it feel free to tell me (…so I’ll know who officially has no sense of humor).
Audition Director (Allen): Yello. Oh, hi, hon. Keep going it’s my wife the producer. Hi, hi hon. So ah… whassup hun? No, it’s, ah, it’s going well. Hmm, ah, yeah you know, I said I was sorry and I meant it. No, no. That’s why I’m not gonna behave like that anymore. Where are you? What are you doing with him? You what? You’re saying to me that you’re leaving me for him? This is what you’re saying to me? Well, yes, naturally I’m shocked. Of course I’m shocked. I, ah… Does this mean that you’re pulling your money out of the show? No. No. I will not find anybody else to put money in this play be… , everyone thinks it’s a piece of shit. Where are you now, be… because I’m coming down there right now, I’m gonna bite out both your throats.
Fun bit of trivia:
In The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Tucci plays Stanley Kubrick, who directed Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. In Robots, he appears with James Earl Jones, who made his debut in Dr. Strangelove. In The Terminal, he was directed by Steven Spielberg, who took over Stanley Kubrick’s last project, Artificial Intelligence: AI.
Oh, how I love Stanley Tucci, and when things come full circle (like this post).