I Will Miss Bob Hoskins
It was the movie, The Favour, the Watch and the Very Big Fish, that made me a Bob Hoskins fan. Through comic circumstances his character winds up dubbing pornographic films. His female counterpart, making the “other sounds,” is played by Natasha Richardson. Through this unlikely partnership, he falls in love with her. The comic situation had me laughing until tears came to my eyes. There is something delightfully bizarre in two people making the sounds of sex and then falling in love.
I always look for actors who I think would be likable in real life. I always sensed a genuineness in him. I would have like to have met him. I’m sure he would have said something funny.
I saw him in a lot of movies. The first time I became aware of him was as the crusty sergeant in Zulu Dawn. Whatever he played he always stood out, a real individual.
He’s going to be missed. I’m going to miss him.
Bob Hoskins made Hollywood movies at the peak of his fame in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, but that wasn’t really who he was. As every obituary of the English actor published this week will note, Hoskins’ most widely seen role was probably Eddie Valiant, the toon-hating L.A. private eye in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” Robert Zemeckis’ influential hybrid of live action and animation. But Hoskins drawling his way through an American role never felt (or sounded) right to me. As a man and an actor, Hoskins was a Cockney down to his soul, a product of a bygone working-class London who grew up to become a key figure in the British film renaissance of the ‘80s.
If you look at Hoskins’ bio it will inform you he was born in the country, in the agricultural county of Suffolk, northeast of London. But the year was 1942, and any British person above a certain age will understand the context immediately. London was being bombed daily by the Luftwaffe, and a German invasion still seemed imminent. Pregnant women were routinely evacuated to small towns to give birth, and at the age of 2 weeks, infant Bob returned to the north London neighborhood of Finsbury Park (which, somewhat later, would produce John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten).
Hoskins’ dad was a truck driver (and reportedly a member of the British Communist Party) and his mom taught nursery school; like most working-class British kids of his generation, Hoskins received only a very basic formal education and left school at age 15 to go to work. According to his own hyperbolic-sounding tales, he picked fruit on an Israeli kibbutz and took care of camels in Syria. An English teacher had apparently implanted a passion for the theater, and in 1972, at age 26, Hoskins accompanied an actor friend to an audition and wound up getting the leading part. He had never acted before in any context and had no training; the method acting so beloved by professionals, he would say later, was “a load of bollocks.”
Watch a short scene with Bob Hoskins!
From Around the Web.
From the web site, Pensive Digression.
A great actor has passed away at the age of 71 from complications brought on by Pneumonia. I’m serious by the way. Bob Hoskins may not have been appeared in as many films as Christopher Lee or be able to lay claim to the same level of fame as the great classical actors, Bela Lugosi or Boris Karloff for example but I have fond memories of his movies from my youth. I want to talk about two in particular here. An ode to you Mr. Hoskins.
The first of his films that I loved as a child was the semi-animated, semi-live action comedy “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”. This films was and still s hilarious. Bob plays the role of a surly investigator with a grudge against cartoons. This proves to be quite a problem when he lives in a world where the “toons” co-exist with real life people every day. He is the only hope of a cartoon rabbit called Roger to prove his innocence after being accused of murder.
What I loved about this film was the humour, which wasn’t afraid to go dark, the lighting, the music, the way the actors blended seamlessly with the animated characters, but most of all it was probably just the animated characters themselves. All the famous animated characters from way back made appearances, Buggs Bunny and Mickey Mouse even shared the screen for a scene, it was awesome! Now that I’m older I still find myself easily watching it anytime I need a laugh. Appreciation for a certain character in particular increased as I matured. Ohh Jessica Rabbit… Damn!