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. Anthony Hopkins, Hitchcock, 2012.    Hitchcock’s back in business!   With two films headlined by UK actors (Anthony Hopkins, Toby Jones) in bad impressions and fat suits. This is the second one: Hopkins directing Psycho. And telling Janet Leigh: “You can call me Hitch. Hold the cock.”   Hitch didn’t look (or sound) like Hitch and  idem for those playing Janet Leigh and Vera Miles, however young James D’Arcy was an uncanny Anthony Perkins.  Apart from Johnny Depp, the casting only seemed interested in avoirdupois over plausibility…  Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Murray, Oliver Platt – and, stupidly, only two other Brits, Richard Griffiths and Alfred Molina…  but not the perfect Timothy Spall – already up for Hitch in TV’s The Girl, about making Tippi Hedren, The Birds and Marnie
  6. Alan Tudyk, Big Hero 6, 2014.   Alec Baldwin, Peter Dinklage, Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, John Lithgow, Christopher Lloyd, Alfred Malina, John Malkovich, Gary Oldman, Mandy Patinkin, Hugo Weaving and UK comics John Cleese and Eddie Izzard were listed for voicing Alistair Krei in Disney’s first Marvel subject – winning the best animation Oscar. It unfurled in 2023 (we all know that computer battery number, right?) in San Fransokyo (‘Frisco rebuilt by the Japanese after an earthquake) and deals with a bunch of superheroes with the titular collective name… that nobody ever uses.  Krei was the arch foe of the super-nemesis played by James Cromwell. Ten years before, he had created the I, Robot called Sonny, played by…  Tudyk.
  7. 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.




 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  7