BB Webb as BB Webb!

Exploring the Possibilities

It’s Probably Robert Duvall March 11, 2011

So many roles he’s played over the years. He’s special.

As a backdrop to some evening work earlier this week, I watched ‘Sling Blade’ with Billy Bob Thornton, (another peach of an actor).

Robert Duvall as his father was brilliant.
(And Dwight Yokam the perfect manipulative, arrogant, self serving, pushy ass, covering an insecure, misdirected man….WELL played)! So much of what he performed in this film, (Yokam), how he moves, his whiney voice….the nuiance, the immersion into his character….terrific! OR, there is always the possibility that he’s like that in ‘real’ life.

I like that expression…’real life’! Funny. It’s all real. It’s something too when you notice how you’ve changed and move differently than you perhaps once did in your life NOW, than perhaps long ago or even awhile ago. Our blueprint is our blueprint but all drawings can be erased or painted over…we can play whatever character suits us best.

Back to my protagonist. ‘Tender Mercies’ is perhaps my favorite Robert Duvall film. His struggle and dichotomy of character so perfectly played.

His recent ‘Get Low’ is another study in character, his final speech about losing the married woman he was planning to run away with is heart wrenching, tragic, real. He touches deep within and with that specificity we feel it too, as we have all been to these places of deep regret, experienced loss, the alone moments that shape and chisel exactly WHO we are.

This is part of why I loved acting.

So, this week, I watched Duvall, met some new people, wondered how to discern one ‘reality’ from my next, spoke to a woman who I grew up with whose father died….hearing her say ‘I love you’ to me despite not being in touch for almost 40 years and I visited with a former love, realizing how while we conversed, I’d so clearly moved on and why.

And such is life, moving, moving, twisting and turning. I propped my eyes open and worked late into the evening last night, organizing, clearly, throwing out more STUFF, to move my business forward, to move ME forward, to create time for new things as I’m uplifted by potential and certainly hope to exercise a GOOD measure of MY potential before leaving the earth.

(And speaking of leaving the planet, have you seen Robert Duvall in ‘Road’ with Viggo Mortgenson…(another favorite). Stunning in his portrayal of the old man with glossy, opaque eyes hanging on in a post apolcalyptic world).

So, as we say up north….’God willing and the creek don’t freeze’….or, if I’ll let go and allow all good to come in as she wants only to do.

With tender mercy and gratitude AND a heart wide open, so it is. This or better says I, this or better!! I say, BETTER…because I can. Why not?

So, it’s probably Robert Duvall, and people like him who fuel and inspire me, the way they weave who they are and who they are becoming, their ‘characters’ so to speak, which, by their example (in ‘real life’ or fiction), will help transport me ‘there’.

BB Webb


3 Responses to “It’s Probably Robert Duvall”

  1. Chance Says:

    Robert Duvall is one of my favorite actors. I believe he is gifted as well…. he breathes life into each character.

    Your words seem a open glimpse into your thoughts and they also touch on your spirit as well. Very emotive and thought provoking reading.

    Down south we say, God willing and the Creek don’t rise. I used to think that it meant if God was willing and the creek didn’t rise enough from rain to prevent us crossing over… I heard a few years ago that it meant God willing and the Creek Indians did not have an uprising.

    • BB Webb Says:

      Thank you for stopping in ‘southern poet’! What is your favorite Robert Duval film? I also loved him in the mini series (whose name I can’t at the moment recall). He and Tommy Lee Jones as cowboy comrades….

      I live in Indian territory, in fact I feel I was lead to this piece of property where my house sits. I often think back to those days and how different the world was. ‘Last of the Great Mohicans’, (another favorite film) seemed a telling story of those times.

      And my creek DID recently RISE….but I feel I can do my transforming right where I am with no need to physically cross. Good thing, eh!

      Thanks so much for stopping in. Warmly, BB

      • Chance Says:

        I think I’ve liked every film I’ve seen Duvall in. The first I recall is To Kill a Mockingbird… his character’s name was Boo.. Radley if I recall correctly. I saw The Road and you are right, he did a great job there. I think… ha I think I can’t pick a favorite. I love him in westerns.. the tv series Lonesome Dove and Open Range come to mind. There was the movie with John Travolta.. Phenomenon. His role in Slingblade made me not like him, the character he played… and as much as I love the guy that shows me how good an acttor he is. He was not Robert Duvall… he was the man he portrayed. (Billy Bob did an amazing job in that movie.) What was the movie with James Earl Jones? Where he learned he had black blood? Another one I liked… there are so many really… There is a sort of everyman quality about Duvall and he gives every man he plays such depth… he makes us believe the role he is playing regardless of what it is. There is such a beautiful and natural grace and ease with which he does so. Duvall is, I think, one of the best actors I’ve ever seen on screen. I sometimes write and in magical moments which come to rarely, I live the words I am writing… I am there in the moment.seeing, hearing, tasting, experiencing…. those moments are one of the reason I write. I wonder… does Duvall (or others) experience the role as if they are the person they play? Do you?

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