Spoiler from There Will Be Blood ahead. Don't read if you haven't yet seen the film.
Today marks the first time that an actor with a disability has been featured on Hump Day Hottie. And I didn't even know that I was being inclusive. Whenever I am particularly drawn to a performance by an unknown actor be it in a large or a tiny role, I take note. So only after I started IMDB'ing, gathering info for this post did I realize that they had cast the older H.W. Plainview role appropriately.
<-- Russell with Paul Dano at the There Will Be Blood premiere
H.W. is played by two actors in There Will be Blood. The first is the eerily still Dillon Freasier who gets the bulk of the screentime (one of many strong child actor performances this year). During There Will Be Blood's explosive gusher sequence, the film's most mesmerizing setpiece, little H.W. tragically loses his hearing. Many years later we get reacquainted with the character as a grown man, played by today's subject Russell Harvard (official site). H.W.'s hearing has never returned to him in the intervening years. Marlee Matlin (still the most famous deaf actor) would be proud: they cast an actual hearing impaired actor in the role.
In most of the pictures to be seen of Mr. Harvard on line he looks scruffy / attractive rather than truly...
But in the film, well, let's just say he cleans up real nice. Period pieces tend to do that to people. Why did everyone look so beautiful in the 20s, 30s, 40s? And can we bring those styles back? I mean back for everyone. Not just for George Clooney, who is always working the old Hollywood glamour, always abusing that pomade.
Back on topic... In a smart symmetry, Harvard plays H.W. just as still, observant and internal as the child actor who came before him. The same disappointment, love and anger intermingle. Well done. Meet Russell Harvard: one of my nominees in the Best Actor in a Limited or Cameo Role category at the FB Awards.
previous 'Hump Day Hotties'
Carice Van Houten is a star and The Beautiful Decay of Helena Bonham-Carter