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11 Great Scenery Chewers for the (Ice) Ages

By Agent Bedhead | Lists | July 11, 2012 |

By Agent Bedhead | Lists | July 11, 2012 |

It can often be a struggle to come up with ideas for a weekly column pegged to the upcoming week’s new releases. This week, Ice Age: Continental Drift brings back Scrat, that damn little acorn-chasing squirrel-rat of the series, who is perhaps the only character who makes Ray Romano and Queen Latifah as mammoths worth enduring. So in tribute to Scrat, I decided to put together a list of fellow scenery chewers for the (ice) ages. It goes without saying that, generally speaking, supporting actors in a given scene deserve much credit for emphasizing the impact of a scenery-chewing actor.

One more thing — this was a very difficult list to narrow down to just 11 entries. So there’s a good chance I left off your favorite. Sorry about that (and sorry, Val Kilmer). Not really. Just yell at me in the comments.

Al Pacino in The Devil’s Advocate: Naturally, Pacino earns honorable mentions for Scent of a Woman, Scarface, Heat, and many more.

Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest: Those damn wire hangers were the source of many a nightmare.

Christopher Walken in At Close Range : He’s actually chewing gum in this scene, which is worth at least a few extra bonus points, right?

John Leguizamo in Romeo + Juliet: He’s perhaps the smoothest curtain chomper on this list.

Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction: Also includes nearly everything in this guy’s career except for an atypically low-key performance in 1408.

Gary Oldman in The Fifth Element: “I don’t like warriors. Too narrow-minded, no subtlety.” Love it.

Jack Nicholson in The Shining: As a matter of necessity, I forsake the “Heere’s Johnny!” moment for the bar scene because he’s just so damn good here.

Nicholas Cage in Vampire’s Kiss: See also every other Nicholas Cage movie.

Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood: He drinks it up!

Glenn Close in Dangerous Liasons: She throws herself on the ground and smashes the vanity just like a toddler! That’s what one gets for attempting to outwit the Malkovich.

Elizabeth Taylor in X, Y and Zee: This is, perhaps, the only Liz Taylor incarnation that Lindsay Lohan has any business in portraying.

And a special bonus number for you…

Willem Defoe in The Boondock Saints: “There was a firefight!”


Agent Bedhead lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and her little black heart can be found at Celebitchy.

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