Jeff Daniels has been making the late night couch rounds to tell the world about his new Showtime series, Rust Belt, that premiered on Sunday. While my Jeff Daniels love knows no limits, it has been fascinating hearing the talk show hosts' name their favorite Jeff Daniels films. They have so many gems to choose from. What makes his appearance on The Late Show unique, is Daniels' relaying one of Clint Eastwood's favorites. And then doing some real oversharing.
"I'm in the breakfast tent on Wednesday, and I am going to go play," Daniels began about a round of golf in his recent past. "All of a sudden, Clint Eastwood comes walking across the breakfast tent and he's looking right at me. And he [says], 'Jeff Daniels. I saw Dumb and Dumber. The toilet scene - that happened to me.' He started laughing and turned around and walked away." You know the scene.
Now, that does not qualify as a meet-cute, it's a meet-Clint. I would have loved to hear Jeff Daniels recount that story later in the evening to the family at the dinner table. I love that Eastwood can be found taking in the ridiculous Dumb & Dumber when he's not making breaking horses and turning boys into men. And a bathroom overshare being the first words spoken upon meeting a stranger? We all need to strive for that caliber of uninhibitedness. It's a word. I looked it up.
They would later team up under completely different circumstances to make Bloodwork. Eastwood directed the adaption of the Michael Connelly book by the same name. Eastwood plays FBI profiler Terry McCaleb who was hot on the trail of 'The Code Killer', when a heart attack put him out of commission. A heart transplant later, Terry spends his time in the harbor on his houseboat, that is, until he starts to investigate the facts surrounding his transplant. With the help of his seaside neighbor, Buddy (Jeff Daniels), and over the protests of his doctor, Terry reopens the case. Can the elderly and feeble McCaleb who can't drive, and has to nap regularly, muster up the endurance to find the killer?
Daniels also explains how he was told he was cast by Eastwood for Bloodwork in these words, "I'm walking down the set with Clint Eastwood, and Clint said, "If you can do 2 Days in the Valley and you can do Dumb & Dumber, you can do this,'" Classic Clint. It should not escape the story that Clint Eastwood may have had a vested interest in Dumb & Dumber, as he gave Jim Carrey one of his big Hollywood breaks in the Dirty Harry movie The Dead Pool, where the comedian took on one of his first dramatic roles as an Axl Rose type rocker named Johnny Squares.
Bloodwork, which many count as an unofficial Dirty Harry-esque movie, was in theaters in 2002. We were worried about the 'elderly and feeble' Eastwood character being able to handle it. Twenty years later, he's cruising to Mexico to take on a drug cartel and smuggle a troubled young man into the U.S. in Cry Macho. We were such chumps! The man is unstoppable!
Also, if you are already warming up your commenting fingers to declare Jeff Daniels' best movie, just put those phalanges in park, that is unless you're swiftly typing out The Purple Rose of Cairo.I bet all you horror hounds will say Arachnophobia. We'll call it a draw.