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…
This week, my Six Degrees pairing comes @PrincessRRahRah, who suggested this interesting little pairing on Twitter.
Patricia Phoenix to Keanu Reeves 🤔 *evil cackle* https://t.co/gwkkaZtzk5
— Princess RRR of Snowflakia, endangered species 👸❄ (@PrincessRRahRah) April 2, 2020
Firstly, I believe in promoting my fellow bloggers so when you’re done reading this old tripe, check out Princess’s blog which covers all sorts, including a nostalgic look at film and TV. Well worth a read, folks.
Now, on with the brain boiler. Patricia Phoenix to the breathtaking Keanu Reeves. Bloody hell…
I’ve described my process for writing these blogs a couple of times before, but here’s a quick run through to refresh your memories. I do absolutely everything in my head, no Googling, just my own memory. Once i’ve come up with a link chain that I believe to be accurate, I double check it online and put the blog together. If I ever get beaten, i’ll absolutely write it up as such, but thus far i’m on a win streak.
So, knowing how I work, you’ll understand why Patricia Phoenix has given me a fairly severe headache. It’s currenly 4am and it’s taken me hours of wandering through dusty mental archives to dredge up the links for this one. I know precisely one thing about Patricia Phoenix, that she starred in Coronation Street as Elsie Tanner. I don’t even watch the show but certain things seem to seep into the mind by osmosis. I’m like a giant, pop culture sponge, apparently.
Coronation Street is the link, but Elsie Tanner wasn’t around in the modern era so i’ll need another Corrie actor to link her to the crop of current day guest stars. Enter Ken Barlow, one hundred and seventy three years old and still surprisingly sexually active. As I mentioned, i’m not a Corrie fan but i’ve caught episodes over the years and it always amazed me the amount of women that flocked to Ken. I hate to let my inner Al Vimh leak through but ol’ Banger Barlow looks like a strong wind would turn him to dust and yet he’s forever putting it about. Ah well, good luck to him.
Ken (Real name is William Roache but let’s face it, he’s Ken Barlow for eternity) gives us our link to modern Corrie as he was around at the beginning and he’s still there today. Granted, he’s now in a care home which no-one noticed at the end of the street before, but he’s still going strong and will probably be sleeping with one of his nurses before long. What’s important to me is that i’ve now got my link, Phoenix to Roache allows me to tap in to the pool of actors who have made guest appearances in Corrie over the years. I mentioned Sir Ian McKellen previously, but he’s just one of the big names that have walked the cobbles and for this post, i’m going to need to talk about…The Bitch.
I’m not being awful to someone, i’m talking about Joan Collins, perhaps most famous for her role in The Bitch. See, you thought I was being a jerk, huh? Anyway, Joan Collins popped up in a guest role on a Coronation Street special back in the nineties. I’ve no clue if she shared screen time with William Roache but i’m giving myself a pass on this one, folks. She was in the same long running TV show as he was, i’ll take it.
From Joan Collins, there are multiple paths we can take. I’ll be entirely honest, I was convinced that Joan Collins played Wilma’s mother in the first Flinstones film and started on a whole Collins to Goodman to someone or other path. I then realised that Elizabeth Taylor was in the first Flintsones film and Joan Collins took over the roll in The Flinstones in Viva Rock Vegas. Eugh. That was a bloody awful sequel and while there were some good names in there, I don’t want to have to think about that film. I decided to start another link chain and despite having to do some mental gymnastics to tie Patricia Phoenix to nowadays, I wound up diving way back to the sixties.
Gods, I love the 1966 Batman series. It delights in being unbelievably hokey and Adam West will forever be my Batman. Yes, the Nolan trilogy was incredible and Christian Bale played the Dark Knight perfectly, but Adam West makes me smile. Smiles are nice.
Batman ’66 featured all sorts of big names, over the years. Burgess Meredith was amazing as The Penguin, Vincent Price was equally brilliant and hilarious as Egghead and for two notable episodes, Joan Collins popped up as The Siren. Her special power was the ability to sing a note which allowed her to mesmerise men and have them do her bidding. Robin forced her to sing a countering note (EDITOR: “antinote”, am I right?!) which freed Bruce Wayne from her trance. Utter nonsense, in the best possible way.
Batman ’66 has become a notable part of pop culture and in particular it has thoroughly doused the geek world with Bat Nostalgia Spray. The kooky superhero series saw a resurgence in recent years, with the launch of a Batman ’66 comic line and animated specials. Always entertaining, the show owes much to the pairing of Burt Ward and the man who will make the next link in our chain, the incomparable Adam West. Amazing as Batman and gut-bustingly hilarious as Mayor Adam West in Family Guy, his passing was a sad moment and he is sorely missed.
Adam West gives me Family Guy and with that host of regular voice actors and notable special guests, I should be set. I won’t lie, I spent around an hour being absolutely convinced that Keanu Reeves had done a guest spot on the show and racked my brains to try and remember which episode he was in. The answer, of course, is that he wasn’t. He’s popped up in the show in various cutaways and gags, but never voiced by himself, so bugger. With that possibility thoroughly squished, I was left to run through a long list of guest actors and try as I might, I just couldn’t nail down anyone who had definitely starred with Keanu Reeves. I started down all sorts of ludicrous link routes before finally I had to just walk away and take a break. I grabbed a cup of tea, laced out on the couch for ten minutes and tried to shush my internal librarian, who was running up and down aisles of film trivia records, screaming and tearing their hair out.
I realised I would need to work through the main cast and started on Seth Macfarlane. The answer hit me like a damn rocket. A Million Ways To Die In The West is Macfarlane’s hilarious cowboy parody. Seriously, it’s damn funny! It’s picked up a surprising amount of hate since release and i’ve seen many a naysayer, but if you just accept it for what it is, the humour is classic Macfarlane and that’s a good thing. If you watch that film and don’t just about pee yourself at “OH MY GOD, THAT WENT SOUTH SO FAST!” then you’re a Cylon and need to be dealt with appropriately.
Anyways, Seth Macfarlane starred opposite Charlize Theron in the wild west chucklefest and that’s the final link, right there.
Charlize Theron, fabulous actress and star of the oft overlooked Aeon Flux. What? Look, it’s not a great film, but it’s a fun film and there’s not enough of those getting the recognition they deserve. Maybe they don’t warrant an Oscar nomination but I think we need a new kind of film award that recognises films that tried their best, or just put a smile on your face. Hmm, that’s an idea, actually. Watch this space…
I’ve long admired Theron’s work and her outlook. She describes herself as “a highly sexual creature” and is hugely positive about that, but also is very outspoken about cinema’s overwhelming obsession with appearance over substance. She’s led an interesting and not always easy life and there are so many little tidbits of trivia that fascinate me. She has no middle name, but her mother apparently has 13. She was trained as a ballet dancer. She once said (when asked about her diet) “Anything fried I’ll take. Are you kidding me? I will fry my shoe and eat it.”
I admit, in my teenage years I had a bit of a crush. That was thanks to her role in a film called Two Days In The Valley, a bloody fantastic little flick also starring James Spader and Danny Aiello. That’s not the link, though. Charlize Theron starred in a 1997 horror/thriller called Devil’s Advocate. If you haven’t seen it, I urge you to track down a copy because it is bloody brilliant and oh, what a cast. Theron stars opposite Al Pacino as the wife of…Keanu Reeves! We did it!
This was a fun one. Patricia Phoenix to William Roache, to Joan Collins, to Adam West, to Seth Macfarlane, to Charlize Theron and finally, to Keanu Reeves. Spot on six links. I think there’s a shorter route in there somewhere, but I may need a little more time to ponder.
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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.