Judy Greer appears in four of 2015’s biggest film releases: Tomorrowland, Entourage, Jurassic World, and Ant-Man, but blink and you might miss her. Despite being a hugely prolific and talented Hollywood actress, Greer was kept on the sidelines for these major releases, usually playing underdeveloped characters that fall into the mother or wife category. Vanity Fair has collected every line she had in this summer’s movies, and the results are pretty bleak. The magazine even included a wordcloud made up of all of her lines that highlights just how frequently Greer has to say “you” in movies and tell other people they’re going to be “okay”:
Greer started out her film career playing different iterations of the “best friend character” in romantic comedies. Even considering in her scene-stealing performance in 13 Going On 30, almost all of Greer’s lines were just filler or exposition. This has been the pattern for most of Greer’s characters, who often get to talk about the other characters around them (that giant “you” in the wordcloud) but rarely about themselves or their own wants. Scott Meslow at The Week has even coined the term “The Judy Greer Effect,” as he looks at why the actress keeps getting boxed into thankless roles.
Tomorrowland director Brad Bird cut Greer’s role down significantly, and realized the huge mistake he was making by not using her to her full potential, saying “Judy Greer is a fantastic actress and I feel kind of like I was cheated by not getting to use her performance in the film.” Of the lines in Vanity Fair’s Greer compilation, Tomorrowland has the shortest entry. She only appears once in the movie as Casey’s (Britt Robertson) mom, and says only the following lines:
O.K., go ahead, sweetie.
It’ll take a long time. A real long time. What if you get all the way up there and there’s nothing?
She has a few more lines in Entourage, but her character doesn’t even have a name. At least Addicted To Fresno is on its way and has Greer in a leading role where she can actually show people how funny and talented she is.