Before I started this column over three years ago, it began with an hour long phone call with Andrew Breitbart on the kinds of questions I should ask. Andrew suggested I not just focus on political personalities, but also reach out to friendly people in the entertainment industry. Fittingly after his passing, many people in the entertainment industry were inspired to be more outspoken in their beliefs.
One such actor is Nick Searcy. It’s hard to say what role he’s best known for given that he’s known for so many. For me, I can’t help but picture him as the loathsome “Frank Bennett” from Fried Green Tomatoes. Searcy said that was okay because Frank “has more hair.” Some of his other film credits include The Ugly Truth, The Last Song, Castaway, One Hour Photo, The Fugitive, Head of State, Runaway Jury, The Assassination of Richard Nixon, among many others. He’s also a fixture on TV, having guest-starred on The West Wing, CSI, and Boston Legal, and was a series regular on From the Earth to the Moon, American Gothic and Seven Days. He currently stars as “Chief Deputy Art Mullen” on FX’s Emmy-winning show, Justified.
Among Searcy’s fans is Rush Limbaugh, who recently interviewed him on his radio show, an honor that only a few prominent politicians and writers, and even fewer in the entertainment industry have had. In talking about Justified, Limbaugh told Searcy, “You're the one that makes the show.”
For those who can’t wait until January for their Searcy fix, I call your attention to the Nick Searcy Acting School. Searcy said it’s “a public service that I provide to my fans so that they can learn what it's like to be an international film star.” Limbaugh calls it “uproarious.” I think we can all agree it’s the funniest thing on the internet. Ever.
Searcy is also available daily on Twitter (@yesnicksearcy). As we learned last week, some actors are much too delicate for this medium. Searcy excels at it, but you probably already knew that.
The De Pasquale's Dozen asks political figures and free market-minded writers and entertainers to take a break from politics and talk about their pop culture obsessions.
1. What one thing would you do as President "just because you could"?
Complete the border fence and restart the space program. (OK, that's two.)
2. Tell me about your favorite teacher and how he or she influenced your life.
My favorite teacher outside of my biology teacher mom (See answer 8 below) was Dr. William Harmon at UNC. A poet himself, he could teach Pound, Eliot, Williams and Frost and make you laugh as hard as you would at a Monty Python film. He still is a wonderful friend to me. Honorable mention: UNC Drama professor Tommy Rezzuto, God rest his beautiful soul. He was the first person to believe in me and cast me in leading roles in Summer and Smoke, and as Shakespeare's Romeo. He gave me the ridiculous amount of confidence I needed to survive the years of rejection.
3. If you could be paid to do anything besides your current job, what would it be?
I honestly cannot think of anything. An actor is all I ever really wanted to be. But if I couldn't do that anymore... I'd open a book store.
4. Tell me about a public or private moment when you thought to yourself, "This is what Elvis felt like every day.”
I had a band in college called "Nick Fear, The Most Terrifying Name in Rock and Roll." Every time we played a concert at a dorm, I felt like Elvis.
5. Some people say "DC is like Hollywood for ugly people." How is it different? How is it the same?
Difference: in one town, there are two parties. Same: In both towns, no one knows what the Hell they are doing.
6. What’s the best present you ever received as a child?
A Hammond Porta-B Organ.
7. What’s the best present you ever gave?
A signed picture of myself to a friend's newborn child inscribed, "When you grow up, you are really going to appreciate my work."
8. What advice do you remember your mother or father giving you? Did you take it?
My mother convinced me that I could do whatever I wanted to do in life. She gave me the courage, and in fact, the heartfelt belief in myself that enabled me to become what I wanted to be: a professional actor. Sorry I aimed so low, Mom!
9. Who would be on the perfect "Red Eye" panel?
Gregg Gutfeld, Nick Searcy, Charles Krauthammer, and Charles Bukowski. (OK, he's dead. I'll settle for Ric Flair.)
10. What books are on your summer reading list?
John Updike's "Rabbit At Rest" and Andrew A. Erish's "Col. William N. Selig, the Man Who Invented Hollywood"
11. What would you like tomorrow's headline to say?
"Obama Approval Rating Dips below 30%: America Seems to Be Waking Up."
12. Tell me about the moment you decided to be more vocal about your political beliefs.
March 1, 2012. The day Andrew Breitbart died. It hit me: How long do I have, and what am I afraid of? I realized that I have but a very brief time on this planet. Am I really going to spend it not saying what I believe and being who I am?