So it’s that time of night again when you find yourself sleepless on the couch, watching the same movies you always end up seeing at that hour. (Let’s face it, it’s never Bergman on late-night TBS, is it?) Perhaps you find yourself distracted, thinking about what’s missing, an ingredient that could have made the movie a bit better, brighter. And four little words enter your brain as if from a dream: Should Have Been Speedman.
Oh, is this just me? I’m talking Scott Speedman, of course – the actor currently starring in Barney’s Version, but best known as dreamy and unattainable crush Ben Covington on Felicity. (Before there were vampires to lust over, those of us who were of an impressionable age in the ‘90s had to make do with regular ol’ angsty college boys.) He was just so perpetually rumpled and inexplicably damaged in a weird postmodern Jordan Catalano way. Didn’t he always seem like he was on the brink of saying something totally profound… before ultimately saying nothing?
There was a time back there, in the early part of this century, when it seemed impossible that this guy wouldn’t go on to be a major star. He co-starred with Gwyneth in Duets (a full decade before Ms. P would go on to Glee and Country Strong singing acclaim) and he was a werewolf in Underworld (and Underworld: Evolution) before werewolves were cool! But with the exception of The Strangers with Liv Tyler and a part in Atom Egoyan’s even smaller and less-seen Adoration, we haven’t seen nearly enough of Speedman, and, for whatever reason, he hasn’t gained access to the blue-eyed A-List alongside Bradley Cooper, Josh Lucas, James Marsden, and Jake Gyllenhaal the way I would wish he would.
This is not to take away from any of those gentleman – not at all! – it’s just that there are some movies that I really really really think might have benefited from the Speedman charm! Like, Somewhere: No offense intended towards the very talented Stephen Dorff, but wouldn’t our hero, Speedman, have been well-cast as a down-and-out movie star with so much charisma that he never has to say anything but stare mournfully as the ladies fall at his feet? Or wouldn’t he be great playing a jerky womanizer in basically anything from Neil LaBute? And then there’s the rom-com market, which I think Speedy would mesh well with. Wouldn’t you rather see him play Natalie Portman’s sex best friend in No Strings Attached? Or portray the scruffy afraid-to-love photographer sparring it up with Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses? Come to think of it, wouldn’t he have been great in the Katherine Heigl role itself? Change bridesmaid to always-a-best-man-never-a-groom, and I think we would have had something really special.
Are you guys with me on this one? Are there movies that you too can agree Should Have Been Speedman? Or do you have another actor you feel isn’t getting the Hollywood love like they should?