Month: June 2018

Coaches on the rise (2018)

Rhett Lashlee ADAY on Saturday, April 19, 2014 in Auburn AL Lauren Banrard

Rhett Lashlee — Offensive Coordinator, SMU

Lashlee goes way back with Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn — he quarterbacked a record-setting offense for Malzahn at Shiloh Christian School in Springdale, Arkansas before following his mentor into the college game, first at Arkansas State (2012) followed by Auburn (2013-16). He transformed a previously stagnant offense at UConn last season before joining forces with Air Raid guru Sonny Dykes at SMU. Lashlee is still only 35 and has an infectious energy that pays dividends in recruiting. Look for him to get a head coaching shot sooner rather than later, most likely at a mid-major school in the south.

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Neal Brown — Head Coach, Troy

Amazingly, Brown is still at Troy after a fantastic 2017 season that saw the Trojans stun LSU on the road and claim a share of a Sun Belt championship. Brown’s exciting Air Raid offenses have lit up the scoreboard frequently, while his defenses have been marked by speedy playmakers who create turnovers at just the right time. Brown has won two bowl games in two years and has a combined 13-3 record in conference play. While he has no shortage of big-time offers, don’t be surprised if Brown waits for the perfect opportunity to become a head coach at a higher-profile program.

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Beau Baldwin — Offensive Coordinator, Cal

Born in Santa Barbara, California and raised in Spokane, Washington, Baldwin has a sterling resumé: he’s a former quarterback with plenty of experience in innovative offensive systems, and he’s also experienced at the lower levels of Division 1. Baldwin coached at Eastern Washington from 2008-2016, posting an overall 85-32 mark, six FCS playoff appearances, and one FCS national title (2010). Baldwin was rumored to be a finalist for the Oregon State job this past offseason until it went to Jonathan Smith, so look out for his name when the 2018-19 coaching carousel starts spinning.

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Ryan Day — Co-Offensive Coordinator, Ohio State

At this point, I’m basically contractually obligated to put at least one Urban Meyer assistant on these lists. What can I say? The Ohio State boss can flat-out coach. So can all of his assistants from top to bottom, and Day is no exception. In addition to Meyer, the 39-year-old Day coached under Chip Kelly at New Hampshire, Steve Addazio at Temple and Boston College, and even got some NFL experience under his belt (with the 49ers and Eagles). Day could be an ideal fit at a lower-level Group of Five program that needs a shot in the arm offensively.

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Mike Elko — Defensive Coordinator, Texas A&M

Elko has been a high-riser in the coaching ranks in recent seasons, and for good reason. His defenses have been among the most statistically impressive in the FBS. He worked under Dave Clawson at Bowling Green (2009-2013) and Wake Forest (2014-2016) before engineering an eye-opening turnaround at Notre Dame last season. Seeing Elko’s lasting success, Jimbo Fisher immediately hired him when he took over at Texas A&M this past offseason. The jury’s still out on whether Fisher is the long-term right choice for the Aggies, but Elko is likely to get plenty of calls coming his way this coming winter for coaching vacancies.

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Walt Bell — Offensive Coordinator, Florida State

There’s a lot to like about Bell, who cut his teeth under spread offense wizards like Larry Fedora (Southern Miss, North Carolina) and Blake Anderson (Arkansas State). In 2016, he was scooped up by D.J. Durkin at Maryland, where he made an offense hum for two seasons despite dealing with tons of injuries at quarterback. Seeing his potential, Willie Taggart tabbed him as his new coordinator this past winter in Tallahassee. If Florida State’s offense gets back to its lethal standard, watch out…

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Alex Grinch — Co-Defensive Coordinator, Ohio State

The 37-year-old Ohio native is back in his home state after earning rave reviews for his revamping of the Washington State defense for the past three seasons. Grinch earned nominations for the Broyles Award all three years (given to the nation’s top assistant coach) and helped the Cougars improve dramatically in forced turnovers and yards allowed.

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Chip Lindsey — Offensive Coordinator, Auburn

Another Gus Malzahn disciple, Lindsey first got into the college game in 2010. Since then, he’s been a coordinator for high-powered spread offenses at Southern Miss, Arizona State, and now Auburn. Given Malzahn’s coaching tree and their track record, Lindsey will certainly be another name to watch in the near future.

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Manny Diaz — Defensive Coordinator, Miami

Remember Miami’s supersized turnover chain last year? You can thank Diaz for that. The well-traveled Florida native has managed to make an impact at every stop he’s been, starting with his first DC position at Middle Tennessee in 2006, followed by Mississippi State (twice), Louisiana Tech and Texas. He could be in high demand if the right job opens.

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Seth Littrell — Head Coach, North Texas

A former Oklahoma Sooner running back, Littrell has already gotten Mean Green fans as excited as they’ve ever been in the modern era. While a 14-13 record in two seasons might not sound earth-shattering, Littrell’s teams have featured explosive offenses, gone 10-6 in conference play and been to back-to-back bowl games. With another big season in Denton, the 40-year-old Littrell might be on Power Five teams’ radars.

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Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017)

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An experienced lawyer struggles to transition to his new position after his longtime partner dies unexpectedly.

Roman J. Israel (Denzel Washington) is a veteran lawyer who primarily focuses on preparing briefs for civil rights cases. His longtime partner and mentor, William Jackson, is a respected figure among the black community in Los Angeles who has elevated the plea bargain deal to an art form. While naturally introverted and socially awkward, Israel has a brilliant legal mind and is well-regarded by his peers.

When Jackson passes away of a sudden heart attack, his firm goes bankrupt and Israel is forced to take a new job with an up-and-coming firm run by Jackson’s former assistant, George Pierce (Colin Farrell). While initially skeptical of Pierce’s motivations, Israel needs the money and Pierce believes that the veteran lawyer has the potential to make a real difference. Israel has a passion for authentic justice, but he doesn’t fit in well at the new firm, being viewed as a dinosaur by the other lawyers, and faces an uphill battle to prove himself in a new environment. However, Israel manages to take on a few cases that could dramatically influence the future of his career — perhaps sooner rather than later.

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Roman J. Israel, Esq. is an intriguing film. As usual, Washington is outstanding in the title role. It really is unlike any character he’s played before, and Washington earned his eighth career Oscar nomination off the strength of his performance.

However, the movie itself is a mixed bag. It doesn’t have a traditional me-against-the-world mentality that its plot might suggest, but it’s still fairly well-shot and well-written. Colin Farrell gives a solid performance as George Pierce, but his character is a little underdeveloped. The plot lacks depth overall, and I felt like some of the subplots were either resolved too quickly or didn’t really affect the rest of the story. Additionally, some viewers might not be compelled to watch a film in which Washington doesn’t play one of his usually charismatic roles.

The director/writer of the film, Dan Gilroy, is a veteran screenwriter who first began branching out into directing in with Nightcrawler, the 2014 thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal which I really enjoyed. Gilroy does a solid enough job with the material, but the unusual tone might not be good enough for hardcore fans of legal thrillers. Unfortunately, Roman J. Israel, Esq. doesn’t quite do enough in order to capitalize on yet another stellar performance from Washington.

Grade: C+

  • Written and directed by Dan Gilroy
  • Produced by Todd Black, Jennifer Fox and Denzel Washington
  • Director of Photography — Robert Elswit
  • Music by James Newton Howard
  • Edited by John Gilroy
  • Starring Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo, Amanda Warren, Lynn Gravatt, Hugo Armstrong, Amari Cheatom, DeRon Horton, Sam Gilroy, Tony Plana, Niles Fitch
  • Rated PG-13 for language and some violence.

TRIVIA

  • Director Dan Gilroy decided to re-edit parts of the film after initial test screenings at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, resulting in the removal of 12 minutes of footage.
  • In the film, Israel has a noticeable gap between his front teeth. In reality, Denzel Washington had this gap filled when he was in high school, but chose to remove the dental caps for the filming.
  • Dan Gilroy’s second collaboration with DP Robert Elswit and editor John Gilroy (his twin brother). The trio all worked on Nightcrawler together.
  • In addition to the Academy Award for Best Actor, Washington was also nominated for the same category at the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards and the NAACP Image Awards.
  • Washington’s nomination made Roman J. Israel, Esq. the only 2018 Oscar nominee for acting that was not also nominated for Best Picture simultaneously.

Second-year coaches ready to make a big leap

It seems like every year, there’s a handful of unexpected teams in college football that defy expectations under second-year head coaches. While there are certainly a number of quick-fix jobs every year in the FBS, the first year of any coach’s tenure is typically a bit of a bumpy transition. The second year is usually when things start clicking on all cylinders, and there’s a greater chance that the players on the roster have 100% bought into what the new regime has been preaching.

So here are a handful of second-year coaches whose teams have potential to make a big leap:

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Geoff Collins, Temple

The Owls got off to a mediocre start in 2017 as Collins — the former defensive coordinator at Florida — took the reins. But Temple finished the season with four wins in five tries, including a convincing bowl victory over Florida International. Collins is an excellent recruiter and his defense already looks like one of the best in the American Athletic Conference. It’s unlikely that the Owls can catch UCF or USF in the East Division this season, but they’ll certainly make the race interesting.

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Jay Norvell, Nevada

Norvell was a highly-touted offensive mind who arrived in Reno ready to tailor-make the Wolf Pack’s offense in his image. Historically a run-dominated offense, Nevada instead went with an Air Raid courtesy of offensive coordinator Matt Mumme (son of former Kentucky head coach Hal Mumme). While the Pack started 0-5, they rebounded down the stretch and even upset rival UNLV in the season finale to deny them bowl eligibility. With more seasoning, the Nevada offense could be even more dangerous behind strong-armed QB Ty Gangi and a deep group of receivers.

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Justin Wilcox, Cal

Wilcox came to Berkeley last year after stints as a defensive coordinator at a number of high-profile programs, including USC, Wisconsin and Boise State. In year one, he turned around a previously woeful Cal defense and got the Bears to within one game of bowl eligibility. With better luck in close games, the Bears could take the next step in the difficult Pac-12 North.

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Tim Lester, Western Michigan

Let’s be clear: there was going to be an inevitable letdown in Kalamazoo after P.J. Fleck’s departure following the magical undefeated regular season of 2016. But Lester, a WMU alum, did an admirable job getting his new players to buy in. Despite a rash of injuries, the Broncos competed well and identified a handful of new stars on both sides of the ball. While the Broncos got the six wins needed to reach bowl eligibility, they were not invited to one. You can bet that Lester will use that as fuel to motivate his players entering year two.

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Luke Fickell, Cincinnati

The talent level has seriously dropped off at Cincinnati following Tommy Tuberville’s resignation, so Fickell was bound to have some hiccups in his first season. The longtime Ohio State assistant is unfazed though, and his fiery attitude seems to have rubbed off on his players (Fickell also landed the Group of Five’s top recruiting class in February). The Bearcats don’t have a ton of proven firepower right now, but their level of raw talent is as good as its been in years. They’re a sleeping giant in the AAC.

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Brent Brennan, San Jose State

Brennan was an intriguing hire at SJSU, a place that has seen its share of booms and busts in its gridiron history. His first season was certainly rough: The Spartans led the nation in turnovers lost, their offensive line was a turnstile, and the defense wasn’t prepared to carry a disproportionate load. However, things could settle down in year two of the Brennan era. He’s been recruiting well (particularly at the skill positions), the defense is more experienced, and the quarterback position might be settled for the first time in awhile. The Spartans probably won’t make the postseason in 2018 due to a tough schedule, but the future looks bright.

All the Money in the World (2017)

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Based on real-life events, this film chronicles the account of billionaire J. Paul Getty and his refusal to pay ransom money after his teenage grandson is kidnapped in Italy.

In 1973, American oil tycoon J. Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer) is the wealthiest man in the world, occupying a sprawling estate in rural England and running a global empire bearing his family name. His 16-year-old grandson J. Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) — known as Paul to his friends — is kidnapped in Rome by Ndrangheta, the notorious mafia group.

Paul’s traumatized mother, Gail (Michelle Williams), appeals to her former father-in-law for help. It is revealed that she divorced Paul’s father due to his substance abuse problems, and rejected any alimony in order to get full custody; therefore, she has no means to pay the $17 million the mafia is requesting.

The billionaire Getty, known as a notorious miser, refuses to pay the ransom, arguing that doing so would make him appear weak and/or vulnerable, as well as potentially encourage copycat kidnappings of his other grandchildren. The media frenzy becomes increasingly intense, as they don’t know that Gail is unable to pay the money herself. This leads Getty to arrange for his advisor, former CIA agent Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg), to further investigate the kidnapping and negotiate Paul’s release.

Meanwhile, Paul’s captors are surprisingly courteous towards him at first due to his quiet and passive nature, but as the weeks go on, they grow increasingly impatient and continue to demand the ransom money. With Getty still unflinching, it seems that it’s up to Chase and Gail to get creative — and fast.

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All the Money in the World is loosely adapted from John Pearson’s book Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty, published in 1995. The film, directed by legendary Ridley Scott, contains a footnote that some events in the movie were changed for dramatic purposes, as per usual with these types of films.

Scott had reportedly been interested in directing the project, as the script (written by David Scarpa) had been a hot commodity in Hollywood. “I just consumed it,” Scott said. “I knew about the kidnapping, but this story was very, very provocative….there are many facets of the man Getty that make him a really great study. There’s this great dynamic. It was like a play, and not a movie.”

The 80-year-old Scott shot the movie mostly in England and Italy during the summer of 2017. With an all-star cast of Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Williams and Kevin Spacey as J. Paul Getty, the movie was being pegged as a serious Oscar contender.

And then disaster struck.

As we’ve all heard by now, Kevin Spacey was accused of sexual assault by former teen idol Anthony Rapp when they did a show on Broadway together in 1986 (Rapp was 14 at the time). Shortly thereafter, a number of other male celebrities accused Spacey of similar misconduct.

Disgusted by the Spacey revelations, Scott immediately cancelled the movie’s pending premiere at AFI Fest and planned to reshoot all of Spacey’s scenes.

Scott’s producers — and the studio executives — thought he was nuts. After all, the film was already shot and edited, it had already started its Oscar marketing campaign, the movie’s premiere was less than a month away, and the trailer featuring Spacey had already been released.

Nevertheless, on November 8, Scott announced publicly that All the Money in the World would be reshooting all of Spacey’s scenes (a good chunk of the movie) and replacing him with Christopher Plummer, while still getting everything done in time for the film’s initial premiere, December 18th.

All of the reshoots were done in just over a week during the Thanksgiving holiday at a cost of $10 million. Coincidentally, Plummer had actually been Scott’s first choice for the role of Getty, so the venerable Canadian actor had little difficulty memorizing his lines and getting comfortable with the role.

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I really enjoyed this movie. While a bit long (two and a half hours), All the Money in the World features some incredible acting and cinematography. It’s an intense true story that highlights the desperation of a woman trying to find her son, while also showing what the film’s title itself — having all the money in the world — does to people.

All the Money in the World allows its entire cast to shine; I’ve long been fans of both Wahlberg and Williams. Wahlberg is a versatile actor who always brings a lot of depth and charisma to his roles, while I’ve always felt that Williams is seriously underrated, despite typically choosing very good scripts and working with many different directors. And quite frankly, Christopher Plummer is Christopher Plummer — an absolute legend — and he got an Oscar nomination out of it at the age of 88.

All of Scott’s movies are beautifully shot, and this is no exception. The use of music was also pretty solid and gave an otherwise slow-paced film a real sense of urgency and drive. I also thought that Charlie Plummer (no relation to Chris) gave an earnest and restrained performance as 16-year-old Paul Getty that felt both appropriate and believable.

Despite some minor flaws, I really enjoyed All the Money in the World and I have to give a serious hats-off to Ridley Scott for rescuing a film — and simultaneously, letting it reach a much higher level, when it could have been much easier to shelve the project altogether and forget about it.

Grade: B+

  • Directed by Ridley Scott
  • Produced by Ridley Scott, Chris Clark, Quentin Curtis, Dan Friedkin, Mark Huffam, Bradley Thomas and Kevin J. Walsh
  • Written by David Scarpa
  • Based on the book Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty by John Pearson
  • Director of Photography — Dariusz Wolski
  • Music by Daniel Pemberton
  • Edited by Claire Simpson
  • Starring Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Williams, Charlie Plummer, Timothy Hutton, Andrew Buchan, Romain Duris, Marco Leonardi, Giuseppe Bonifati, Nicolas Vaporidis
  • Rated R for language, some violence, disturbing images and brief drug content.

TRIVIA

  • Plummer said that he was prepared to play J. Paul Getty on short notice because he had previously been considered for the role and had read the script. He had less than two weeks to memorize his lines, but did have the advantage of having met the real Getty in London at a couple of parties during the 60s.
  • Ridley Scott elected not to show Plummer any footage of Spacey in character, or even tell him how Spacey played the scenes. When finished, Scott found both performances to be quite different and equally effective in their own particular styles.
  • The film’s reshoots took eight days to film at a cost of $10 million.
  • Michelle Williams said that she would have been unable to promote the film if Kevin Spacey had stayed in it, because she felt so much sympathy for the people that he had hurt.
  • This was the second time Scott was faced with drastic re-shoots during his career. Previously, he almost had to abandon Gladiator due to the untimely death of Oliver Reed.
  • Scott said an interview that one of the more interesting aspects of the reshoots was the fact that Spacey played Getty as a more explicitly cold and unfeeling character, while Plummer’s take on the role showed both a warmer side to the billionaire and the same unflinching refusal to simply pay off his son’s kidnappers.
  • Scott has gone on record as saying that Spacey or his representatives had not contacted him since the news about Spacey’s history of sexual harassment came out, and added that he had no plans to ever release the footage with Spacey to any public viewing forum.
  • Mark Wahlberg had already lost 30 pounds for his next role when the reshoots happened; as such, his costumes had to be refitted.
  • Angelina Jolie and Natalie Portman both turned down the role of Gail Getty before Michelle Williams was cast.
  • Although it is extremely rare, this was not the only time a major character had to be recast in a Hollywood film after the filming was almost or entirely completed. For instance, after more than half of the movie Solomon and Sheba was done, the film’s star Tyrone Power, who played Solomon, suddenly died and had to be replaced with Yul Brynner. All of his scenes were then re-shot. Also, Michael J. Fox had to replace Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly in the first Back to the Future movie, even though at least one third of the movie was already completed with Stoltz in the role. In that instance, the filmmakers thought that Stoltz’s version of Marty was simply coming off as too serious.
  • Michelle Williams was paid over 1,000 times less than Mark Wahlberg for the reshoots. Wahlberg was paid $1.5 million, while Williams received just $1,000 for the week’s work. Many reports used this in order to highlight the perceived gender wage gap in Hollywood, neglecting to mention that Williams herself requested to go without the pay entirely, or that Wahlberg shot many more of the reshoot scenes with Plummer than she did.

 

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Alan Dale

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Alan Dale commands your attention onscreen, and it’s not just due to his authoritative looks and intense expressions. I can almost guarantee you’ve seen the 71-year-old Kiwi actor in a film or TV show without realizing it was him.

To many, Dale is easily recognizable due to his presence on many popular shows, including his turn as the U.S. Vice President in 24, as an aloof, cold family patriarch in The O.C., and as a magazine mogul in Ugly Betty. Dale’s work ethic and on-set friendliness belie a hard-fought road to become a key character actor in Hollywood. After all, his becoming an actor was almost an afterthought.

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Dale was born and raised as one of four children in the seaside city of Dunedin, New Zealand. Growing up lower-middle class, Dale’s family didn’t have a TV, but he always enjoyed going to his local theatre and watching shows. At the tender age of 13, Dale performed for the first time at a school concert, doing an impression of American comedian Sheldon “Shelley” Berman. After moving to Auckland, Dale’s parents — who were fellow drama buffs — opened an amateur theatre. During shows, they often asked young Alan to operate the stage equipment that was used for weather effects.

Despite having a keen interest in the arts, Dale elected to primarily focus on rugby, as he was a talented player during his school days. By the age of 21, Dale decided to focus on acting full-time. “The acting fraternity didn’t like footballers and the footballers didn’t like actors,” Dale once remarked. “Acting gave me the same buzz and there was the chance of a longer career.”

Dale looked into theatre companies around New Zealand, but there weren’t many opportunities, so he went after other work. He dabbled in modeling, sold cars and real estate, and was even a milkman for awhile. One day, Dale was listening to his local radio station when the DJ abruptly quit in the middle of the set. “I had a shower, went to their office and said I could do better. They gave me a go, and then the day I was offered an afternoon show, I also got a call from the TV network, where I had tried the same trick — and landed my first series.”

Just like that.

By the time he turned 27, Dale had decided to fully pursue professional acting. He got a small role in a production of The Royal Hunt of the Sun at the Grafton Theatre in Auckland, as well as a spot on the New Zealand TV drama Radio Waves. This was what convinced him to permanently give up rugby.

However, over the next few years, work soon slowed down, and Dale decided to move to Sydney, Australia in 1979. He had hoped to apply for the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), but was deemed too old for the course. Shortly thereafter, his wife Claire divorced him before moving back to Auckland, while Dale remained in Sydney with their two sons. Thankfully, Dale soon found work on the Aussie soap opera The Young Doctors, playing Dr. John Forrest for a three-and-a-half year stint.

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Dale’s performance on The Young Doctors was well-received in Australia and opened the door for him to star on another long-running Aussie soap — Neighbours. Portraying the character of Jim Robinson, Dale received warm reviews for his role on the show, staying on for eight years, but some personality differences began to emerge on-set. While Dale enjoyed playing Robinson and the pay was solid, he felt that the producers and showrunners didn’t understand where the show was going.

“You were a totally replaceable commodity. The production company didn’t put any value on any of the people appearing in the show,” Dale recalled later. By 1993, things were going south quickly, and the show’s creators killed Dale’s character off.

Over the next few years, Dale struggled to avoid typecasting and found it difficult to secure any major gigs apart from voiceover roles. He got thrown a life raft in 1999, when a made-for-TV American film called First Daughter was filmed in Australia. Dale landed a role and impressed the director with his talent. “I found I could do an American accent and decided to go for the launch (in Hollywood) in August 1999. By January 2000, I was living there.”

Not many actors move to LA at the age of 52. But then again, Dale has never followed a straight-forward path to the screen.

By this time, he had remarried and had two more sons, and they decided to make the leap and try to start afresh in the US. Here, Dale enrolled in formal acting training for the first time. As it turned out, his American acting coach offered some great advice: “You might want to play great roles, but truth is you will get cast as a specific type. Just work out your type.”

“The others in the class said I was a bit Anthony Hopkins and a bit Sean Connery, and that went into my head. I thought, if I go for roles those guys would go for, I’m more likely to get them,” Dale explained.

After landing a surprise four-episode stint on ER, Dale’s American acting career took off. Suddenly, the ex-soap opera star was insanely busy. “A lot of the American middle-aged faces were too familiar,” Dale said. “I came along and people were saying ‘Who is this great new guy?’ And I was cheap. After Neighbours, common sense says trade down, but I thought I’d try the opposite. If you get punched in the balls by someone bigger, it doesn’t hurt any more than being punched in the balls by someone smaller.”

After ER, Dale appeared on The Practice, The X-Files, 24, CSI: Miami, and The West Wing. Showing a penchant for playing authority figures, Dale managed to carve out a niche on American TV.

In 2003, Dale landed his first major role as a main cast member — on the beachside drama The O.C. In the show, Dale received further critical notice for his portrayal of Caleb Nichol, an unemotional, wealthy property developer whose clashes with his immediate family (daughter Kirsten Nichol Cohen and son-in-law Sandy Cohen) were a key source of tension in the show. While widely categorized as a “teen drama,” The O.C. also had a talented adult cast of characters, which allowed Dale to rub elbows with big-time acting veterans like Peter Gallagher.

 

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In addition to his stint on The O.C., Dale also appeared in recurring roles on Ugly BettyNCIS, and Lost. From 2009-2011, he also had notable guest starring parts on shows such as Californication, Burn Notice and Entourage. Dale also humorously paid homage to his home country as a guest star in an episode of Flight of the Conchords, in which he played the Australian Ambassador, who teases the show’s lead characters, Bret and Jemaine, for their Kiwi heritage.

Speaking of which, Dale has always had a sense of humor about his roots — as a young Kiwi actor who happened to make a lasting impression on a classic Aussie TV show.

“I like both places, but I get a lot more respect and recognition from Australia than I do in New Zealand,” Dale admits. “New Zealanders don’t want to know me at all, really. I’ve been Australian for 20-odd years. Everywhere I went I was the guy from Neighbours, so I was Australian. Then when I came here to Hollywood, because I have a New Zealand passport, I became a New Zealander again. It’s odd.”

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Despite enormous success on the small screen, Dale has remained close to his theatre roots. In 2008, he played King Arthur in the West End production of Spamalot, which also allowed him an extended chance to enjoy time with his son Simon, a radio announcer based in London. In addition to theatre, Dale has made small supporting roles in various films, including The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Throughout the ups and downs of a career that has literally taken him around the globe, Dale says that he always keeps the words of Winston Churchill close to him: “Never give up. Never, never give up.” True enough, Dale has managed to find success in an unlikely environment after facing an uphill climb to get there to begin with.

Dale currently resides in Manhattan Beach, California and also has properties in Australia and New Zealand. His second wife, Tracey Pearson, is a former Miss Australia; they met at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne back in 1986. Together, they have two sons, Nick and Daniel, while Dale also has two grown sons from his first marriage: Simon, a radio announcer who lives in the UK, and Matthew, a US-based actor and writer.