Best co-starring performances: Raising Arizona (1987), Arachnophobia (1990), Barton Fink (1991), The Big Lebowski (1998), Argo (2012), Flight (2012)
With Ben Affleck's sharply funny and altogether thrilling Argo steadily winning at the box office, moviegoers have been easily laughing at something other than Affleck's silly '70s hairdo: co-star John Goodman's minor but very impactful performance as the droll, self-aware makeup artist John Chambers. Alongside the equally great Alan Arkin, Goodman nails every one-liner and comedic moment, especially near the film's end, when he and Arkin break the tension from an otherwise nail-biting climax.
Eagle-eyed film buffs shouldn't be surprised by Goodman's work in Argo, nor his goofy turn in this weekend's Flight, in which he somehow makes a white-pot-smoking caricature not excruciating. That's because the 35-year acting veteran is untouchable when it comes to finding both the humor and humanity in colorful, left-of-center characters.
Having honed it in three classic Coen brothers' films (Raising Arizona, Barton Fink, and The Big Lebowski), it's a gift that Goodman has at his disposal whenever A-list filmmakers and leading actors are looking to add some levity to their latest projects.