One Degree of Separation: Something Weird Is Happening with Movies

Do you ever find yourself watching a movie, and you recognize an actor from another film you recently saw? It’s a fun coincidence.

Well, that’s been happening a lot to us lately. I’m not exactly sure what’s going on, but it’s a little weird. While I don’t think there’s any greater meaning to it–it’s literally just a series of coincidences, and human brains are built to detect patterns–some are quite striking.

It started with I Feel Pretty, in which Rory Scovel appears as a love interest for Amy Schumer. Scovel then popped up as a guest for several episodes in Superstore (a TV show, not a movie).

Then we watched Midsommar, starring Florence Pugh. The very next movie we watched was Little Women, also featuring Pugh. Little Women also stars Chris Cooper, who has a major role in a movie we watched this weekend, Irresistible. Irresistible also stars Mackenzie Davis, who is one of the leads in Terminator: Dark Fate, which we watched on Friday.

Sidenote: For its mixed reviews, Irresistible was surprisingly good. I don’t want to spoil anything, but it offers such a perfect redemption in the last third of the movie. Definitely worth watching.

This brings us to the oddest connection of them all. Yesterday at lunch we turned on all the lights and watched the 2020 thriller The Invisible Man. The titular man is played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen. That same evening, we decided to watch a 2010 rom com called Going the Distance. Guess who appears as a bartender in that film? That’s right: Oliver Jackson-Cohen.

That last one left us completely baffled. Again, yes, it’s a complete coincidence. But those were movies separated by a full decade, watched on the same day–one on HBO, the other via Netflix Blu-ray, starring an actor who has briefly appeared in only a few movies. It was very strange.

Sidenote: The Invisible Man was excellent. It’s a very tense thriller that builds tension through quiet, long takes that show empty spaces that *could* have someone in them, but you really don’t know. I like it for the same reasons that I enjoyed the absence of sound in The Quiet Place.

Have you ever had these types of surprising actor crossovers in movies you’ve watched over a short period of time?

1 thought on “One Degree of Separation: Something Weird Is Happening with Movies”

  1. Happens to me all the time. My husband is likely to say something like “oh yeah he/she has been in a ton of things” but can’t name one. I am likely to recognize someone based on their signature expression or the way their mouth moves when they talk – then I will place them with whatever character they played in another movie “THAT is Mrs. Poole!” rather than remember their name. I am not great with remembering celebrity names. I think it’s kind of cool – especially when we’re inadvertently watching one of someone’s earlier movies or shows.


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