This post serves merely to step forward and acknowledge the unique courage that a select group of artists exhibit from time to time by stepping out of their respective “comfort zones”. In the upcoming film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, actor Ben Stiller looks to take a brief detour from his now-expected whimsical farces towards a more quirky, cerebral, feel-good drama. His appreciated diversion illustrates a daring risk, showing that he is capable of more dynamic performances, or perhaps at the very least, that he is not afraid to engage in the unusual.
If one recalls, Carrey starred in two disparate non-comedies that revealed a new side of the actor. We all knew that he was capable of a wide-array of characterizations but in the films Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and The Number 23 (2007) he really took himself seriously. An ethereal, sci-fi romance and a gritty, mind-bending thriller, are both a far-cry from the Ace Ventura‘s we had seen from him before. In a similar vein, Black excelled in Peter Jackson‘s 2005 epic remake of King Kong. In Kong, Black portrays a cut-throat filmmaker in the 1930s who stumbles upon a rare adventure opportunity. His portrayal is, indeed, a little stagey but necessarily so as his character meshes perfectly with Jackson’s homage to movies of the 1920s and 1930s.
Carrey and Black’s deviations are not reserved for actors alone, though. It was also a pleasant surprise in 2010 when musical duo Daft Punk digressed from their “comfort zone” of chill, lounge vibes to compose the orchestral and cinematic score for TRON: Legacy. Recently, M83, in similar fashion, took a breath from their popular club beats to record the soundtrack for the Tom Cruise movie, Oblivion (2013).
Like the chances that have been before him, hopefully seeing Stiller’s new movie will prove worthwhile. Check out the trailer.