Who could ever have imagined that Thomas Haden Church would be nominated for an Academy Award… a man whose last major film role was in "George of the Jungle II?"
In his LA Times interview, Church says:
Though he definitely considers "Sideways" a career comeback [Note: That’s an understatement], Church is getting a
little tired of the mythology that seems to have grown up around his casting —
that he was as big a has-been as his character [Note: He was].
"I’m very flattered by
all the attention," he says, "but there is this tone among some journalists that
Alexander had to pry the lid from my coffin. It wasn’t quite like that. I hadn’t
done anything high-profile in a few years, but … I had 11 years starring in
Church came to the public’s attention in 1990 as oblivious
Lowell Mather during the five-year run of "Wings." Then he starred for two years
with Debra Messing in "Ned and Stacey." His switch to film could be described as
"challenging." He worked steadily — starring as Jane’s sleazy fiancé in "George
of the Jungle" and its sequel — but often in films that never found a
Crystal Bernard should start shopping for an Oscar dress… it could be her turn in a few years. Joking and astonishment aside, Church was truly wonderful in "Sideways" and I’m glad to see him getting the nomination…
Actually, the entire Best Supporting Actor category was filled with TV Actors … Alan Alda (M*A*S*H), Jamie Foxx ("Roc," "The Jamie Foxx Show," etc.), Clive Owen ("Second Sight," "Sharman," "Chancer") and Morgan Freeman ("The Electric Company").
Granted, Morgan Freeman is stretching it… he has been a movie star for many years now but still, it’s pretty incredible how many of those actors spent years in the series television grind.
This Oscar nom could do for Church what it did for James Cromwell and Martin Landau, two other actors who were slogging around in TV before their surprise nominations. Cromwell’s immediate credits before "Babe" included guest-shots on "Matlock" and "Diagnosis Murder" and a short run as a regular on "The Last Precinct." Martin Landau joined "Tucker" after his Emmy-ignored performances in "Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island" and "Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman." After that, Cromwell and Landau because movie stars… it would have been inconceivable to imagine Landau starring in a Woody Allen film before "Tucker" revived his career.
On a different topic, I was disappointed by the Best Original Score nominations… do we really need to nominate John Williams again…and for the third rehash of a score (Harry Potter) that he’s been nominated for (and perhaps won, I can’t recall) before? I would like to have seen Edward Shearmur’s wonderful "Sky Captain" score nominated… along with Michael Giacchino’s wildly inventive and invigorating "Incredibles" score (which may have been snubbed because it emulated so many of John Barry’s Bond cues).