The Late Movies: 8 Character Actors Who Always Steal the Scene

Obviously, these are some of my favorites, and I've certainly left lots of worthy actors off this list. If there's anyone else you wish had made the list, let me know in the comments!

Dan Hedaya

Best known for his role as Frances McDormand's vengeful, cuckolded husband in the Coen Brothers' 1984 classic Blood Simple, Hedaya's one of those actors who seems to radiate menace. In this scene, the man who's been sleeping with his wife -- and who works at his bar -- asks him for back pay.

Dean Stockwell

... was a child actor -- he famously played Gregory Peck's son in Gentleman's Agreement -- and besides his fame for co-starring in Quantum Leap with Scott Bakula, he's probably best remembered for his roles in David Lynch films -- especially this unforgettable scene in Blue Velvet, where he plays Ben -- "one suave fucker!" NSFW, obviously!

Danny Huston

Danny Huston is one of those faces you see all the time, steals every scene he's in, but almost never gets the leading role. He is, in fact, the son of Legendary director John Huston, and he's appeared in more movies than I can possibly name here. One of my favorite roles of his is as a possibly-insane and brutally poetic outlaw in the absolutely stunning Australian western The Proposition (a film full of wonderful actors -- John Hurt, Emily Watson, Ray Winstone). Just a warning: this scene is rather violent.

Hal Holbrook

The oldest actor ever to be nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar -- for his role in Into the Wild -- Holbrook was previously best known for his one man show about Mark Twain.

Peter Stormare

The Swedish-born actor with a face of stone, he pops up in films left and right these days -- especially films by the Coen Brothers. He was Wood Chipper Guy in Fargo and one of the Nihilists in The Big Lebowski. (So yeah, some swearing.)

Gary Cole

Gary Cole's been in bazillions of movies and TV shows, but he'll be forever associated with just one role -- as the boss, Lumbergh, in Office Space.

Crispin Glover

He's impossible to forget as Marty McFly's father in Back to the Future -- and pulled a Joaquin Phoenix of his own a few years later on The David Letterman Show.

John Turturro

Probably my all-time favorite character actor, John Turturro can make almost any movie worth watching. Everyone remembers him from The Big Lebowski, in which he plays -- I'm not sure what to call it -- a bowling mariachi gangster? In any case, this brief-but-legendary scene is definitely NSFW.

One-Syllable Presidents
Feeling Down? Lifting Weights Can Lift Your Mood, Too

There’s plenty of research that suggests that exercise can be an effective treatment for depression. In some cases of depression, in fact—particularly less-severe ones—scientists have found that exercise can be as effective as antidepressants, which don’t work for everyone and can come with some annoying side effects. Previous studies have largely concentrated on aerobic exercise, like running, but new research shows that weight lifting can be a useful depression treatment, too.

The study in JAMA Psychiatry, led by sports scientists at the University of Limerick in Ireland, examined the results of 33 previous clinical trials that analyzed a total of 1877 participants. It found that resistance training—lifting weights, using resistance bands, doing push ups, and any other exercises targeted at strengthening muscles rather than increasing heart rate—significantly reduced symptoms of depression.

This held true regardless of how healthy people were overall, how much of the exercises they were assigned to do, or how much stronger they got as a result. While the effect wasn’t as strong in blinded trials—where the assessors don’t know who is in the control group and who isn’t, as is the case in higher-quality studies—it was still notable. According to first author Brett Gordon, these trials showed a medium effect, while others showed a large effect, but both were statistically significant.

The studies in the paper all looked at the effects of these training regimes on people with mild to moderate depression, and the results might not translate to people with severe depression. Unfortunately, many of the studies analyzed didn’t include information on whether or not the patients were taking antidepressants, so the researchers weren’t able to determine what role medications might play in this. However, Gordon tells Mental Floss in an email that “the available evidence supports that [resistance training] may be an effective alternative and/or adjuvant therapy for depressive symptoms that could be prescribed on its own and/or in conjunction with other depression treatments,” like therapy or medication.

There haven’t been a lot of studies yet comparing whether aerobic exercise or resistance training might be better at alleviating depressive symptoms, and future research might tackle that question. Even if one does turn out to be better than the other, though, it seems that just getting to the gym can make a big difference.


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