Chazz Palminteri of The Usual Suspects turns 66

Chazz Palminteri at the 2010 Independent Spirit Awards

On this day, May 15th, 1952, Chazz Palminteri was born. You may remember him as Dave Kujan, the over-confident Special Agent who interrogates Verbal Kint in the unforgettable movie The Usual Suspects.

“I’ll get right to the point. I’m smarter than you. I’ll find out what I want to know and I’ll get it from you whether you like it or not.”

Overconfident indeed. He underestimated Verbal Kint and had too much confidence in his own interrogating tricks. His “victim” is a better player, his psychological tactics made Kujan feel so satisfied about proving his theory about what had happened.

His character was a smart guy indeed. He realised he was the one to be fooled very quickly, but he was wrong when he said he was smarter than Kint.

We must admit that Palminteri did a great job playing an overconfident and therefore arrogant cop whose imaginary victory turns out to be a huge disappointment because that kind of a role is a complex one, don’t you think?

Chazz Palminteri was the man who actually saved the day. Bryan Singer, the director, sent his script to more than 50 studios, he was trying hard to find money, but the success seemed unlikely to happen. Than Chazz Palminteri accepted the detective’s role. All of a sudden, studios started showing interest for investing into the movie featuring a star like Palminteri, and they had to act quickly because Chazz had only two free weeks in his schedule.

PolyGram and Spelling Films eventually ended up making a movie that would find its place on hundreds of top lists, win an Oscar in 1996, and become a classic.

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Thank you, Chazz Palminteri, for turning things around, and happy birthday!

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