JCR Factor #4

July, along with sweltering temperatures, brings you the fourth edition of the John C. Reilly Factor — Thomas J’s latest character study. To find more related material, visit the Features menu up top and search the sub-menu Actor Profiles.

I’m not sure if anyone has ever rated JCR’s sexiness on a scale of 1 – anything. Does anyone actually think about this actor in that way? No? Okay. We’ll just continue, and pretend I didn’t introduce this next performance in that way. . .

John C. Reilly as Reed Rothchild in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights

Role Type: Supporting

Genre: Drama

Character Profile: An adult film actor, failed poet/writer and aspiring magician, Reed Rothchild is like many a young and wide-eyed Los Angelino waiting for their break into show biz. While always on the lookout for a better gig he is, for the time being, satisfied with his contributions to famed adult film director Jack Horner’s colorful filmography. When a new actor arrives on the scene in the form of Eddie Adams/Dirk Diggler, initial tensions eventually give way to a lasting friendship that sees both young bucks jettisoning to the fore of America’s most recognizable adult film stars. Unfortunately it is a career path that proves to be just as (if not more) dangerous as it is alluring.

If you lose JCR, the film loses: Reed Rothchild — nothing more, nothing less. As much as John C. Reilly has presence in Boogie Nights, someone else with similar comedic timing and style could fill in for him and the role wouldn’t significantly change. The real strength of this film comes from its storytelling — the overarching journey of the lead(s) from the ’70s party scene and into the comparatively more gloomy and financially less secure ’80s. Reilly gets kind of swept up in the grandioseness of yet another PTA masterpiece. While his character is fun to watch interact with newcomer Dirk Diggler, Reed doesn’t have a big enough part in this film to evoke significant emotions. Count on Reilly to give a great performance but in a film crammed with mesmerizing performances he feels ever so slightly more expendable than usual.

That’s what he said: “You know, people tell me I kind of look like Han Solo.”

Rate the Performance (relative to his other work): 


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Photo credits: http://www.rowthree.com 

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13 thoughts on “JCR Factor #4

  1. Great write up mate. Man you are so thorough with your write-ups, it makes me jealous!! 😛

    Hey are you gonna write anything for my Philip Seymour Hoffman blogathon? Seeing this reminds me how well you can focus on a single actor’s performance. You really do a good job with stuff like this mate, and I ain’t just saying that for the fun of it.

    Oh, and sorry if I’ve already asked you about this!! My memory is pretty defective

    • No, you haven’t man and I feel bad I haven’t gotten around to putting something up just yet. I’ll get on that today. Thanks for the kind words, by the way — I find it sometimes easier to focus on a single performer when that performer is just so good. 🙂 Maybe I should kick it up with a PSH version at some point.

      I’ll definitely send you an email when I’ve posted and I’ll of course provide a link back to your site. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Oh man, for sure you do! I love it. It’s about as long as any other PTA flick, I think though, so maybe it’s just a question of the material. I’m actually quite surprised I haven’t ever watched any of his stuff in multiple viewings. All his films are borderline 3 hrs long!

    • I would like to see the role where JCR plays Kevin Bacon. That would be just amazing.

      And see!!! Thank you!!! The first part of your comment makes me more confident in thinking that JCR is just not as memorable in this role as he is in others. He kind of gets swept aside with everything else that’s going on here. But he’s still good. Just not, incredible. 😉

    • He is an insanely versatile actor. I am really glad I picked him up for this character study feature thing. It’s been really enjoyable going back and revisiting these roles. Reed Rothchild is pretty great, though I think JCR has fared better in other films. I think he’s slightly better in Magnolia, even though oddly I love Boogie Nights way more than Magnolia. Haha

    • I totally dug him in this film but I think he’s surpassed by a few other great supporting turns as well. As much as I love JCR I don’t think he’s quite as memorable in this film, but he certainly has his moments.

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