William H. Macy is the kind of guy you either notice or not. It’s very possible for him to fade into the background if he doesn’t have a lot of speaking lines and even if he does it kind of depends on who he’s cast with. Talents such as Matthew McConaughey and even Harrison Ford can easily overshadow Macy without much effort. That however is part of what makes him so special. He can give way to another actor or he can take the lead if need be. He’s the perfect supporting actor that can actually step up and take a more decisive role when it’s necessary.
5. Air Force One – Major Caldwell
When you’re taken hostage on one of the most secure aircraft in the world it’s easy to lose your head. When the terrorists start getting taken out one at a time however the other hostages start to panic as the leader of the group starts killing people to flush the assailant out. Major Caldwell knows better, and trusts that whoever it is knows better than to simply storm the cockpit and instead whittle the number of terrorists down one by one. Caldwell is the patient type that sticks to his guns and by his president no matter what.
4. The Lincoln Lawyer – Frank Levin
As the guy to depend on William H. Macy always seems to be in his element. He’s the person you can look to or ask for a favor when you need something done. His characters are usually the calmer, more well-rounded types in film that don’t make a lot of presumptions or fly off the handle every time something goes wrong. It makes a person really wonder if he’s like this in real life or if he’s just that good at slipping into a role. Granted, some of his roles call for him to be quite a bit different, but more often than not he’s pretty chill.
3. Sahara – James Sandecker
When Macy gets the kind of role where he can flex some authority he still seems to just ease into it. He’s the kind of leader that doesn’t demand a lot from his people and tends to get walked on a bit until it’s time for his people to actually play by the rules. Between him and Matthew McConaughey though it really seems as though he has to play second fiddle to the younger and much more energetic actor. This still doesn’t seem to bother him since the two have such a good on screen chemistry with one another.
2. The Last Dragon – J.J.
It’s easy enough to admit that anything made in the 1980’s was way, WAY over the top. I mean come on, the main character, not Macy, catches a bullet in his teeth. Â Plus, the main villain is named, get ready for it, Sho’Nuff. This had to have been a movie in which Macy was attempting to get some acting credit built up because if this was his attempt at getting known it’s amazing that anyone picked him up after this film. It might have been great when it came out, but now that people can look back at it, I really wonder how many do so with wide, disbelieving eyes.
1. Cellular – Sgt. Bob Mooney
He had kind of a muted role in this film, but it became a lot more prominent once he was established as a character. Still you couldn’t help but wonder what Macy’s character could possibly do against the killer instinct of Jason Statham’s character and it was almost implausible to believe that Macy could even worry the younger, quicker cop characters in this film. Honestly he looks more like someone’s kindly old father than a guy who could potentially knock you out. But then some people do surprise you.
Looking at him you wouldn’t think William H. Macy would be any good outside of dramatic and comedic roles. But honestly he’s been cast in serious roles that see his character get physical a few times, and it’s never been a disappointment. Overall he’s a great actor and a lot of fun to watch.