Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Things To Do

As he turns 40, a look at Patrick Wilson's best performances

Happy 40th birthday on Wednesday to actor Patrick Wilson, who never forgets where he came from, which is right here in St. Petersburg.

Wilson revisits his roots when his busy schedule permits, often with his wife, author and actor Dagmara Dominczyk, and two sons in tow. Over the years, the Emmy and Golden Globe nominee has lent his celebrity to local charities and his Tony-nominated singing voice to the Wilson Van, a fundraising rock band alongside brothers Mark and Paul. Father John, a WTVT anchorman, and music teaching mother Mary K. raised their boys well, and talented.

The level-headed truth of Wilson's charmed life leads to interesting performances, revealing character flaws that innate good looks and confidence otherwise disguise. Wilson at 40 is just hitting his stride, so it's an appropriate time to look back on his first decade in movies and television.

Check out these defining performances, or wait for this summer's double shot of Wilson in theaters: The Conjuring (July 19) and Insidious 2 (Sept. 13). Then tweet him birthday wishes @patrickwilson73.

Angels in America (2003): Tony Kushner's stage play about AIDS in the '80s became an HBO landmark and Wilson's movie breakthrough, earning Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for best supporting actor. Wilson played Joe Pitt, a gay man closeted for religious and political reasons, whose marriage disintegrates as his values strengthen. Director Mike Nichols plucked Wilson from Broadway's The Full Monty.

The Phantom of the Opera (2004): Not Wilson's movie theater debut — The Alamo beat it by eight months — but this one bears repeated viewing for his fans. It's a more natural transition for him from Broadway to Hollywood, singing the role of Raoul, whose romancing of Christine (Emmy Rossum) drives the Phantom (Gerard Butler) insane with jealousy. The only musical on Wilson's filmography so far, which is a shame.

Hard Candy (2005): True story: I'm in a crowded French Quarter dive on a Saturday night when the bartender shoves in this DVD. Until the shocking end, there's nothing less than rapt attention to this sordid thriller about an online predator (Wilson) and his not-so-innocent prey (Ellen Page). On a party night in New Orleans? That's how creepy-good this movie is.

Little Children (2006): Wilson becomes a certifiably sexy leading man thanks to his torrid scenes with Kate Winslet. Yet his character is pitifully immature, a suburban adulterer and underachiever allowing Wilson to use his golden-boy exterior to full ironic effect.

Lakeview Terrace (2008): What could be a throwaway thriller is boosted by Neil LaBute's screenplay and trio of performances better than the B-movie premise deserves. An interracial couple (Wilson, Kerry Washington) move next door to a racist LAPD officer (Samuel L. Jackson) trying to intimidate them out of the neighborhood.

Watchmen (2009): Every emerging actor gets at least one splashy, special effects-driven fantasy on his resume these days; Wilson's is this ambitious take on a graphic novel. He gained 25 pounds to play Nite Owl II, a resurrected superhero overcoming impotency through saving the world from nuclear holocaust. Makes you wonder if a better fitting cape is in Wilson's future.

Barry Munday (2010): Wilson's funniest performance on the list, as a self-deluded ladies man whose one-night stand with a wallflower (Judy Greer) leads to a paternity suit.

Insidious (2010): A movie that works like Halloween Horror Nights at a theme park. Wilson and Rose Byrne play parents struggling to bring back their comatose son from a paranormal realm. Director James Wan keeps the shocks simple, fairly bloodless and creepy, and Wilson opened up a new avenue for roles, in tidy supernatural shockers.

Young Adult (2011): Former high school jock (Wilson), now married with a newborn daughter, is the fatal attraction of his prom sweetheart (Charlize Theron), now an unhinged writer wanting him back. Looking less physically fit than usual, Wilson sells his small town character too trusting to realize he's being seduced by a sociopath.

Girls, episode "One Man's Trash" (2013): Wilson is being touted for an Emmy nomination as Lena Dunham's older-man fling on her HBO series. Meeting coffee house cute, mating by convenience and splitting by generational truth, Wilson and Dunham were as emotively in synch as they are physically different, creating sexual tension rare for even cable television.

Steve Persall can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8365. Follow @StevePersall on Twitter.

   
Comments
The ‘most interesting man in the world’ will be tending bar in Tampa on Friday

The ‘most interesting man in the world’ will be tending bar in Tampa on Friday

"Stay thirsty, my friends," the most interesting man in the world is coming to Tampa to tend bar on Friday. Jonathan Goldsmith, the face that launched a thousand memes, will be slinging cocktails at Tampa’s trendy Hall on Franklin, the food hall anno...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top places to hang with your dog in Tampa Bay, from breweries to baseball games

Top places to hang with your dog in Tampa Bay, from breweries to baseball games

Dogs are more welcome in public than ever these days. Bars and restaurants are making themselves more pet-friendly and you can find weekly "yappy hours" happening at spots all over Tampa Bay. Add to that a healthy number of dog-approved events and e...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 25

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 25

Foo Fighters: The hard rock band led by Dave Grohl tours in support of the group’s new album Concrete and Gold, which debuted at No. 1. But expect some classic hits like Times Like This, Best of You, and Monkey Wrench. 8 p.m., MidFlorida Credit Unio...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Documentary ‘The Human Race,’ which has Tampa Bay ties, celebrates running in 50s and well beyond

Documentary ‘The Human Race,’ which has Tampa Bay ties, celebrates running in 50s and well beyond

An 80-year-old woman runs half marathons to stay one step ahead of Alzheimer’s. A man in his 50s runs his first 5K. A cancer survivor celebrates her 60s by running the U.S. perimeter.Welcome to The Human Race, an upcoming documentary celebrating seni...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Twin sisters from Tampa helping shape Fox’s ‘Empire’ say they’d like to tell Tampa stories

Twin sisters from Tampa helping shape Fox’s ‘Empire’ say they’d like to tell Tampa stories

JaNeika and JaSheika James’ television obsession was fueled by scarcity and convenience. As self-described "military brats" living in Germany, the girls treasured the VHS tapes their grandmother shipped overseas filled with English-language Sa...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Review: American Stage hits 'The Producers' out of the park

Review: American Stage hits 'The Producers' out of the park

You might want to hurry up and get tickets for American Stage in the Park at Demens Landing.
Updated: 8 hours ago

Tuesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBaseballTwins at Yankees6:30 p.m.MLB; 1040-AMRays at Orioles7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMMarlins at Dodgers10 p.m.FSFCollege baseballCoastal Carolina at North Carolina6 p.m.ESPNUMississippi at Mississippi State7 p.m.SECCreighton at Nebraska7:30 p.m.Big ...
Published: 04/23/18
Blueberry Festival returns with special Brooksville touches

Blueberry Festival returns with special Brooksville touches

When the Florida Blueberry Festival made its debut in downtown Brooksville in 2012, it drew both praise and criticism. When state organizers pulled out last June, that also drew both sneers and cheers.But when the Brooksville Blueberry Festival debut...
Published: 04/23/18
SoundBytes: Tracy Morgan, Nipsey Hussle, Jimmie Vaughan and more

SoundBytes: Tracy Morgan, Nipsey Hussle, Jimmie Vaughan and more

— Tracy Morgan is coming to the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater. He'll perform there on Nov. 2. Tickets are $49.50 and up. Click here.— Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley is returning to the Capitol Theatre on Nov. 9. Tickets are $35 and up....
Published: 04/23/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 24

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 24

Waitress: The Broadway hit musical based on Adrienne Shelley’s film follows Jenna, a waitress stuck in a bad marriage and a small town. 7:30 p.m., Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $45-$128....
Published: 04/23/18