Friday, January 28, 2011

Acting 101 - Finding Thad

We begin with Rider on a typical day.

Tonight, he will be acting in his friend Chris Levitus' short film, playing a disturbed gangster named Thad - who is described in the script as "manicured and sickly...he will slit your throat slowly."

Tonally, though, it's a comedy. A neo-noir comedy. So...funny, gross, kind-of-old-fashioned gangster-killer.

After much consultation with Chris, it's time to get ugly.

The shaving begins. Mustache. Definitely.

And flatten down the hair.

Next step: skinny black pants and undertaker shoes. Button the shirt all the way up.

Body posture?

This is the key. I imagine Thad as sinewy, lizard-like. In the script, he's touching things, molesting objects. Smelling his fingers.

He needs to be uncomfortable to look at.

I've always thought it's most uncomfortable to watch somebody who thinks they have a better body than they do - when they move one way (graceful, sexy, slinky) but their body tells a whole other story (forced, flabby, soft).

Which means: a belly. Definitely a pot belly.

Add a coat and make the posture more effeminate and creepy. It's becoming less and less likely I will get laid during the shoot.

Once on set, we do the final touches. We discover the key to a true pedophile stache is shaving down the top of it. Just a pencil-thin line of anti-sexy.

Hair is flattened and parted in the middle. Some make-up for a more pasty look, and glycerin for a sweaty (no, greasy is a better word) forehead.

An even tighter shirt to accentuate the belly. Unexplainable, dirty band-aids added to random fingers.

And Thad is born.

Me with writer/director Chris Levitus on set, photo by Mallory Morrison


  1. It is a little Jeffery Dahmer and a little John Waters. Pretty good.

  2. Just...damn! You managed to pull off the necessary look quite well!

  3. Wow, I haven't seen a character that unsettling since Javier Bardem was in No Country For Old Men. Yikes!

  4. What a transformation! This all sounds so interesting.

  5. The last pic...the beady eyes with the come hither look is definitely saying, "You want some of this?" The belly is sheer genius because it betrays at least one of Thad's excesses that's not so easily hidden. Massive.Beer.Consumption. Your overall look is quite disconcerting, so I guess that means, your transformation is a great success. Great job!

  6. Meh, Rider Strong can still get it. Even if he does look like the mouth-breather who sat behind me in AP Bio.

  7. Wow! I NEVER thought Rider could look so disturbing. Amazing job!

  8. 'It's becoming less and less likely I will get laid during the shoot.' Great line - made me laugh. :)

    Also love the idea of unexplained dirty band-aids on his fingers... just what was Thad doing? I can picture him sitting at a table somewhere soulless late into the night, waiting for something nefarious to take place, one of those overhead bare bulbs annoyingly fizzing on/off. To pass the time he's stabbing a knife between his out-stretched fingers only every time the bulb winks out he cuts himself. But he doesn't stop as he's that sort of guy.

    Yup, quite disturbing! But great post, I enjoyed reading it. Hope it all goes well!

  9. dude, you should totally do a Criminal Minds episode! :)

  10. Creepy 1970's serial killer meets creepy 'thin man' from Charlie's Angels (Crispin Glover) meets Gomez Addams. I like it.