Film: The Man That Is, Jon Favreau

By James

Jon Favreau is a legend. There, done, article finished...

To be honest, that sums up my opinion of him, but I’m sure you’re more interested in why I think this. Well, I shall happily oblige and indulge in some information about this magnificent man.

This New Yorker is a Jack-of-all-trades and, arguably, master of them all as well. I’m basing this argument on the fact that it takes enormous amounts of talent and ability to excel in any of the areas Favreau has succeeded in - especially to the extent he has in the very competitive world of film-making. Not only has he managed to conquer the acting arena, he is also a prolific director and writer.

I’m sure you’ve heard of most of the things he’s turned his hands to…

His acting usually goes hand in hand with his writing and directing. However, he has more acting credits than any of the other mediums. Starting his career as a taxi-driver in Folks!, he has come a long way. Without realising it, you would actually recognise him from a fair few modern films.

Remember the doctor from Elf? Or maybe you’ll recall his rendition of ‘Foggy’ from the Ben Affleck flop Daredevil? There are many more examples of where Favreau has cropped up again and again without you realising it. The best part about his small performances is that they’re always enjoyable. He is a very watchable, friendly, and personable actor. He’s been in many films, here and there. From Identity Thief to Couples Retreat or from The Break-Up to Wimbledon.

In the much more modern times, you’ll see him around as Iron Man’s (and now Tom Holland’s Spider-Man’s) bodyguard and general ‘clean-up guy’. He is, of course, Happy Hogan, the big, stern, but warm lackey of Tony Stark’s. Previous to this he popped up, briefly, in Wolf of Wall Street. If I’m honest, these are his biggest roles… Aside from a little favourite of mine - Chef. This culinary feel-good saw Favreau lead a troop of actors in a food-fuelled beaut of a film - he showed the world that he can: 1. Head a film; and 2. Do a good job of heading a film. Give it a watch. It’s superb.

However, his talents come into full force with his producing and directing prowess. Before Joss Whedon got his Firefly covered fingertips on The Avengers, Jon Favreau put his name forward for the task. He was rejected as he was too high-profile and wanted too much money, but that's the regard he is held in. He is good. I mean, films such as Swingers, Elf, Iron Man 1 & 2 and Cowboys & Aliens (admittedly not his best work) are just some of them. He’s also behind the live-action Jungle Book, the upcoming live-action Lion King and Jungle Book 2.

On the back-burner, he writes films too. Swingers, Made and Couples Retreat being three of them. If I had a third of the talent and flair that he does, I’d be making it big in Hollywood!

Not only that, but he was also the mastermind (as well as a writer, producer, director, and star) behind Chef… Can you tell which film inspired this article yet...

I think the man is a multi-talented God. Not as much of a God as Nathan Fillion, but that’s because that is an impossibility. He’s done TV work as well - all three for our screens on top of films; writing, directing and acting. In Made, he’s even credited with playing the ukulele for the soundtrack - not only is he a well-known and prestigious all-rounder,, he can even play an instrument to a professional standard.

I’m sure you all recognise him from his stint in Friends, as well. Yes, Jon Favreau was another celebrity to join the legions of famous icons in the TV hit. Pete Becker was his name and he was Monica’s multi-millionaire boyfriend. A very likeable genius, but in the end, wasn’t the dream-boat we had all pictured for Monica (not that Chandler is a dream-boat or anything).

I just wanted to share my admiration for the man. I’d seen him crop up in films for most of my life and he’s never once presented me with a performance that I was disappointed with. When I then discovered he’d directed the Ironman films (at least the first two … The decent one and a sequel...) I took a real interest. After watching, loving, and investigating Chef, I discovered the extent of Favreau’s influence and I was more than impressed.

I hope to see a lot more from my pal, Jon. If you have anything to add or an admiration equal to mine, then let me know on Twitter @MugwumpBlog.

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