Is Russell Crowe Channeling J.T. Walsh in ‘Body of Lies’?

Who is who?Photos: Warner Bros. (Body of Lies); Getty Images (Walsh)

We admit we don’t exactly know what’s going on in Ridley Scott’s upcoming thriller Body of Lies. We know it’s based on a novel by frequently awesome Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, and we know from the trailer that Leonardo DiCaprio plays a CIA agent and Russell Crowe plays his handler, who seems a little shady. We’re obviously meant to wonder if Crowe’s character is a good guy or a bad guy, but we already know that he’s a bad guy. How do we know that? Because Russell Crowe seems to have modeled his look and his performance after beloved shifty character actor J.T Walsh.

Walsh spent most of the eighties and nineties playing morally corrupt lawmen, businessmen, politicians, and lawyers in movies like Red Rock West, The Last Seduction, The Client, The Negotiator, and Pleasantville. It should give you some sense of the roles he played to know that in Nixon, Oliver Stone cast him as John Erlichmann. He’s the original Hey! It’s That Guy!, a character actor who played the same role over and over and over. And Crowe’s performance in Body of Lies’ trailer is a dead ringer for Walsh. The silvery crew cut, the growl, the habit of looking over his glasses at people as if they’re morons: It’s all there. We look forward to the scene in Body of Lies in which Crowe double-crosses DiCaprio and gives him a speech about why it’s for the greater good. And from way up in Character Actor Heaven, J.T. Walsh will smile.

Body of Lies trailer []

Is Russell Crowe Channeling J.T. Walsh in ‘Body of Lies’?