Bear with me for a second here… A couple of years ago, my friend and longtime skateboarding partner Greg Siegfried lent me the Thelonius Monk documentary, Straight, No Chaser (1988). Wait, let me back up: I’ve watched The Usual Suspects (1995) dozens of times. It’s one of those heist movies that rewards you with something new upon repeated viewings. So, while watching the Thelonius Monk joint, I saw a scene that freaked me out in its similarity to a scene in The Usual Suspects. Benicio Del Toro’s character, Fred Fenster, talks in an English so broken as to be blurred with a day of beers. During the interrogation montage early in the film, which serves to introduce “the usual suspects,” Del Toro seems to be channeling Thelonius Monk. I have embedded both clips below so you can assure me that I’m not crazy.
Thelonius Monk [runtime: 0:28]:
The Usual Suspects [runtime: 0:11]:
So, am I crazy? Does anyone know if Benicio Del Toro was deliberately channeling Thelonius Monk for this role? It flips me for real.