I was able to explore my kinda weird obsession with British actor Bob Hoskins in this week’s paper, in a quick look back at some of his best, and best-known leading roles. But I could have gone on and on—I didn’t even touch upon the many excellent supporting roles that have become Hoskins’ character-actor bread and butter. There’s his quick appearance in Brazil, which is hilarious; there’s his excellent performance in Last Orders, a very good movie that you never saw about hanging out in the pub with your friends, based on a Graham Swift novel.
And there’s his murderous-bulldog performance in Jet Li’s Unleashed (AKA Danny the Dog), in which Hoskins plays Uncle Bart, the nastiest man alive. What a weird movie that is: Hoskins raises Jet Li like a dog, with a special collar and everything. When Hoskins lets him out of the collar (the movie technically should have been called Uncollared, not Unleashed) Jet Li goes and kills everybody. Then Morgan Freeman teaches him to play the piano and how to cook and how to be a real, sensitive man and blah de blah.
Hoskins naysayers will no doubt bring up that fuckin’ Super Mario Bros. movie. In Hoskins’ defense, he didn’t know it was based on a videogame until well into shooting; his son asked him what he was working on, and then showed him the Nintendo game. Another fun story about Hoskins’ son (perhaps a different son?): After seeing Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Hoskins’ son refused to speak to him for days, angry that his father didn’t introduce him to any of his cartoon co-stars. (Also, Hoskins suffered from hallucinations after months of interacting with imaginary characters.)
Perhaps Hoskins tried to make it up to his son by directing the truly odd-looking kids movie Rainbow. No one, including me, has ever seen this movie, but Dan Aykroyd is in it, and from the trailer it looks totally bonkers. It’s from 1996, but Rainbow doesn’t look dated, it just looks off.
Good thing that Hoskins has mostly stuck to acting. I’ll warrant that no one can play nice guys and villains with as much ease. He really is a terrific actor; think how much heart he added to Made in Dagenham in just a few scenes.
Knowing the level of my Hoskins fandom, Mercury Senior Editor Erik Henriksen sent me the two following texts after the screening of Hoskins’ current movie, Snow White and the Huntsman:
Hoskins plays a blind prophetic dwarf/defender of nature named Muir
AMAZINGIn conclusion, I love Bob Hoskins. Here is a video of him taking a shower.