Horrible Bosses – Who Would Be Perfect?
Earlier this week we wrote about the impending sequel to 2011′s successful comedy Horrible Bosses. Well, Kat Blood and I have taken the last few days to ponder on what actors would make great Horrible Bosses/antagonists for the franchise. We’ve included 10 of our own ideas below, please don’t hesitate to come up with your own in the comments!
So let’s get started with someone who is used to playing a boss. Alec Baldwin’s performance in the hit US comedy 30 Rock has won him a host of awards and they are well deserved. He’s handsome, intelligent and shrewd as a money maker, but often lacks compassion. Surely, a 30 Rock movie tie-in would be the perfect synergy of media (a phrase Baldwin’s corporate entertainment leader Jack Donaghy would be proud of). Well yes, and no. Why waste Baldwin as Jack when you could instead use him as his Blake from his 1992 appearance in Glengarry Glen Ross. For those of you who still haven’t seen it, he appears in a single scene, yet his performance casts an impressive shadow over the entirety of the cast including a very capable Al Pacino. “The Blake Scene” can be seen below in its entirety. Look me in the eye and tell me that Blake wouldn’t quickly escalate through the ranks to become a horrible boss!
Why fix something that’s not broken? Jennifer Aniston gave one of the strongest performance in the first movie. Dr Julia Harris is a slightly mentally unhinged nymphomaniac who enjoys making her employees life a living hell, so why not take that formula and cross it with another success story? Judi Dench’s portrayal of M in the last six James Bond movies. Of course, a sequel needs to push things further and break new ground, so the often-paused scene with the underwear and the lab coat would, of course, require full frontal nudity in the sequel. Dench is no stranger to appearing in her underwear, it seems like every July photos of her on the beach appear in tabloid newspapers, eliciting confusion, bedazzlement and envy from the general public. This is a woman who was alive before World War II. God Bless you Dench. If picturing the sexually charged atmosphere crossed with Dench’s cutting tone doesn’t send a shiver down your spine, then you’re a stronger man than I.
With a confirmed appearance in the next shiny Star Trek movie, as well as his role in Mission Impossible 3, Simon Pegg seems to have fully cracked Hollywood, but what of his chubby comedy sidekick Nick Frost? This could be a break through role for the ‘cuddly monkey’, but what boss persona could Frost possibly take on? My thoughts – slick back that hair, stick on some horned rim glasses, and make him the nastiest, coldest, most vicious little bastard you can. Frost famously only got five words into his appearance in Shaun of The Dead before magnificently dropping the C word, so his appearance in Horrible Bosses needs to trump that. Think: Scene 2, Interior, Day. The office is disrupted by the sound of profanity screamed repeatedly. Office workers peer around the corner to an expensively furnished office. The source of the noise, Frost, feeds a sack full of adorable kittens through a printer.
Because it’d be like Hugo Boss…like the guys that make suits and…perfume. I mean…right? 1. Dress him up as Elrond, who was like the boss of the elves or something in Lord of the Rings. 2. He can look down at people from under his eyebrows. 3. Man those were big eyebrows. 4. Another $209 million dollars profit. Or we could get him to do a bit of gender bending like in Cloud Atlas where he played the overbearing nurse at the retirement home.
With Parks and Rec hitting the air on UK television for the first time last week, there’s a good chance that Europe is about to fall in love with Amy Poehler. Poehler, who many will recognise from Saturday Night Live and as Gob’s army-bound seal dealing wife in Arrested Devlopment, is a great actress, a hilarious comedienne and devastatingly cute in everything in which she appears. How would she fit into a Horrible Bosses sequel? The key word of subversion! Take Poehler out of her comfort zone, turning her from the charming and adorable into the strange and psychotic. Colin Farrell’s character in Horrible Bosses is a balding, creepy, drug addict but Colin Farrell is only like, one of those things! And that’s what makes the character work.
Al Pacino & Robert De Niro
This is an obvious one, the King’s of the 80′s and 90′s deserve to be grouped together as they’re pretty similarly qualified. Pacino and De Niro have both portrayed some of the most iconic hardasses in cinematic history, but at the same time they’ve both fallen far from the halls of acting greatness. Recently they’ve elected to star in terrible comedies for money like Jack & Jill and the Meet The Fockers series. So, a film like this wouldn’t be outside of the realm of possibility fot them. But at the same time, this film could be redeeming for them. They could send up their careers (as they’ve already done), but in a smarter, more respectable context and could even share a couple of scenes together. Could you imagine a series where bosses compete to see who can do the worst things to their employees (and get away with it) like some bastardised version of The Dinner Game. These two would excel together in that kind of environment.
The general rules of a sequel is to raise the stakes from the previous film. Jennifer Aniston played the frustrated sex pest in the first film, but she was pretty slutty and loose. Imagine a master seductress like Angelina Jolie pulling the strings? Her power comes from her silent intensity and sheer sexual energy. To be a threatening or seductive boss she wouldn’t need to drape herself all over the place and be ridiculously blatant – she could manipulate events just with her eyes. She would destroy in this kind of environment,
Christian Bale’s Patrick Bateman featured in American Psycho was a horrible boss because he might attack you with a chainsaw (or do FAR worse things to you with acid and live rats in the book), but so was Gary Cole’s Bill Lumbergh featured in 1999s Office Space. Both oozed menace, one with a perfectly sculpted body and a business card, the other with suspenders and a coffee cup. But for another shot of subversion, let’s take old Jack out of the comfort zone he’s been sitting in since The Shining and give him another role to play – one that lacks menace entirely. The guy’s made a career out of being a cackling, wildly beaming loon, so what would be more unpleasant than the doughy-faced Nicholson of today, dressed in a beige suit, gently shuffling towards you beneath the pallid glow of fluorescent lighting. He doesn’t scream, he doesn’t threaten, he simply looks at you with dead eyes and tells you in a tone as soft and soothing as the air conditioning that you WILL have to come in Saturday, and he can’t let you take that Friday off for your brother’s wedding because, well sorry kiddo, but there’s a big client coming up and…”well gosh darn, I wish I could spare you, but you’re my main man, right? Right? Well ho-kay. What’s that? Your lunch? Oh boy, looks good. I’ll see ya round.”
Willem Dafoe would be a perfectly composed boss, probably even a nice, understanding boss…until it didn’t suit him to be that way anymore. Dafoe is the master of altering composures as demonstrated in Spiderman where he played both the gentle, kind and troubled Norman Osborn and the homicidal maniac Green Goblin. The fact that he was able to balance the two of them so perfectly would make him a terrifying boss for our poor schlubs to tackle. Mr. Dafoe could be too much for these guys to handle.
What do you guys think? Would you have picked someone else? Do you disagree with any choices? Sound off in the comments!