He'll always be best known for representing a Mac in Apple commercials, but Justin Long continues to branch out with his acting career. After a decade of playing fairly light roles in comedies and horror films, not to mention a prominent breakout part in "Live Free or Die Hard," he will be getting his first serious, dramatic supporting role in Robert Redford's Lincoln assassination movie, "The Conspirator," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Long joins James McAvoy and Robin Wright Penn for the historical drama about Mary Surratt (Wright Penn), the sole woman allegedly involved in the plot to kill the president. McAvoy plays a disfigured Civil War hero who comes to her defense, while Long will play his best friend and fellow soldier who also assists as McAvoy's conscience.
The biggest challenge will be that Long's character has lost a limb in the war (it's not revealed if it's an arm or leg). Apparently Hollywood has still learned nothing from the double Oscar win by hand-less actor Harold Russell ("The Best Years of Our Lives"). Hopefully Redford will avoid depicting the limblessness with distracting CG, a la Gary Sinise's leglessness in "Forrest Gump."
The report notes that this is Long's first period drama, but he's at least done a minor bit of period work for the biopic parody "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story." Though a comical impersonation, his portrayal of George Harrison in that movie gave me a hint that Long can and will end up doing more important work than voicing the title character in the "Alvin and the Chipmunks" movies and appearing in broad comedies like the upcoming "Old Dogs."
Plus, the first thing I ever saw Long in was a high school production of "A Midsummer Nights Dream," so I've been waiting about 15 years for the moment he'd get to do a costume piece on film. I just hope that I'll be able to believe him as a citizen of 1865 and not keep thinking about computers.
Do you think Justin Long is ready for a period piece? Are you worried you won't be able to take him seriously, especially with a missing limb?