Reader Tana responded to a Usual Suspects post and praised Peter Greene, the actor who plays Redfoot the jewel fence. I hadn’t known that actor’s name before, so I looked up his filmography on Internet Movie Database.
It turns out I had seen him before and hadn’t realized it. Peter Greene was Zed in Pulp Fiction. He also played Dorian Tyrell in The Mask (the Jim Carrey movie), which I didn’t watch until after I saw Tana’s post. It was on TBS tonight.
The reason I hadn’t known his name in The Usual Suspects is that he was uncredited. The movie manages to make room in the credits for Smuggler, Old Cop, and Bodyguards #1-4. It’s a mystery why Greene didn’t get credit for an excellent performance in a named speaking role.
Tana also points to this Peter Greene profile, which unflinchingly describes the heroin habit Greene had during most of his film career:
Unlike some no less tragic has-been actors, the fiercely talented Greene delivers. Marginally talented or charismatic screwups are a dime a dozen, but a true junkie artist is a rarity. And in Hollywood, such creatures are deified for living outside of the lines of self-control and responsibility until an industry of celebrity winds up flourishing around their tombstones.
During filming on The Usual Suspects, Greene luxuriously improvised a memorable filmic moment by flicking a lit cigarette into Stephen Baldwin’s face. Suspects writer Christopher McQuarrie calls Greene a “million-dollar day player,” which could be translated as “Get him in, nail the money shot, and get him out before he wreaks havoc.”
Greene improvised that scene? Then I guess Stephen Baldwin improvised acting like he was going to rip Greene’s arms off.
Here’s another piece of Greene trivia from that scene. In the original script, Redfoot’s men ride in the Cadillac, and Redfoot drives a motorcycle:
The car, Redfoot’s escort Caddy, is now in front of them.
The horn lets out three short blasts. Redfoot comes around from behind the Caddy on his motorcycle. He gets off the bike, trying to hide a faint smile.
McManus throws Saul’s case on the ground in front of him.
In the movie, you never see Redfoot again, but the script had a grisly end planned for him.
79 EXT. PARKING LOT – NIGHT – TWO WEEKS PRIOR 79
Redfoot’s Harley rests on the roof of the Caddy in a mangled
heap. The body of the Caddy is riddled with bullet holes.
Redfoot’s dead body has been shoved head-first through a hole
in the windshield up to his waist, recognizable only by the
trademark red boot.
So Redfoot was supposed to wear red boots. The red boots sticking out of the Cadillac sounds like a Wizard of Oz reference.
So who killed Redfoot? The script makes that clear during the scene when the suspects abduct Kobayashi.
Verbal and McManus grab the dead bodies and drag them out of
the elevator. They drag them to the next elevator which has
been forced open, revealing an empty shaft.
The answer is no.
Mr. Soze will be most –
Listen to me, cocksucker. There is no
Keyser Soze. If you say his name again,
I’ll kill you right here.
A strange threat. I can only assume
you’re here to kill me anyway. Pity about
Fair trade for Fenster.
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