"I, ugh, I ugh, I'm I'm stroking my chin now, right now, as a proper Jeff Goldblum should do, and I, I, I, um, am about to tell you some, some, um, disturbing FUBAR event that we will marginally escape..."
By: Peter Parker
Most movie goers are familiar with the phenomenon of typecasting, where a certain actor, be it by his or her own efforts or by the capricious whims of some Hollywood Executive, ends up playing the same basic role over and over again. Examples include John Wayne’s myriad performances as Cowboys, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s frequent portrayal of guys who’ll “be back” and Shia Labeouf’s endless depictions of people I want to repeatedly punch in the face. However, what has gone largely unnoticed by folks with so-called “real lives” is what I have labeled “U.O.S.T.” or Unusually Overly Specific Typecasting. U.O.S.T is often so bizarre that it seems more like some wonky Synchro-Mystic reincarnation across an actor’s career history rather than a reflection of the utter unoriginality of Hollywood casting directors but perhaps we should just let the examples of it speak for themselves.
Mary Steenburgen: The Girlfriend, Turned Wife of Guys Who Travel Between the Late 19th and Late 20th Centuries.
Other than playing Bride of Frankenstein to giant foreheaded hubby Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen is probably best known for playing the part of Clara Clayton, a schoolmarm romanced by nutty scientists Emmett “Doc” Brown, when he travels back to the year 1885 in the third Back to the Future movie. After contemplating destroying his time machine on the grounds that it might fuck shit up on a galactic scale, Doc eventually says “screw the laws of causality,” marries Clara and returns with her to his own era.
"We named our kids Jules & Verne, so basically, we’re one of those annoying yuppie couples that makes you wanna barf! But at least, be thankful we didn’t pull a Will & Jada Smith & call em Clemet & Emra."
What’s less remembered, however, is Mary played almost this exact same part ten years earlier, with only one slight inversion. In the 1979 film Time After Time, Mary plays Amy Robbins a late 20th century woman who is romanced by a time traveler from the year 1893, specifically the pimp-daddy of time travel himself, H.G Wells, who came through time to pursue none other than Jack the Ripper. After saving Amy from “Saucy Jack” Wells decides he must return to his own time and destroy the machine. Proving the old adage “time machines are the ultimate pussy wagons,” Amy begs Wells to take her with him. They return to 1893 with the ending credits telling us that they later married.
Hell, both movies even feature scenes where Mary gets all pissy when her respective beaus, reveal that they are time travelers. Apparently, she believes “I’m a time traveling scientists” to be a sleazy con to get up under her hoop skirt and as we’ve already established, it’s definitely an angle that works!
Speaking of perfectly executed segues; our next example of U.O.S.T also involves another actress from Back to the Future.
Maybe this movie traveled through time to become “Back to the Future 3.”
Lea Thompson: Young Women in Sci-Fi Related, Deeply Disturbing, Sexual Relationships.
If you weren’t creeped out by the Steenburgen/Danson pairing, then this next segment probably won’t phase you one bit, however if your disturbo-threshold is that of a normal human, prepare to go “eeww!”
The lovely Lea Thompson has twice played parts that combine sci-fi and totally wrong sexual relationships. Many of us remember, mostly in therapy sessions, the scene in Back to the Future where Lea plays 1950s chick Lorrain Baines, who through the miracle of time travel, tries to get it on with her own son, Marty.
Hell, both movies even feature scenes where Mary gets all pissy when her respective beaus, reveal that they are time travelers. Apparently, she believes “I’m a time traveling scientists” to be a sleazy con to get up under her hoop skirt and as we’ve already established, it’s definitely an angle that works! Continue reading