Last weekend, while anticipating for the online coverage of San Diego Comic Con, I caught up on a few older movies. including 6 Degrees of Separation.
It was the movie debut of rapper and TV sensation, Will Smith — The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air — who would go on to be the one of the most successful actors in Hollywood. Smith’s films include Independence Day, Men in Black, Bad Boys and last summer’s smash Suicide Squad, just to name a very small few.
6 Degrees of Separation also starred Stockard Channing (Grease), who originated the role in it’s initial Broadway show run, and received a Oscar nom for her portrayal in the film. Also in the movie are Donald Sutherland and Ian Mckellen.
The show (and film) are based on the true story of a young con artist posing as the son of legendary actor Sidney Poitier. He assumes his way into the homes of wealthy New Yorkers, and proceeds to charm them with presumed stories of their lives from their children’s perspective, and of art and literature.
Smith’s character Paul, makes them dinner, tells them the story of Catcher In The Rye and reveals ugly truths about the famously 1%, and its notorious lack of empathy for those less fortunate.
The story posits that each of us are really only separated by 6 degrees, but it my as well be a chasm.
If you have not see the movie, or have not seen it in a while, it’s worth a revisit.
Upon my most recent viewing, I noted how Smith had grown, both as an actor and a larger than life icon. But so had many of his co-stars.
In one scene, he tosses out a string of pop culture references (my favorites!), such as Star Trek and Lord of The Rings.
What makes that notable here, is that in the scene where he’s giving this monologue, Ian McKellen listens with fascination. We all know McKellen since went on to star in the Lord of The Rings movies.
What really caught me off guard, is a young actor in a minor role as the son of one of Paul’s victims.
I will admit, I had not recalled Abrams ever acting until I rewatched this movie. And of course, he went on to direct and produce the latest Star Trek movies, going back to that pop culture laced thesis on Catcher In The Rye.
Abrams also produced a short-lived series for ABC titled: 6 Degrees. Although similar in concept, the series was not connected to the John Guare written play.
That series featured up and coming actress Zoe Saldana, who would go to play Uhura in Abrams’ Trek films.
Not to be left out, Donald Sutherland, who has starred in the classic remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and most recently The Hunger Games films, is also the father of Kiefer Sutherland, who we know best as Jack Bauer on 24.
There was recently a revival of 6 Degrees on Broadway, just ending about a week ago on July 16th.
Replacing Channing in the revival was the always delightful Allison Janney, whom she also appeared alongside on The West Wing, and played a crucial role J.J. Abrams’ monster smash hit series, LOST.
And taking over the role as Paul Poitier was rising star Corey Hawkins, seen most recently in Straight Out Of Compton, Kong: Skull Island and on TV taking over for Keifer Sutherland on 24: Legacy.
So you see, there really are only 6 degrees of separation.
Thank the maker, it’s finally here!
What I am most looking forward to…
Star Trek Discovery News!
Justice League News!
Action Figure News!
So far, the only thing to peak my interest is the DC Essentials line from DC Collectibles. It looks like DC is starting over after the DC Icons line. Ever since the Flash figure I bought fell apart, I’ve been skeptical, but I’ll reserve judgement. These are not due until late 2018. That’s a long time to wait.
But until that time, there’s always Mezco: One 12!
Which gets my vote for best action figure line of the year!