Though he’s been acting in film and television for a decade, Corey Stoll‘s most recognizable roles have come all in a flurry over the past few years. Fans of the short-lived Law & Order: LA knew him as Detective TJ Jaruszalski, but more recently, Stoll impressed as Pennsylvania congressman Peter Russo in Netflix’s acclaimed political drama House of Cards, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination. If you missed both of those shows, you may have caught him on FX’s recent hit The Strain, in HBO’s Emmy-winning original film The Normal Heart, or in a brief appearance on the season four premiere of Showtime’s Homeland.
But Stoll’s talent isn’t limited to the small screen; his feature film appearances include the Angelina Jolie actioner Salt, Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, and the Liam Neeson thriller Non-Stop, among others. Currently, he stars alongside Reese Witherspoon in The Good Lie, a based-on-true-events film about a woman who helps four Sudanese refugees adjust to life after they win an opportunity to relocate to the US. Stoll took some time out of his schedule to give us his Five Favorite Films:
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick, 1964; 100% Tomatometer)
No movie is funnier or more scary. Kubrick somehow ramps up both the very real stakes and the increasingly weird humor throughout the movie. Most of the praise usually lands on Peter Sellers’s multiple performances, but don’t sleep on George c. Scott. The man who played the ultimate military authority in Patton plays the ultimate military buffoon. Fun fact: this movie has the longest title in film history.
Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989; 96% Tomatometer)
This was the first movie where I was aware of what a director did. There’s a scene near the climax where the camera zooms in and rotates 45 degrees into an extreme Dutch angle close-up on Giancarlo Esposito’s face. “Someone made that decision!” I thought. I also love the fact that it was our last president and irst lady’s first date.
Sean Penn’s performance is brutally raw. He starts off so cocky and impenetrable and hateful. Slowly he strips away his armor until he’s left with nothing but love. Some actors can give a perfectly calibrated performance and some can strip themselves bare — Penn does both.
Kinetic, profane, and operatic. This movie has the most simply badass shot in motion picture history: Robert De Niro sitting at a bar sucking down a cigarette as the camera slowly pushes in with “Sunshine of Your Love” on the soundtrack.
I find a lot of comedy from this period to be dated, but I never feel that way about Annie Hall. Somehow even references to psychoanalysis and Marshall McLuhan feel vital. And you’ve got to love Paul Simon as the most unlikely lothario in film history.
The Good Lie is currently in theaters.