Back in 2010, Garret Dillahunt spoke at a Q&A following a screening of a spectacular movie that no one has seen called Oliver Sherman. I’ve seen a lot of Q&As with actors over the course of my career writing about movies, but I’ve never seen one quite like this. Dillahunt was shy and reserved, soft-spoken and subdued. Even at a small film festival for a tiny movie, talking about himself seemed like the last thing that Dillahunt wanted to do. He spent almost the entire time complimenting everyone else in that movie except himself. Spend any time on his Instagram feed, and you’ll see the same: He’s effusive of others, and just so goddamn proud of the projects he’s been involved with.
I couldn’t say for sure, but I think that Dillahunt’s natural state is more closely aligned to that of his Raising Hope character, a sort of goofy, laid-back aw shucks attitude, a walking Dad joke.
But Dillahunt is a character actor, and he can turn from goofy to menacing on a dime. He can play a sweet-natured rube, or a terrifying villain, as he did in an arc on Justified.
He can also play goofy and menacing at the same time, as he did in one of two roles on Deadwood, something that few actors can pull off without being noticed.
He can play ugly …
… and he can play hot.
He is right at home in a comedy or a drama, as a cop, cowboy, doctor, or assassin. And he’s just straight-up good people, a great character actor who is nothing but generous to his co-stars.
Here lately, Dillahunt can be found on Fear the Walking Dead with the perfect Dillahunt character: A caring, kind gunslinger, who looks goddamn great in a hat.
The man’s been around a lot of years, and I ain’t never heard a bad word spoken about him. I admire the hell out of him, as a person and as an actor, and for those reasons, he’s who I am putting forward for Pajiba 10 consideration this year.
Voting on the 11th annual Pajiba 10 begins on the week of the 4th of July.