Hardcore movie fans and people who like really good, idiosyncratic acting that furthers the art form of film have known about Sam Rockwell for a long time. The baby-faced actor is actually 49, and he’s been making a living as a consistently working character actor since the late ‘80s. His first screen role was as a guy named “Slick” on a 1988 episode of the crime drama The Equalizer, but only in the last 15 years or so has Rockwell gotten much name recognition. For example, check him out in the heist comedy Welcome to Collinwood, as game show creator/spy Chuck Barris in Confessions of a Dangerous Men, two-headed Dubya-esque space president Zaphod Beeblebrox in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, or astronaut Sam Bell in the creepy sci-fi drama Moon.
This year’s awards season has been Rockwell’s coming-out party. Thanks to his performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Rockwell is getting every accolade possible. He’s already won a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award, and he’s nominated for a BAFTA. He’s a virtual lock to get an Oscar nomination later this week, if not the win.
Basically, everybody finally loves Sam Rockwell, but some people knew long ago that he was something special…like his dad, Pete Rockwell. In the comments section for a New York Times piece about the cultural messages and ramifications of Three Billboards, a man named “Pete Rockwell” from “Culver City” had something to say about the movie, and Sam Rockwell’s performance.
Can’t stop laughing at this comment Sam Rockwell’s dad left on a NYT essay about Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri pic.twitter.com/nYKeP2xuLm
— Becky Sullivan (@becsully) January 21, 2018
The proud dad’s unabashedly positive comment, noted and shared by NPR producer Becky Sullivan, made the elder Rockwell very popular on Twitter.