I love learning that an artist that you like is somehow connected with another artist that you had no idea even knew each other. Like one day I learned that the singer Norah Jones was sitar player Ravi Shankar's daughter. I used to listen to his live album during lonely evenings when I was in college. Now I hum along to his daughter while relaxing with my wife to jazz in the evenings. It just blew my mind when I learned that they were related.
This happened to me today but in a different sense. I learned that an actor from one of my favorite shows, the writer of one of my favorite films and one of my favorite directors is all the same person: Tom McCarthy.
My love affair with McCarthy's film started when I saw The Station Agent on DVD. It is a small film about average people that is both profound and moving without being trite or boring. Quite a feat, right? A few years later I was in Manhattan with my wife and we were looking for a relaxing evening. The movie theater selection here in Vermont is abysmal so I always to try to catch something interesting while in NYC. We saw the poster for The Visitor and went to see it because it was the same director of the The Station Agent. Again, a great film. This week I saw Win Win ... loved it. They are usually about people who normally wouldn't meet thrown together by an uncomfortable situation.
Since he also wrote those three films, it is not surprising that he wrote the Pixar film, Up. The same theme applies here, two people thrown together who would normally never meet face a difficult situation and come out really caring for each other.
Today I heard him interviewed and I heard him mention his acting career. I was curious so I looked him up. I recognized him as the character Scott Templeton on the HBO series The Wire. The Wire is probably the best cop show ever made. Each season the series took on a different aspect of the city of Baltimore. First season was about the cops, second season the dock workers, third season the drug dealers, fourth season the schools and the fifth season the media. Tom McCarthy was only in the fifth season. He played a journalist from The Baltimore Sun that lied about, and even, invented his sources. Like everyone else on the show, he was superb.
So I guess it is official. I am a Tom McCarthy fan.