In Steven Soderbergh‘s The Limey, Nicky Katt‘s “Stacy” delivered an improvised bad-attitude riff while he and Joe Dallesandro watched a TV show being shot. “Why don’t they make shows about people’s daily lives?,” Katt said. “That you’d be interested in watching, y’know? Sick Old Man or Skinny Little Weakling. Big Fat Guy…wouldn’t you watch a show called Big Fat Guy? I’d watch that fucking show.”
(l. to r.) Blaze director/cowriter Ethan Hawke, Ben Dickey, Alia Shawkat during Sundance Film Festival press conference.
That was 18 and 1/2 years ago, which was kinda lucky in a way because today you’re not allowed to say “big fat guy” in a movie as this would constitute fat-shaming, and anyone deemed guilty of writing or saying this would be eternally banished from the film industry and forced to move to somewhere in the hinterland to work in fast food.
Last night Dickey won a Special Jury Award prize for Achievement in Acting, and so he’s on the map for a short period. Dickey isn’t John Candy in Planes, Trains and Automobiles but he’s definitely a galumph, and he’s tall and lumbering and exdues that sittin’-on-the-front-porch country charm without breakin’ a sweat. His performance as the unsung Blaze Foley (here’s my review) is relaxed and winning and settled down. Dickey also played Jim East, a calorically-challenged friend of legendary lawman Pat Garrett (Ethan Hawke), in Vincent D’Onofrio‘s The Kid so he’s not some flash in the pan.
If anyone has a script out there for a series called Big Fat Guy, now is the time to strike. Dickey doesn’t have a Wikipedia page but contact him somehow and propose a package.
Hollywood Elsewhere’s idea for Big Fat Guy would be a riff on the old Beverly Hillbillies series. Dickey would play himself — a fat guy from Louisiana who likes to live near “trees” (as he told Variety‘s Kris Tapley in a 1.27 interview/q & a but moves to Beverly Hills after he becomes a surprise success in (let’s change it around) a dumbshit, low-budget comedy a la the Ernest movies of the ’80s. Dickey is suddenly a “brand”-level star, but he has no use for the bullshit social shenanigans of the film industry and therein lies the conflict and the humor.
Dickey is the real thing, to go by the Tapley interview. He calls his girlfriend “my sweetheart,” which tells you he’s probably a conservative traditionalist with little use for the currently trendy, politically correct “woke” liberalism that was celebrated in Park City last night. Nonetheless, he’s the hot new thing for the next….oh, 96 hours or so. Okay, a week. He’ll be a topic of conversation until Sunday, February 4th.