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Paul Giamatti

  1. Chris Isaak, A Dirty Shame, 2004.      Baltimore auteur John Waters surprisingly chose the handsome singer to take (and make) over Vaughan Stickles when the older, tubbier Giamatti left to go Sideways.  And an instant Oscar nod.
  2. Steve Carell,  The Office, TV,  2005-2011.   In the hunt for a US version of Ricky Gervais for the US take on his classic BBC mockumentary series, NBC also looked at Giamatti, Hank Azaria, Bill Chott, Ben Falcone, Thomas Lennon, Ken Marino,  Bob Odenkirk, Nick Offerman, Paul F Tompkins, Alan Tudyk, Rain Wilson (who became Dwight) and Jim Zulevic.  Carell, a Jon Stewart protégé on The Daily Show, survived as Michael Scott for 138 of the 187 episodes.
  3. Kevin Kline, The Pink Panther, 2005.   Hollywood decided time was ripe for an Inspector Clouseau reboot.  As usual, when Hollywood re-moulds everything European, it’s mouldy – and killed this franchise for the next quarter-(half-?) century. Giamatti, however, was a good idea for Dreyfus, the flic’s long-suffering patron.   But that went to Kline after he was rejected (stupidly) for Clouseau, which went (more idiocy) to Steve Martin.
  4. Sean Hayes, The Three Stooges, 2011.    When the shock choice of Sean Penn fell out in 2009 (his marriage was in ruins), the Oscar-nominated Emmy-winning Giamatti was the Farrelly brothers’ next surprise choice for the simpletonLarry Fine. ’Twas obvious from the get-go that this idea was a loser. The Farrellys brothers may love and adore them (hence their own un-subtle comedies like Dumb and Dumber) but there are just not that many fans of the Stooges fans - and their slap-happy boinks, pokes, slaps, nyuk-nyuks, nyaaahhhs - in one US township, let alone the world.
  5. Bill Skarsgård, It, 2016.   There was talk over seven years about re-hashing the mini-series of 1990 - when Stellan Skarsgård’s son/Alexander Tarzan Skarsgård’s brother was born. Among his rivals for Pennywise, Stephen King’s shape-shifting horror clown, were the too obvious Jim Carrey, Tim Curry (no, no, he’d already done It on TV), Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp, Jackie Earle Haley. Plus Giamatti, Richard Armitage, Kirk Acevedo (of Oz), Tom Hiddleston, Doug Jones, Ben Mendelsohn (argued over money), Will Poulter (bad scheduling), Channing Tatum, Hugo Weaving… even Tilda Swinton. Only Bill Skarsgård could produce both a child-like and creepy-like Pennywise. “It’s beyond even a sociopath, because he's not even human. He’s not even a clown… [that’s] a manifestation of the children’s imaginations, so there’s something child-like about that.” Hence, It: Chapter Two, 2019.




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