6 Signs You’re Veteran Character Actor Brian Dennehy Trapped In An Abandoned Factory With 2 Shattered Kneecaps


We’ve all been there! We gathered the top six signs you’re definitely star of stage and screen Brian Dennehy trapped in a dark, dusty factory with two ruined knees!

1. Your cuffed wrists are as raw as your performance as William Kirwill in Gorky Park.  Oh my God, where are you? Your wrists are being rubbed to the bone by a pair of rusted iron shackles! You never thought this would be how it ends, especially for a man who turned in a bravura performance in Michael Apted’s taut 1983 Soviet crime thriller!

2. Your legs have been ruined in a brutal beating you don’t even remember, making escape as likely as a starring role. Though 1987 saw you light up the screen as a leading man in two films, your age and unorthodox appearance means you likely won’t be given more. What’s even less likely is escaping this dank, dilapidated factory, considering that even attempting to move your legs shoots tongues of pure agony wriggling throughout your body.

3. The only sound you hear is the rough whine of an unseen figure sharpening a rusty knife. Also, your film acting career began at age 39. Though your career started late, that didn’t stop you from finding over five decades of success as a versatile character actor, though it’s likely that will end once your mysterious captor finishes honing his horrible blade.

4. Your mind begins to flash madly to hopeless thoughts of escape, much as your character’s foil John Rambo did in your breakout film, 1982’s action masterpiece First Blood.  Your mind is thrashing like a trapped animal. You imagine gnawing your hands off and dragging yourself to freedom with your bloodied arm-stumps. You imagine a SWAT team bursting in and rushing you to safety as they execute the monsters who have done this to you. You see these desperate images of freedom and triumph dance across your vision even as your fear-drunk mind knows them to be impossible. John Rambo wasn’t so perceptive in First Blood, your breakout film, as the PTSD-addled Vietnam vet went on a guerrilla-style rampage against your character, Sheriff Will Teasle, despite the fact that things could only end poorly for Rambo.

5. You fear death is close at hand, much as it was for your scene-stealing character “Big Tom” Callahan in 1995’s classic Chris Farley vehicle Tommy Boy. As your eyes adjust to the darkness all you can see are bleak symphonies of dust soundlessly dancing in the weak rays of gray sunlight streaming through broken windows. The rusted metal and snapped machine belts around you form a decaying hulk, a shattered corpse ruined by time. You’re next. Even if no one comes to finish the job, you have no food. No water. You can’t move. You’ve come to accept that your life will end in this building, much as “Big Tom” Callahan’s life ended at his own wedding, forcing his son, played by Chris Farley, to sell auto parts cross-country to save the family business. What a good time that was. Chris was something else. Shame what happened to him.

6. You hope your children will live fulfilling lives that honor your memory after your gruesome demise, much like how the understudies you encountered in your long, acclaimed career as a stage actor ensured that “the show must go on.” Elizabeth, Kathleen, Cormac, Sarah. God, they’re so beautiful. They’re the best things you’ve ever done. You wonder if they know how much you love them. Although you’ve grown to accept your imminent death, you can’t bear the thought that you’ll never see them again. Will they ever know what happened to you? God, you hope not. They don’t need to know this. They deserve to live happy lives, unburdened by the knowledge of what some madman did to their father. They should continue the Dennehy tradition just like how understudies continue to bring theater to life when the main actors are incapacitated. And you should know—you’re in the American Theatre Hall of Fame.

Tom Harrison is a metaphor for the downfall of American industry.

Image by flickr and wikimedia.