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Author Topic: Who other than Dennis would have been good in a film?  (Read 1641 times)
GoogaMooga
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« on: May 24, 2017, 02:44:04 PM »

Two Lane Black Top, cult not just for BB fans, but cult in general, its reputation goes far beyond BB fandom. Its success rests on the way it was cast, a seasoned actor, Warren Oates, pitted against two rock stars who were expected just to be themselves.  There we got to see handsome Dennis and James Taylor with a full head of hair, being their laid back selves, all cool, calm, and collected.

It was a one of at least for Dennis, but his performance is one of the best by a rock star in a major motion picture. Could any other Beach Boy have pulled it off, in any film? Who would you have liked to have seen in such? Or should they just have stuck to their day job, music?

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joshferrell
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2017, 09:39:30 AM »

well we can see the Beach Boys very briefly in "Disorderlies" lol but yeah I would say that Brian would make a great comedian, maybe not a serious type actor but more slapstick maybe character based, he kind of reminds me of Bill Murray in some ways (or visa versa), the other members (other than Dennis of course as you said)  seem like they would be actors in infomercials, a little stiff but still likable,,, Bruce and Al would be real mellow just kind of talking and standing there and Mike would dance around while trying to sell hair gel or something...lol..Carl would have made a great mellow talk show host or something or someone on PBS talking about philosophy and the arts, he just came off as the "Intellect" type..But yeah I think really Brian and Dennis had the most energy for acting in movies..
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The Heartical Don
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2017, 10:41:10 AM »

well we can see the Beach Boys very briefly in "Disorderlies" lol but yeah I would say that Brian would make a great comedian, maybe not a serious type actor but more slapstick maybe character based, he kind of reminds me of Bill Murray in some ways (or visa versa), the other members (other than Dennis of course as you said)  seem like they would be actors in infomercials, a little stiff but still likable,,, Bruce and Al would be real mellow just kind of talking and standing there and Mike would dance around while trying to sell hair gel or something...lol..Carl would have made a great mellow talk show host or something or someone on PBS talking about philosophy and the arts, he just came off as the "Intellect" type..But yeah I think really Brian and Dennis had the most energy for acting in movies..

I am trying to imagine Brian in Lost In Translation, opposite Scarlett Johansson.

He in his hotel room, enjoying another glass of Suntory whisky.

Then that escort lady is inside, and shouts at a befuddled Brian: 'Lip My Stockings! Lip My Stockings!!!'.

A nonplussed Brian might be quite scared, and later use this call for a song title.

I think.

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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2017, 10:42:26 AM »

Please write a screenplay! Smokin
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2017, 10:58:26 AM »

Every other BB has displayed, albeit in a limited number of situations, that they're truly awful, awful actors.

Most of the guys could perhaps do like what Brian did in "Duck Dodgers" where they're doing a voiceover and the showrunners can mold something funny/deadpan, etc. around that, or something more surreal (like Al and Dave on the "Decker" show). Even then, it almost has to be done regardless of whether the BB in question himself actually "gets" the joke he's in on.

In the past I would have lobbied to get Brian if not Al and others on "The Simpsons", because they used to do really good, non-formulaic "guest star" bits. But the bits I've seen of recent years are pretty bland and predictable and a publicity stunt more than meant to be funny.

But no, a true live action "acting" gig, even the minimalist sort of thing that happened in "Two Lane Blacktop", is not the forte of any band members. I can't speak to Dave I suppose; haven't seen him in much of anything.
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2017, 12:13:07 PM »

Dennis could have done quite a bit more with his acting abilities had he chosen to go any further.  As it was, he found acting even more tedious than the down time from touring with The Boys.  Told me it was literally driving him insane, waiting around between takes - and this was a quickly shot film!

I've mentioned before that he was offered the lead in Midnight Express, as well as the role Harry Dean Stanton took in Straight Time, opposite Dustin Hoffman.  Seems to mean that there were others that Harry Dean picked up that could have gone to Dennis...  I remember back then thinking that Dennis provided him with his career!
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2017, 04:43:19 AM »

Every other BB has displayed, albeit in a limited number of situations, that they're truly awful, awful actors.

Agreed. Whenever they appeared in shows that featuring less than stellar acting to begin with (like Full House and Home Improvement) they really stood out as bad actors. Enthusiastic maybe, but still embarrassingly bad for the most part.
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2017, 05:17:37 AM »

Oh, they'd be terrible. Even when they were interviewed by Dick Clark in 1964, they lacked charisma. And remember the little skit they did with Bob Hope and Jack Benny? They were right to stick with music.




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The Heartical Don
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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2017, 05:32:55 AM »

Please write a screenplay! Smokin

 Cheesy

As students always have it: hey, it's finished, I already got it completely in my head... I just have to write it down, you know!
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2017, 05:33:41 AM »

Such funny thread question - "other than Dennis"? Roll Eyes More like "including Dennis". Let's get real, OK? Dennis was "terrible", to use Amy B.'s word. I was bored by the whole thing in "Two-Lane Blacktop". Dennis surely didn't shine with superb acting skills there. We must be glad that nobody went to star in films. It really annoys me big time to see actors trying to sing & singers/ musicians beginning movie career. Everybody must do what they can - know their place, you know?

& to say "lacked charisma" is stupid. Too bad people care about it like it's super-duper important thing. Bigger deal than the actual acting/ communication/ whichever talent? Roll Eyes
Besides, NO musician - Beatles too - is good in films. It isn't just BBs. For some weeeeeird reason, people downplay BBs with these shoulda/ woulda/ coulda been bad actors when nobody could, in fact.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 06:01:13 AM by RangeRoverA1 » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2017, 06:17:38 AM »

Such funny thread question - "other than Dennis"? Roll Eyes More like "including Dennis". Let's get real, OK? Dennis was "terrible", to use Amy B.'s word. I was bored by the whole thing in "Two-Lane Blacktop". Dennis surely didn't shine with superb acting skills there. We must be glad that nobody went to star in films. It really annoys me big time to see actors trying to sing & singers/ musicians beginning movie career. Everybody must do what they can - know their place, you know?

& to say "lacked charisma" is stupid. Too bad people care about it like it's super-duper important thing. Bigger deal than the actual acting/ communication/ whichever talent? Roll Eyes
Besides, NO musician - Beatles too - is good in films. It isn't just BBs. For some weeeeeird reason, people downplay BBs with these shoulda/ woulda/ coulda been bad actors when nobody could, in fact.

I think Johnny Cash was quite good in that Columbo episode.
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« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2017, 06:21:26 AM »

Such funny thread question - "other than Dennis"? Roll Eyes More like "including Dennis". Let's get real, OK? Dennis was "terrible", to use Amy B.'s word. I was bored by the whole thing in "Two-Lane Blacktop". Dennis surely didn't shine with superb acting skills there. We must be glad that nobody went to star in films. It really annoys me big time to see actors trying to sing & singers/ musicians beginning movie career. Everybody must do what they can - know their place, you know?

& to say "lacked charisma" is stupid. Too bad people care about it like it's super-duper important thing. Bigger deal than the actual acting/ communication/ whichever talent? Roll Eyes
Besides, NO musician - Beatles too - is good in films. It isn't just BBs. For some weeeeeird reason, people downplay BBs with these shoulda/ woulda/ coulda been bad actors when nobody could, in fact.

I don't think we ever got enough data to determine how good Dennis could have been. He's as good as a "non-actor" could possibly be in "Two Lane Blacktop." That film is highly regarded (got a spot in the Criterion Collection), but it's certainly a type of film that takes a lot of patience. It ain't "Cannonball Run" or anything, or even "Easy Rider." Dennis had the look and the charisma to take him far. But it's hard to say; I'm not sure even if Dennis had pursued acting that he would have ended up doing another "Two Lane Blacktop" type of film.

I'd also disagree about the Beatles. They had a sense of humor and charisma that the BBs just didn't have, period. "A Hard Day's Night" is rightly regarded as a great film. Yes, they're playing "themselves" to a large degree, but the Beatles were actually funny both in and out of film. I've never been a huge fan of "How I Won the War", but Lennon was a credible actor in that. Ringo actually did okay in some film roles as well (and also did some stinkers of course). McCartney was ironically probably the worst of the lot as an "actor", and even he was credible enough to not be embarrassing (with something like "Give My Regards to Broad Street", while Paul isn't great in it, it's the script and direction that are more embarrassing than his acting).

All of the Beatles appeared in multiple motion pictures and were, to varying degrees, from excellent to at least credible. The Beach Boys, apart from Dennis, never did true "motion picture" work, and could barely survive sh*tty 80s sitcom cameo appearances.

I'd also venture to guess that most if not all of the BBs would readily admit they're not actors and never belonged in films.
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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2017, 06:31:15 AM »

I disagree very much that Dennis had looks & charisma. 100% disagree. But that's beside the point. My issue is with people caring about charisma than the actual playing which shouldn't be. It weirds me out. I definitely don't see films for charisma. That & acting talent = 2 different things. That people even discuss who's got charisma is really bizarre, to begin with.

Regarding Beatles - disagree as well. BBs had sense of humor alright, it's just different than so-called British humor. Plus, again, it's got nothing to do with being bad actor.
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2017, 07:44:15 AM »

A case can be made for non-acting, though, film history is full of such examples. If done right, Italian neo-realism, British kitchen sink, Bresson's austerity, it can be just as powerful as any acting.

I wouldn't have wanted Dennis to attempt any kind of acting in Blacktop, nor Taylor, those minimalist roles were tailor-made for them (no pun intended).
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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2017, 07:54:19 AM »

Regarding Beatles - disagree as well. BBs had sense of humor alright, it's just different than so-called British humor.

A little less of the so-called, if you don't mind. LOL

And that's humour with a "u". (Give me strength.)
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« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2017, 08:16:25 AM »

I disagree very much that Dennis had looks & charisma. 100% disagree. But that's beside the point. My issue is with people caring about charisma than the actual playing which shouldn't be. It weirds me out. I definitely don't see films for charisma. That & acting talent = 2 different things. That people even discuss who's got charisma is really bizarre, to begin with.

Regarding Beatles - disagree as well. BBs had sense of humor alright, it's just different than so-called British humor. Plus, again, it's got nothing to do with being bad actor.

Well, when it comes to Dennis, the anecdotal evidence suggests strongly that he had infamously epic charisma and looks. Ask Mike Love, I'm pretty sure he still has a complex about that after 56 years.  LOL

As far as charisma vis--vis acting, of course they're not the same thing. But they're not completely unrelated, and it's especially an important factor when it comes to casting "non-actors" like they did in "Two Lane Blacktop." Monte Hellman was far from the first nor last director to cast more or less "non-actors" in major film roles. It's a style, and sometimes it pays off with interesting performances. Dennis wasn't a bad actor, either. Much like, say, Carl Wilson or Al Jardine could have easily been even greater guitar players if they had cared to stretch their wings into that territory, I sense (and Ed Roach's thoughts reinforce) that Dennis could have potentially displayed some good "proper" acting in further films had he wanted to do that. As Ed mentioned, he apparently didn't have the patience to explore that further.

Regarding humor, I should correct myself for having used "sense of humor" instead of "funny." The Beach Boys, as most people do, most certainly had/have a sense of humor. However, I should have worded it this way: The Beatles were funny, truly funny. I don't think the Beach Boys ever have been purposely funny very much, in public that is. In private, I've heard that they often could be quite funny (especially Carl). But 99% of the time I'm laughing at something the BBs have done or said, it's because it's accidentally funny, like Brian dancing in tight leather pants on TV.

Brian's 60s forays into "Humor" I've often said are not in the least bit funny at all and read like an alien or robot trying to academically tackle the topic of "human humor."

It's not a huge deal, any of this. We listen to both of these bands because of their music. But yeah, the Beatles had a personality factor going on that the Beach Boys just never had, and that *did* allow them to succeed to varying degrees in acting and comedy in a way the Beach Boys never did or could. And again, that's fine, and as it should be. Brian's sensitivity and awkwardness and all of that were all part of what made him what he was and is, and helped to inform his music. Carl not f***ing off on stage and making lewd jokes to audiences (Australia '78 notwithstanding  LOL )  is part of what made Carl a great band leader on stage.
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« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2017, 09:30:06 AM »

Dennis was the only one who had anything resembling presence and charisma. As it was, it was only his desire and willingness that kept from more film roles. Brian had a strange, oddball charisma in real life, but not anything that presented itself when the camera starts rolling.  The others come off more like average guys. Maybe too much so to a film audience. Compare tbe BB with Benny and Hope to the Beatles with Morecambe and Wise and the difference is like night and day.
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« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2017, 09:54:57 AM »

To people saying none of the Boys could act, have you never seen this clip? Nobody in the history of TV or film ever delivered the word "bullpucky" better than Brian.  Cheesy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MdwhxyYDXE
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« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2017, 09:58:49 AM »

Someone has to make an animated gif of Brian dancing behind that desk....
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« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2017, 10:00:08 AM »

We're forgetting Ricky Fataar as Stig O'Hara in All You Need Is Cash...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJqp_KvOHts

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rutles
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« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2017, 10:28:44 AM »

I think a young Mike could have been good in a film if he played a character that was similar to his stage persona. I don't like when he actually tries to act like in Full House but if he could've been natural and played a kind of snarky, charismatic guy he could work in that role in a film.
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« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2017, 11:43:56 AM »

Yes, Ricky definitely -- loved him as Stig. Besides Ricky and Dennis, the other BBs have always come across as uncomfortable when they tried to act. We'll get a chance to see how David does on Decker -- if any of the other guys can act, he might be the one. He's a naturally funny guy.
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« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2017, 12:10:33 PM »

Yes, Ricky definitely -- loved him as Stig. Besides Ricky and Dennis, the other BBs have always come across as uncomfortable when they tried to act. We'll get a chance to see how David does on Decker -- if any of the other guys can act, he might be the one. He's a naturally funny guy.

No idea what Decker is but yes, I can see David in an acting role. There's something natural and relaxed about him lacking in the others. Of course, he's less encumbered by the "baggage" they've had to carry over the years for various reasons.
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« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2017, 03:11:44 PM »

Al was already on Decker. I still have no idea what to make of it....

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« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2017, 05:03:16 PM »

I disagree very much that Dennis had looks & charisma. 100% disagree. But that's beside the point. My issue is with people caring about charisma than the actual playing which shouldn't be. It weirds me out. I definitely don't see films for charisma. That & acting talent = 2 different things. That people even discuss who's got charisma is really bizarre, to begin with.
Regarding Beatles - disagree as well. BBs had sense of humor alright, it's just different than so-called British humor. Plus, again, it's got nothing to do with being bad actor.

What I meant when I said they lacked charisma is that they were very wooden and delivered their lines in a stilted way. Who wants to see that? Yes, acting is more than charisma. (In fact, the Beatles in Hard Day's Night and Help are examples of actors with charisma who aren't great actors.) But based on their performances in the Jack Benny skit and Brian's performance in The New Leave it to Beaver, in which he delivers his lines pretty much exactly as he delivered them in 1965 on Jack Benny, I don't think any of them was going to win an Oscar.
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