Breaking a leg's for amateurs: actor cut off his own arm to land more roles

Film, television and theater are brutally competitive businesses. A lot of actors work to shape their bodies, pay to sculpt their faces and train as singers, dancers or martial artists — anything that'll make themselves stand out to casting directors. Some are more dedicated than others.

From Task & Purpose:

Actor Todd Lawson LaTourrette — whose credits include brief roles on TV shows Better Call Saul and Longmire plus a bit part in The Men Who Stare At Goats — publicly outed himself as faking military service to get his big break during an Oct. 29 interview with KOB4 news.

But the story gets more bizarre, because of the lengths he went to do it: LaTourrette said that 17 years ago, he cut off his own arm, cauterized the wound, then made his own prosthetic, all so he could pass himself off as a war-wounded veteran.

In a recent interview, LaTourrette stated that at the time that he decided to do away with his arm, he was being treated for a bipolar disorder and had gone off of his medication. After healing up, LaTourrette crafted a military backstory for himself and started attending casting calls. The film industry took the bait and started handing him film and television roles.

Stealing valor is shitty. Cutting off your limb during a psychotic episode is sad. By talking about both, LaTourrette is trying to own what he's done. That's got to be worth something.

Image by Rasbak - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link Read the rest

Scarlett Johansson will no longer play a transgender man in her next film

When news that Scarlett Johansson was planning to play trans man Dante ‘Tex’ Gill in the biopic Rub & Tug, her rep's tone-deaf response launched the casting controversy into overdrive. She's now announced she exited the project. Read the rest

Fantastic interview with the original Lost In Space's Dr. Zachary Smith, Jonathan Harris

As we make our way through the Lost In Space reboot on Netflix (or not), let's honor the late, great Jonathan Harris who stole the original series as the prissily menacing Dr. Zachary Smith.

"(Smith) was written as a deep-dyed, snarling villain, and he bored the shit out of me," Harris said.

(Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!) Read the rest

Someone cut Tommy Wiseau's Joker performance into The Dark Knight

Remember when Tommy Wiseau dressed up as The Joker and delivered some iconic lines from The Dark Knight in his most-imitable style? The fine folks at Bup cut Tommy into the movie, and it's as hilariously horrifying as expected. Read the rest

Tommy Wiseau as The Joker

Nerdist got Tommy Wiseau, of "The Room" infamy, to dress up as Arkham Asylum's most famous resident and run through some classic lines. With firm direction, and a lot of takes, Tommy would be a startlingly good Joker.

After his success in "The Room" and the "The Disaster Artist," Tommy Wiseau has been publicly campaigning for one of the most iconic roles in the history of film: Batman's eternal nemesis, The Joker. As huge fans, we at Nerdist give him a chance to show the world what he can bring to this legendary role!

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Jim Carrey "explains" his trippy, metaphysical interview from New York Fashion Week

Over the weekend, Jim Carrey gave a deeply weird interview while at New York Fashion Week. Watch it above. “There is no me,” he said. “There are just things happening and there are clusters of tetrahedrons moving around together.” Below, he explains what he was saying. Kinda. Not really. And I love it.

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This fellow has the archetypal sports announcer voice

Acting coach Bob Menery is not a professional sports announcer... yet. Watching him talk gives me the same weird sensation as seeing Mel Blanc do Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny.

Below is an older video of Menery experimenting with "the voice."

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Learn 12 different accents in under four minutes

Dialect coach Sammi Grant gives a crash course in a dozen different accents including my favorite, the Transatlantic accent. (Think Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. More on that here.)

"I’m legally blind and one of the reasons I got into dialect coaching is because I love to hear people’s voices and help people find the range of their voices," Grant says.

(via Laughing Squid)

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"It's-a Him, Mario!" This man was the voice of Mario and Luigi

Charles Martinet has been the voice of Nintendo's Mario, Wario, and Luigi for 26 years. (Great Big Story) Read the rest

Compare the short film 'Whiplash' to the feature 'Whiplash', shot by shot

Jacob T. Swinney compares the short film "Whiplash" with the feature it became.

It's an interesting study in the shot-for-shot remake. With the exception of the location and the switch to Miles Teller as Andrew, nearly everything else is the same. Read the rest

Hollywood accent coach critiques 32 actors' accents

Erik Singer, a dialect coach, was shown clips from 32 famous actors playing roles that required them to adopt an accent. He critiqued each one. As you might expect, Meryl Streep, Daniel Day Lewis, and Philip Seymour Hoffman get top marks. Tom Cruise and Kevin Costner, not so much. The worst? Not Dick Van Dyke's Cockney accent in Mary Poppins. It's Mickey Rooney's ridiculous Japanese accent in Breakfast at Tiffany's. This video was directed and edited by our friend, Joe Sabia. Read the rest

Act opposite Vincent Price and Don Ameche with this curious 1950s vinyl record game

Released in 1957, Co*Star: The Record Acting Game was a series of 15 vinyl LPs with recordings of actors and other celebrities like Vincent Price, Talulah Bankhead, and Don Ameche performing one role in two-character scenes from movies, plays, and novels. Each record contained a script and you were supposed to act opposite the recordings! In 1977, the game's original label Roulette Records reissued the series. They're available used on Discogs for around $4 - $50, depending on the star and, of course, condition.

You can experience the Vincent Price edition right here.

And below is one person's demonstration of the George Raft edition!

(via Weird Universe) Read the rest

Watch Dead Kennedys' Jello Biafra's acting reel

Punk icon Jello Biafra's acting showreel, used as a resume-of-sorts in the TV/movie business, features his moments in Portlandia, Death and Taxes, Tapeheads, The Hipster Games, and others. (via Dangerous Minds)

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The rules underpinning Porky Pig's stutter

Looney Toons voice actor Bob Bergen explains the logic underlying Porky Pig's stutter, which is surprisingly regular. Read the rest