It’s old news to all those who would care to know, but 2 days ago English actor and thespian Pete Postlethwaite passed away.
While not exactly a headlining star in the film industry, Postlethwaite spent the better part of 3 decades as a go-to supporting actor in a myriad of films and genres.
Possessed of an incredibly powerful, distinct, and versatile speaking voice; Postlethwaite was a deeply respected actor whose presence could serve to legitimize most any production, regardless of his lack of household name status in Hollywood.
The movie was a huge deal at the time, as Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas had recently re-energized stop-motion for mainstream audiences; not to mention my elementary school class was right in the middle of a Roald Dahl reading binge around the time of it’s release.
Postlethwaite played a small, but pivotal role in the film; as the mysterious pixie-like man that gave James the glowing worms to free him from his evil aunts.
While I was a little bit too young to appreciate the art of acting at the time, I have to admit; the character of Postlethwaite’s face, and the way he used to it embody the spark of energy and cleverness of his character, made the 9 year old me believe he really could’ve been magical.
Since my first encounter with Postlethwaite, I’ve gone to run across him in films too numerous to count.
I laughed at him in Dragonheart.
I was startled to seem him so meek and pitiable in Alien 3.
I was saddened to see him make his exit so hastily in the god-awful Clash of the Titans remake.
But for my money, the finest and most memorable role I remember seeing Pete Postlethwaite in; was as the great white hunter Roland Tembo in The Lost World.
Hell, I still have his fuckin’ action figure:
If you read my Top 10 Overkills in Movies post on the Lost World, then chances are you recall my many (hopefully humorous) asides to Postlethwaite’s character in the film.
I did that, because Postlethwaite was THE SHIT in The Lost World, and that was my way of trying to drive that point home.
Seriously, of all the quotable quotations in the Jurassic Park films, (well, the first 2 anyway…) Postlethwaite’s Tembo was one of the best.
Rest assured, if ever I’m asked if I found something/something, my response will always be:
“Just the parts they didn’t like…”
Anyway, rest in peace Pete Postlethwaite, your wild-eyed, strong-voiced, almost Obi-Wan-like wise old manliness will be sorely missed.
Here’s hoping you finally get a chance to bag that male/bull T-Rex in the afterlife, hopefully right alongside Bob Peck on his Raptor hunt.