The Rick Characters of Whit Stillman’s Universe

All auteurs have a distinct imprint on their films and something that ties all of their work together.  Whit Stillman has many signatures, but one of his trademarks, is not as apparent as it might seem.  The name Rick (or a variation on that name), used for villains (Dickie Taylor is thought to be a jerk at first, but is found out to be a nice guy) is one such trademark.  Stillman has discussed this in interviews before, so it is not just a coincidence.  Take a look at the list:


Rick Von Sloneker played by
Rick Von Sloneker played by Will Kempe

Nick Smith on Rick Von Sloneker: “Rick Von Sloneker is tall, rich, good-looking, stupid, dishonest, conceited, a bully, liar, drunk and thief, an egomaniac, and probably psychotic. In short, highly attractive to women.”  (Oddly enough, Will Kempe played Nick Smith first, but was smartly recast).


Dickie Taylor Barcelona Whit Stillman
Dickie Taylor played by Thomas Gibson (It turns out Ted was wrong to call Dickie a Jerk.  He turns out be a good guy.)

Ted Boynton on Dickie Taylor: “I haven’t heard from Jack in ages and he’s put this terrible guy from marketing over us. Dickie Taylor. He’s this incredible jerk who…”

The Last Days of Disco:

Rick on the left of the screen played by Neil Butterfield
Rick played by Neil Butterfield

Description of Rick from Whit Stillman’s The Last Days of Disco novelization:

“The guardians of the red velvet rope had noticed this and started giving me a lot of static about it, especially the number-two guy, Rick, who had recently started throwing his weight around a lot, much to Des’ irritation.

The common parlance for nightclub gatekeepers in those days was “door-Nazi.”

Damsels in Distress:

Rick DeWolfe Damsels in Distress by Whit Stillman
Rick DeWolfe played by Zach Woods

Violet Wister on Rick DeWolfe: “Oh. You’ll see. He’s one of those I was talking about — tall, probably considering himself very smart and handsome — and a “journalist” — so you can just imagine the mind-boggling arrogance and conceit.”

The Cosmopolitans:

Frederic THE COSMOPOLITANS Whit Stillman
Frédéric played by Benoit Chauvin

Frédéric, “All I could to was…nothing.”

Chauvin is probably nothing like Frédéric so please give him a follow on twitter

*IMDB has Will Kempe (Rick Von Sloneker) listed for an uncredited cameo in The Last Days of Disco.

The 5 Ricks