John C. Reilly, the pathetic slob. John C. Reilly, the dramatic, restrained thespian. No matter how you spin it, there’s no forgetting an essential John C. Reilly performance. The man can be balls-out hilarious, subtly amusing, or go-for-broke melodramatic.
Paul Thomas Anderson has called him the funniest man alive, while other auteurs have capitalized on his sense of control. An actor's ability to shift from comedy to drama from role to role (or within a single performance) is an art that is growing increasingly more difficult. But looking back, it’s a skill that Reilly has never not had. Here are a few cases in point.