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The joys of spotting TV actors on the big screen

Clarkgregg_l

Clarkgregg_lI hate seeing blockbusters on their opening weekends – mainly because I think a $12 ticket shouldn’t come with color commentary from the inconsiderate goon in the seat behind me – and thus it was that I only recently got around to seeing Iron Man. Thankfully, for me, the movie lived up to Owen Gleiberman’s positive B+ review (click here to read it); like Owen, I enjoyed the way the film seamlessly married the human side of Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark character with his iron-clad superhero persona. And like my colleague Ken Tucker, I’d agree Downey shouldn’t be excluded from the Oscar race just because he happened to be starring in a popcorn flick that’s made $300 million (and counting).

Still, the first thing that crossed my mind as the credits rolled was something along the lines of: “Hey, that was Richard from Old Christine!” Which is to say I was surprised and delighted to see Clark Gregg, who plays Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ goofy ex-husband on CBS’ underrated sitcom, more than hold his own as a Strategic Homeland Intervention agent opposite Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow and Oscar nominees Jeff Bridges and Terrence Howard. The weird thing is, even though I watch Old Christine every week, I needed IMDb to come up with Gregg’s name – although I did know the guy wrote the script for What Lies Beneath. (“I think she’s starting to suspect something?” “Who?” “Your wife!” Shudder.)

Anyhow, all this got me wondering if I’m the only one who does the happy dance when under-the-radar TV actors get cast in blockbuster movies. If your answer is “yes,” let’s hear about the most recent small-screen-to-big-screen casting choice that left you boogying with joy (or perhaps engaging in some slightly less effusive response). 

Originally posted July 7 2008 — 7:24 PM EDT

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