Twins Separated

Every now and again, a crazy idea creeps into my head. Hard to imagine, I’m sure.

At least some of us have such ideas. And, most of the time, we try to keep them to ourselves. The Blog format, of course, is a fertile field that nurtures – maybe encourages – such lunacy.

Usually, a “crazy idea” that’s kept undercover is thought of as “self-control,” a virtue associated with maturity and growth and adulthood. However, there is little about the Internet or, for that matter, digital media that rewards delaying gratification.

Hence this week’s entry.

I have a hypothesis. It’s about twins who were separated at birth.

The story is not novel, even if the characters are.

Long suspected of this phenomenon are musicians Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson. They are pretty much the same person, aren’t they? Except, maybe, only one has talent.

Undiscovered, though, are another set of twins. This time actors. (Well, I guess the example above includes this profession, doesn’t it?)

I’m thinking of Ewan McGregor and Tom Courtenay.

Contemporary readers will recognize McGregor from numerous film roles. His Wikipedia entry is lengthy.

Most, though, recognize him from his breakout role as Mark Renton, a heroin addict in the gritty 1996 drama Trainspotting.

A less robust entry in the popular, crowd-fed dictionary written by everyone appears for Tom Courtenay.

Though he’s worked steadily in motion pictures since 1962, and right up to the present, his preferred medium is theatre. Arguably best known for his Academy Award nominated role as Pasha Antipov/Streinkov in Doctor Zhivago (1965), it is a somewhat earlier part he played that ties McGregor to him.

As Colin Smith, one of a pair of losers in a gritty, despairing and desperate drama entitled The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Courtenay hauntingly and perfectly captured the working class nihilism inherent in so much of the “Angry Young Men” film scene that (in)formed British cinema in the early 60s.

Though the film genre is often aligned with the “Free Cinema” movement that emerged from 1950s documentaries, Loneliness’s author, Alan Sillitoe has been assigned to the “Angry” cohort, though Sillitoe disliked the assignment.

For now, that’s all I know.

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