I love actors. All actors. Even the ones who only appear on screen for a matter of seconds. With this list, I use the term background loosely as I hope to draw attention to some very impactful supporting roles that captured my eye last year. Here are a handful of actors from 2013 who stepped out of the background and asserted themselves as scene stealing players.
The (first) cold wife in 12 Years a Slave
Played by Liza J. Bennett
“Your children will soon be forgotten.” It’s the most shocking line in the most devastating film of the year, delivered to haunting perfection.
The young lovers in Before Midnight
Played by Ariane Labed and Yiannis Papadopoulos
Hey, look, there’s Jesse and Celine, 18 years younger, practical, in love, uninhibited with happiness, not yet aware of the bitterness of love.
The airplane passenger in Blue Jasmine
Played by Joy Carlin
Carlin gave us the first great laugh of Blue Jasmine, not to mention our first insight into the delusions of the complex title character.
The corpsman in Captain Phillips
Played by Danielle Albert
They did it twice. The first time, Albert, a Navy corpsman in real life, couldn’t succumb her stage fright. When they rolled for a second take, Albert nailed it. She helped deliver the scene of the year with precision, accuracy, and compassion.
The L.A. douchebag in Enough Said
Played by Christopher Nicholas Smith
The first time Julia Louis-Dreyfus struggled to walk up the stairs to a client’s apartment in Enough Said, I stared at the douchebag waiting for her and thought, “Holy shit, that dude is so L.A.”
The racist cop in Fruitvale Station
played by Kevin Durand
He’s a white cop who seemed to enjoy busting a bunch of black kids a little too much. But after tragedy struck, Durrand’s shift from aggressor to shocked defender was startling.
The SexyKitten in Her
Voiced by Kristen Wiig
Her hasn’t been released in too many theaters yet, so I don’t want to spoil Wiig’s contribution to it. But just you wait. She earns one of the year’s best laughs.
The little girl in The Hunt
Played by Annika Wedderkopp
Perhaps the best child performance of the year, little Klara wasn’t a monster, she was young and confused, entangled in a lie.
The alleyway bruiser in Inside Llewyn Davis
Played by Stephen Payne
You only find guys like this in Coen brothers movies: lean, dark, quiet, scary, funny – what a perfect way to own two minutes of screen time.
The cousins in Nebraska
Played by Devin Ratray & Tim Driscoll
The funniest bit in Nebraska? Ratray and Driscoll giving Will Forte endless amounts of crap for taking so long to drive to their house. Priceless.
The police captain in Prisoners
Played by Wayne Duvall
Duvall’s interactions with Jake Gyllenhaal in Prisoners were so remarkable in their accuracy. I totally believed that’s how they actually talked to each other.
The young, angry rapper in Short Term 12
Played by Keith Stanfield
Stanfield’s impromptu bedside rap was one of the most moving moments of 2013. The sound engineer who worked on my latest film also captured sound for Short Term 12. He said they shot this scene once (with two cameras), and by the end, everyone on set was crying. I love that Stanfield’s performance has been nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.
The creeper in To the Wonder
Played by Danyeil Inman
I’ll never forget the woman peering in through the priest’s window, eerily taunting him. This moment so beautifully captures the inner torment of Javier Bardem’s character.
The Sampler in Upstream Color
Played by Andrew Sensenig
There are so many questions surrounding Sensenig’s poignant portrayal of The Sampler. How does he know to go to a field and wait for people to come to him? How long did it take him to figure out the process? And why? Why does this man do what he does? Such captivating work.
The aunt in The Wolf of Wall Street
Played by Joanna Lumley
2013 in Review
Top 10 Films of 2013
Top 10 Films of 2013