From “In Praise of Jason Clarke, Hollywood’s Go-to Cuckold,” posted by Vulture‘s Nate Jones on 3.21.19: “Every decade gets the Ralph Bellamy it deserves. In the ’90s, snarky Greg Kinnear habitually lost the girl to Hanksian nice guys. In the aughts, clean-cut James Marsden found himself overshadowed by sensitive brooders like Ryan Gosling and Wolverine.
“Recently, a new face of romantic failure has emerged: Australian actor Jason Clarke, who’s managed to carve out a healthy sideline playing some of the most disappointing husbands in contemporary cinema. Clarke’s presence is almost a walking spoiler alert at this point: If our heroine is married to him in the first act, by the end of the third you can almost guarantee that she’ll wind up having sex with another man.”
From “Stop Casting Clarke As Glum and Dismissable Types“, posted on 11.27.18: “I’ve met Jason Clarke socially two or three times, and there’s no correlation between his dinner table persona — loose, casual, funny, kind-hearted — and the glum, dismissable guys he’s always being hired to play in films.
“Clarke has had four interesting roles over the last decade — John ‘Red’ Hamilton in Public Enemies, the CIA torturer guy in Zero Dark Thirty, Ted Kennedy in Chappaquiddick and “Malcom” in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Otherwise he’s always getting cast as cuckolds (in Mudbound, The Great Gatsby, All I See Is You, The Aftermath) or guys who end up dead (First Man, Everest) or as villains.
“The real-life Clarke is bathed in charm and alpha vibes, but put him before a movie camera and he turns into a downhearted gloomhead who’s always coping with the shitty end of the stick. Not right, unfair, reboot required.”
Until this evening and after a lifetime of movie worship, I’d somehow overlooked the fact that Bellamy’s performance as “Oklahoma” Dan Leeson in The Awful Truth (’37) resulted in a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. Three years later Bellamy played almost the exact same character in His Girl Friday. And both times opposite Cary Grant.
After this one-two punch Bellamy was typecast for years as a slow-witted bumpkin and amiable dolt. He finally overcame this when he played FDR in Sunrise at Campobello (on stage in ’58, and in the ’60 film version).