Steve Stodghill, Master Thespian

Steve Stodghill steals the show from Luke Wilson as his lawyer in The Wendell Baker Story

Published in 2005 Texas Super Lawyers — October 2005

Most lawyers, if they were called up out of the blue by Luke Wilson and asked to act onscreen with him as his character’s lawyer, might be worried about flubbing their lines or looking at the camera. Steve Stodghill, however, was worried about being typecast.
 
“I wanted to think about the big picture,” says Stodghill, a commercial litigation partner with Fish and Richardson in Dallas. “I didn’t want to get stereotyped as a lawyer.”
 
Despite the fact that his character, Otto Brinker, was in just one scene in The Wendell Baker Story and speaks only a few lines, Stodghill, who had no prior acting experience, had another concern. “I told Luke, ‘I’m a method actor.’ I needed to know my character’s background and history,” he says. Wilson, who co-directed the film and has known Stodghill for years, replied, “Stodge, it’s not like you’re going to have your own trailer.”
 
Stodghill filmed his scene on the last day of shooting and by all accounts did pretty well, trailer or no trailer. After attending the movie’s premiere with the Wilson brothers, Owen had some encouraging words for him. “When I come onscreen or Will [Ferrell] comes onscreen, they expect us to be funny,” Wilson told him. “You had five lines and got three laughs. That’s pretty good!”
 
Encouraged, Stodghill is keeping his eyes peeled for future roles. “I’m thinking something like a love triangle with Angelina Jolie and Nicole Kidman,” he laughs.

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