I love Michael Stuhlbarg as Arnold, and I mean like, as in I will accept no other actor in this role ever. To be honest, I first got into the historical Arnold because of Michael’s performance; he was hands down my favorite character by episode two, but the more I learned about Arnold Rothstein, the more impressed by his portrayal I was. He’s just a fantastic actor for one thing, but whoa boy does he know a thing or two about AR, and he incorporates so many of Arnold’s quirks and mannerisms, even down to the subtlest detail, into his performance, and it’s just astonishing. Check out this post for a great example. I’ll let it speak for itself, but let’s just take a moment to appreciate the level of commitment it takes to incorporate such a negligible detail into a performance to the point of informing every single facial expression. I mean, if that’s not worth all the praise on it’s own, I don’t know what is.
I really wish the show gave us a chance to see some of Arnold’s more unexpected quirks and habits, such as his talent at impressions or his habit of playing elaborate practical jokes, but I always loved the moment in Resolution, during Gyp’s rant, when he takes out a little book and begins to transcribe what I can only assume are some of the more ridiculous insults Gyp is spewing, with this hilariously amused look on his face. I imagine that was a choice on Michael’s part, since I doubt they included it in the script, and I absolutely love it. There are so many times when I’m watching his performance, and just saying to myself, “Oh god it’s AR, like it’s actually AR.” It’s always something really subtle that does it for me, but it never fails to blow me away. And then there’s the reverse, I guess, where I’m reading something about the historical AR and all I can think is, “Oh god it’s Michael.” So that’s gotta be a testament to something.
And while we’re on the subject of perfect casting is perfect, I don’t think Michael bears anything like an uncanny resemblance to historical AR, (Michael’s a lot more attractive imo), but every time I read this physical description all I can think of is Michael. (I’m getting this from Rothstein by David Pietrusza, but the quote itself is taken from Donald Henderson Clarke’s AR biography In the Reign of Rothstein.
"…dark hair, a complexion remarkable for its smooth pallor as if he never had to worry about razors - white, skillful hands, and amazingly vital, sparkling, dark brown eyes."
Okay, so to be fair I’m pretty sure Michael has hazel eyes,
stfu I think about this a lot okay, but I mean come on. Come on. There is so much more where all of this came from, but I’m gonna try to be concise for once. So, in conclusion, Michael is actual Arnold, no one can Arnold better.
(edit: I totally forgot to add that Carolyn’s book is annoyingly out of print and nearly impossible to find. HOWEVER the wonderful babushka-benny has a pdf of it she’d be happy to send your way if you shoot her a message off anon.
I think Meyer is totally amused that Benny is the one scolding him like this, It’s just really great to see their dynamic and how it’s grown through the years. Benny’s not some little kid anymore; he’s a big part of the operation. So he can get away with calling Meyer out on his stupid shit — because, let’s be real here, Meyer was being rash. Meyer is also kind of out of sorts right now—there’s some marital crap going on at home (as like, even fucking Torrio said to Nucky).
And yeeees oh my god. I totally agree with the Meyer momma thing. omg.
alSO CHARLIE being the one to yell at Meyer and say enough when Meyer takes it a little too far with the anger. UGhhhhhh.
this scene was just everything that i wanted out of gangfamily
and it delivered.
#LOOK AT THESE LYING LIARS LYING THROUGH THEIR TEETH #also i love that neither of them can actually make eye contact for the majority of their lines #it’s clearly a facade they’ve been establishing for a good length of time and they STILL AREN’T OKAY WITH IT #i am also intrigued that charlie is the one being so definitive about their relationship ending#meyer leaves it open like they’ve just grown apart but charlie #the one who has been so much more invested in their relationship being ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to his view of the world #is the one who says ‘friendships end’ #it is in large part because of maranzano’s antisemitism i am sure #but it’s interesting that he makes the theoretical farcical degradation of their relationship absolutely finite #even theoretically he and meyer are all or nothing #it hurts me and i love it (via littlelansky)
I’m a good girl. I’m a good listener, and I do what I’m told. I don’t act up. I’m good.
The other girls are bad. They throw fits when they don’t get what they want. They scream and cry and scratch at anyone who tries to calm them. I whisper to them to be good, but they don’t listen. Not like me.
If I’m good, I’ll get treats. Teacakes or my choice of radio programs, all sorts of wonderful things. If I’m bad, I’ll get lashings, or worse. I try very hard not to be bad.
Sometimes I can’t help it. Sometimes, my mind plays tricks on me. The doctor told me so, but I think he’s just trying to keep me in line. I don’t need him to pretend; I know what to do.
Sometimes I think about the bad things I’ve done. I should not have done those things, but I don’t feel guilty like I should. Like they tell me I should.
I was good that night. It feels so long ago now. I did my little dance for him and let him put his hands on me, and I only cried a little when his body crushed me and I couldn’t breathe. I was so scared, but I was good and didn’t stop him.
I was good to my James, and to all the men who wanted to touch me and be touched in return. I was a very good girl.
If I’m good, they’ll treat me nice. They won’t lock me away again or strap my ankles and wrist to the bed. I was sore for days. I don’t want to hurt anymore.
Now they’re calling my name. “Mrs. Darmody,” they say. Why do keep calling me that? I’m just a girl. Just a silly girl.
“It’s time for your medicine,” they say. I don’t like the medicine. The medicine makes me foggy and forgetful. I want to spit it in their faces and scratch and scream like the others.
But I smile and swallow it down, because that’s what I’m supposed to do. I’m a very good girl.