Denis Patrick Seamus O'Hare, character actor extraordinareAn adjustable wrench is defined as an essential tool that can be shifted in size to fit and tighten any nut or bolt. AKA, the adjustable spanner.
That description also applies to a club of reliable character actors, among whom Denis O'Hare is the latest member. A staple of the Broadway stage - he played Oscar to Christina Applegate's Charity Hope Valentine in the recent revival of Cy Coleman's "Sweet Charity" (see photo below) - O'Hare has seemingly become a ubiquitous face in one new movie after another, most currently in Tony Gilroy's twisty "Duplicity."
This may be O'Hare's breakthrough role in movies. As Duke Monahan, he is alternately playful, untrustworthy and always a pleasure to watch - all of this considering that he holds the screen against such hugely watchable performers as stars Julia Roberts and Clive Owen.
What can I say? Preston Sturges would have loved him.
Recent O'Hare performances have included a homophobic, anti-gay senator in "Milk," two Angelina Jolie vehicles, "A Might Heart" and "The Changling," a pediatrician in "Baby Mama," one of Ryan Gosling's more disreputable teaching colleagues in "Half Nelson" and assorted roles in "Charlie Wilson's War," "Garden State," "21 Grams," "Michael Clayton" and Woody Allen's "Sweet and Lowdown," his first major movie.
As a singer, O'Hare also got to play Prince Dauntless opposite Tracy Ullman in the 2005 TV movie of "Once Upon a Matress."
He's built up quite an impressive filmography in a relatively short amount of time. I'm looking forward to seeing more of him - and more often.