Tag Archives: Thomas Gibson

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 (or apparent villain in the case of Dickie Taylor) is one such trademark.  Stillman has discussed this in interviews before, so it is not just a coincidence.  Take a look at the list:

 

Metropolitan:

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, but was smartly recast).

 

Barcelona:

Dickie Taylor Barcelona Whit Stillman
Dickie Taylor played by Thomas Gibson

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

More Evidence of Stanley Kubrick Adoring Whit Stillman’s ‘Barcelona’ (Kubrick Was Also a “Big Fan”)

A while back our site posted a link and information obtained from the The Last Days of Disco audio commentary that Stanley Kubrick loved Whit Stillman’s Barcelona.  Shortly after the post BFI then added Barcelona to their BFI Stanley Kubrick, cinfephile list (more specifically the Off List).  Now here is some more uncovered information through some searching on the internet.  It comes from interviews with Thomas Gibson who got the role in Eyes Wide Shut due to the fact that Kubrick had seen him in and loved Barcelona.

In these three articles Gibson talks about how Kubrick loved Whit Stillman’s Barcelona (please see at the very bottom for two of the articles).  

Movieline Magazine, February 1999 page 18 article by Joshua Mooney  Hype:

“But Kubrick turns out to be a big Whit Stillman fan, and he saw me in Barcelona”  (Gibson was a yuppie marketing genius in that film).

 

UPI Hollywood Reporter, May 30, 2003 Pat Nason’s article  Feature: Thomas Gibson, good guy:

 “I will talk to people who say they loved ‘Tales of the City’ or ‘Far and Away’ or ‘Love and Human Remains’ or ‘Barcelona,'” he said. “That’s actually how I got ‘Eyes Wide Shut.’ Stanley was a big fan of ‘Barcelona.'”

 

Orange Coast Magazine, October 2000 page 40 article by Jill Daniel  Monkeying Around With Thomas Gibson:

 A performance as a snooty American marketing executive in the Whit Stillman movie Barcelona indelibly impressed the late director Stanley Kubrick, who cast Gibson sans-audition for a small role in 1999’s Eyes Wide Shut.

 

Stillman Kubrick

OrangeCoast Kubrick Stillman