Recently, Sam Rockwell has made a career playing that beloved Hollywood type: your neighborhood racist with a heart of gold who learns something by the end of the movie. He did it playing a cop in Three Billboards, which won him an Oscar, and as a Ku Klux Klan leader in The Best of Enemies, but now, he promises, he’s done with all that. “I could take a break from racists. A long break,” Rockwell said in a Hollywood Reporter Emmy roundtable to promote Fosse/Verdon, where he plays a scummy guy of a different type. “I played a lot of rednecks — ‘country’ is probably a better way to put it,” Rockwell added. “It’s funny, I’m a city kid, and they’re always trying to throw me on a horse or get a lasso or something. That’s not my thing.” Rockwell’s future roles include playing a character named Captain Klenzendorf in Taika Waititi’s Hitler satire Jojo Rabbit, which doesn’t sound like a character with the most enlightened views about race, but then he’s also doing a voice role in the Trolls World Tour, which better not be racist, if only for the sake of the children.
Sam Rockwell, future movie city guy. Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for STXFilms