There's this station here in New York that airs Wonder Years episodes back-to-back late at night. (And I just got a few smiles from the folks who've discovered this gem tucked somewhere between channels 30 and 40.) Anyway, I had totally forgotten that Giovanni Ribisi played one of Kevin's friends during those later seasons. It was Ribisi, that dude Chuck who blinked a lot (whatever happened to him?), Paul and Kevin. Am I taking you back? I've always been a fan of Ribisi's work, and kind of like the fact that he's never really blown up to big-time Hollywood movie star. He's either the bigger guy in a smaller film (Boiler Room), or the smaller guy in a bigger film (Saving Private Ryan). Sure, he always sounds like he's five minutes away from a sinus attack, but I've loved him in so many films that his constant sniffling and blood-shot eyes draw me in even closer.
Why the love-fest for Ribisi? Well, according to The Hollywood Reporter, my man just landed a heckuva role in James Cameron's highly-anticipated -- film-that-will-change-the-world-as-we-know-it -- Avatar. He'll be playing a character named Selfridge "in the Fox film about a band of humans pitted against a distant planet's indigenous inhabitants." Ribisi joins a cast that already includes Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana (Avatar and Star Trek XI? When did this girl become so hot?), Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez. Apart from the human actors, Avatar will also feature six computer-generated actors known as "synthesipians." And in the case of a Hollywood strike, I imagine those "synthespians" will take over for awhile -- ya know, kind of like replacement baseball players. Avatar hits theaters on May 22, 2009.