I'm not going to brag for my friend Brandon Tabassi.
I'm proud of him. He took a role (and I say took, not "got" which has an ignorance and abruptness to it; nor do I say "received." Knowing Brandon, I'm sure he took it, as much as we can take roles. He walked in the room and commanded. That's what a casting director wants, after all, to be impressed and forced to make a hard decision easy. So many faces, couldn't you, actor, make this list in front of me a list of just one?) he took a role in a fantastic thriller, a taut thriller with more in mind from the 70's than setting; the film had a muscle to it and a grain I associate with Sidney Lumet and John Frankenheimer. It had bits of Marathon Man in its set pieces, moments of Dog Day and the incessant footsteps of The Sting. Brandon's scene, in fact, at the airport (yes, the scene people talk about when they say "my God, the last ten minutes, I was just..."), made me recall the inevitability of the footsteps that begin that Redford/Newman romp.
It's a good movie; and Brandon took it. Hooray for Brandon; but I said I wasn't going to brag for him.
What I will say is, this feels good, having friends rising like this, being recognized. In this industry these are our marriages and med school acceptance letters. This is our species' version of an email with a new baby's face on it. Except it's Facebook I hear it from, or the Hollywood Reporter.
Perhaps I'm wrong, but I find myself enjoying the movies I see more when I hunt for a familiar face in the credits. Oh, there's David; he engineered the lamps in Django Unchained. Oh, there's Rose; she wrote every out-time on that show. There's Matt; without Matt, there wouldn't be a Liz & Dick to talk about and wonder at.
Some films don't make an impression with the public. They're simply deemed mediocre or unnecessary. I have a friend who's friend worked on the Total Recall remake. At a barbeque I heard in detail the thought and planning that went into this reboot. The meetings they had, the sketchings and animations, the casting, the days upon days of work and manpower - all can be dismissed with a keystroke.
After hearing all that, however, I couldn't help but enjoy the film. I could see all the hands that had touched it.
I feel similarly grown up when I see friends and ex-girlfriends with new husbands and wives and even children, in some cases. I may even get that creeping sense of change when I see puppies in couples arms. These cinematic developments in my peers' lives are not so Facebook-fit and relationship-oriented. However, they offer me a similar barometer of ascension.
I bought Forgetting Sarah Marshall last week because my friend Skeeter's name rolls in the dark of the credits, and his hands are all over the film. I like to think I can see him in it. Similarly, I stood and cheered as Brandon sprinted through the airport in Argo, his fatigues flapping and grinning, and again as his name rolled up, up and away, at the Regal in San Francisco
Brandon, congratulations, and thank you.