From Julian Barratt To James Gandolfini

First and foremost, if you’ve not checked out any of my previous Six Degrees posts, i’d urge you to do so. The basic premise of the game has been explained before but to quickly sum up, I take two actors and try to link them through film and TV appearances. It’s basically Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon, but without Kevin Bacon. Except for the times when it includes Kevin Bacon. Moving on…

Having not written a Six Degrees post for some time, I took to Twitter seeking inspiration and the ludicrously awesome Joanna Graham of How2Wrestling and Subcultured podcast fame (Seriously, everything she is in is fantastic, go give your ears a wee treat) threw out an absolute blinder…

I was immediately on board, partly because I could only think of one thing that either of the two actors had been in and knew this one was going to test the little grey cells. Taking up my trusty pad and pen, I got to doodling.

Man at typewriter
“Of COURSE James Gandolfini wasn’t in Fraggle Rock, god damn it…”

Julian Barratt. I vaguely recall the trailer for Mindhorn which I never got around to watching and I know i’ve seen him pop up in things but I know him mostly from The Mighty Boosh and Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace. That had to be my jumping off point.

Now, I know that Julian Barratt tends to keep himself to himself, not often seen in interviews or panel shows, unlike his comedy partner Noel Fielding who pops up all over the bloody place. With that in mind, I fixed on Fielding as my key and immediately knew I had a link which would make this whole process a little easier as he had popped up as bizarre-goth-and-later-successful-businessman Richmond in The IT Crowd.

There’s something that needs to be addressed here. I enjoyed The IT Crowd, it had some stellar comedic performances and ludicrously quotable moments, but it was definitely not without it’s issues and occasional problematic writing. That’s possibly not all that surprising, given the creator. I’m not going to mention his name or discuss him further but suffice to say I wouldn’t complain if he were to walk off the edge of something high and land on something pointy. Seriously, he is not a nice man.

Setting that aside, it’s a show that exists and had actors in it, one of whom was Chris O’ Dowd as Roy. That’s the key to everything as the later career of gentle, Irish Roy offers access to the treasure trove of Six Degrees links, the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

A pile of one hundred dollar bills

Pictured above: A visual representation of the “treasure trove” metaphor AND about 0.00003% of what Disney are making from Marvel properties.In Thor: The Dark World we see Thor’s former paramour on a date with a chap named Richard, played by Chris O’ Dowd. Though not a huge part, this means he is officially part of the MCU and what’s more, starred in a film which also featured Idris Elba. As soon as I got here, I knew I was home free.

Firstly, I would like to offer this up as my official plea for Idris Elba to play The Doctor when the brilliant Jodie Whittaker sadly leaves the role in 2022. I think he would be absolutely fantastic and his name has been bandied about the rumour mills for years now, with former Doctor Colin Baker lending his support to the idea a few years back.

In an interview with the Daily Star (yeuch, sorry), Baker supported the casting of a female Doctor and was quoted as saying:

“I suppose changing gender and racial type at the same time might have been too brave for them.

“There’s been a lot of speculation that it could have been Idris Elba and that he would make a brilliant Doctor. The fact is he would.

“Now they’ve broken the bravery barrier I’d say watch that space because it would be entirely right.”

Do it, BBC, you cowards…

Apologies, I realise i’ve gone into a bit of a Doctor Who spiral here but stick me because I swear it’s relevant! You see, I recently went along to my awesome local cinema (Campbeltown Picture House, it’s bloody gorgeous) and had a fantastic time watching Idris Elba alongside another Tardis alum, Peter Capaldi, in The Suicide Squad.

A quick review of James Gunn’s take on Task Force X. It’s awesome. It’s insane, action packed fun, it brings in characters which I never for a million years thought i’d see on screen and it’s surprisingly heart-warming. I give it two fully detachable thumbs up (Watch it and you’ll get that reference…)

Searched Pexels for “thumbs” and got this. Seems to be someone who approves of their own crotch, legs or shoes. Good for them.

Anyhoo, Capaldi is the final link. Before he creeped us out as The Thinker, before he wowed us as The Doctor, he taught us how to swear in incredibly creative ways as Malcolm Tucker in The Thick Of It and subsequently In The Loop, the American movie spin-off. Malcolm Tucker is one of my favourite characters of all time and the reason I often cheerfully dismiss people with the words “Fuckety-bye!” which admittedly has led to me being banned from the local Co-Op.*

In The Loop, of course, also starred the much missed James Gandolfini and that’s us done. Summing up, it’s Julian Barratt to Noel Fielding, to Chris O’ Dowd, to Idris Elba, to Peter Capaldi, to James Gandolfini. Six links.

I would like to point out that Jo immediately made me feel a complete muppet by pointing out that you can do it in one. Julian Barratt was in sally4ever with Joanna Scanlan who also starred in In The Loop alongside…well yeah, you get it. I am truly humbled.

As always, thanks to IMDB for the actor and movie info linked in this article. Not that they know about it, but i’m sure they wouldn’t mind.

If you enjoyed this post, maybe you’d consider clicking here and throwing me some caffeine cash, via Ko-Fi. It fuels the madness.

*I don’t actually do that and I am not banned from the Co-Op. Well, I don’t think so, not been in a while. Crap, I need bread…

Stressed typewriter man – Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
That Disney money – Photo by John Guccione from Pexels
Weird thumb picture – Photo by Lukas from Pexels

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