Blog Archives

From Smart to Dumb & Dumber to Smarter

Everyone thinks they know ‘Dumb & Dumber.’ It was an absurdly goofy movie from the ’90s. Case closed.

But that masterpiece was so much more.

Without diving into my veritable dissertation on the aforementioned comedic classic, it’s best to briefly let Jeff Daniels (“Harry Dunne”) give us fresh insight into the very real barriers he faced for wanting to act in…a comedic movie.

In some strange way, we have to be dumb–or perhaps a more polite combination of being humble with an eagerness to learn and try things–before we can genuinely realize if we are indeed smart in some cases.

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He Lost the Battle & Saw the Wars

Kelsey Grammer is the quintessential sitcom actor. But the crazy thing is that Kelsey Grammer was not that far off from not being a beloved TV star, as revealed in a recent chat with Conan O’Brien.

Whoa.

Speaking as a Kelsey Grammer fan, I’m not quite sure if the role of the smuggling badass named Han Solo would have been right for the actor best known as Frasier Crane. On the other hand, Mr. Grammer is a brilliant actor with a wide-range of talent (ie – Boss on Starz several years back).

I’ll need a few more (par)secs to decide.

Acting Like We Know

The following experience is coming from dumb or dumber

but either way, it’s smart.

How do we remain calm while performing stressful tasks?

Jeff Daniels, seen in the recent interview above, highlighted the necessity of the process and not merely the end result. The expression goes, “Fake it until you make it.” To varying degrees and situations, this is true. In his world, the process literally dealt with the well-known and uncertain “acting process.” For us, the process is likely different in our daily lives, though still filled with comedy and drama. Not to mention unstructured dynamics that are frustratingly opaque. And yet, it’s not unusual for these moments that are absent of control to morph and provide, oddly enough, a surprising path toward control and certainty.

Just a random example of perseverance and perspective from 1/2 of the legendary duo of the 1994 cinematic gold standard in comedy Dumb and Dumber. Take a stand on something (pick-up the perfect snowball) and give it everything you’ve got.

Maybe you’ll get stuck (to a ski lift), but it’ll only be temporary.

Damn, Daniel’s Almost Done

Sometimes, the messenger rises above the message.

On that note, 60-year-old Daniel Day-Lewis announced a while back that he was going to retire from acting. This news was a little surprising, particularly given his age and that he still appears to be at the top of his game. Nevertheless, the trailer for his last film, Phantom Thread, recently debuted online. As mentioned in the opening, the story of this film may not necessarily excite one’s cinematic senses, but the lead actor will. Regardless, one should be interested in this forthcoming movie for a couple things:

  • Phantom Thread is the final film in the storied career of acting savant Daniel Day-Lewis. This is it.
  • Of all the films Daniel Day-Lewis could have made his swan song, why did he choose Phantom Thread?

Let’s get the first glimpse and try to decipher an early hypothesis to the second question above.

Whatever the reason for why Daniel Day-Lewis chose to leave audiences on Phantom Thread, there’s no ambiguity in the fact that he fashioned together one hell of a great career.