There are those actors that you recognize immediately but can never recognize their names. Paul McCrane is one of the many that you might have seen in various films but still don’t know his name despite recognizing that he’s been in something else. To tell the truth he’s had a rather interesting career and has shown up in a few movies as well as a long list of TV shows. But as you might know from experience at this point in your life remembering everyone’s name is particularly difficult unless you have a memory that’s sharp enough and long enough to hold every last piece of information you’ve ever learned. His face is easy to recognize and he’s a fairly decent actor, but like many people in the industry he’s been run through one role after another in an attempt to find out what he’s good at. Right now it would seem that he’s been a better character actor than anything. Quite honestly that’s not a bad thing when it comes to being known, as it means that you’ve found a way to master turning into various people for any given role. The talent and skill that’s needed for this is nothing to sneeze at and if we’re being totally honest it’s a lot more difficult in some ways than regular acting.
So let’s take a look at a few things that Paul has done in his career.
This is kind of ironic, Rocky signing the head of a young man that’s suffered a skull fracture, among other things. This was Paul’s first time venturing onto the big screen and while it wasn’t a huge role it was something kind of special since it kept in line with Rocky being a nice guy and an idol to a lot of people in his hometown. Some people say that this movie was better than the first one but there are still a lot of folks that would hold onto the opinion that the first Rocky movie was still the best. Of course there are those that think part 3 and 4 were pretty good too. As career beginnings go this wasn’t too bad really, as Paul got a couple of speaking lines and didn’t have to do much but sit there. You’ve got to start small sometimes.
This is where you might finally say “Oh, THAT guy” when referencing Paul McCrane. After all this was a very memorable scene back in the day when Robocop first came out. It was one of the goriest scenes in the movie in fact and not entirely real but still entertaining for the fact that dipping someone in toxic waste seemed to be an immediate death sentence. It’s true, taking a header into a tank of toxic waste wouldn’t be all the refreshing and would probably loosen a few things, but the effect that was used in this movie was so over the top that you couldn’t help but remember it as one of the most gory moments of the 80’s.
It’s interesting how police officers are either really helpful and kind to people or really aggressive jerks when it comes to horror movies. Usually the aggressive ones tend to get killed the quickest largely because, well, they don’t listen to the protagonist and think that they’re just that awesome and can take on anything. Briggs lasts for a while but eventually gets consumed by the Blob along with a bunch of other people. Some of the more aggressive jerks get to live, but in a horror movie it’s not always the case.
Under the Dome
It’s difficult to find a clip that pinpoints where he was in this miniseries largely because he was only there for 2 episodes. But the entire story is predicated upon the sudden emergence of a clear but very solid dome that surrounds a quiet little town, effectively cutting it off from the outside world entirely. Once the townsfolk come to realize this they begin to give in to various forms of panic and begin to turn on one another as they allow their fear and their insecurities to wreak havoc on the very foundations upon which the town was built.
So as you can see Paul McCrane has kind of made a career out of being “that guy” and hasn’t really blinked in doing it. In fact it seems as though it’s a career that he built upon once he discovered just why he was being cast and made the best of it that he could. Give the guy props though he’s done some great work in the past, and that scene in Robocop is hard to shake, so you know he did something right. Of course watching him splatter like a toxic Slurpee was pretty gross and has the effect of making people wrinkle their noses every time they think about it.