There are certain characters that we’re all used to seeing by now. You know, the burned out cop who drinks too much and neglects his (very often second) wife… the silent hero with tough appearence who “also has a softer and more sensitive side”, the funny sidekick… and, well, the cop wife who’s growing tired of her cop husband who never comes home from work. One could definitely make a top list of any of those characters (hey, I might do that sometime…), but for now I want to focus on another type of character, the hillbilly. First of, let’s find a definition for the term:
Hillbilly is a term (often derogatory) for people who dwell in rural, mountainous areas in the United States, primarily in Appalachia, but also parts of the Ozarks.
I won’t be as strict here, though. Hillbilly/redneck-ish will do. Here goes…
Greta in ‘Gone Girl’
played by Lola Kirke
In a movie with a couple of surprising casting choices (as much as I like Neil Patrick Harris, he was not the right cast in that movie), Lola Kirke was brilliant during her limited screen time. As Greta, she stood out as what you might call a white trash character, and I’m almost surprised that she’s an actor and not just happened to be at the motel they were shooting at. I’ll check out her performance in ‘Mozart in the Jungle’ for sure. Could be an actress to look out for in the future.
Neckbone in ‘Mud’
played by Jacob Lofland
In one of the movies that really re-launched Matthew McConaughey’s career, Jacob Lowland started his. It was his debut on film, and man did he seize the opportunity. After his impressive display in ‘Mud’, he landed a gig in ‘Justified’ as Kendal Crowe, and he was equally great there. He seemed to be completely unfazed by the star quality surrounding him on the set, and seemed a natural as he shared screen time with actors like Michael Rapaport, Timothy Olyphant and Alicia Witt. The 1996-born actor will once again join Matthew McConaughey on film as they co-star in the upcoming movie ‘The Free State of Jones’, which is due for release in 2016. Could we be looking at one of the next great actors?
Max Cady in ‘Cape Fear’
played by Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro can do pretty much anything, including portraying a straight up crazy redneck. As Max Cady in ‘Cape Fear’ he stalks the family of the man who defended him in a case that sent him to jail for a 14 year stretch. Co-starring Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange and Juliette Lewis, this is one of the many film collaborations between director Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro. It’s definitely not their best movie together, but it’s definitely entertaining watching Robert De Niro go all in as the nut job Max Cady.
Tallahassee in ‘Zombieland’
played by Woody Harrelson
As the zombie-hating and twinkle-loving Tallahassee, Woody Harrelson is right at home. You can see that the Texas born actor is having fun on the screen, and well… so are we. There have been a huge influx of zombie movies and shows released the last few years, but this is definitely one of my favourites. The Bill Murray sequence is pure genius, and there’s no one I’d rather have on my side in a potential zombie outbreak than the former bartender turned zombie killer.
There are of course plenty of others that could make the list. A good place to start would be a show I can never recommend enough, Justified. For words on that show, go here.