I thought about this a while back and I think I may have even mentioned it here in passing, but the other night I was thinking about actors and actresses who have left us, not through death but through retirement. There comes a point when even our most beloved actors decide they no longer want to work, and we are left with this void in our hearts as we await someone to take their place. What is even more upsetting is when one of our favorites leaves us something souring as a swan song.
This brings me to my pick for ‘actor who needs to make at least one more movie’…Gene Hackman. Yes, Hackman has retired, and I don’t know if anything would bring him back into the game, but the idea that ‘Welcome to Mooseport’ (which is an abomination of a film) is his final goodbye to the acting world is just so painful. It’s not like he was delivering films like he was when in his prime anymore, but even ‘Runaway Jury’, his second to last film, would have been a better sendoff than the dreadful Ray Romano disaster.
I would hate for him to come back for a blandly, uninspired, Jack ‘coast on cliché’ Nicholson type role, so in other words; please don’t come back to play a cop, but if he could get the right role, even a supporting role ala’ Hal Halbrook in ‘Into the Wild’, I would be all for that! Hackman is one of my favorite actors of all time, and his range of performances in films like ‘Mississippi Burning’, ‘Bonnie and Clyde’, ‘The Conversation’ and ‘I Never Sang for My Father’ keep him very high on my list.
No, I’ve never been a big fan of his Oscar winning performance in ‘The French Connection’, a film and performance I found rather one-note, but his career as a whole is brilliant.
Recently I read a beautiful novel entitled ‘I Married You for Happiness’. The novel is written by Lily Tuck and it is one woman’s mental journey through her marriage after her husband dies. While reading this novel I kept thinking about how awesome it would be for Hackman to return to film if this were to ever get made. The novel breaks down their relationship from start to finish in vignettes and so it would be a beautiful way for Hackman to deliver a small yet meaningful performance, as he would obviously play the husband (Philip) at the end of his life. This would be my dream project for Hackman (unless he really wants to make a giant comeback and take on the lead role in ‘Gilead’, which would be HEAVENSENT!) because it wouldn’t require too much from him but would give his fans something beautiful to remember his departure with.
So what about you? Any actor who has retired that you wish would come back for one more film? If so, what would be your dream project for them?