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Home Blog Features Paul's Version: Giamatti's Best Supporting Roles
Paul's Version: Giamatti's Best Supporting Roles Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 09:10

Hi, this is Paul Giamatti. You might remember him from such films as Sideways and Barney's Version - or last week's Golden Globes ceremony where he won Best Actor for playing Barney Panofsky.

You might also know him from literally A BILLION other films. That's because before his turn as wine-glugging Miles in 2004, Paul was everywhere. He was one versatile mother. The kind of character actor who'd make a great Bond villain. Which is probably why he played that psychotic violent nut-job in Shoot 'Em Up opposite Clive Owen.

But if you only know Paul as John Adams - or Harvey Pekar in American Splendour - then you don't know him at all. Want to really appreciate the man's acting talent? Here's a Sideways look back at some of the supporting roles you might have missed him in.


Paycheck (2003)

Between making his name in American Splendour and attracting awards for Sideways, Paul also turned up alongside The Affleck in John Woo's monumentally crap futuristic thriller. It's hard to choose his best on-screen moment: wiping Ben Affleck's brain, or opening up a greenhouse with him at the end of the film.


Planet of the Apes (2001)

There's nothing like an ape costume to make an actor go all method. Hanging around scratching his armpits, Giamatti stood next to Tim Roth for two hours without losing his cool or telling Tim Burton that the remake might not be the best idea in the world. Now that's some serious character acting skillz.


Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Everyone was surprised that Paul Giamatti knew how to handle a gun when he started shooting prostitutes and babies. But before Shoot 'Em Up, he had a stint in Spielberg's sentimental war epic. Sergeant Hill? Yeah, we all remember Sergeant Hill. Right?


The Truman Show (1998)

This one's an easy spot. Put him in a room next to Ed Harris and he stands out like a sore thumb. A sore thumb with hair. No wonder they made Ed wear a hat - even Paul's facial fuzz was upstaging him. Now that's proper acting. Or a serious case of overgrown beard.


Deconstructing Harry (1997)

"I'm out of focus!" Listening to Robin Williams and Woody Allen having a mid-life crisis isn't an easy task, but Paul put up with them for a precious couple of minutes in the background of Deconstructing Harry. It's not quite John Cusack in Bullets Over Broadway, but it's a step up from Richard The Bellman in My Best Friend's Wedding.


My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)

Which of course leads us to this old rom-com. Starring the so-hot-right-then Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz, Paul played a bellman. Called Richard. He was Richard The Bellman. His main contribution to the film? He smoked a cigarette. Indoors. In uniform. Even John Adams wasn't that independent, baby.


  • american splendour
  • character actor
  • deconstructing harry
  • paul giamatti
  • paycheck
  • planet of the apes
  • saving private ryan
  • sideways
  • supporting roles
  • the lady in the water
  • the truman show