including Sam Rockwell.

‘lt’s a very funny. quirky moy‘ie.’ enthuses Rockwell. ‘I tend to go for the darker parts and the more dramatic stull I think that‘s more interesting than comedy A hut comedy '.s lunf

And it shows. In ('u/limmml Rockwell plays l’ero. one of a raggle—taggle hand of ne'er-do—wells from the titular depression—hit (‘ley'eland town who are intent on hagging theinselyes a share ol’ ‘Bellini' the ultimate steal from a pawnhroker raid. (‘looney crops tip as a wheelchair—hound sale-hreakcr. Jer/y. ‘(ieorge helped tis get the linancing. so he spent three days with us in ('leyeland.‘ And was there a connection at that point‘.’ ‘Well. we got along. 'l’hat helps. ccitainly'. You know. you don't want to work with dicks. We had a few heers together and had sortie l‘un as wellf

While the heist plot happily hohhles along over the course ol‘ the lilm. it's Rockwell's performance that lifts the overall effect. He simultaneously plays the Village idiot. the eye candy and the unlikely hero: l'utther testament to his versatility as an actor.

Lest we l’orgct. mind. this was the same actor who out— sexed Julia Rohet‘ts in (tut/enrolls. who out—acted Tom Hanks in The (from .llile. who out-camped Alan Rickman in (iulutr Qtlt's‘l. who pushed Drew Barrymore out of a window in (War/it"s Angels; And this was the man who rose to

prominence playing societal outcasts in the landmark But of

.llonnlig/H and 1mm Dogs . the latter winning him hest actor awards at hoth the Barcelona and Montreal lilm l‘estiyals.

liar from being an oycrnight success. plucked from ohscurity'. Rockwell's road to Hollywood big time has Stunned lo _\cars his first film was made-l'or-TV (‘lmrn/must' directed by l'rancis l-‘ord (‘oppola You might say performing was in his hlood: hoth parents were artist-actors

and Rockwell studied at San Francisco's High School of

Performing :\t1.s.

Descrihed as heing among the hallowed l’ew ‘actors‘ actors" ("l'hat's a yery nice thing to hear. People say that ahout (iary ()ldman. John 'l'unurro and John .\1alko\'ich. so that’s a

big compliment’l. Rockwell learned to hos tor the role ol~

Pero. He also learned to polka dance with co-star .lennil‘er lisposito. hut that came more naturally. Rumour has it he dances het‘ore auditions. het'ore going on set and men on camera. ls that true'.’ '11 kind of shakes out the neryes.‘ he

just said. questioning his own opinions and asking

Rockwell goes in search of the ultimate steal with help from Clooney

e\plains. ‘\\'hen you run up the stairs or whateyer it is lih)sical stul'l~ leayes the neryes hehind. As a kid I danced: initially it was ahout picking up girls. ll' yoti don't dance you're neycr gonna meet the girls. I guess that‘s how it came ahout.‘

lle stops short of demonstrating. htit his spirits haye lil'ted

just lrom talking ahout it. He dances to James Brown. hip hop.

salsa . . . ‘anything you can ttloye to with a heat. l)on't like that techno stul'l not hig on the cluhs in Berlin and l‘rance. I like songs with a heginning. middle and end.‘

.\Iayhe it's not that he’s not particularly weary at all may he Rockwell just hasn‘t learned to hullshit at length when the tape recorder starts. He‘s relatiyely new to the promotional

side of the moy ie game. where selling the product is what counts. He often seeks reassurance in what he’s CLOONEY WAS INCREDIBLY ADAMANT IT WAS GOING TO BE ME - NOTHING WAS GOING TO STOP HIM'

what I think of the scenes and ideas he mentions. I ask it he cyer gets hored watching the same lilms oycr and (net again. ‘I get tired ol~ me.‘ he says. ‘When I‘m the only one in the l‘rame. that's when I get tired ol‘ it.‘ It‘s unexpected and disarming at the same time.

And it's not what you would espcct lrom a man who has the sell-heliel to hare all in more moyies than he's kept his kit on. ()r so it would seem. (‘ould it just he a complete lack of sell: a complete no—ego personality which makes him such a good actor. w herehy he's hlindly willing to throw himscll into the mechanics ol‘ character acting‘.’

Realistically. could he e\ er play a straight-down— the-line .loe \ormal'.’ ‘l .ike a hanker. or something.’ I feel that l ('(lll/(l do that. They try to typecast you in Hollywood. hut he stay ed away l'rom it. Whether it's comedy or goofy or white trash or quirky or had guy. But then you lind. alter a while. they ~re typecasting you three times. So he succeeded in tooling them. he heen yery l‘oitunate. 'l'here's some great ol‘l‘ers coming in. with some pretty talented people. 1 hope they keep coming in.'

You can hank on it.

Welcome to Collinwood goes on selected release, Fri 25 April. See review, page 26.

"- '.' :. ./' ,2 THE LIST 21