Mad Love for Subtlety

I have some mad love for Timothy Olyphant. It has been one of those things that has grown over time. I did not love him immediately. He had to grow on me a bit. But now? Now there is mad love.

I think he may very well be one of the most subtle actors I have seen as of late. He has this ability to narrow his eyes the slightest bit or turn up the corners of his mouth or hunch his shoulders in what seems the most minor of ways and the whole tone and tenor of the scene changes.

Unfortunately I think that very subtlety is what has kept him off of the main stream radar for so long. The first movie I remember seeing him in is Gone in 60 Seconds (“Are you ok? Are you sure? Because you just went through a wall.”) But I caught a movie on HBO not too long ago that he did the same year and I’d never heard of it – The Broken Hearts Club. It was a lovely little character movie that he just relaxed his shoulders, and his jaw muscles, into.

He has also had a few roles that were pretty forgettable. Like Fritz in Catch and Release and the guy who threw Mark Wahlberg out of the band in Rock Star (he is not so very pretty with a mullet by the way).

But where I really grew to appreciate him was in watching him play Sheriff Seth Bullock on Deadwood. There have been several times that I have just come to the conclusion that he is a pretty one dimensional character and then some surprise in the story will arise and prove me wrong. Not because of overt and dramatic choices, but because his once stony face softens and he suddenly has tears in his eyes. Or because he displays a sense of humor in the driest sense. And I love his sense of righteousness as the bad guy in Live Free or Die Hard. He’s smooth, clean cut and wicked smart.

But, call me shallow if you’d like, I am a total sucker for his billy bad ass character in Hitman.

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