John Goodman Finds His Dark Side

We hear John Goodman before we see him, introducing himself in the booming, mock-grand tones of an emcee: “Ladies and gentlemen … The amazing … The incomparable…”

He enters the room with a round of handshakes – “John Goodman; nice to meet you” – and reaches keenly for the bowlful of mints on the table. “What are these gizmos?”

The 63-year-old actor is in New York’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel promoting 10 Cloverfield Lane, a sci-fi thriller produced by J.J. Abrams on the sly while he was directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Goodman plays Harold, a self-deluded survivalist who holds a young girl captive in his subterranean bunker under the pretense of protecting her from the cataclysmic events above.

A companion piece rather than a literal sequel to the 2008 found-footage monster movie Cloverfield, 10 Cloverfield Lane’s sense of looming dread is more rooted in performance and more reminiscent of Hitchcock than your typical sci-fi blockbuster.

It’s a uniquely chilling turn from Goodman, although there’s an essential humanity to the performance that comes through.

“I’m just playing a misunderstood, lonely man,” he says, guessing that he was cast because he looks like “a regular fat schmo who’ll cut your grass for you instead of digging bunkers and kidnapping girls.”

To read the full story, please visit the Sydney Morning Herald.

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