By Michael Slezak
Updated August 10, 2006 at 12:00 PM EDT

You know how there are some actors who deserve to be much bigger movie stars than they are? The ones who watch their higher-paid counterparts get all the glory, while they’re the ones with all the strength? (Oh frack, I just sorta paraphrased ”Wind Beneath My Wings.”) Any-hoo, one of those thespians might actually be on the brink of much-deserved household-name status (and the cash-money that comes with): After rockin’ the bejeezus out of supporting roles in movies as varied as Chicago, The Good Girl, Boogie Nights, and Never Been Kissed (among others) John C. Reilly has signed deals for lead roles in two comedies with Columbia Pictures this week: Step Brothers (which will reunite him with his Talladega Nights costar Will Ferrell), and Walk Hard, from director Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin) and writer Jake Kasdan, about a folk singer who indulges in all the wretched excesses audiences have come to expect in musical biopics. In the words of another amusing gent: Respeck. Booyakasha.

addCredit(“John C. Reilly: Evan Agostini/Getty Images”)