Running on Empty, Stopping at Studio 60
Last week I noticed that the new Aaron Sorkin show Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip featured in supporting roles two of the lead actors from one of my favorite movies, Running on Empty (which is overdue for a good DVD release, incidentally). Judd Hirsch was in the pilot episode, and Christine Lahti looks like she’ll be in several episodes this season. Will anyone else show up? Of course, River Phoenix has passed away, so there’s no chance he’ll make an appearance. And I don’t see “Studio 60” among any of Martha Plimpton’s credits on the IMDb. But tonight I noticed that Christine Lahti’s character is named Martha. Coincidence? Or tip of the hat to a great film?
Whether or not it’s a coincidence, it’s almost as good as last season of 24, which featured three actors from another of my favorite movies, Robocop. Peter Weller — Robocop himself — played Christopher Henderson, of course. But Ray Wise, who played the Vice President in “24,” was also in Robocop as one of the bad guys, and so was Paul McCrane, who played the weird guy pulling the President’s strings on “24.” Did we ever find out what that storyline was all about? Anyway, he was the bad guy in Robocop that ended up covered with toxic waste at the end of the movie before being splattered by a car. Ah, great movie. Someone at “24” must be a fan.
So I’ll keep watching Studio 60 and see if anyone else from Running on Empty appears. I hear the guy that played River Phoenix’s younger brother is looking for work.