Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Wallace Shawn

Wallace Shawn

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Wallace Shawn on acting and his latest book, 'Night Thoughts'

Who comes to mind when you think of a character actor? There's a lot of good ones, sure ... but there's no one quite like the great Wallace Shawn.

On screen he's had over 180 credits! You've seen him in films like Clueless. He played Cher's teacher Mr. Wendell Hall. He had the guts to give her an "C" on her debate speech. As if!

In My Dinner with Andre, Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory play fictional version of themselves. They spend two hours catching up. They're both dramaturgs and have very different world views. Gregory has a very nihilistic view of life in the early 1980's. Wallace might be a bit more of an optimist.

And it would be truly inconceivable if we didn't mention The Princess Bride. In that classic film, Wallace played the villian, Vizzini, his distinct voice shouting "inconceivable" nearly every time he was on screen.

He's also had regular roles on Gossip Girl and Crossing Jordan. Plus, a ton more really great and memorable work. Maybe you've seen him in Manhattan or Radio Days. Perhaps you heard his voice work in A Goofy Movie or The Incredibles.

Wallace is also an Obie award-winning playwright and the author of several books. When he joined us back in 2017, he had just written Night Thoughts, an extended collection of essays touching on topics like politics, morality, and privilege. Plus, he'll talk frankly about how the movie business has changed since he started acting some 40 years ago. You can hear him as the voice of T-Rex in Toy Story 4 later this month.