I’d like to take a moment to honor Danny Trejo in recognition of his remarkable achievement of going from being little more than a “That Guy” in action movies throughout the 90’s, to landing his first legitimate starring role in Robert Rodriguez’s Machete.
In my early childhood I knew him as “that ruddy-complexioned guy that dies all the time.”
Danny Trejo on the set of Anaconda upon being handed his paycheck.
Later on I knew him as a much friendlier personality in the form of the voices of Enrique on King of the Hill,
He's so friendly!
and well; himself, in the videogame Def Jam: Fight for New York.
Well, it’s about 20 years overdue, but finally the day has come that we can all say we know Danny Trejo as the star of his own movie.
Anyway, in honor of Danny Trejo and the host of other perpetually typecast actors, I’d like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the “That Guy’s” of action cinema.
What is a “That Guy,” you ask?
According to Google Images, THIS is a "That Guy." I vehemently disagree.
A “That Guy” is one of those actors that is consistently typecast in various bit-roles, typically along the lines of “ugly thug #1” or “dude that gets shot.”
It goes without saying, that the vast majority of “That Guy’s” end up playing villains throughout the entirety of their careers.
Think of it this way:
If you’ve seen an action movie actor enough times that you know their face, but not their name; chances are they’re a “That Guy.”
Take Noel Gugliemi for instance. You probably saw him in S.W.A.T., Training Day, or The Fast and the Furious, but you probably didn't know his name.
Over the years there have been a handful of “That Guy’s” that have ascended to legitimate celebrity, though every case is essentially a million to one shot.
For the most part though, a “That Guy’s” claim to fame generally springs from the list of big name action stars that have killed them throughout their career.
Take Sven-Ole Thorsen for example:
The funniest pic I could find.
A veteran of an ungodly number of action films, the big Dane got capped to shit by Leonardo DiCaprio in The Quick and the Dead,
he got offed by Steven Seagal in On Deadly Ground, he got the everloving-shit kicked out of him by Russell Crowe in Gladiator,
Yup, that's him on the left.
and to top it all off, he’s been torn apart by Arnold Schwarzenegger more times than I care to count.
Best of all though, not only has ‘ole Sven been killed by Ah-Nold more times than I’ve used the word “fuck” on this blog, he’s also accomplished the astounding feat of being killed by Arnold twice in the same movie franchise.
Said franchise would of course be the Conan series.
Sven was in both films, playing 2 different characters, though in Conan the Destroyer he was fitted with a dorky looking helmet, most likely to hide his appearance.
Not this dorky, but close enough.
No article about “That Guy’s” can be made without mention of the uber-prolific Thomas Rosales Jr.
You may of course remember him as the deaf as fuck Hispanic mercenary, Carter, from The Lost World.
You're gonna' get Spielberg Spite Killed so bad...
Well, beyond that, chances are you also remember him from Raw Deal, The Running Man, Last Action Hero, (Arnold killed him a few times) and the sci-fi sequels, Robocop 2 and Predator 2.
Any man that takes a bullet from Robocop, and gets skinned by the Predator, definitely deserves special mention.
Robocop likes to be thorough. Shooting people 3 times is standard practice.
Another example of the quintissential “That Guy” I’d like to point out is the classic “Azn That Guy,” Al Leong.
As seen in Die Hard.
If ever there was a need for an Asian “That Guy,” in any action movie ever, chances are Al Leong was considered for the part.
With his distinctive beard and outrageous bald spot, Mr. Leong made in appearances in such classics as Bill and Ted’s Excellent adventure (as Genghis Khan no less) and Big Trouble in Little China, as well as achieved the honor of being killed off by industry greats like Mel Gibson (Lethal Weapon),
Tee hee, that was silly.
and Bruce Willis (Die Hard).
Mr. Leong about a half second before Mr. Willis put half a clip through him.
Though in my eyes he’s nowhere near as accomplished as either of the other 2 men above, Patrick Kilpatrick is a “That Guy” that deserves mention, if not for his awesomely-badass name, then for the sheer strength of his performances.
Whenever I look at him, words like "rapist" and "pedophile" spring to mind.
Few “That Guy’s” can match Kilpatrick’s ability to stand out from the crowd with his creepy mannerisms and borderline down-syndrome kid facial structure.
That being said, Mr. Kilpatrick’s been killed by Steven Seagal in Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, Bruce Willis in Last Man Standing, Arnold Schwarzenneger in Eraser, and he even got to be the primary antagonist in the Jean-Claude Van Damme prison actioner, Death Warrant.
Not only that, he got to fight Treat Williams in The Substitute 4: Failure Is Not An Option.
I happen to like Treat Williams…
How could you not like him!?
Anyway, I don’t want to overstay my welcome with this tribute post, so I’ll just finish by rattling off a few more “That Guy’s” that deserve to be known somewhere on the internet.
Nick Chinlund AKA Billy Bedlam from Con Air, thanks for having the raunchiest, slimiest voice of any “That Guy” EVER.
Should've put the Bunny back in the box...
Robert Z’Dar, thanks for having the biggest fucking chin on the face of the planet. Oh yeah, thanks for making Tango and Cash suck just a little bit less too.
Just so you know, he's not wearing any makeup or prosthetics. Seriously.
Tommy Lister, thanks for being the president of THE WORLD in The Fifth Element, and giving us Deebo in Friday, and Zeus in No Holds Barred. Foh’ real man, I don’t think anyone else could’ve done so much with so little.
THAT, my friends, is a unibrow.
Michael Berryman, sorry about the Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia, but think of it this way, you saved many a filmmaker a shit ton of money on makeup effects.
That's him on the left, stupid.
and Brian Thompson, thanks for reminding me of Michael Berryman when you’re head’s shaved, and for the Buffalo Bob sequence in Joe Dirt.
Brian Thompson in drag = Funny. Spade without Farley = Sad.
Anyway, there’s a shit ton of other “That Guy’s” deserving of recognition, and perhaps we’ll get to them another day, but for now, here’s to hoping they all know they’re appreciated.
Remember, just ’cause I don’t know your name doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what you do.
Filed under: Games, Kung Fu, Movies, Uncategorized, 2, Abraxas, Al Leong, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brian Thompson, Bruce Willis, Buffalo Bob, Chris Farley, Conan the Barbarian, Danny Trejo, David Spade, Death Warrant, Die Hard, Enrique, Friday, Gladiator, Guyver, Hulk Hogan, Ice Cube, Joe Dirt, John McClane, John McTiernan, John Milius, Jurassic Park, King of the Hill, Kurt Russell, Last Action Hero, Last Man Standing, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lethal Weapon, Luc Besson, machete, Mel Gibson, Mexican, Michael Berryman, Nick Chinlund, No Holds Barred, Noel Gugliemi, Patrick Kilpatrick, Predator, Raw Deal, Ridley Scott, Robert Rodriguez, Robert Z'Dar, Robocop, Russell Crowe, Sam Raimi, Steven Spielberg, Sven-Ole Thorsen, Sylvester Stallone, Tango and Cash, That Guy, the Destroyer, The Fifth Element, The Lost World, The Quick and the Dead, The Running Man, The Substitute 4: Failure Is Not An Option, Thomas Rosales Jr., Tiny, Tommy Lister, Treat Williams, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, Zeus