THE FIRST (BUT DEFINITELY NOT THE LAST) LADY ENTRY IN ‘HEY, IT’S THAT GUY!’.
Every so often you’re flicking through TV channels and you come across a serious law enforcement drama. You know, like CSI or Law & Order. Or maybe NCIS. Or maybe NCIS Los Angeles. Then you notice that it stars LL Cool J & Chris ‘O Donnell. Where’s Chris ‘O Donnell been all this time? I’m not sure if I can take him seriously as a policeman or whatever NCIS officers are. Why does something explode in every single episode of this show?
Sorry, I got slightly distracted there. Hey, I recognise that lady playing his boss…
Where else have you seen her? How about…Popeye (1980) – This movie was based on the cartoon and starred Robin WIlliams as the title character. It was filmed in Malta and some of the film set still survives to this day. This was Linda Hunt’s cinema film debut and she’s playing Mrs Oxheart, who is not Popeye, Bluto or Olive Oyl, so do you even care? That’s literally all I know about this film. Moving on.
The Year of Living Dangerously (1982) Linda won an Oscar for the male character she played in this film, Billy Kwan. Not a character where a woman was pretending to be a man, just a male character that happened to be played by a female actress. She was the first person to win an Oscar for playing a character of the opposite gender. The film was nominated for all the major film awards of that year, but it was her performance that actually won several other supporting actress awards. The film is a love story between some journalists played by Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver, set in Indonesia during the overthrow of President Sukarno in 1965. The film was even banned in Indonesia until 1999. Oscar bait written all over it.
Dune (1984) – You have to appreciate that we’re talking about Dune and not yet again showing a picture of Sting in that questionable Harkonnen “gone to the beach” outfit. Not even going to add a thumbnail. You can google it on your own time if you feel the need. Linda Hunt plays Shadout Mapes, one of the Fremen. You remember? Those guys with haunting blue eyes who live on a desert planet and hoard water with their high tech suits. Her character nearly gets to save the day. Nearly.
The Incredibles, Linda Hunt is NOT in this film. Edna E. Mode is a character who coincidentally looks just like her. I literally thought it must be her. But no, it’s a common mistake. This character is based on a costume designer that just so happens to also be small in stature, has a short bob hairstyle and glasses. The character Edna E Mode is played by Brad Bird, a man. Gender roles are switched up all the time in acting. Just ask your English or drama teacher about how Shakespeare plays used to be performed. No ladies allowed. I just added this bit as, I don’t know, a kind of Mythbusters moment, I guess. Also, The Incredibles is very funny, especially the “definitely not Linda Hunt” part about why superheroes shouldn’t wear capes, everyone should go watch it.
Kindergarten Cop – As you already know, Arnold Schwarzengger plays cop, John Kimble, who goes undercover as a kindergarten teacher. Linda Hunt plays the school headmistress who assumes that Kimble can’t handle a class full of small children and will quit. Arnie wins her over and as usual takes out the bad guys. It’s funny, see, because she’s so little (she’s actually 4′ 9″) and Arnie’s so big! Who would’ve thought it?
Hey, did you know there’s a Kindergarten Cop 2 starring Dolph Lundgren? Me either! You can buy it now! Really.
Pocahontas (1995) – Grandmother Willow. Can you paint with all the colours of the wind? Hunt plays a wise tree spirit that gave questionable advice. 15th best Disney film. Probably.
Carnivàle (2003-2005) as the disembodied voice of Management. In the show, Management is referred to as male, but there are certain times when the voice sounds distinctly female and other times when you couldn’t be sure either way. There are so many insane things happening in this show that the perceived gender of Management’s voice is waaaay down the list of priorities.
Linda Hunt is also the narrator of all the God of War games, which is another pretty nifty fact. Obviously if you need an actor to play God, you get Morgan Freeman, but if you need someone to narrate a very angry new God taking out other Greek Gods one by one, then Linda Hunt is the woman (or man if you need for that particular part, as that’s completely in her range) for you.