On January 2, I took care of some long-overdue business from 2023: I rented and watched Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan’s three-hour biopic about J. Robert Oppenheimer, the “Father of the Atomic Bomb” and apparent fan of hats. It is the presumptive favorite for Best Picture and with good reason; it’s fantastic. I knew pretty quickly that I should have seen it on the big screen—my home TV is of decent size but it’s still a home TV—and yesterday I took care of that, watching it on the biggest screen I could find, the IMAX theater at NorthPark. But I neglected to do one thing.
When I watched Oppenheimer the first time, I noticed the name “Sean Avery” in the credits (playing the part of “Weatherman.”) I’m not really a hockey fan, but that name always sticks in my head because of the Sean Avery who (very) briefly played for the Dallas Stars (and has eight entries under the heading “Controversies and Bullying” on his Wikipedia page). It sticks in my head less for his (very) brief time with the Stars and more for the fact that he appeared in our magazine. Elizabeth Lavin shot a photo of him in the walk-in at Al Biernat’s—then our next-door neighbor—to accompany a piece by Curt Sampson. I knew he worked as a model so I thought it plausible that the Avery in Oppenheimer was the same one in that walk-in.
Turns out, Oppenheimer is Avery’s second Nolan film; he played “Red Soldier 1” in Tenet. Prior to that, he was in two forgettable Mark Wahlberg movies. And he has also popped up in Taylor Sheridan’s Special Ops: Lioness series. I assume all of this happened because Avery was on Dancing With the Stars a few years ago. It will stay an assumption until someone contacts me directly.
Anyway, I forgot to find him during my second watch, but maybe you will remember when you watch it for the first or second time, or when he joins the cast at the Oscars (via Zoom or FaceTime or whatever).