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'The Firm': The Creepiest TV Cast of All Time?

by Stephanie Earp, posted Aug 2nd 2011 4:00PM
After years in development hell, a television version of hit film and novel 'The Firm' is slated for a 2012 mid-season debut on NBC in the U.S. and Global in Canada. It's been 20 years since the book topped best-seller lists and 18 since the film added to the oeuvre of films that feature Tom Cruise running. It's hard to say if this time-lapse will be a boon to the show (at least it doesn't feel too soon, like a certain 'Spiderman' reboot) or a deficit -- does anyone care what the McDeere family is up to ten years later?

josh lucas, molly parker, callum keith rennie, juliette lewis

Maybe they will when they see who's in the cast for the small screen version -- it's a collection of some of the brightest, smartest and creepiest actors working. And I mean that in the most complimentary way. With Josh Lucas as Mitch, Molly Parker as his wife Abby, Callum Keith Rennie as brother Ray and Juliette Lewis as assistant Tammy, we viewers will never be able to trust a single one of them.

To me, this casting shows that the production is bound to offer a fairly complex portrait of these people ... at least, I hope so. I know there was a brief push to turn Josh Lucas into a standard leading man, but thankfully it's been abandoned. There is something off about Lucas -- if you'd leaned over in the middle of 'Sweet Home Alabama' and told me it was actually a murder mystery I would confidently have pointed at Lucas and said 'He did it.' Admit it, there's a sinister side to his twinkle. This is not a complaint; I'd rather watch Lucas than Matthew McConaughey any day of the week.

Molly Parker may similarly not strike you as a villainess, but you have to admit she doesn't quite fit the traditional wifely role. Maybe it's because she reads so damned smart. Parker is a fabulous actress, but the one thing she can't play is dumb. I don't recall Abby being the brightest star in the sky (as played by Jeanne Tripplehorn). Parker's innate intelligence is bound to bring a different quality to this fictional marriage. After all, it was Mitch's blindness and tumidity that landed them in witness protection to begin with. I imagine she no longer lets him make many household decisions.

I hardly need to point out that Rennie and Lewis are old hands at playing morally dubious weirdos -- but here's a neat piece of trivia: Rennie was offered the role of Krycek on 'The X Files' and turned it down. As written, Ray is just as bright as his brother but lacks the burning ambition, and oh yeah, he's in jail. In other words, it's the perfect role for Rennie, who will surely give Ray a bit of an edge. And Juliette Lewis filling in for Holly Hunter as Tammy is just about perfect. Hunter's Tammy was like an early prototype of Erin Brockovich: sassy, smart but essentially a good person. The last time Lewis played a good girl, it was on 'The Wonder Years.'

Now that the main cast is finalized and the production starts shooting in Toronto this month, any upcoming news will be about a premiere date and guest stars. If any of the following people are on that list, we know we're in a for a creep-tastic treat:

ron rifkinRon Rifkin

Current Role: Saul Holden, 'Brothers & Sisters'
Creepiest Role: Arvin Sloane on 'Alias'
Creepy Guest: Julian Fisher on 'Sex and the City'

michael emersonMichael Emerson

Creepiest Role: Benjamin Linus, 'Lost'
Upcoming Creep: Finch, 'Person of Interest,' (Fall 2011)

kyle maclachlanKyle MacLachlan

Legendary Creep: Agent Dale Cooper, 'Twin Peaks'
Creepiest Role: Orson Hodge, 'Desperate Housewives'

patrica wettigPatricia Wettig

Current Role: Holly Harper, 'Brothers & Sisters'
Creepiest Role: President Caroline Reynolds, 'Prison Break'
Creepy Guest: Dr. Judy Barnett, 'Alias'

michelle forbesMichelle Forbes

Evil Creepy: Admiral Cain, 'Battlestar Galactica'
Fun Creepy: Maryann Forrester, 'True Blood'

tony goldwynTony Goldwyn

Double Your Creep: Greg & Rock Knowles, 'Without A Trace'
Creepy Victim: Dr. Emmett Meridian, 'Dexter'

james spaderJames Spader

Creepier than Shatner: Alan Shore, 'Boston Legal'
Upcoming Creep: Robert California, 'The Office' (Fall 2011)

polly walkerPolly Walker

Lovable Creep: Atia of the Julii, 'Rome'
Canceled Creep: 'Clarice Willow,' 'Caprica'

Did we miss anyone? Let us know!

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For my money, nothing is full complement creepy without at least one out of my favorite male actor triumvirate. Tarantino, Roth or Buscemi. Don't get me wrong, all three are fabulous...but creepy!

August 08 2011 at 6:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Needs to be filmed in Memphis. I guess they will move mud island, beal etc to Canada. Shold be interesting.

August 08 2011 at 9:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Come on, I've seen creepier people at Walmart.

August 07 2011 at 11:49 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

If you're unfamiliar with actors and their roles you probably should hold off on writing about them. Michael Emerson's creepiest role, by a long shot, was William Hinks on The Practice. As for James Spader, Alan Shore was probably his LEAST creepy role. I know these things can be subjective, but this was so far off the mark...

August 07 2011 at 9:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Who cares, Lucy was an a hole and watching the idiots of today thinking , what a genuis keep in mind. SHE IS DEAD Get over it

August 07 2011 at 8:53 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

The book was infectious- that there is temptation in the lifestyle that is represented , not as a decent-profit, but in an "anything goes" amoral behavior. There have been atrocities that have had ' freedom of information ' exposure through HIStory and currently ThreeHundred.minor prophecies- 60major LED to The TEACHER for PEACE & Neighborly LOVE. A TEACH 'g was that the psych of the creation " as a house divided " "can't serve two masters, --[ one will be loved and the other [ without Loveaffection ]. The 20th century author J D Passos, in an abbreviated economic stage analysis alluded to the most frequent mention of " humancondition " falling short / / gone astray from obediance-- covetness-- (:biblical ; -aggrandizement-greed in material consmr goods )...

August 07 2011 at 8:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Finally a show not trying to be politially correct and including mexicans and negros !

August 07 2011 at 8:43 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

LOVE Juliette Lewis!

NOBODY beats Al Pacino, though!

August 07 2011 at 8:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ekglester's comment

Damn right. The older he hets the better he becomes

August 07 2011 at 8:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought that one guy was the dead guy from Taxi.

August 07 2011 at 8:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

no sleep for me tonite'''

August 07 2011 at 8:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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