Casting Call
6 Actors For Stephen King's The Stand

Firefilm | 24 Feb 2016 15:00
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Matthew McConaughey Cannes 2015

6. Matthew McConaughey as Randall Flagg

This is not my invention, but merely my echo of filmmakers, internet comments, and fans of the book who have all rightly decided that the accidental Paul Newman of his generation should definitely play that unstoppable force known as "The Walkin' Dude." Randall Flagg is a supernatural mastermind of the basest of human evils. He's, quite simply, Stephen King's most fully-realized interpretation of the Antichrist. And fittingly, he's also a paragon of cowboy independence, 1960s liberation philosophy, and easy southern charm. The Devil never fooled anybody who didn't find him seductively cool.

Matthew McConaughey's career seemed perpetually doomed until his whirlwind last four years or so. Most notably, his seemingly dual performance in the southern gothic crime masterpiece "True Detective" as both the mid-nineties, clean-cut, quirky savant and the 2012 spacey drunken burnout genius he becomes is so powerful. In one role as Rust Cohle, the Oscar-winner has translated the very nature of his enduring acting career: regardless of who he is portraying, their background, their outlook on society or life, or their affiliation with good or evil, it is always easy for his characters to be who they are.

Not to put too fine a point on it, Rust Cohle, Wooderson from Dazed and Confused, Cooper from Interstellar, Dallas the veteran male stripper of Magic Mike, and even all of his mediocre romantic comedy leads are all effortlessly authentic humans despite the cartoonish levels of cool or smart or smug they exude. Randall Flagg is such an embodiment of psychotic evil and effortless cool that he demands an actor who could somehow be both at the same time. And McConaughey is the man, in more ways than one.

Agree? Disagree? More ideas? Let us know in the comments.


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