As a film student, you see all different types of people. In each class there’s the beefy jock who you’re kinda wondering how he ended up here, then there’s your average stoner, or one of my personal favorites, inappropriate facial hair guy. However, the fact remains, if I’m already in the practice of summing up people, the lump sum is a bunch of geeks with poor social skills and even worse skin. This isn’t to say that they aren’t nice guys once you get to know them and get past their own awkward assessments of others. What I find constantly amazes me is how an awkwardness in personality is something tangible, it’s something that translates to their facial expressions, their mannerisms, their dress, all of it. As a result, going to my film classes is much like being a little kid and going to the zoo, constantly watching for the monkeys to start flinging poo at each other or whatever. Although, to date, the nerdy guys have never tossed around fecal matter (and that’s not to say that it won’t happen… I’m expecting any day now) I can’t help but observe these nerdy looking guys in their natural habitat.
So far, I think my favorite experience was the day that I walked into class and these 3 guys that always sit together were just sitting back and waiting for class to start. One guy had on a Ghost World t-shirt, another one had a Mr. Pink from Reservoir Dogs shirt, and the last guy had a Big Lebowski t-shirt that read “The Dude Abides.” Now, mind you this is in one of my extremely long film classes so from time to time my mind wanders, but for whatever reason, I couldn’t stop thinking about those shirts. About halfway through my own pathetic version of six degrees of Kevin bacon (subbing the students in my class with Kevin bacon) I realized what it was. All of those movies featured Steve Buscemi. Don’t get me wrong, great actor, but it dawned on me, Steve Buscemi must be like a freaking God to these guys. I mean, here’s a dude who, just realistically, is about as goofy looking as humanly possible, but has that stopped him? Hell no it hasn’t. And it shouldn’t, but it’s just insane to see Steve Buscemi get as far as he has when Hollywood is so strongly image based.
Even more impressive is the fact that he’s gotten as far as he has not only without a strong reliance on his looks, but without being reduced to taking roles that play on his unconventional looks. I mean, sure, they make references to it in some of his movies but he’s never really limited to these roles whereas you have people like Roseanne Barr who are always forced to play fat, bitchy chicks because in all reality, that’s probably what she is. Steve Buscemi has played a variety of roles and even if they made reference to his goofiness in all of those movies, he’s still making a helluva lot more movies and a lot more different movies than Roseanne.
Another impressive thing about Steve Buscemi is who he’s starred with. I mean, maybe Thora Birch isn’t every guy’s wet dream (although with her pasty skin it’s hard to imagine how she’s not…) but he keeps tradin’ up. I mean, he’s gone from hookers in Fargo to Sienna Miller in Interview who looks like one of those top dollar hookers… all’s good in the life of Steve.
Now imagine what this means to the common folk. If Steve can do it, so can awkward facial hair guy or lanky dude. While this logic may be flawed, everyone has the right to dream. So for all those geeky and all together awkward guys who are undoubtedly surfing the net right now, continue your dreams of Steve Buscemi stardom. Who knows maybe one day you’ll make it with a chick who only dresses like a hooker, but doesn’t require you pay her like the average street walker does… And for Steve Buscemi, I applaud you. You are truly an inspiration to all those Star wars memorabilia loving, Dungeons and Dragons playing, grown men everywhere.