If you know anything about me, you probably know that, just like literally every other fangirl on the planet, I have a thing for older actors. Chris Pratt, Chris Evans, Chris Pine (and all the other Chrises), Zachary Levi, Benadryl Cucumberpatch… basically every guy who’s like ten years older than me. Which totally isn’t weird at all.
(DISCLAIMER: I don’t want to have their babies or anything, I just admire the work the good Lord has done and move on.)
One of my favorite actors is Stanley Tucci. I have no idea how long I’ve loved him but it’s been a while. (Now that I think about it, he was in a few of my favorite childhood movies, namely Kit Kittredge, Beethoven, and Robots. Well, that explains it – my love for him was cemented before I really knew who he was.)
I love his versatility as an actor, the roles he chooses, and just him. I love the fact that he seems to make every movie better just by being in it, no matter how small his part is. I love the fact that he can play every part with the same amount of skill, regardless of how sweet or twisted the character is. And I love that he has other talents than just acting, such as cooking. My sister actually gave me his cookbook for my birthday and I fangirled. A lot. (I also have another friend who knows how much I love him – one of the things we initially bonded over was our mutual weirdly passionate love for Stanley – and sometimes sends me random Stanley gifs and pictures via text. You know who you are and I. Love. You.)
I love every movie I’ve seen him in, but I’d like to highlight my absolute favorites. In no order, as usual, because I sat here for twenty minutes trying to figure it out and I. just. can’t. I love the man too much.
All of these movies come with the usual disclaimer, though. They’re all PG-13 and have the kind of content that’s in a PG-13 movie. If you’re interested in watching one of these but are hesitant about the content, don’t hesitate to ask me! (Or look on each specific title’s Parents Guide on IMDb. SO HELPFUL.)
The Terminal | Frank Dixon
“Okay, so let’s say this bag of potato chips is Krakozhia and this apple is the Liberty Rebels. Okay? *smashes the bag with the apple, spraying chips all over Viktor* No more Krakozhia!”
This one’s kind of different for Stanley. Usually he plays very likeable characters. This one, not so much. The Terminal is about a foreign guy (Tom Hanks) whose country falls literally while he’s on the plane. He’s stuck in JFK until they can get his passport figured out, and Stanley plays the guy who keeps him there. Essentially, he’s the antagonist. This is the only movie I’ve ever seen where he’s a bad guy (minus the Kit movie, which, come on, does that even count?), and he’s absolutely riveting. You understand why he’s so against Tom’s character – he’s just doing his job, after all – but you still dislike him because of other things he does. So. Good.
Mr. Monk and the Actor | David Ruskin
“And then he said he was tired and asked me to leave.”
“So you left?”
“He has to get up at 6:00.”
“Mr. Monk, that’s your house!”
“Boy, he’s a good actor.”
My siblings and I were on a Monk kick for about two years, and when I saw that Stanley co-starred in an episode, I couldn’t wait to see it! Turns out, it was absolutely fantastic. Definitely one of my favorite episodes of the show. In this episode, a director wants to make a movie about a case Adrian worked on, and Stanley plays the actor hired to play Adrian. He’s a method actor, and he captures Monk perfectly. It’s scary how similar they look! Also, Stanley won an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.” (No surprise there – he was phenomenal.)
Julie and Julia | Paul Child
“Anyway, so there we were in China, just friends having dinner. And… and it turned out to be Julia. It turned out to be Julia all along. Julia, you are the butter to my bread and the breath to my life. I love you, darling girl. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
This is one of my favorite movies, mainly because it involves three of my favorite things – writing, food, and romance. It’s one of my go-to chick flicks, and it has some of my favorite actors in it, including Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Chris Messina, and, of course, Stanley Tucci. In this one, Stanley plays Julia Child’s husband, ever the encourager as she learns to cook. His character is just the most precious man, and it’s blatantly apparent that he loves his wife, which Stanley plays to perfection (and makes me love him even more).
Easy A | Dill Penderghast
“I’d take a bullet for you, you know that. Right between the eyes. I would slit my throat rather than say something to someone that you didn’t want me to say. That’s how I am. That’s how I roll. That’s how I do.”
OKAY. This is definitely my favorite movie on this list. As I said in my “movies i don’t like” post, my favorite genre is probably rom-com, my favorite actor is Stanley Tucci, and my favorite actress is Emma Stone, which obviously means this is one of my favorite movies of all time because it combines all. three. things. Plus it’s just good. The cast is phenomenal, the story is so good, and the humor is fantastic. Anyway, in this one, Stanley plays the main character’s dad who stands by her as she goes through all of this mess at school. And he’s just so funny. The above quote is from one of my favorite scenes, one which I personally find funny because I have adopted black siblings like Olive. In addition to all that, Dill and Rosemary are just the kind of parents I aspire my husband and I to be. #LiteralParentGoals. (Gosh, this movie’s so good. I may have to review it sometime.)
Captain America: The First Avenger | Dr. Abraham Erskine
“Whatever happens tomorrow, you must promise me one thing. That you will stay who you are, not a perfect soldier, but a good man.”
Let’s be honest – who didn’t completely fall in love with Dr. Erskine the second he walked on the screen??? He was obviously typecast as The Death That Would Inspire The Hero, but Stanley brought so much more to the role than most other characters like that – and I’d argue that he’s the best. He inspires Steve to be more than he thinks he’s capable of, and encourages him to accept the super-soldier serum. And that speech. GAH. Plus, he calls Steve “Steven.” HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE HIM?!
The Hunger Games | Caesar Flickerman
“But you know what? [Bleep] that! And [bleep] everybody that had anything to do with it!”
“All right, then. One woman’s opinion.”
My favorite part about Stanley-as-Caesar is just how likeable he is. It’s apparent that Stanley read the books because that’s, like, the crux of the character in the book. There are literally paragraphs describing how Caesar brings out the best in all of the tributes, even the incredibly shy ones who have close to nothing to say. Stanley obviously did his research because that’s exactly how he plays him – a nuanced, larger-than-life TV host who is hungry for the adulation for the crowd and whose effervescence masks his true vulnerability. Also, I’ve heard that Caesar is one of Stanley’s favorite roles. Which is just amazing.
The Devil Wears Prada | Nigel Kippling
“You think this is just a magazine, hmm? This is not just a magazine. This is a shining beacon of hope for… oh, I don’t know… let’s say a young boy growing up in Rhode Island with six brothers pretending to go to soccer practice when he was really going to sewing class and reading Runway under the covers at night with a flashlight. You have no idea how many legends have walked these halls. And what’s worse, you don’t care. Because this place, where so many people would die to work you only deign to work. And you want to know why she doesn’t kiss you on the forehead and give you a gold star on your homework at the end of the day. Wake up, sweetheart.”
This movie is about the oftentimes twisted inner workings of the fashion industry and how it changes an intern named Andy Sachs. Stanley plays Nigel, the somewhat gay editor of Runway Magazine who works with the definition of rhymes-with-witch, Miranda Priestly. I love Stanley’s role in this movie because he’s just adorable. He has Andy’s best interests at heart, often giving her that final push when she needs it. (See the quote above.) He has so many great scenes – most of which were ad-libbed, if you watch the bloopers, which just attests to Stanley’s absolute genius. One of my favorite scenes isn’t in the movie. (Katelyn knows which one I’m talking about. THE GIRLS, KATELYN. THE GIRLS.) Also, this is his second movie with Meryl Streep, and they’re both completely different people in this one, which totally displays their versatility as actors. Gah, I can’t.)
I’m slooooowly working my way through Stanley’s entire filmography, and some of the movies at the top of my To Watch list are The Pelican Brief, Shall We Dance (because hE DANCES!), The Company You Keep (which my parents watched without me and sent the Netflix DVD back before I could see it and I have no bitterness towards them WHATSOEVER), Spotlight (which also stars Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams), Big Night (Stanley and Tony Shalhoub’s first shared screen), and, of course, Beauty and the Beast (!!!!!!!).
So what do you think of my list? Have you seen any of these movies? What are your thoughts about them? Anything to say just about Stanley in general? (Just letting you know, if you bash him at all, I’ll bash you right back because he is perfection.)