Whatever Happened to Paul McCrane?

Unless a person knows who Paul McCrane is they might only recognize him from his time on Robocop, where he would eventually turn into the human slushie after being doused in whatever type of waste it takes to turn a human being into mush. Now you remember him, right? It might sound kind of funny to think that this is one of his more memorable moments, but the fact is that the grotesque end he was given in the movie was enough to stick in the minds of a lot of people. Okay, so that was the wrong way to word it, but people should get the idea since that one moment Robocop was enough to cement Paul in cinematic history, but he did have a lot more going for him than that, and he still does. The fact is that once a person gives a performance that people are bound to remember for one reason or another, that’s how people are going to think of them, kind of like folks thinking of Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter movies. Paul’s character did have a name in the movie, Emil Antonowsky, but people are bound to remember him more for what happened to him than for the depth of his character. Hey, that’s the brakes, especially since while he has done plenty of other things since they haven’t quite measured up to that one disgusting moment.

Paul did have a part as a guard in The Shawshank Redemption, but trying to upstage Clancy Brown might not have been a good idea, and it might not have been possible anyway since Brown was a commanding character in his own role. If anything it feels that Paul has made something of himself on TV rather than in movies since he tends to be an extra or a supporting character that doesn’t have a lot to do but be part of the scenery or speak up when it’s deemed necessary. When he’s been a part of the cast on various shows he’s had a lot more to do, as he’s been given bigger roles and far more dialogue to work with. It’s still fair to state that a lot of people probably don’t know that much about Paul, even though he’s been around for a while and is still doing his thing. The fact is that some actors are there to back up the bigger talent, and others are there doing their best in order to be a part of something. Paul definitely fits into the latter category since he’s not just there as part of the landscape a lot of times, but he’s not usually one of the more important actors that a lot of people pay attention to, apart from various TV roles that he’s taken on. It would be great to say that everything in TV and in the movies is bound to be fair, but it kind of depends on whether a person has the qualities that a director or producer is looking for, since if they do then there’s a chance that someone will want to try and develop their character a bit further. If it’s not the case, then the actor won’t be given much to do other than to be a lackey, a supporting character, or an extra that doesn’t do much but is there to be a part of the landscape.

Paul has been much more than that, but remembering him is still tough since he tends to be surrounded by a lot of established actors that have been able to gain the attention of the audience in a much bigger way. But the great thing is that Paul hasn’t given up over the years and has been keeping up with his career and doing quite well really since he’s still there and he hasn’t faded off into the distance yet. That alone is an accomplishment in Hollywood since there are a lot of people that have come and gone over the years that have done what they could to break into the business only to find that it’s not just insanely tough, but that the business will eat up and spit out those that are deemed less than worthwhile. It sounds like an exaggeration and it might be in some cases, but the industry isn’t a kind place for those that aren’t ready and willing to work for what they want, much like any profession. Those that walk into show business thinking they’re going to knock it out of the park are often those that end up finding out the hard way that no one will care about them unless they can bring something to the game that nobody has, or show that they can do something better than anyone else. So far Paul has gotten by on persistence and the skills he possesses, and it’s worked.

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