The first time I ever saw Giovanni Ribisi was in the show “My Two Dads” circa 1986. A show that today, conjures up an entirely different image that what the show was actually about. It starred 80’s icon Greg Evigan and comedian Paul Reiser that would later go on to “Mad About You”. Ribisi was the wannabe boyfriend to the show’s central character. He had a charm, a certain quality that made me think, even at 12 years old, that we’d be seeing a lot more of him. Now, if you look up Giovanni Ribisi on IMDB you will see he has appeared in over 80 different roles. I can’t possibly take the time to commend each individual performance but I can take the time to point out a of my favorite performances as well as explain why he’s Hollywood’s “go to guy” whenever they need to cast a character that’s slightly off balance.
Reasons Why Directors Cast Giovanni Ribisi:
He’s just the perfect creep- No one and I mean NO ONE can make you feel as uncomfortable watching a film like this guy. His performance in The Gift (2000) starring opposite Cate Blanchett was masterfully genius. That’s the thing with Ribisi is that you can actually forget you’re watching a performance making him, in this viewer’s humble opinion, one of the best actors in Hollywood today. His performance as Buddy Cole in that film was hands down award worthy. It gave me shivers watching him as he brought a troubled, developmentally delayed and abused young man to life. Speaking of creepy, if you haven’t caught his performance in Ted (Seth MacFarlane) yet, you really need to. His performance is refreshingly disturbing. He brings the character of “Donny” the ghoulish collector to a whole new level of hilarity. Please click on the clip below. He also proves himself to be quite the dancer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt-fBNBJv4c (clip from The Gift)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhzyQ89ElEE (clip from Ted)
He Brings Innocence to his Roles- He brought a charming presence to 1999’s The Other Sister starring opposite Juliette Lewis. In this film, he played Daniel McMann, the mentally challenged young man that falls in love with the mentally challenged Juliette Lewis. It could be very easy to do an offensive job portraying someone who’s mentally challenged but he did it with an understanding and a respect that again, I feel should have won this guy an award. Who decided these things anyway?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2MYlfTBN74 (Clip from The Other Sister)
Brilliant Character Actor- Much Like Johnny Depp, Ribisi’s a character actor. You can tell how much research and preparedness that goes in to his performances. He simply immerses himself in whoever he’s playing. I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t break character between takes or even shoots for that matter. He has become a master at his craft and his performances are flawless.
Trailer for “I Love Your Work” - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0322700/
Fun Facts about Giovanni Ribisi:
He Is 5 ‘7.
He is a practicing Scientologist.
Was born in 1974 making him 38.
Has one daughter from ex wife, supermodel Mariah O’Brien, her name is Lucia born in 1997 and named after Donizetti’s opera ‘Lucia Di Lammermoor’.
For his lead role in Heaven (2002), Giovanni Ribisi had to learn to speak Italian with a perfect accent, in just twelve days.
His favorite music is heavy metal like Van Halen and Black Sabbath.
Has appeared in 2 films opposite Cate Blanchett, but the person he has worked with the most is also is best friend, Saving Private Ryan’s Adam Goldberg. They have appeared together in 5 movies.
Favorite actor is Marlon Brando.
Has a twin sister that he is 15 minutes older than, Marissa Ribisi.
He plays the guitar.
Ribisi has weathered television and film for going on 27 years and I have a feeling we’re going to be seeing his brilliant acting for years to come. I asked people what they thought of him as an actor while writing this and it seems to be a general consensus that he is one of the best and underestimated actors of our time. Thank you for the entertainment Sir.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIP-8rly6cA (Tribute video made by a YouTube user)
Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,
http://www.giovanni-ribisi.com A website solely dedicated to Giovanni Ribisi and his awesomeness.
Facts about all: Interesting Facts: http://factspage.blogspot.ca/2010/01/18-facts-about-giovanni-ribisi.html