All of these actors have previously shown that they have the kind of chemistry that I think is crucial to pull off two of the greatest roles in contemporary American theatre, Louis Ironson and Prior Walter.
#1: Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield
Note: Yes, I know that Andrew Garfield is in fact going to play Prior, but since in all likelihood he won’t be playing Prior opposite Jesse Eisenberg, and since he still isn’t out (???), I’m choosing to ignore that fact.
“PRIOR: Tell me some more about justice.
LOUIS: I am handling it.
PRIOR: Well Louis you win Trooper of the Month.
(Louis starts to cry.)
PRIOR: I take it back. You aren’t Trooper of the Month.
This isn’t working.
Tell me some more about justice.
LOUIS: You are not about to die.
PRIOR: Justice . . .
LOUIS: . . . is an immensity, a . . . confusing vastness.
Justice is God.”
#2: Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine
Note: Yes, I did see Zachary Quinto play Louis, but he played him opposite C******** B**** so this choice is intended as a kind of balm for my knowledge of that fact.
“LOUIS: You’re in a pissy mood. Cat still missing?
PRIOR: Not a furball in sight. It’s your fault.
LOUIS: It is?
PRIOR: I warned you, Louis. Names are important. Call an animal Little Sheba and you can’t expect it to stick around. Besides, it’s a dog’s name.
LOUIS: I wanted a dog in the first place, not a cat. He sprayed my books.
PRIOR: He was a female cat.
LOUIS: Cats are stupid, high-strung predators. Babylonians sealed them up in bricks. Dogs have brains.
PRIOR: Cats have intuition.
LOUIS: A sharp dog is as smart as a really dull two-year-old child.
PRIOR: Cats know when something’s wrong.
LOUIS: Only if you stop feeding them.
PRIOR: They know. That’s why Sheba left, because she knew.
LOUIS: Knew what?
PRIOR: I did my best Shirley Booth this morning, floppy slippers, housecoat, curlers, can of Little Friskies: “Come back, Little Sheba, come back . . .” To no avail. Le chat, elle ne reviendra jamais, jamais . . .”
#3: Glen Howerton and Rob McElhenney
“LOUIS: But he’s sort of, I don’t know if the word would be . . . well, in a way sensitive, and I—
PRIOR: Ah. A sensitive gay Republican.
LOUIS: He’s just company. Companionship.
PRIOR: Companionship. Oh.
You know just when I think he couldn’t possibly say anything to make it worse, he does. Companionship. How good. I wouldn’t want you to be lonely.”
#4: Oscar Isaac and John Boyega
Note: This one is tough, mostly because neither of these actors really give off enough Evil Vibes to play Louis. However, I would ask you to consider this scene:
“(Prior opens his eyes. Louis appears. He looks gorgeous. The dance tune transitions into a lovely instrumental version of “Moon River.”)
LOUIS: Dance with me.
PRIOR: I can’t, my leg, it hurts at night.
Are you . . . a ghost, Lou?
LOUIS: No. Just spectral. Lost to my self. Sitting all day on cold park benches. Wishing I could be with you. Dance with me, babe . . .
(Prior stands, gingerly putting weight on his bad leg. He’s surprised there’s no pain. He walks to Louis.
They begin to dance. The music is beautiful.)”
#5: And last, but not least, Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard
“LOUIS: Tiny little coffin, huh?
Sorry I didn’t introduce you to— I always get so closety at these family things.
PRIOR: Butch. You get butch. (Imitating) “Hi, Cousin Doris, you don’t remember me I’m Lou, Rachel’s boy.” Lou, not Louis, because if you say Louis they’ll hear the sibilant S.
LOUIS: I don’t have a—
PRIOR: I don’t blame you, hiding. Bloodlines. Jewish curses are the worst. I personally would dissolve if anyone ever looked me in the eye and said “Feh.” Fortunately WASPs don’t say “Feh.” Oh and by the way, darling, Cousin Doris is a dyke.
PRIOR: You don’t notice anything. If I hadn’t spent the last four years fellating you I’d swear you were straight.”
Thank you for your time.