Monday, 11 February 2008
Rewatching Marathon Man not so long ago, I was struck all over again by the quiet genius of Roy Scheider who has died aged 75. So much a part of my formative moviegoing experience thanks to his starring role in Jaws ("we're going to need a bigger boat"), the minimalist delivery, cool cynicism, and iconic quality that Scheider possessed in abundance only truly impacted me as I grew older. He was terrific in The French Connection, Sorcerer, and Klute, and turned in a wonderfully creepy performance in Cronenberg's Naked Lunch. (I didn't know until today that he was offered the lead in The Deer Hunter but turned it down to honour a commitment to star in Jaws 2.) I loved him in the much under-rated 2010 (and still remember watching the scene in which his character uses a laptop on the beach in awe; it was 1984 after all). But if you're after one masterpiece Scheider performance to watch, may I recommend his role as self-destructive/womanising choreographer/director in Bob Fosse's autobiographical All That Jazz. Wonderful.