Not a Polish Joke

Plus: Clothing Optional; Paradise Lost

 Not a Polish Joke
He may have served you a drink once upon a time at a Turtle Creek-area bar, or perhaps he integrated your company's software. That was awhile back, before Josh Barker left Dallas for Los Angeles to become an actor, before he built a small résumé (in such films as Sometimes a Hero and with guest spots on J.A.G. and That '70s Show) that climaxes, for now, with a role in the rural fairy tale Northfork, about the man-made flooding of a Montana town in 1955. (For a full review, see page 50.) In short: great movie, amazing cast and a helluva break for a guy from Dallas who got the part when Mark and Michael Polish, the brothers who wrote and directed Northfork, decided they didn't need a Friend.

Before you got the call, Matthew Perry was being considered for your role?

I met with Mark on a Wednesday, talked about our dogs--we both have boxers--and at the time they were holding for Matthew Perry. They'd given him a 2 p.m. deadline, then called me at 1 and said, "Screw it, you're in."

Josh Barker says most actors wait “for the phone to ring, and you can’t do that.”
Josh Barker says most actors wait “for the phone to ring, and you can’t do that.”
As required by the dive instructor, I’m wearing a T-shirt...and safe from nakedness.
As required by the dive instructor, I’m wearing a T-shirt...and safe from nakedness.

I couldn't have seen him in the role.

People have said that, but they were stacking the names. Films sell with people's names. They go see it because they love Nick, they love Jimmy, and one more name wasn't gonna hurt.

The movie's brilliant, but Entertainment Weekly hated it.

They gave it a D minus. I don't think they watched the film. That's not me being involved in it. They just didn't get it at all. I felt like they had an ax to grind with the Polish brothers.

You left here in '99. What were you doing before moving to L.A.?

I was with Andersen Consulting doing systems integration. Say you have a company with a financial system and a sales and distribution system and accounting system, all those have to...

Stop. You're giving me tired head.

Right. It bored me to tears. I was miserable.

So, this must be like going from Triple-A to starting in the majors.

Exactly. There was an after-party Paramount Classics had at Sundance, and the response I got there was fantastic. Hollywood will see it for sure. Whether Middle America does is another question. My expectations are to parlay this into additional work, because this is the beginning of my career. I am proud to be associated with a piece of art, because I got into acting for the art. But I also want to make a living, and hopefully I can do that. --Robert Wilonsky

Clothing Optional
A relative offered me a trip to Jamaica, and although I'm not a beach person, I took her up on it for the free vacation. Having no idea what I was in for, the two of us and some other friends arrived at the all-inclusive resort Hedonism III in Montego Bay. If you don't want to read ahead, I'll sum it up for you: frightening then, funny now, and clothing should never be "optional." Here are some things we kept track of during our stint at Hedo III and its island home:

Porters selling pot to arriving passengers: 4

Cigarettes smoked before receiving lewd comment: 1/2

Minutes on terrifying bus ride to the resort: 100

Naked people seen in first 10 minutes after check-in: 6

Said naked people who qualify for senior citizen discount: 3

Mirrors on ceiling in hotel room: 2 (one over tub...ew)

Times a staff member replied with "Ya mon": too many to count

Staff members who actually say "Ya mon" away from tourists: 0

Times I flew on a trapeze: 2

People total who should not have been naked but were: 60

Times I was nude: 7

Times I was nude and not in the shower: 0

Balconies with direct view into our bathroom: 1

Naked people participating in a "shaving cream bikini" parade: 30-plus

Ingredients in my favorite tropical drink "the Hummingbird": 8

Exposed breasts during Saturday's resort feast: 6 pairs

Cases of "even if it's made in your size, that doesn't mean you should wear it": 30

Hairy asses during impromptu nude parade No. 2: 6

Dio look-alikes: 2

Folks who look like they should have been in Cannonball Run: 10

People seen actually engaging in sexual activity: 12

Length, in inches, of most "impressive" junk (estimated, of course): 8

Naked (yes, fully naked) people on my snorkeling tour: 2

Couples that got engaged during trip: 1

Nude calendar shoots on the premises: 3

Visible piercings on one of the models: 7

Signs along road advertising "Cock Soup": 1

--Merritt Martin

Paradise Lost
There is a law, and you can look it up if you want, stating that if you have a reality show, you are required to feature at least one person from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We're not sure why, but it's true. The latest member of the group is one Matthew JC, the singer-guitarist for locals Pulling Wool who was recently given the boot, after two days, from Fox's Paradise Hotel. MJC is prolly better off without it, since we have a feeling that in Fox's version of Paradise, the crabs aren't just on the beach.

So you didn't last too long, huh?

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