question of the day: What actors who should be working (or working more) make you wonder, Hey, whatever happened to them?

I was flipping around the TV last night and came across a rerun of Bones, which is a show that I usually never watch, but I left this episode on because Loren Dean was in it. (He has an infrequently recurring role as Bones’ brother.) It seemed like, in the late 1990s, that he was on the verge of Hollywood stardom, after roles films such as the underrated Mumford and Apollo 13 (where he affects the most perfect nerd diction as one of the NASA technicians). Or maybe in indies and foreign films after his work in the wonderful The War Bride and Wim Wenders’ The End of Violence. I loved the odd onscreen quality that Dean had, sort of nice boy-next-door but with dark and even menacing undertones — in fact, that quality of his partly inspired me to write my screenplay Cat and Mouse; I created the protagonist with him in mind.
Dean’s IMDB page shows that after vanishing from the scene for several years in the early 2000s, he’s now showing up once in a while in guest spots on TV shows. I don’t like to think that maybe, I dunno, he was sick or something, and now isn’t able to work more regularly because of that. I don’t much care about gossipy personal stuff anyway, but it also would be a different matter from what I suspect maybe the case: that he’s just too odd a screen presence and no one knows what to do with him, and/or that he wants more interesting roles than are on offer. (And TV does, at least, at the moment, offer far more creative challenges to actors than film does.) The idea that a talented actor with a distinctive quality can’t get enough work? That would make me mad.

Anyway, today’s question is: What actors who should be working (or working more) make you wonder, Hey, whatever happened to them?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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doa766
doa766
Thu, Mar 18, 2010 1:04pm

Sam Rockwell should’ve won best actor for Moon

after Confessions of a dangerous mind it seemed like he was going to be A list but he kept choosing all indie roles except for Matchstick Men

also Nathan Fillion, Stephen Rea, Rutger Hauer, Clarice Van Houten, Clemence Poesey, Hugh Grant, Laura Harris, Marc Dacascos

and of course the biggest one of all Michael Biehn

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
Thu, Mar 18, 2010 1:33pm

Carla Henry. She is english and I saw her in Revengers Tragedy and have found some other bits and pieces on-line (especially the absurd “I’m a Juvenile Delinquent, Jail Me”) but, not much overall. I’d like to see her in things I’d normally stumble over in the US. She did a great Castiza in Revengers Tragedy.

And whatever happend to Tracey Walter who rocked Repo Man?

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
Thu, Mar 18, 2010 2:23pm

Goldie Hawn. Why isn’t she putting out a movie or two every year? She has the best delivery for comedy and I’ve loved watching her for what feels like forever.

Tonio Kruger
Tonio Kruger
Thu, Mar 18, 2010 3:02pm

That Catherine Tate is awesome. She ought to do movies. Or at least star in some popular TV show. How come she never does that? ;-)

Brian
Brian
Thu, Mar 18, 2010 3:20pm

Gillian Anderson. It looks like she’s been working more or less steadily since The X-Files, but seldom in very prominent projects. (No, I didn’t see the 2008 X-Files movie. Did anybody?) I’ve really only ever seen her play Scully, so I don’t know what kind of range she has, but I must assume she’s fully capable of other roles.

Isobel
Isobel
Thu, Mar 18, 2010 3:32pm

I think she (Gillian Anderson) was in a BBC adaption of Bleak House recently that she had good reviews for.

Weimlady
Weimlady
Thu, Mar 18, 2010 3:36pm

DAVID TENNANT!

Come on. Doing the narration for “Diet or My Husband Dies?” What? WHAT? WHAT??

He managed to do a hundred other quality things while playing Doctor Who–how is it that all we get are narrations to cheesy programs now that he’s off the show? What a waste!

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
Thu, Mar 18, 2010 3:59pm

Loren Dean was also the cop-brother of Ethan Hawke in GATTACA.

I was going to say Neal McDonough, but evidently he’s been on Desperate Housewives. Fascinating actor, but two failed series in quick succession stalled his career.

This also seems to happen to women on sci-fi tv a lot: Gillian Anserson, Lexa Doig, Nana Visitor, Terri Farrel.

Cori Ann
Cori Ann
Thu, Mar 18, 2010 4:18pm

David and Kate Hewlett. I know he’s off being a family man and doing all kinds of indie projects, and she’s busy doing stage acting, but I would love to see both of them pop up on my television more often. Even if it is just in guest roles on various shows. Though give them the right kind of sibling comedy to star in together and they could be the next John and Joan Cusack, I am telling you.

Cori Ann
Cori Ann
Thu, Mar 18, 2010 4:42pm

Ask and you shall receive apparently. After my previous post, I stumbled across this link:

http://www.gateworld.net/news/2010/03/hewlett-stars-in-syfys-morlocks/

It’s a silly SyFy channel movie, to be sure, but still, it’s more Hewlett.

Victor Plenty
Victor Plenty
Thu, Mar 18, 2010 6:09pm

Alan Rickman. Much as I love the work he’s done in the Harry Potter series, and I know he’s been doing other projects at the same time, I can’t really imagine any reasonable scenario in which I might find myself thinking that Rickman was getting too much work, or was being seen too often on the big screen.

Bluejay
Bluejay
Thu, Mar 18, 2010 7:54pm

@Brian: Isobel’s right–Gillian Anderson was in the BBC production of Bleak House as Lady Dedlock (along with Burn Gorman from Torchwood). And I think she was fantastic. Rent it if you can!

@Victor: Yes to Alan Rickman, especially as a villain. My wife and I will happily listen to his slow, venomous delivery anytime. :-D

Hasimir Fenring
Hasimir Fenring
Thu, Mar 18, 2010 9:21pm

Tony Todd. He has no less than seven(!) projects listed for this year, but is any of them worthy?

At least he was fortunate enough to avoid having to actually appear in Transformers 2.

Isobel
Isobel
Fri, Mar 19, 2010 4:35am

I’m excited because Jessica Hynes (of Spaced fame) has written and is starring in a new (apparently very very black) comedy for BBC2 called Lizzie & Sarah (starts this Saturday 20th March at 11.45pm, for those of us on this side of the Atlantic).

She’s worked fairly steadily since Spaced but she’s one of those people who could be on my telly every day and I wouldn’t complain.

Lisa
Lisa
Fri, Mar 19, 2010 6:50am

Gillian Anderson was fantastic in A Doll’s House too.

I think when actors are heavily promoted (like Gretchen Moll) and then don’t take off, they tend to be dumped for a while and then start making a comeback on tv.

Heather M
Heather M
Fri, Mar 19, 2010 9:00am

I’m going to be a fangirl for a moment: Gareth David-Lloyd. I lived in Scotland for a while and so saw some of his pre-Torchwood work. He’s amazing. He’s hysterically funny. I read a review of the Torchwood radio play The Dead Line in which the reviewer said he had such an amazing voice he could spend the rest of his career doing audio books. It’s looking like that reviewer may get his wish — I heard him reading an award winning story on BBC — oh baby — but look on the web and there doesn’t seem to be anything else on schedule for him. Ridiculous. Oh well…he does have a band.

Lisa
Lisa
Fri, Mar 19, 2010 2:12pm

If you like Jessica Hynes you should check out her new series Lizzie and Sarah – the BBC supporting women in comedy (oh for a sarc mark)

Jace
Jace
Fri, Mar 19, 2010 2:38pm

David Tennant has an HBO movie coming out this month, Einstein and Eddington that looks promising. Heard rumors once upon a time he was lobbying to play the Riddler in the next Batman movie. Don’t know how much or little merit there is to said rumors but I’d certainly pay to see him in the role.

Christine
Christine
Fri, Mar 19, 2010 3:32pm

Caroline Dhavernas from ‘Wonderfalls.’ Tracie Thoms doing more than ‘Cold Case.’ Lee Pace. Everyone from ‘Wonderfalls’ in fact.

Weimlady
Weimlady
Fri, Mar 19, 2010 4:00pm

@Jace, re: Einstein and Eddington–This is one of the projects he did while doing Who. I have the DVD, have had for yonks. So, not a new project. There have been a lot of rumors, including the Riddler one and that he was up for Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit (hello–hobbits–short, round creatures?) with the two most promising being a limited series called Single Father and a movie called Retreat. But in the meantime–voiceover work for the likes of “Diet or My Husband Dies?” Oy vey! For this, you get Hamlet?

Bassygalore
Bassygalore
Fri, Mar 19, 2010 5:22pm

@doa766 – Nathan Fillon is currently in a show called “Castle” here in the States (not sure where you are residing).

It’s kind of hit or miss in terms of writing, but the Halloween episode was just all kinds of awesome. :)

Tonio Kruger
Tonio Kruger
Fri, Mar 19, 2010 7:11pm

Kristin Chernoweth. I can never get enough Kristin Chernoweth. And she really needs a job, people.

And I second the suggestion for the cast of Wonderfalls. Maybe it’s the Niagara connection but I always thought that show deserved more of a second chance than either Family Guy or Dead Like Me.

Plus more Alan Rickman. Preferably doing more than voicing a caterpillar. (Though even that was better than no Rickman at all.)

And that Kerrie Green who was in Lucas? Whatever happened to her?

I also used to have high hopes for Lucy Davis who was so good in Shaun of the Dead and the UK’s version of The Office but not a lot she’s done since then has impressed me. I mean it was nice to see her get a bit part on Ugly Betty but seriously. Was that the best part she could get here in America? Seriously?

Could to think of it, I didn’t care too much for her guest appearance on Black Books–a British show–but still…

Tonio Kruger
Tonio Kruger
Fri, Mar 19, 2010 7:14pm

I also used to have high hopes for Lucy Davis who was so good in Shaun of the Dead and the UK’s version of The Office but not a lot she’s done since then has impressed me. I mean it was nice to see her get a bit part on Ugly Betty but seriously. Was that the best part she could get here in America? Seriously?

Could to think of it, I didn’t care too much for her guest appearance on Black Books–a British show–but still…

What I meant:

I also used to have high hopes for Lucy Davis who was so good in Shaun of the Dead and the UK’s version of The Office but not a lot she’s done since then has impressed me. I mean it was nice to see her get a bit part on Ugly Betty but seriously. Was that the best part she could get here in America? Seriously?

Come to think of it, I didn’t care too much for her guest appearance on Black Books–a British show–but still…

Lisa
Lisa
Sat, Mar 20, 2010 12:04pm

She was in that Aaron Sorkin thing too Studio 24 on the Sunset Strip or whatever that was called – I liked it ok but just can’t get the exact name!

Tonio Kruger
Tonio Kruger
Wed, Mar 24, 2010 11:24pm

I know the show you’re talking about, Lisa, and you’re right. She was on that show. However, her appearance there slipped my mind for some strange reason.

Christine
Christine
Thu, Mar 25, 2010 9:00am

I watched an episode of ‘Royal Pains’ for Katie Finneran. It made me sad that it was the first time I’d seen Finneran since ‘Wonderfalls,’ which is far superior to ‘Pains.’

Whither Finneran?

And also, Chenowith. Because every show needs some Itty Bitty.