This is where an introduction paragraph goes and Lord knows I usually try to write a decent one most of the time but I don’t really see how I can be expected to do that when Damon Herriman — Dewey Crowe from Justified! — lands roles as Charles Manson in two separate projects in the same week. And not just any projects. Big projects. It’s a lot. I’m excited. No time for a proper introduction. We have whooping to get to.
We can do some facts, though. Earlier this week, news broke that Herriman will play Manson in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie and every other actor you know and will take place in Tinseltown around the time of Manson’s murders. This was terrific news for both Herriman and me. Him, because it’s a cool career development, appearing in a big buzzy star-loaded movie as a notable historical figure: me, because I really enjoy typing things like “DEWEY CROWE WILL PLAY CHARLES MANSON IN TARANTINO’S NEXT MOVIE” in all-caps. A win-win.
Then, today, Collider announced that Herriman would also be playing Manson in season two of Mindhunter. According to their sources, the Netflix series will focus on the Manson of the 1980s, which makes sense with the show’s whole premise of two law enforcement figures talking to serial killers who are in prison. This is also good news for Herriman and me. Him, because Mindhunter is a big deal show from David Fincher and is also very good for his career; me, because “DEWEY CROWE WILL PLAY CHARLES MANSON ON MINDHUNTER” is fun to type in all-caps, too. Another win-win. So I guess a win-win-win-win, if you add them all up.
A few notes about all of this:
1. If you haven’t watched Justified, please consider doing so. It is a really good show based on a short story by Elmore Leonard. Olyphant is great as cowboy-hatted lawman Raylan Givens. Goggins is really great as eloquent explosives enthusiast Boyd Crowder. They circle each other like cobras over six seasons, with periodic detours to follow crews of others colorful criminal-types. It’s one of the few quote-unquote Peak TV dramas that is actually fun to watch, in part because the plot and action really move and in part because the dialogue is so well-written and often funny. It’s on Amazon Prime. I’m on my third re-watch now. At one point Chadwick Boseman — Black Panther himself — shows up and says the line “I was gonna be a magician, you dick,” which was great in context and might be even better out. Join me.
2. Herriman was so damn great as Dewey Crowe, the local idiot criminal who repeatedly bit off more than he could chew and kept surviving like a cockroach. (Until he… didn’t. I’m still not ready to talk about that scene, even though it happened multiple years ago. Let’s move on.) It’s not easy to play a doofus, especially not one who needs to come off as a charming goof even though he’s a murderous white supremacist with delusions of criminal grandeur. And yet, he did it, every season, thanks to a combination of his performance and some really great dialogue.
Watch that video. Google “Dewey Crowe quotes.” I still laugh at “the anus is on you.”
3. Timothy Olyphant has a role in Tarantino’s new movie, too. There’s no word yet on who he’s playing, which is bad news because I want to know but also good news because I can pretend he’s playing a lawman who takes Manson to prison and the world can give me another scene kind of like this one, but in reverse.
4. Here’s a fun fact. Prior to appearing as Dickie Bennett on Justified, Jeremy Davies also played Charles Manson in the 2004 TV movie Helter Skelter. And that means that when Dickie and Dewey escaped prison together early in season three (Dickie on purpose, Dewey by accident, because Dewey was always on brand), the van they escaped in contained two actors who now have three roles as Charles Manson under their belts, total. So far. Things are really trending up in that direction lately. I suppose we can’t rule out Davies landing another one tomorrow and getting the score back to even. This is now the only thing I care about.
5. DEWEY CROWE IS PLAYING CHARLES MANSON IN MAJOR PROJECTS FROM QUENTIN TARANTINO AND DAVID FINCHER.
Yup, very fun to type. A truly great week for Damon Herriman. And for me. It’s a truly great week for both of us.