If you've never heard of Marco Perella, there's a good reason. Perella is a nobody, at least nobody worth mentioning. He's a moderately employed actor who got his break as an archetypal clown who terrorized Judd Nelson in a dream sequence in Fandango. If you don't remember that scene, it's because it didn't make the final cut. The Austinite has since accepted a steady string of bit roles, barely registering in the public's consciousness, in everything from made-for-TV movies to several Kevin Costner flicks. Perella may be the only person whose career provides him with enough time to autograph the publicity photos he sends out to the media. Though Perella is available for interviews, this reporter did not bother.
The only reason Marco Perella is worth writing about is that he has turned his underwhelming career into an asset with Adventures of a No Name Actor, a book in which he reveals the goofy nature of show business and deflates the haughty egos of some of the major stars he's worked with.
One chapter describes Ned Beatty's insistence that second-tier actors not speak to the stars during dinner. Perella relates this anecdote without fear of being blackballed, because well, because people in Hollywood would actually have to know who he is. As for playing the cab driver to Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan in D.O.A., the author takes the road less traveled, kicking up little dirt. "There were no discernible orgasms that I was aware of," Perella writes.
Mr. Unknown put his stories down on paper when a friend, political commentator and best-selling author Molly Ivins, convinced him that his tales were funnier than any told by big-name somebodies on Inside the Actors Studio. Sometimes the fly on the wall has a better vantage point for spotting the absurdity of the business than the guy with his name above the title -- and less to lose by doing so. Score one for nobody.
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