Edward Norton is Really Awesome at Life (and Singing)
It’s no secret that Edward Norton is one of my favorite actors of all time. Until two years ago, I had seen literally every movie he’d ever made. (I’ve since fallen behind on his new films.) It’s not just his incredible talent, his soothing voice, or even his strong anti-smoking stance that makes me adore him. Ed Norton is just an all-around great guy. He’s a hardworking environmental activist trying to help save the planet—which is probably what his 2008 movie The Incredible Hulk was really about. (Maybe the Hulk is actually a big green metaphor for the destruction of the rainforest. Just don’t ask me to back that up with contextual evidence.) Too bad everyone was so busy complaining about the last Hulk movie that Ed’s didn’t get the credit it deserved, thankyouverymuch.
In case you need further proof of Ed’s fabulosity, I’ve compiled an Edward Norton Digest, including some trivia, a few highlights, and some of his more underrated acting accomplishments. Consider this your summer homework assignment: watch all of these movies, and then write a five-page paper on why Edward Norton is an amazing human being.
Edward Norton on TV: A longtime friend of Ty Burrell, Norton and the Modern Family star have worked together on the screen and on the stage. In 2009, Norton guest starred on Modern Family as washed-up rock star Izzy LaFontaine. It is as hilarious as it sounds. And in case you’re wondering, yes, Ed does sing a song or two.
The Many Faces (and Personalities) of Edward Norton: Clearly Ed is drawn to multi-faceted roles—whether it’s a con man living a double life, an insomniac with Multiple Personality Disorder, or a man who makes his living dressing up as a purple dinosaur. (Seriously—it’s called Death to Smoochy.) Here are a few of Norton’s films in which he has played characters with multiple identities (or in one case, twins):
Primal Fear (1996)
Fight Club (1999)
The Score (2001)
Death to Smoochy (2002)
Down in the Valley (2005)
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Leaves of Grass (2009)
Little-Known Fact: Edward Norton was offered the role of Private Ryan in Saving Private Ryan, but he turned it down. The part instead went to Matt Damon, with whom Norton later starred in Rounders. If you’re not familiar with this overlooked 90s drama, which has been called, “the best Poker movie ever made,” do yourself a favor and read up on it here, and then go watch it.)
Edward Norton Kissing a Man: Edward Norton has been nominated for two Academy Awards; he has produced a documentary about Barack Obama’s presidential campaign; he was even once engaged to Courtney Love. The only thing he hadn’t done was star in a music video for The Lonely Island. Norton can cross that one off his “Life Goals” list after making an appearance in the musical comedy group’s video for “Spring Break Anthem,” in which he slow dances and locks lips with Lonely Island member Jorma Taccone. Watch the music video and you may notice some other familiar faces.
On Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, and Soap: During their work on Fight Club, co-stars Norton and Pitt took soap-making classes together in preparation for the film. How adorable is that? They also collaborated on this deceptively catchy ode to the male sex organ, which they performed on the set of the film.
This concludes today’s Edward Norton Digest. Stay tuned for more exciting arbitrary facts about Ed and his eclectic body of work, including his occasional forays into unorthodox music videos.