Long-time poster Kristin (with an *I*!!!) not only finally got an answer correct, she got it correct FIRST! It's also a bit ironic that she misspelled the actor's name slightly–something Kristin knows I do myself quite often. Including HER name.
That's right, Kristin, you are full of win! And that win includes a homemade construction-paper medal! Which I have a suspicion Kristin might actually go off and make. Congrats, Kristin! Justin and Dora came in second and third.
Still not sure what actor was in New York Stories, The Thin Red Line, and King of the Hill? No problem, do not fret. Just open your heart (and cursor highlighter) and embrace the Inviso-Text below:
No, it was not Nick Nolte–though Nolte was in both The Thin Red Line and New York Stories. It was Adrien Brody, co-starring this weekend in The Brothers Bloom.
Brody's very first feature film role was in the Francis Ford Coppola section of New York Stories, "Life With Zoe" (written by a very young Sofia Coppola). (Nick Nolte was in the Scorsese section, my favorite, "Life Lessons.") Sixteen-year-old Brody played Mel–he doesn't seem to have any lines, and fans are even a little unsure as to exactly which crowd scene the teenager pops up in.
A few years later Brody played Lester in Steven Soderbergh's lovely adaptation of A.E. Hotchner's childhood memoir, King of the Hill.
Brody has gone on to turn in great performances in films like Spike Lee's Summer of Sam and the recent Cadillac Records, win an Oscar (for The Pianist), and star in Peter Jackson's King Kong. But the story of his first starring role "break" is one of Hollywood legend. Brody starred in Terrance Malick's brilliant 1998 film The Thin Red Line, a meditative adaptation of Jame Jone's follow-up novel to From Here to Eternity. In the book and the shooting script Brody's character Cpl. Fife is a primary protagonist and Brody was in the center of Malick's film.
Until the editing room, that is. Malick, a famously intuative, kinda Zen director, began reworking the very long rough cut of the film, with it's cast of dozens of characters (and an equal number of terrific actors) and ended up completely refocusing the final version on James Caviezel's pacifist character of Pvt. Witt. Thing is, no one told Brody. He showed up with his family at the premiere, all set to see him in his first starring role. Instead, the character of Fife is regulated to the background of a few scenes, mostly standing around watching other characters talk.