Monday, June 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Thomas Haden Church!

Dear Thomas Haden Church,
Last week you celebrated your 50th or 51st birthday. I’m not sure and I’ll explain why later.  First of all, I would like to tell you I think that by choosing to use 3 names as your professional name, it gives you a bit of sophistication. You’ve followed the pattern of other celebrities, like Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Haley Joel Osment, Tommy Lee Jones, Richard Dean Anderson, and even Jonathan Livingston Seagull! 
I first became familiar with you from the hit sit-com “Wings.”  Now you show up in tons of movies, not only for your acting, but for your voice as well.  As a character actor, you’ve been in many varied roles.  Some of my favorites—George of the Jungle, Over The Hedge, Spanglish, Easy A, and of course Sideways, for which you won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
Now Thomas, I see you are, what I would call, an enigma. There is so much confusing and contradicting information about you on the Internet. For one, some websites claim you were born in 1960, others say 1961. I guess you can take your pick!  Another puzzle is your birthplace. Some websites say you were born in California, others say Texas.  Now about your name; some say your birth name is Thomas Richard McMillen, others say it is Thomas Richard Quesada.  Also, your name appears on a list, “Hollywood’s Most Underrated Actors,” and it’s  on the list, “Hollywood’s Greatest Actors.”  Finally, some bloggers comment about you saying, “Oooooh la la!” while others say, “Woof.”
Most surprising to me, Thomas was your portrayal of Sandman in Spiderman 3.   I hardly recognized you. Parts of the film were shot in downtown Los Angeles, at about 6th and Spring Street. My daughter worked on the film for a number of days. The scenes she worked on with you, she portrayed a New York pedestrian. During one of the breaks she called to tell me that you were in the film.  She said, “You remember that dorky guy from Wings? Well, he’s all bulked up and playing one of the villains!”
That day, the streets were blocked off and it was early morning. You were being chased by the police in the character of Flint Marko.  You hadn’t yet transformed into the “shape shifter” Sandman, and were running through the pedestrians. Another day, scenes were shot of you terrorizing the people in the form of the frightening villain, Sandman. It was chaos, people screaming, running for their lives, and even cars flipping through the air.  That’s how it looked in the film.  My daughter, in this scene, had a frightened look on her face.  She was screaming and running away from what?  What was she looking at?   Were you even there that day, Thomas?  My daughter and the pedestrians were looking at a crew member on top of the camera dolly holding a sign that read, “Villain.”  That sign was their focal point.  Your character, Sandman, would be superimposed later into the film.  Yes, much of your character was in CGI. I hope I didn’t just spill the beans, Thomas! If it makes you feel any better, the taxi cabs flipping through the air was real—all done with huge cables, and many hours of set up and intense work. 
Thomas, you’re a fine actor and I hope you had a wonderful 50th or 51st birthday last week. What did they write on your cake? Thomas Richard McMillen, Thomas Richard Quesada, or perhaps Sandman?
Regards, Mrs Love

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