Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hump Day Hottie, Carla Gugino

Will someone please explain to me how Carla Gugino has been relegated to playing drunken senior citizens (see Watchmen). Carla Gugino! She is a spry sexy 37 year-old... only 7 years older than screen daughter Malin Akerman and as far as I can tell a far better actress, too.

Not that Watchmen showcases that (Zach Snyder doesn't appear to be an actor's director in any appreciable way). But I wish she had played Silk Spectre II instead of I. Given her willingness to bare her slamming bod and her frank sexual screen presence, I'm fairly certain she would have sucked on Billy Crudup's radioactive blue fingers most convincingly. And if Patrick Wilson is going to thrust away bare assed at someone that isn't Kate Winslet, it should have been her. I'm certain of it.

That said and perhaps overstated, I couldn't exactly call myself a loyal Carla fan: I've never seen Spy Kids or Karen Sisco or... well, I actually haven't seen that much of her so perhaps I'm wrong to assume the best. Yet I always straighten a little in my seat when I see her in a scene. She generally steals it from those sidelined bit roles she gets. I'm thinking primarily of her forthright counsellor in The Lookout, her angry ex-wife in American Gangster, that messy/lusty friend in Center of the World or her lesbian officer in Sin City... if you ask me she nailed the latter film's difficult tone better than almost any actress involved. Plus she didn't let Mickey Rourke take her scenes for himself. That's a feat considering how terrific he was in the movie [a medalist right here]. And then there's always her agent in underwear on Entourage to ogle. Yes I like my women bossy onscreen.

I want to see her in a plum big demanding role in a prestige picture just once. Just a guess but I bet she'd devour the scenery. *


JA said...

I'm glad you did this, Nat, because I'd been seriously considering doing a post of hot pictures of her this week and was feeling weird about it. But she's one of them dames that makes a Kinsey 6 reconsider.

Also, thanks for the linkage!

Mikadzuki said...

First a Blue Velvet screngrab and then a post celebrating the hotness of Carla Gugino? How will you manage to follow this double treat up Nathaniel?

Fox said...


We've had our beefs over hump day hotties before (Sigourney Weaver?!?) but you have lassoed the ultimate hottie here!!

I lust after Carla Gugino like no other! They had so many pointless scenes of her in Righteous Kill JUST b/c she is so hot.

P.S. JA, post those pics! :)

brianmaru said...

Love Gugino too.

Actually attended the Race to Witch Mountain screening last night and she was surprisingly in it as an astronomer. She was quite fun, nice to see her laid back and smiling for a change.

Deborah said...

I think she was well-cast but ill-used in Watchmen. She played Silk Spectre as a young woman, and was, even in old age, much more frankly sexual than her daughter. Plus, there's something right about her in a 40s setting.

She had a tv show, Threshold, which I really liked, but fffft, quick cancellation.

Luigi De Angelis S. said...

Hi, Nathaniel

Everything you have written in this post is extraordinarily well explained.

Carla Gugino is a prime example of two of the most excruciating things that happen in the American film industry right now: 1) Ageism (specially – not to mention exclusively – against women) and 2) The fact that screenwriters, filmmakers and mainly producers can’t handle with a real woman’s (like Carla’s) devastating sexual appeal.

Carla is a victim of the two things. She’s only 37 and she played the love interest of Robert De Niro (who is 65) in “Righteous Kill”… that was so humiliating to watch as moviegoer (no to mention that the whole film is a total turkey) and I am sure that it should have been humiliating to Carla too. Her presence in that horrible film is the realization of a misogynistic fantasy, she’s hot of course but she deserves a lot better.

I don’t know why there’s the idea that a hot woman can’t act or that a hot female character can’t be a good one, that idea is terrible and is another way to say that the varied expressions of women sexuality are wrong… it is just my opinion and I don’t know if I am expressing my point very well but in other words I think that the devastating sexiness of Carla Gugino (who I loved in “Miami Rhapsody”, “Sin City”, “American Gangster” and “The Lookout”) has played against her throughout the years and that’s a total shame.

I love Carla and she is much more talented, sexy, beautiful, depth, interesting, fascinating, devastating, and incisive and actress than Malin Ackerman.



brian -- how was the movie?

mikadzuki -- i have no idea ;) i just play it by ear this month. I'm all over the place (sigh)

deborah -- totally agree. but doesn't it seem like the character was being punished for being "frankly sexual"... like this was a character flaw.

elektra luxx said...

Nice post, Nathaniel!
I cordially invite you over to check out my blog,
where I think you'll be intrigued by what Ms Gugino is up to next, and how it will showcase everything you're talking about in a non-misogynistic yet sensual and empowering context.

Anonymous said...

thank u Nate! She is hot!

gabrieloak said...

I saw her on stage in After the Fall in which she played a Marilyn Monroe type; on stage as the lobotomized lover in Suddenly Last Summer; and now she's playing a stepmother who seduces her son in Desire Under the Elms, scheduled to open on Broadway in a few weeks. Gugino is a force to be reckoned with and may even win a Tony this year.


gabriel... i so wanted to see AFTER THE FALL but never got to it. She wasn't TONY nominated for that though (despite strong reviews) so hopefully a better fate awaits her this year.

Dave Van Houwelingen said...

She would have been MUCH better than Akerman as Silk Spectre II in the film. She also would have been the right age. And, she is much hotter and sexual. I liked Watchmen more than most, but Akerman was a weak spot.

gabrieloak said...

Go see her in Desire. You won't be disappointed. She exudes sensuality in every movement.

Christine said...

@Luigi De Angelis
The way DeNiro and Pacino, two give two examples, always have much younger women against them in films has always bugged me. One of the most annoying examples was "Heat" in 1995 where DeNiro (52) plays the love-interest of Amy Brenneman (31).

I think it's problematic that many women of about Gugino's age are required to play the love-interest of much-older men and that makes them unmarketable in a weird way.

I wish older, marketable, male actors would step up and insist on casting female co-leads who are about their same age.

Wayne B. said...

I agree that Carla Gugino is underutilized. I saw her for the first time in Son-In-Law when I was eight and she made the movie worth watching with her warmn performance, not an easy thing to do with Pauly Shore. Would love to see her as a lead in a Raymond Chandler-esque movie.

Sally Belle said...

Don't like Malin Ackerman at all. She seems to be about a C- Cameron Diaz.

Gugino is way more talented then her career would lead you to believe. But, she seems to have Lena Olin syndrome. Olin scared too many people with her powerful sexuality and balls to the wall performances.

I too, wish that older leading men would get a clue and ask to be paired with mature women. The best Kevin Costner ever was, is when he was paired with strong age appropriate actresses...Joan Allen, Amy Madigan, Mare Winningham, Susan Sarandon. This is a lesson worth following.

crossoverman said...

Those LEGS! Those beautiful, long LEGS. Yum.


Christine and Sally. That's totally it. The leading men need to realize. But their egos probably get in the way. It's absolutely true of Costner. He's just not exciting to watch unless he's sparking off a formidable female peer.

Luigi De Angelis S. said...


Yes I agree.

Cybill Shepherd, Amy Irving, Debra Winger, Alfre Woodard, Melissa Leo, Mary McDonnell, Sigourney Weaver, Christine Lahti, etc. could play Robert De Niro or Al Pacino love interests (not that they should do it – cause some of them are too talented to be mere love interests – but they could because they have the adequate age)… Carla is too young, and too sexy, she could do better. What’s next?... Dakota Faning as Johnny Depp’s love interest? (uggh!!)

Carla Gugino could be the wife (or girlfriend) of Edward Norton, Matt Dillon, John Cusack, etc. but not De Niro’s (the only idea is revolting).

Anyway, the “love interest” role is generally not a good one but sometimes it works (when the role has a purpose and the couple is not puke-inducing). For instance, I liked Minnie Driver as the love interest of Matt Damon in “Good Will Hunting” and Vera Farmiga as Matt Damon’s and Leonardo DiCaprio’s love interest in “The Departed”.


Actionman said...

De Palma deserves some credit for putting her in Snake Eyes

Gugino is so yummy

brianmaru said...

Sorry for the late reply Nathaniel.

Race to Witch Mountain was fun if nothing special. The interactions by the kids with Dwayne and Carla were the best part. And, the villain, to my very happy delight was none other than Ciaran Hinds.

Worth watching but not necessarily right away.

Deborah said...

deborah -- totally agree. but doesn't it seem like the character was being punished for being "frankly sexual"... like this was a character flaw.

In the movie, yeah. That Hayter jerk has some screwed-up ideas about women. In the book, though, Silk Spectre/Sally is vulnerable and easily taken advantage of, but exactly as flawed as every other character, and less than some.