A true chameleon of an actor, 'Laggies' star Sam Rockwell has played everything from rascals to rodents. Here’s a look at some of our favorite performances.
Trent Burns in ‘Lawn Dogs’ (1997)
After a successful television career that began when he was just 11 years old, Rockwell landed his first major movie role in the 1997 film, 'Lawn Dogs.’ As a young landscaper trapped in the complexities of a forbidden friendship, his poignant performance earned him Best Actor honors at the 1997 Montreal World Film Festival.
Sam in ‘Safe Men’ (1998)
Rockwell followed the success of ‘Lawn Dogs’ with his witty portrayal of Sam, an untalented lounge singer mistaken for a world-class safe cracker in this wisecracking comedy. 'Safe Men' marked the first of many performances that would showcase Rockwell’s singing ability.
“Wild Bill” Wharton in ‘The Green Mile’ (1999)
With his performance as death row inmate “Wild Bill” Wharton, Rockwell was quickly heralded as one of the hottest up-and-coming stars of the decade, proving he had what it takes to share the screen with the likes of Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan and James Cromwell.
Guy Fleegman in ‘Galaxy Quest’ (1999)
Loosely based on Bill Paxton’s character from the movie ‘Aliens,’ Rockwell shines like shines in this sci-fi comedy that parodies 'Star Trek.' Sam’s hilarious turn as the neurotic “Crewman Number Six” helped turn 'Quest' into an instant cult classic.
Eric Knox in ‘Charlie's Angels’ (2000)
As software brainiac Eric Knox, Rockwell is man on a deadly mission to clip the wings of the Angels and their mysterious leader, Charlie. Featuring one of his signature “Rockwell Boogie” dancing scenes, his performance in this remake of the iconic 1970s television show was absolutely killer -- literally.
Pero in ‘Welcome to Collinwood’ (2002)
As Pero, a boxer who decides to make a quick buck by confessing to a crime he didn’t commit, Rockwell delivers another knockout performance as one of five misfits trying to score off a safecracking heist.
Chuck Barris in ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind’ (2002)
Rockwell reunited with his ‘Charlie’s Angels’ co-star, Drew Barrymore, in this biopic about the alleged double life of game show impresario Chuck Barris. Director George Clooney has said that Rockwell was his first and only choice to play Chuck Barris, and that he would not have made the film without him.
Frank Mercer in ‘Matchstick Men’ (2002)
As con man Frank Mercer, Rockwell once again proves he’s really good at being really bad. Rockwell's performance earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination for the International Press Academy’s Satellite Awards.
Zaphod Beeblebrox in ‘The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy’ (2003)
Rockwell landed the role of the multi-headed alien space traveler after turning in a truly out-of-this-world audition. When Rockwell read for the part, director Garth Jennings immediately chose him over other actors being considered for the role, including Bill Murray, Robert Downey Jr., Johnny Depp and Will Ferrell.
Sam Bell in ‘Moon’ (2009)
Outer space seems to be a theme in some of Rockwell’s greatest performances, and his portrayal of space station employee Sam Bell is one of his career-best roles. Director Duncan Jones wanted to work with Rockwell so much that he created this film specifically for him.
Darwin in ‘G-Force’ (2009)
When you’re as versatile as Sam Rockwell, you can play any character, even a commando -- who just happens to be a guinea pig.
Justin Hammer in ‘Iron Man 2’ (2010)
The role of arms magnate Justin Hammer wasn’t Rockwell’s first connection to the ‘Iron Man’ franchise. During casting for the original film, the actor was one of many in the running for the role of Iron Man himself, Tony Stark. Scheduling difficulties prevented him from taking the part.
Billy Bickle in ‘Seven Psychopaths’ (2012)
Dognapper Billy Bickle was another role that was written specifically with Rockwell in mind. Turning in a performance that’s rich with his own brand of quirky evil, the actor is one of the best things about this violent, quirky caper centered on screenwriting, murder and one very cute Shih Tzu.
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