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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

female gazing at: Loren Dean

Loren Dean

What the hell happened to Loren Dean? Where is he? What is he doing? Why isn’t he in every movie?

Loren Dean

He’s gorgeous, of course, but Hollywood is full of pretty people. What Dean has is a rare quality onscreen: he can be both gentle and dark at the same time, and he underplays it all, so you’re never quite sure where his character is coming from. Ah, but maybe that’s his “problem”: that kind of subtlety and suspense isn’t anything that Hollywood is interested in.

Loren Dean

Mumford. The War Bride. Gattaca. The End of Violence. I don’t understand how directors aren’t clamoring to cast this guy. And in leading roles, not the supporting stuff he has typically gotten stuck with.

Loren Dean

Perhaps my favorite example of his wonderful subtlety? The nerd cadence his engineer character in Apollo 13 speaks with. Yes, there is a geek accent, and as far as I’m aware, no other actor has ever affected one onscreen.

This the most recent photo I could find, and it’s from 2010, and it’s not a still from a movie but at the premiere of 2010’s Conviction, his last role in a major film, though it was a small one.

Loren Dean

The most recent credit the IMDb has for him is a 2011 TV movie called Who Is Simon Miller?, which is apparently a “family” mystery about kids searching for their missing dad. Which makes it sound like Dean is barely in the film at all.

At least we know he’s alive. But it’s absolutely criminal that one of the best actors of his generation isn’t working. It’s a symptom of Hollywood’s festering that it has no idea what to do with him.

(If you have a suggestion for someone we should female-gaze at, feel free to email me with a name or a link to a particular photo. But check to see whom we’ve already gazed at.)


posted in:
boyfriends | talent buzz
  • SM

    I’ve seen him on TV — he had a recurring guest role on “Bones” and was a somewhat major character on the miniseries “The Bronx is Burning.” But agreed, he is too gorgeous and talented not to be constantly getting good roles. He and Lee Pace should start a club.

  • Yes, but those are years ago now, too. And only small supporting roles.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    For much the same reason so many talented and attractive actors’ and actresses’ careers never take off: success in acting isn’t so much about talent or attractiveness as blind, dumb luck. And a good agent. But mostly luck. I don’t think there’s a concerted effort out there to keep Loren Dean down. I don’t think he’s too good (a matter of taste anyway) for Hollywood. He just hasn’t been the right actor at the right place at the right time. On the other hand, you’re kind of short selling his credits. As actors go, he’s worked pretty steadily in film and TV for the last 20 years. Acting is a really tough business. If you want a steady gig in show business, stay below the line. If you can’t go into it expecting to fail spectacularly, do something else.

    Another thing to consider: I just googled the guy. A common thought in many of the articles about Dean is how much he reminds people of other actors.

  • Yeah, he’s worked steadily, and that’s nothing to sneeze at. But if there were any justice, he would be getting much bigger, much juicer roles than he has gotten.

  • Kathy_A

    I first noticed him in Apollo 13, one of my favorite films, in which he plays my favorite character in the movie. You’re right–he’s playing the nerd with complete conviction!

  • theprozacqueen

    That’s where I’ve seen him too, Bones. I can’t put my finger on it but there’s just *something* about him that makes it impossible to take my eyes off the screen. :)

  • Mike Barrington

    As others have commented, he has that familiar look about him that reminds people of other actors. To me, he has the screen presence of a TV actor suited for a CSI or SVU type cop drama and maybe that’s something that’s NOT to his liking or at least preference as an actor.

  • kolina43

    Fell in love with his acting in the movie, Billy Bathgate. Hope to see him in more movies.

  • Lynn

    Ah, yes. To me, he is one of THE best looking actors around. He reminds me a bit of Tim Daly for some reason — the same type. I just love Loren and wish he was in more recent films.

  • Ferdie Villamor

    I’ve always think he’s gorgeous.

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