Patrick Wilson: An appreciation for one of Hollywood's most versatile stars
Noticed Patrick Wilson lately? You may not have — he’s been flying relatively, and tragically, under-the-radar since 2009’s Watchmen. And that’s even considering the guy starred in three films last year! But after seeing him as a homicidal evangelist in the trailer for The Ledge, it occurred to me that he could be poised for some big-screen attention, similar to what he garnered during Little Children‘s 2006 run. And he certainly would deserve such recognition: When I first noticed him in 2005’s Hard Candy, as the creepy object of Ellen Page’s sadistic yet completely valid vigilante justice, I discovered one of the few actors who seems to seamlessly float between genres with enviable ease.
Let’s look at this. Before Hard Candy, he was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Emmy for playing Joe Pitt in the critically lauded miniseries Angels in America. That was his first TV role ever. And he was a double-nominee. Breakout awards show favorite: Check! And before his work on screens big and small, he had a successful career on Broadway, which ultimately lead his playing Raoul in 2004 version of Phantom of the Opera. Who doesn’t love a double-threat? (Especially when his name isn’t David Hasselhoff or Paris Hilton.) In any case, Wilson can sing. Musicals: Check!
Next, he starred as a married man sleeping with the also-married Kate Winslet in the intense drama Little Children (2006). The film picked up Academy Award nominations for Winslet for Best Actress, and for Best Screenplay. So, a role in an Oscar bait film: Check! (We only ask: Where was his nomination?)
Then, sadly, there were some forgettable comedies followed by Lakeview Terrace in 2008 (thrillers: check!) and the aforementioned Watchmen in 2009 (big-budget adaptations: check!). And 2010 kept him busy — he joined The A-Team and starred as that handsome fellow in The Switch, also that handsome fellow in Morning Glory (romantic comedy: double check!) This year he led the cast of the insanely profitable Insidious (horror: check!). But, looking ahead, it seems his star could shine even brighter: He has three more movies slated for release by December. And if that’s not enough, he’s returning to television in the fall as a doctor whose dead wife guides him in CBS’s A Gifted Man, a show which our TV guru Ken Tucker is already sold on.
There are very few actors this versatile in showbiz today — and very few who can execute all their roles with such aptitude. Isn’t it time give this guy some credit? Why doesn’t Patrick Wilson have more stalkers?