Sunday, August 27, 2006

ROSEMARIE DEWITT is 20 feet tall!

Perhaps you've seen massive billboards with images like this if you're in Manhattan or Los Angeles...they're everywhere.

Well, the person who isn't Ron Livingston is named Rosemarie Dewitt.

Rosemarie is one of the finest actresses you've never heard of (but soon will).

I was lucky enough to have her play a supporting role in "Off the Black."

Her career trajectory is an interesting one...let me explain. I'll call this:

Welcome to the strange life of a New York theater actor.

Rosemarie has been acting on New York stages for almost a decade, garnering the sort of critical praise that any actor would dream of (as well as an Obie award for her work in Craig Lucas' "Small Tragedy"). She is honest and moving and never predictable in her choices. And smart as hell.

She was in a tiny film that came out last summer...

It must have been interesting, because in addition to playing a supporting role in "Cinderella Man," Rosemarie got to see Russell Crowe play her grandfather. Yes, you heard me right: "Cinderella Man" was based on the life of Rosemarie's grandfather, depression-era boxer, James Braddock.

Pretty cool.

Then Rosemarie went back and did more theater. Then my movie. Then she followed my film with a part in Kenneth Lonergan's much-anticipated second film, "Margaret." Rosemarie played Mark Ruffalo's wife. I'm dying to see this movie, because like many of you, I'm a huge fan of his first film, "You Can Count on Me."

And now...Rosemarie is starring in a massive FBI hostage negotiation show on Fox (sort of like "Moonlighting," but with hostages). And her face is splashed everywhere.

And more people will probably watch the first episode of her show (on September 5th--my birthday) than will ever see "Off the Black" in theaters. I mean, I hope many people see my movie...but TV is seen EVERYWHERE. Indie-films...well, no, they're not seen everywhere.

But it's pretty exciting to me that a fantastic actress like Rosemarie Dewitt can hop from off-Broadway plays to studio films to indie films to network television and probably back again, always elevating the quality of whatever she's in. Seriously. The woman in allergic to bullshit, and whenever she's on screen, you're slightly stunned to see such effortless yet exciting acting.


In case you were wondering, that's who's staring down at you from the giant billboard. She has a name, and it's one worth remembering:

Rosemarie Dewitt.

(This image is from Rosemarie's revelatory off-Broadway performance several years ago in John Patrick Shanley's "Danny and the Deep Blue Sea." Sorry if you missed it.)