Tuesday, December 10, 2013

#649. 7 favorite Clancy Brown roles

Ah, Clancy Brown, an actor gifted with presence.  Most of the time, he uses this power for evil, but every now and then, he's the good guy!  Now, without further adieu, here are my favorite Clancy Brown screen appearances:


  • Highlander (1986) Clancy's breakout villainous role was the bad guy from the very first Highlander movie.  He was the guy who wasn't the Frenchman pretending to be Scottish or Sean Connery (although to be fair, Christopher Lambert pulled off one of those far better than the other).
  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994) Part sadistic prison guard, part semi-okay guy ("Drink up, ladies") when he isn't threatening to drop poor Andy Dufresne from a rooftop.  Technically he is human, and not a monster, so this counts as career development.
  • Earth 2 (1994-1995) This short-lived but entertaining series gave Clancy perhaps his best role.  He was basically the Han Solo of the crew (which might remind Star Wars fans that, like most of Clancy's other roles, Han was probably not considered an overly nice guy, and not just by Princess Leia; after all he did hang out at a place known for scum and villainy), second lead, and was even a father!  Real hero stuff.  
  • "Desert Crossing," Star Trek: Enterprise (2002) He finally makes the obligatory genre actor appearance in Star Trek, and it's a fun role, and he clearly has fun playing it, as the head of a faction on a planet that turns out to be something other than it first appears (but not in a bad way!).  For a guy who normally doesn't have to create a character because his size and voice do it for him, Clancy tries on a fancy accent, and it's awesome.
  • "Live Together, Die Alone," "One of Them," Lost (2006) Here he's Desmond's predecessor (briefly his mentor and colleague as well) in the infamous hatch, plus the man who teaches Sayid the lovely art of torture on behalf of the enemy against his own people.  So technically, although only featured in two episodes, his character is pretty integral to Lost lore.
  • Pathfinder (2007) Basically an updated Highlander experience for Clancy, in a movie starring Karl Urban.  The closest he's come, so far as I know, to be an out-and-out horror performance.
  • Cowboys & Aliens (2011) I've mentioned before that I'm a fan of this movie, and Clancy's appearance is just one of many reasons why, although it's another unique role for him.  Looking a little like Jeff Bridges from the True Grit remake, he seems more relaxed, and it begins to be startling when you realize that Clancy has really never had an out-and-out starring role, whether in TV or film.  He deserves something like that, and this slightly world-weary part might suggest the best way to do it at this point.  Give the man his due already!

6 comments:

DAVID WALSTON said...

Every time I see Clancy Brown, all I can think of is him in Highlander. The Kurgan! He was so bad it was cool.

Tony Laplume said...

I have a hard time separating his general awesomeness from any one role. He's a favorite.

Maurice Mitchell said...

My favorite role if "Earth 2" since he was such a well-rounded scoundrel although his Lex Luthor voicework is superb.

Pat Dilloway said...

He's probably one of those guys who shows up in a lot of things and you don't really think about it until later.

That is funny about a French guy pretending to be Scottish and then a Scottish guy pretending to be Spanish pretending to be Egyptian...who still talks with a Scottish accent.

Remembering Grace said...

The thing with 'Lost' was, every character may have been integral to Lost lore. Or not.

I will always associate him with The Shawshank Redemption. His portrayal of Hadley was perfect.

Tony Laplume said...

Maurice, I debated whether to include the Lex Luthor work, because probably just as many of his fans know him from that as anything else I mentioned. But the roles I pciked were the ones I personally knew him best for.

Pat, it makes perfect sense!

Grace, they really were, in some way, even Arzt!

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