HE reader Richard Huffman wonders if N.Y. Post reporters Kati Cornell and Samuel Goldsmith were “played” in the reporting of a 3.15 story about Ashley Alexandra Dupre, given an end-of-the-story quote attributed to defense attorney named Steve Zissou, the character played by Bill Murray in The Life Aquatic.
“What’s the likelihood that someone has that name outside of that Wes Anderson flick?,” Huffman wrote. The answer is that there are men and women with movie-character names all over this country. They’re ubiquitous. And they’ll probably have to deal with bad jokes about this the rest of their lives.
Switchboard has three Steve Zissous in New York alone, and one living at 1 Irving Place in Manhattan. There are two New York State guys called Frank Galvin, i.e., Paul Newman‘s drunken attorney character in The Verdict. There are four guys named Roger Thornhill, Cary Grant‘s adman in North by Northwest, in New York State also. The state is home to no less than seven fellows named Max Fischer, the name of Jason Schwartzman‘s character in Rushmore. There’s even a guy named Hans (not Han) Solo with a business address at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
And this is just from a casual scan of one state. There are probably scores of U.S. citizens going by every major character name in movie history except for eccentric Stars Wars names Boba Fett, Jar-Jar Binks and Lando Kalrissian. I wonder how many guys are named Charles Foster Kane? Or John Book, i.e., Harrison Ford‘s cop character in Witness?
Now that I think of it, I can definitely imagine Star Wars freaks (just starting their adult lives in ’77, now pushing or slightly over 50 with grown kids) with kids named Lando or Han or Obi-Wan. Lando Rodriguez. Obi-Wan Schwartzman.
Wait — there’s a guy named Frank Bullitt, Steve McQueen‘s detective in Bullitt, living on Rochester Street in West Los Angeles right now. Same two l’s and two t’s. What if it turns out he’s driving a dark green late ’60s Mustang fastback?