Before They Were “That Guys”: James Remar in “Cruising”

Since we just recorded a Shouts From the Back Row podcast on our favourite character actors, a.k.a. “That Guys”, “Before They Were Stars” will temporarily be changing its name to “Before They Were ‘That Guys'” this week, in order to showcase how some of our most prominent character actors started their careers. Today, I shall be showcasing one of the selections from my personal “That Guys” list: James Remar. He first gained attention for his memorable turn as Ajax in The Warriors and followed it up with a small role in Cruising, one of the most controversial and notorious cop thrillers ever made. Directed by William Friedkin, Cruising tells the story of a serial killer targeting gay men in New York City, so cop Al Pacino dons his leather duds and is sent undercover into the homosexual community, where he becomes embroiled in a world of gay bars and S & M. Needless to say, the gay community was none-too-pleased with how Cruising portrayed them, so the production and the release of this film were met with a lot of protesting. Anyway, you can see James Remar here as a homosexual in a pair of unflattering green briefs who gets into a heated confrontation with Pacino. It’s also worth noting that another actor from my “That Guys” list, Mike Starr, made his official film debut in Cruising as a patrolman. Overall, Cruising is a pretty terrible film, but it does contain what is probably the most hilarious “WTF” moment of Al Pacino’s career:

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