Every once and awhile Britain gives us something to make us forget our war for Independence from horrible King George. The UK has given us the cherished Beatles, the hateful Spice Girls, pretty darn good beer and Shakespeare. But sometimes we’re not on the forefront of embracing all things foreign, and a great comedian slips right through our fingers even though he’s quite talented. I give you the case for Steve Coogan, a brit you should be watching.
He’s handsome, but not intimidatingly so
From the country that brought us a constant stream of rich, suave and intelligent James Bonds’, I can see why sometimes the chic British man is unrelatable. Steve is attractive enough but you’ll never see him take on Daniel Craig, bare chested, dangling over a bridge. He’s suave in a condescending English professor way. And since we’ve all had teachers who we partly hate and partly want to love us, he’ll feel as familiar as an old glove.
Antics that would make Hugh Grant blush
And even though Coogan can rock a tweed blazer, he’s not necessarily up to any good. Steve struck up what I can only imagine was a beautiful, sensitive relationship with Courtney Love in 2005 wherein she later accused him of being a substance abuser and sex addict (pot, kettle?). And in 2009, Steve showered his bed with British pounds and asked a prostitute to lie on top of them before they got to business. And he never quite got the warm embrace of acceptance after that fact was made public because he refused to apologize for it. I guess that’s noble?
He’s in movies that you’ve already seen
Coogan is the director that gets blown up in Tropic Thunder (Damien Cockburn). While you were busy falling in love with Danny McBride you didn’t even realize that Coogan was there. He’s also in Despicable Me 2 along side my least favorite person of all time Steve Carrell who just shamed our intelligence by daring to play a character made absolutely perfect by Ricky Gervais (The Office).
Michael Caine impressions
There are many reasons why you should watch Coogan’s masterpiece “The Trip,” but one of them is Coogan’s absolutely accurate portrayal of Michael Caine and how his voice changes under duress. Watch this movie (available on Netflix) and try not to tell your friends “she was only 16” whenever you are upset.
Coogan can hold his own against Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench literally frightens me. Whenever I see her in a movie, I stand up a little straighter and watch how much I curse. She’s an actress for whom I assume many actors want to work with but are secretly terrified to share the screen with. Not so for our friend Steve, who headlines with Dench in the oscar buzz-worthy Philomena. Coogan plays a dickish formerly employed journalist who stumbles on the story of an Irish woman who lost her child. The fact that Coogan plays Philomena straight is amazing considering at any moment it would be completely appropriate for him to channel his inner Caine and shout “SHE WAS ONLY SIXTEEN” during the movie.