The spotlight turns to another actor I consider quite the chameleon. It’s Paul Giamatti, of course, a guy who could do pretty much anything. Hand him some oranges and he’d make some delicious apple juice out of it. The 48-year-old New Haven, Connecticut native has contributed his talents to an impressive range of films of both comedic and dramatic appeal. The guy has rarely plays someone who isn’t complicated on some level, and he’s just as good at the sleaze ball villain as he is the nice guy you kind of want to be neighbors with. It’s time now to talk about Paul G, the man, the myth, the legend. But more than anything else, he’s the man.
Paul Giamatti as Kenny “Pig Vomit” Rushton in Betty Thomas’ Private Parts
Role Type: Supporting
Plot Synopsis: The autobiographical story of Howard Stern, the radio rebel who is now also a TV personality, an author and a movie star.
Character Profile: Kenny is the program director at WNBC in New York City, the very radio station the controversial disc jockey Howard Stern aspires to join. When Stern is hired by the station, upper management isn’t prepared for the shitstorm that is to come. Kenny voluntarily shoulders the burden of corralling Stern himself. There will be no bringing women to orgasm over the air like he did in Washington D.C. This is a serious station with standards to meet and Kenny threatens to fire him should anything get out of hand. Things soon get out of hand.
Why he’s the man: Giamatti plays up the corporate slime ball perfectly, assaying a role that’s as fun to root against as it is to root for Stern. Classic antagonistic relationship, despite its many embellishments, earns Private Parts much of its reputation. This may be a dramatization of the meteoric rise of a different kind of radio personality, but you simply cannot talk about Stern’s success without talking about his struggles, and Giamatti seems more than prepared to offer up himself as one of his great career hurdles. It’s too much fun watching how quickly and effectively the two drive each other to the breaking point.
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