You’d likely recognize David Hyde Pierce as Niles from Frasier more readily than anything but he’s been a supporting actor in many other films. He’s also played the voice of Abe in Hellboy, though Doug Jones was the actual actor in the suit. Pierce comes off as a very intelligent man and it’s a trait he carries honestly enough since he did attend and graduate Yale. But apart from that he also worked for a living when he got out, doing his best to support his acting career while attempting to make a living. Unlike Niles Crane he didn’t simply step into a high-paying job, he did in fact work quite hard for the attention he received and to this day is still known largely as Niles to many fans. It’s a role that essentially made him stand out in the public eye and it’s not the worst thing that could have ever happened. As far as movies and other TV shows go however he’s been kind of under the radar for the most part since as a lead he’s not weak, but he does kind of lack the presence that other stars have. In the role of a supporting actor though, and for the rare lead role, he is still very qualified and can bring a movie together in a way that is both stylish and intellectual.
To be quite honest it’s interesting to see him take the lead in anything simply because he seemed to thrive as a supporting star in Frasier.
5. Little Man Tate
He did play a supporting role but he was definitely more of a background player for this movie. Centered around a boy that is essentially a genius the film goes through what it’s like to be so incredibly intelligent at such a young age. You would almost think that even an overly intelligent kid could make friends as easily as anyone else, but that’s not always the case. In this film it’s evident that the boy needs others his own age as well to converse with, but that’s a challenge since the young child that’s this intelligent is kind of rare, and many kids simply won’t understand the kind of things he might want to talk about. In the end he finally comes to grips with the fact that his intellect is so far above his peers, but has also come to realize that there are times when he just needs to be a regular kid.
4. A Bug’s Life
Imagine the life of a bug, and what the downfalls and most irritating parts could be. As Slim, Pierce had to play the part of a walking stick bug, which you can imagine would only open him up to a slew of gags that could be used in order to make the character work. Slim doesn’t have the most lines in the movie but he’s a great supporting character that manages to push the story along and act as a vital piece of the puzzle that pulls it all together.
3. Osmosis Jones
Sometimes it’s not the movie itself that’s great but the part of the person in it that can be seen as something worthy of being recognized. Osmosis Jones was a box office flop, but like always Pierce’s performance was spot on and didn’t falter in the least bit. As Drix he plays a pill that is sent to help out Frank’s immune system before a particularly nasty pathogen named Thrax can do any permanent damage. Working with a white blood cell named Osmosis Jones, or Ozzy, Frank is eventually restored back to health.
2. Sleepless in Seattle
He does play more of a bit part in this film but the fact that he’s there is still enough since every part he plays in is done so well. The movie itself is about a man who is still grieving for his wife after she passed on from a losing battle with cancer. His eight-year old son puts his story on the radio and convinces his father to talk about her so that others will hear. After this women start calling up and expressing their feelings about what he said and one woman in particular is entranced by the father, thinking that he might be that someone special.
1. The Perfect Host
This is where Pierce shines as a lead and it’s a seriously twisted movie in which to do so. On the run from the authorities, a wounded bank robber is seeking a place to hide and finds a nice home that he figures he can lay low in. Posing as a friend of a friend he cons his way in, doing his best to lie to the host so that he can figure out his next move. When his host turns the radio on however and learns of violent robber on the loose things get a bit heated. Unfortunately for the robber all it takes is a drugged drink and he’s down for the count. That’s when the real weirdness begins.
For the most part his supporting roles are the best, but this one movie was both odd and thrilling.