Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Toby Jones

Toby Jones, Toronto, Sept. 14, 2006

I ADORE CHARACTER ACTORS. Their careers are often more interesting and rewarding than those of romantic or heroic leads, and given the right script, they can fill a lead role more fully than a marquee name. Without a celebrity-enhanced persona to service, they can end up almost anywhere onscreen, and build up the sort of cumulative goodwill with an audience that makes even a brief appearance in a film elevate a scene.

Since great character actors often get their start in theatre, it's not surprising that the London stage and the country's theatre schools, with their emphasis on voice training, ends up filling Hollywood cast lists with character actors like Toby Jones, who was at the Toronto film festival in 2006 playing a very American character - writer Truman Capote in the film Infamous.

Toby Jones, Toronto, Sept. 14, 2006

The film arrived in theatres under a bit of a shadow - specifically the film Capote, which had come out a year earlier with Philip Seymour Hoffman (another great and, alas, late character actor) playing the writer. While Hoffman might have managed a slightly better vocal impersonation of Capote, Jones was able to pull off a more convincing physical one, and considering what a compelling and strange role Truman Capote filled in pop culture when he was alive - he was a confounding and indelible presence on talk shows when I was a kid - why shouldn't we have two Capote films?

These shots definitely feel like they were done at the end of the film festival, as it seems like even the light was running out in the rooms at the Intercontinental in Yorkville, and looking at them now I can almost smell the stale air in the corridors of the press suites at the hotel after a week of interviews and shoots. Even close to the windows in the rooms at the back of the hotel, the light dropped off considerably behind the subject, which helped to focus them in the frame at least. Normally I like it if my subjects have as few distractions as possible when I shoot, but someone clearly said something to make Jones laugh in the frame below; it was a happy accident, however, and turned out to be my favorite frame.

Toby Jones, Toronto, Sept. 14, 2006

No comments:

Post a Comment