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Starlog Archives: Paul Giamatti

Paul Giamatti has been a respected character actor for quite a while.  Lead roles in American Splendor (2003) and Sideways (2004) brought additional acclaim.  By 2006, Hollywood was willing to give Giamatti a shot at leading man status with M. Night Shyamalan’s fantasy film, Lady In The Water.  If you read the Razzie articles, you know that Lady was a pivotal movie in the director’s career.  It was intended to be a triumphant middle finger to all of his critics, but it turned out to prove Shyamalan’s critics right.

Giamatti walked away from the mess mostly unscathed.  But he didn’t get another shot at the brass ring of leading-man-hood.  Lady in the Water was also expected to make a household name of Bryce Dallas Howard.  Instead, she went on to play Gwen Stacy in Spider-man 3.  In short, it was a floppity-flop.  But before that proved to be true, Giamatti discussed the movie with Starlog magazine.

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Posted on January 26, 2017, in Starlog Archives and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. You know, Paul Giamatti is one of those actors that I never would have expected to get coverage in Starlog. I had seen Giamatti in supporting roles in quite a number of solid films from the mid 90’s to early 2000’s. Donnie Brasco, The Truman Show, Saving Private Ryan, The Negotiator, Man On The Moon and Duets come quickly to mind. He quickly caught my attention in these small roles and I became a fan of Giamatti as a character actor.

    Then Sideways released in 2004 and became a bit of a critical and box office sensation. It went on to earn a bunch of Oscar nominations (strangely Giamatti was left out though) and to this day I just love that movie. Sideways generated heat for Giamatti, but unfortunately heat from a particular film only lasts so long. He had only a year or two to capitalize on that, and unfortunately he chose Lady In The Water as his leading man role. If Giamatti had picked something else to hang his hat on besides this lousy film, he might have lasted as a leading man a bit longer.

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    • I have been surprised by some of the things Starlog covered. It was an eclectic magazine despite the focus on science fiction.

      Obviously, Lady in the Water didn’t propel Giamatti to stardom. But I’m not sure how many other leading man roles he had to choose from. This might have been the only offer on this scale. Fortunately, he had character roles to fall back on.

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      • Yes, that was a consideration of mine as well. I would assume after the big critical and popular success of Sideways that Hollywood would be breaking down Giamatti’s door offering him great scripts, but the reality is things don’t always work out that way, even if you are gifted and have shown your skills as an actor. Sadly great scripts don’t come along that often, even for talented actors. Lady in the Water may have been the best (or at least best-paying) offer he had in the year or so after Sideways broke big.

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  2. he did follow up sideways with Oscar nom in cinderalla man ,it seemed his career is similar to William hurt they choose to be character actors

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  3. I am surprised that Paul Giamatti was covered in Starlog as well; glad this film didn’t do too much damage to him overall (I thought the film was kind of unremarkable in general). I think Giamatti is a lead (but not a singular one I guess) in “Sideways” and “American Splendor” (love it!), but I don’t know what more he could’ve done with the role. i thought he was good, I just didn’t like the material. Oh yeah, I thought he was great in “Duets” (sing that Todd Rungren!), a film I’ve always liked more than most, since I thought it did what it was supposed to do, and I liked all the Karaoke numbers.
    As Bryce Dallas Howard goes, the first time I saw that name in print, I thought she was a guy. I guess Bryce is one of those interchangeable names, which I wasn’t aware of (nor was I aware that she was Ron Howard’s daughter, because by then I was over my last name connection fixation:-).

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