Short People

I just don’t relate to short guys, and I don’t mean that negatively. I’ve never agreed with Randy Newman and I completely agree that “it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” But I’ve always felt a certain remove from guys who’ve never grown beyond the size I was when I was ten. When I see a short guy pulling a gun or kissing a girl or beating up some guy in a bar, I don’t say to myself “okay, whatever” — I say to myself “whoa, that short guy isn’t letting his stature determine his attitude or fate!” And I respect their rage. Everyone knows angry short guys can be more ferocious than anyone. Napoleon Bonaparte, Truman Capote, Swifty Lazar, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, etc.

All to say that the first thing I noticed when I watched this Wasteland trailer is that Luke Treadaway is a little guy. (Roughly the size of Charlie Kaufman.) And Iwan Rheon, Gerard Kearns and Matthew Lewis are no giants-of-the-earth either.

This isn’t a “problem” per se, but it gets in the way. Sorta kinda, I mean. And yet Dustin Hoffman‘s shortness worked in his favor in Marathon Man, I think.

“A smart, penetrating first feature by the UK’s Rowan Athale, Wasteland is a deconstructed heist film that eschews the genre’s usual quick cutting and gritty visuals in favor of a quieter, more intimate approach,” Hollywood Reporter critic Michael Rechtstaffen wrote last September. “While it doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel, it does offer a distinct way of watching it spin, with a young, fresh-faced cast to help bring it to life.”

“The wasteland in question refers to the gloomily grey skies of Yorkshire, where one of its working class residents, Harvey (Treadaway) is being calmly interrogated by the stoic Detective Inspector West (Timothy Spall). Seriously bloodied and bruised, Luke recounts the chain of events that brought him to that state, starting with his being released from prison on drug possession charges.

“Determined to get revenge on Roper (Neil Maskell) the sadistic drug lord who set him up for the fall, Luke enlists his mates (Iwan Rheon, Gerard Kearns, Matthew Lewis) to perpetrate the robbery of a workingmen’s club where Roper’s headquartered.

“Of course, like all good heist pictures, not everything turns out to be quite as it appears, and writer-director Athale obligingly lays down the various plot twists and turns.”

  • Phat Abbot

    “Honestly, these [short] men could have done a better job of picking their parents.”

  • Rowan Atkinson’s 5’11, same as Daniel Craig.

  • MovieSquad

    How tall is JW? He never struck me as being very tall.

    • Glenn Kenny

      He’s tall enough that if a short guy pulled a gun on him he would get gutshot but good.

      Also, Jeff, why do you stare at short guys kissing girls? What the fuck is wrong with you?

  • bentrane

    My guess is Jeff is about 6′ 1′. I’ve been in his presence enough to make an educated guess.

    • 6 foot 1/2 inch in my socks.

      • Ray Quick

        No shit? The time I met Wells and gave him the glad hand, I remember him TOWERING like Abdul-Jabbar. I’m 5’11”, thought Wells was like 6’5.”

      • MovieSquad

        So, under 6 foot in reality.

  • AstralWeeks666

    Bob Hoskins inflicted an impressive short arse beatdown in Mona Lisa. Plus Joe Pesci was genuinely menacing in Casino and Goodfellas despite his diminutive stature. So maybe it’s the little guys that you have to weary of.

  • Mr. F.

    This is yet another example of Europeans trying to foist the height-disabled on the rest of the world.

    Wells is right. STAND TALL, AMERICA!

  • GuyLodge

    Luke Treadaway is 5’9 — pretty average, really. And a whole lot taller than Charlie Kaufman.

  • Ben C

    It’s why Al Pacino could never play a convincing gangster.

  • Ben C

    Or Michael Mann could never make a sprawling film.

  • Raising_Kaned

    “When I see a short guy pulling a gun or kissing a girl or beating up some guy in a bar, I don’t say to myself “okay, whatever” — I say to myself “whoa, that short guy isn’t letting his stature determine his attitude or fate!” And I respect their rage. Everyone knows angry short guys can be more ferocious than anyone.”

    If it’s any consolation, Jeff (and I know it isn’t), there are times when you write like a member of the Lollipop Guild. 😉

  • DukeSavoy

    Napoleon was a beefalo and wore double-breasted jackets. He appeared short. Wellington met Bonaparte in person after Waterloo and was impressed by the Corsican’s physicality. Disguised as a theater critic, the British general sprung Bonaparte from his cell and they spent a wild night carousing across Paris, with Boney beating waiters, bailiffs and rogues while wooing a trio of Belgian missionary nuns doomed to sail for the Congo on the tide. Deep into the night, the burly Corsican singlehandedly stopped a horse team from trampling a stumbling, besotted Wellington. Now utterly under Boney’s spell, Wellington offered to let Napoleon go free — if and only if he promised to take him along. They’d cut a wide swath together, no city, no female members of a religious order would be safe from their depredations. Napoleon laughed. He opened another bottle of brandy and drank it down. To the sound of the smashing glass, he demanded only one thing of Wellington, made him swear on it then and forever: “Just don’t let them say I was a little man.”

  • George Prager

    Paul Williams: 5’2″

  • Alan Burnett

    What in the fuck are you talking about? Did you really write those words? Short people, yeah, you TELL THEM, Wells.

  • Stewart Klein

    Peter Dinklage short guy, awesome talent

  • Peterzee

    To this day, nobody’s sure how tall Napoleon really was. Maybe average, maybe less. The English press cartoonists always depicted him as a runt, so that helped the idea stick.

  • AaronG

    Wasn’t Napoleon 5’7? And wasn’t that a totally average, if maybe even above average height, for a dude back then? But ain’t that some shit, to be one of the greatest military and political leaders ever but to go down in history as the namesake for Hobbit Rage?

    On the other hand, Idi Amin, Pinochet, Richard Ramirez, Jeffrey Dahmer, Richard Kuklinski, etc. were all rather tall drinks of water. Unfortunately, height and sociopathy aren’t related. Would be a great way to identify would-be troublemakers, though, AMIRITE?