The best performances are the ones where the actor disappears and all the audience sees is the character. For better or worse, Sam Rockwell is one of those types of actors, who really puts his all into every role he’s given. It’s that level of commitment that has won him an Oscar, along with just about every acting award, for his role in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” However, it’s also that incredible performance that has earned him an unfortunate type-casting situation, as the go-to racist.
In a new interview with THR, the actor talked about this circumstance and how he’s ready to break out of this label. He was asked in the interview if there were any roles that he gets offered, where he says to himself, “Not this again.”
Rockwell replied, “Yeah, I could take a break from racists. A long break. (Laughter.) And I played a lot of rednecks — “country” is probably a better way to put it. It’s funny, I’m a city kid, and they’re always trying to throw me on a horse or get a lasso or something. That’s not my thing.”
As mentioned, Rockwell won an Oscar, and a mantle’s worth of trophies, for his role in ‘Three Billboards,’ where he played the most unabashed racist cop you’ll ever see. And he then followed that up with a role in the recent film, “The Best of Enemies,” where he somehow topped himself on the racist spectrum by playing the leader of the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. And while we’re not completely sure about his role in Taika Waititi’s upcoming “Jojo Rabbit,” it would appear by his character’s military designation that he’s going to be on the wrong side of World War II. You know, the Nazi side, for those unsure what the “wrong side” of WWII means. And for a role where he’s not playing an obvious racist, he also starred as a Southern murderer in the Frank Darabont film, “The Green Mile.”
Needless to say, he’s a great actor that has somehow found himself in a really terrible situation, albeit a lucrative, critically-acclaimed one.
Thankfully, outside of “Jojo Rabbit,” the non-racist future looks bright for Rockwell. He has two children’s films, “Trolls World Tour” and “The One and Only Ivan,” on deck.