Remember when Jason Lewis played a struggling actor on ‘Sex and the City’? Or the time he played a struggling actor on ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’? What about his inspired turn as… a struggling actor on ‘House’? What’s my point? Jason Lewis has played a pretty, dumb-as-rocks aspiring actor on three different television shows. Two of those three times he relied on slutty women in power positions to make him famous (Samantha on ‘Sex and the City’ and Valerie on ‘90210’).
But then (in the words of Snoop Dogg), what make that even more fucked up is that he is, in fact, an actor in real life! Art imitates life once again.
This isn’t a case of type-casting or even a case of an actor’s lack of range. I just want to call it “The Jason Lewis Phenomenon”. It is when actors play pretty much the exact same role in multiple shows or movies.
When you think of Macauley Culkin you probably think of his darling face in ‘Home Alone’. I think of a sociopath. He played sociopaths (or potential ones) in ‘Home Alone’, ‘the Good Son’ and ‘Party Monster’.
Little Kevin got way too much pleasure out of torturing those burglars in both movies! Not to mention he also stole his parents credit card and ran away. Kevin McCallister is a sociopath worse than Joe Pesci. And that’s saying a lot. To quote the movie ‘Scream’, “Maternal abandonment causes serious deviant behavior…”.
Kevin went on to commit infanticide in ‘the Good Son’. He was so pissed about being abandoned that he killed his baby brother and went on to terrorize his cousin and little sister. Definitely escalating from rigging his house with Christmas tree ornaments.
Finally, the cute little blond boy who made his family disappear became so disconnected from society that he became drug-addled club kid Michael Alig in ‘Party Monster’. He went around telling previously straight men, “You can be my boyfriend” and ended up killing his own drug dealer. His sociopathy is now in full bloom.
Hilary Swank is also a Jason Lewis Phenomenon. I remember her from ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ (the movie). Her best line was “Get out of my facial!” Then she kept playing boys. How Shakesperian! She played a boy in ‘Boys Don’t Cry’. Well, technically a transgender girl. She played pretty much a boy in ‘The Next Karate Kid’, and she played a boy in ‘Million Dollar Baby’. I now have trouble looking at her as a girl and am disturbed that she is kinda hotter as a boy.
Jude Law twice played a handsome and charming upper-class character whose identity was stolen by another hot guy. Once in ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ as Dickie Greenleaf, who Matt Damon wanted to be. And once in ‘Gattaca’, where Ethan Hawke used his DNA to pretend to be Jude. He also pretty much played a high school version of Dickie, a popular and charismatic Golden God, in ‘I Love You, I Love You Not’ with Claire Danes.
Kate Winslet, made famous by a very demure and feminine role in ‘Titanic’, has since played three very unfeminine protagonists. In ‘Revolutionary Road’, which I like to call, “Titanic II: If Jack Lived”, she played a
feminist ahead of her time who goes so far in her rejection of the traditional female role that she kills her unborn baby and, accidentally, herself. In ‘the Reader’ she plays a masculine, heartless seductress who deflowers and dumps a teenage boy and works in a Nazi death camp. Not very sweet or nurturing. And in the underrated movie, ‘Little Children’, she plays an unhappy wife and mother who disdains both roles and has an affair with Jennifer Connelly’s husband.
Which brings me to Jennifer Connelly, who always seems to play the hot, oblivious wife that manages to get cheated on. She played the exact same role in ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’, where her husband has an affair with Scarlett Johanssen…
who has an affinity for playing the tempting hussy/tart/seductress/home-wrecking tramp, which she also did in ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’ (in which she also tries to “find herself” at the end), and ‘Match Point’. That one didn’t end well for her.
Jennifer Aniston once again plays…Jennifer Aniston, the quirky and hot every-woman who can’t seem to get that damn ring and is nearing spinsterhood! Goddammit!
Ginnifer Goodwin plays the not-too-threatening and therefore likable and relatable best girl friend, as she does so well in ‘Win a Date With Tad Hamilton’ and recently in ‘Something Borrowed’.
I cannot comment on the redundant roles “played” by Kate Hudson, Jennifer Lopez or Katherine Heigl because I refuse to sit through all those painful rom-coms.