This Is a Blog: I Love Supporting Actors: William Sadler

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I Love Supporting Actors: William Sadler

You know, this guy:
Notable Roles:

Col. Stuart - "Die Hard 2"

Grimm Reaper / English Guy - "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey"

Heywood - "The Shawshank Redemption"

Sloan - "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"

Why He's Awesome:

Most character actors find a niche and stick to it. The guys who work for decades find a way to play similar characters and play them better than anyone else. Sadler does the exact opposite. He can play a staunch military man or the goofy comic relief.

The pantheon of Die Hard villains is an impressive group to be a part of. Sadler brings every bit of gravitas and evil as Alan Rickman and Jeremy Irons (yeah, even Timothy Olyphant). Unlike those acting giants, Sadler went toe to toe with John McClane and gave him a worthy physical challenge. Sadler's career never got the attention of the other three, but man can he act. In the second Bill & Ted movie, he played not one, but two characters. Despite his roles of great focus, it's his ability to just show up and be a solid character that makes him great. His Heywood in Shawshank does nothing more memorable than mispronounce Alexandre Dumas, but in a movie so perfectly put together, he's just another amazing supporting actor. He's so perfect, he played in two more Stephen King adaptations, The Green Mile and The Mist.

Strangely, my favorite Sadler character is a recurring role on Star Trek: DS9. Sadler plays Sloan, your average shadowy shadow agent with loose morals. The role could have been forgettable had it not been for Sadler. In the utopian future society of the Star Trek universe, Sadler was the first truly evil Federation officer I had ever seen. Many officers in Star Trek's past had been misguided by whatever to take matters into their own hands, but Sloan truly believed that for an ideal society to exist, someone must do its evil. Sadler's calm demeanor and unmemorable smallness made this revelation all the more chilling. He declares in favor of an assassination plot "Inter arma enim silent leges (in times of war, the law falls mute)," a declaration of moral ambiguity that changed the very basis of an entire fictional universe.

You'd Be Surprised to Learn:

He was born on the exact same day as Ron Perlman.

Check out his imdb page.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Many people knock "Die Hard 2" but I believe that it was Sadler's performance that made it a good movie in my mind. I was surprised to learn that he was the Grimm Reaper, Heywood and such a versatile actor. I can't believe that I didn't realize that the villain from "Die Hard 2" is also Heywood in "The Shawshank Redemption". I guess he's just that talented.

November 14, 2010 at 1:04 AM  
Blogger Daroff said...

Hey Scott, thanks for the comments.

You excited for the plans to make a third Bill & Ted movie?

November 15, 2010 at 9:21 AM  

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