b. 2nd June, 1979.
Last week with Art Hindle I was talking about a guy whose overacting detracted from the quality of the films he was in, but James Ransone often acts 'big', overacts, appears borderline hysterical onscreen, and it works, dammit. You probably recognise the guy as Ziggy Sobotka in series two of The Wire, or as Corporal Josh Person in Generation Kill. He's also shown up in Treme and Law and Order. I loved him as Ziggy - such a pathetic character, who wanted so hard to fit in and be one of the boys, but whose tantrums and idiocies got in his way. He was funny, but there was also a lot of frustration at not being able to be cool no matter how hard he tried that I really empathised with.
I first saw Ransone in John Waters' A Dirty Shame, where he plays a character aroused by dirt (he chews lovingly on a used tissue Tracy Ullman's character tosses to him), and since then have been rewarded with many "hey it's that one guy" moments. I got to see Larry Clark's Ken Park recently, which I liked, but I especially loved Ransone's psychotic character, Tate. The Scrabble game with his grandparents that devolves into triumphant screamed accusations of cheating is a particular highlight. The film also contains some fairly explicit masturbation and nudity courtesy of Ransone (I was going to include that as the picture for this week, but then I felt like a creeper.) I think he shows up nude quite a lot in general, and is also getting handsomer and handsomer with age. Hence the culty following he seems to be accruing: for more photos of the man than you can shake a stick at, check out this tumblr Fuck Yeah, James PJ Ransone! It's just full of shirtless and broody.