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Tall Glass of Marsden

by Jason Adams

Things that are hot right now: Stephen King adaptations. Things that are hot always: James Marsden. And finally the twain are meeting with In the Tall Grass, the just-announced adaptation of King's novella (co-authored with his son Joe Hill). The story's about "a sister and brother who venture into a vast field of grass in Kansas after hearing a boy's cries for help" which turns out to have been a bad plan of action. Then again "doing anything" inside a Stephen King story usually turns out to have been a bad plan of action...

If you ever find yourself inside a Stephen King story I have some advice: do nothing. Lay down and die. It's the only safe thing to do. (I am not fooling with clowns, yo.)

Anyway even though I'm mixed-feeling towards the show I'm happy that Westworld is giving Marsden some heat. His almost-not-quite career remains a mystery for the ages. How someone so beautiful and actually talented when given the chance has never really found The Role confounds. I'm not sure a King adaptation will be that chance (although last year's Gerald's Game gave the similarly career'd Carla Gugino a well-deserved showcase) - has anyone read this story? Does it show cinematic promise?

In the Tall Grass is being directed by Vincenzo Natali, the man behind cult fave Cube, the divisive Sarah Polley & Adrien Brody science-horror flick Splice (which I love but which is also the owner of a D grade Cinemascore), and also a whole bunch of the TV series Hannibal. If nothing else Natali has style to spare.

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Reader Comments (13)

Marsden was quite magnetic in Hairspray -- a film I rewatched recently. His Corny Collins was smooth, savvy, and magnetic that also showcased his singing and (a little) dancing talents. While I prefer actors to do character roles, I wish there is an acting vehicle written expressly for him and directed by a sensitive director simpatico to Marsden's specific talents. He is also believable in the little-seen Heights and hilarious in Enchanted.

May 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterOwl

Not sure what's up with his career either. Maybe he's so pretty that people just assume he's just another pretty, generic, merely adequate actor so they don't give him a chance to do anything deeper or more challenging. He unfortunately has a really boring part on Westworld. He hardly does anything on that show so that doesn't help.

May 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

DJDeeJay: He's handsome enough that people automatically disregard him as "good", but without, even, Patrick Wilson's (SO GOOD on Fargo S2) level of gravitas to sell "grittier" stuff.

May 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

@Volvagia - yeah, that sounds right

May 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

@Volvagia - to expand, Wilson, while obviously good-looking, now has a receding hairline and got a little chunky (but, again, he's obviously still very good-looking and in good shape), which adds to his gravitas. Whereas Marsden isn't just pretty, he's BOYISHLY pretty, which might work against him for a lot of roles.

May 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Handsome photo

May 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Male nipples are underrated.

May 9, 2018 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

OMG I remember this picture in Entertainment Weekly. It affirmed my homosexuality and I took back every bad thought I ever had about SECOND NOAH.

May 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJakey

Definitely cute!

May 9, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

I think he's been pretty great several times but in the kind of roles that never win male actors the kind of career benefits, critical love, awards that sometimes come for female actors in those genres, doing that kind of work. Obviously he's just perfect in ENCHANTED but I think he was also pretty great in THE D LIST. Mostly he's just super-dependable. That keeps you employed but it doesn't necessarily earn you a "big" career.

May 9, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

wonderful to see marsden featured like this. thanks for the fun article! he's stunning to look at, and a smart and resourceful actor across several genres. agreed that it's a mystery that lightning hasn't struck for him!

May 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEricB

Nathaniel: Do you mean "D-Train"? I agree, both he and the film itself are pretty underrated.

May 10, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterken s.

Since when have attractive, straight, white, male actors who keep getting roles without much return been the underdog?

May 10, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbeyaccount

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