By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
As filming got delayed, Hurley would call. "Stodgy, I'm bored, let's go see a movie." They got to be good friends.
One night, a couple of fraternity brothers came to Dallas for a Mavs game. He told them they could have his season tickets on the third row. He'd be sitting in Wagner's seats with Elizabeth Hurley.
"They said, 'Sure you are,'" Stodghill says. At the game, Hurley wanted to meet hockey player Mike Modano. "I knew him from the Cannes Film Festival," Stodghill says. He scooted across the arena and said, "Mike, I'm here with Elizabeth Hurley. She'd like to meet you."
Modano, unclear on the concept of how beautiful movie stars expect to be treated, said, "Sure, bring her over."
"Mike, work with me on this," Stodghill said. Modano met Hurley, and they all ended up going to Bob's Steak & Chop House.
That ended up in Alan Peppard's society column. Stodghill got a blistering phone call from his fiancée. "I've gotten five phone calls from my friends," Ann said. "What the hell is going on between you and Elizabeth Hurley?"
Quick on his feet, Stodghill said, "Ann, sit back and think about what you just said." Long pause. "Yeah, you're right," she answered and hung up.
Post-Oscars, Wagner and Cuban's budding entertainment empire has gone into hyper-drive, with HDnet cable stations, the Landmark Theater chain, plus TV and film productions. They've signed Soderbergh to a six-picture deal to make films in high definition. Stodghill's opportunities to hobnob with celebrities are expanding exponentially.
"I think I get carried along on a lot of this stuff for humorous relief," Stodghill says. "Hopefully I hold my own."
Stodghill's pasty visage will get wide release in The Wendell Baker Story, starring Luke and Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Eva Mendes, Harry Dean Stanton and Kris Kristofferson. At the film's world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival, Stodghill sat next to Owen. "You got three laughs out of five lines," Owen told him. "That's great. I may have another part for you."
But Stodghill doesn't want to be typecast. "I have to think of my career," he says. Surely he's not serious. Is he?