Actor Spotlight: Timothy Olyphant

3/15/2010 Posted by Admin

Actor Spotlight

Timothy Olyphant

By our guest blogger, Spencer Morton

He’s got the big, recognizable smile. He’s got charisma, charm, and undeniable acting ability. He’s had major roles in some major box office hits in the past few years. So what is Timothy Olyphant missing? A recognizable name. Olyphant is the textbook definition of "the guy you see in movies that you’ve seen before, but don’t have a clue who he is."

Olyphant’s first big screen role came in 1996 in “The First Wives Club.” His first real splash in Hollywood, however, came in 1999 when he played Todd Gaines in “Go.” Gaines is a complicated middle-level drug dealer who is either violent and intimidating, or vulnerable and sincere at others. Olyphant’s performance was complex and underappreciated.

The first half of the 2000s saw Olyphant in larger supporting roles in even bigger film, including “Gone in Sixty Seconds,” “Rock Star,” “Dreamcatcher,” “A Man Apart” and “The Girl Next Door.” Olyphant’s transition from reliable supporting actor to quality lead man is solely due to his magnificent turn as Sheriff Seth Bullock in HBO series “Deadwood.”

The universally acclaimed series ran from 2004-2006. Olyphant’s turn as the embattled, chastised sheriff of Deadwood was met with high praise. Many critics pointed to Ian McShane’s supporting role as Al Swearengen as the pinnacle of acting for the series. Regardless, Olyphant’s portrayal was undeniably solid and it opened the doors to his status as a leading-man in Hollywood.

Following his stint on “Deadwood,” Olyphant played the lead opposite Jennifer Garner in the romantic comedy, “Catch and Release.” What may be his biggest role to date came in 2007 when he played the maniacal villain, Thomas Gabriel, in “Live Free or Die Hard.” 2007 also saw Olyphant portray Agent 47 in the popular film adaptation of the videogame “Hitman.”

Recently, Olyphant’s stock has increased even more. He impressed a lot of people with his creepiness and machismo in “A Perfect Getaway,” released in 2009. He played hero, David Dutton, in the acclaimed horror film “The Crazies,” which was released two weeks ago.

Olyphant slowly is climbing his way to super-stardom. He’s been more than impressive on the big and small screen. His range is limitless. He can effortlessly turn from sadistic villain to the hero with a grin as big as any. This week, check out Olyphant when his new television series, “Justified,” airs. He plays ethically questionable, emotionally complex U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens. The series focuses on his run-ins with ruthless criminals and authorities who question his tactics. “Justified” premiers on FX on Tuesday (3/16) at 10/9c.

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