“The Blind Side” premiered last night, a touching story about something or other, but that’s not really important. What is important is that I was cast as “maintenance guy #3” in the opening sequence of the film. In the scene I clip a hedge outside a prestigious private school set in Memphis, TN. Since its debut on November 20, 2009, I’ve often been asked what it was like to play the part of “maintenance guy #3.” The first thing I tell those people, other than that I prefer not to be photographed from the left side in the top half of the hour, is that I did not play the part; I lived the part of “maintenance guy #3.” My overalls were Dickies, my shears Fiskars, and the hedge….Indian Hawthorne. It was not difficult to get inside the head of “maintenance guy #3” because I have planted (with my own bloodied and Miracle Gro Garden Soil-stained hands) 14 Indian Hawthorne in my own yard. I know the shrub. And as Henry Ibsen once said, “to know the shrub is to know the man.”
I will not be signing autographs at the next Dobbs meeting, as I need to keep my hand conditioned for my next labor-oriented role, perhaps as “arborist” or “man reading newspaper.” I will very much appreciate your restraint.