A couple of times recently I spotted a familiar face playing a role in one or another favorite television shows. The first time, I knew in advance that they had a guest spot, and I didn’t recognize him. The second time, I had no idea (or missed the opening credits due to watching via TiVo.
In the most recent CSI episode, “Living Legend,” I missed the first 10 or 15 minutes or so. I’m not sure I would have recognized Roger Daltry in the first two roles he played in heavy makeup, because I didn’t recognize him in the second 2 roles. I had twigged to the fact that the same person played 2 of the 4 suspects, just before he tore off the prosthetic makeup. I even knew in advance he was appearing, a fact that
I admitted on HIGHLA-L, the Highlander fan mailing list, because back in the day, Daltry’s recurring character Fitzcairn was a fan favorite.
I went back and rewatched the beginning, and if you know what to look for, you can see it. There’s something oddly puffy and inexpressive about the characters’ faces. This doesn’t stop Daltry from belting out a really good version of “That’s Life” as a murderous karaoke singer, though in closeup you can tell that there’s something about the makeup that limits the range of motion on his mouth. He used different accents with all the “murderer” personae he adopted, and used his natural accent for his character’s
real identity. It’s only around the eyes that you can see they all resemble each other, which is exactly how he’s caught out by the CSIs.
Excellent job by all: Daltry, makeup people, wardrobe. In a related article, it was all filmed in 2 days, which is an amazing feat when you consider the amount of time it takes to design, apply, and remove just one character’s makeup, let alone 4 or 5.
Before that, we had watched CSI: New York. In “Sweet 16,” a peripheral character is the father of a young man being questioned about the death of a pigeon trainer, found dead on the roof in their building. The father? The second I saw his profile and heard his voice, I hollered “Hey, that’s Barry from ‘The Flash,’ John
Wesley Shipp.” He wasn’t even fully visible for a few seconds, he’s quite a bit older than the last time I saw him, and still no amount of makeup would have disguised him. His voice, body type, and the shape of his nose in profile are pretty distinctive.
And no, I’ve never watched “Dawson’s Creek,” but I was a big “Flash” fan for the one season it was on. In closing, enjoy playing the “Hey, It’s That Guy” game at home. The site has been around for a while and isn’t being updated, but they leave it up for weirdo geekfans like me.