Earlier this week, I was reminded of the thrill I got when I first saw Paul Giamatti explode across the screen. One of the cable movie outlets was running Howard Stern’s Private Parts (1997), which featured Giamatti as the beleaguered WNBC radio programming director Kenny. Taking responsibility for “taming Stern,” Giamatti’s Kenny is a slow but every rising boil of frustration and anger. It’s a great performance, one that really announced Giamatti as an actor tpo watch in the future and one which would inform several of his future roles including his star-making performance as Miles in 2004’s Sideways.
Giamatti’s latest film, Cold Souls, is premiering at the Sundance Film Festival next month. In the dark comedy, Giamatti plays himself in the midst of an existential crisis, deciding that he might want to go through an experimental process called “soul extraction” to relieve himself of his ennui. The film doesn’t have a distributor yet, but hopefully someone will pick it up at the festival.