No matter who he plays, he always seems a little dyspeptic. Gassy. Something isn’t sitting right with his characters. A Polito character is not a calm man, not at peace, certainly not serene. Even when he is a boss, he is not happy. The first time I noticed him was his opening aria as Johnny Caspar in the Coens’ “Miller’s Crossing”. It is the song of trying to find balance in the world, of being able to bet on a sporting event that one has fixed without there being anyone in on it. And the disappointment when things don’t go to plan. And the frustration of being given the high hat from the very people (competitors though they may be) who could set things right. I believe I read somewhere that the Coens tend to write their scripts for people. M. Emmet Walsh benefited from this, as did Holly Hunter, Frances McDormand, Tony Shalhoub… and the list goes on and on. So I keep wondering what was the thing they saw him in that told them “We gotta do something for this guy”? Come to find out, they saw him in the Dustin Hoffman “Death Of A Salesman” television production, when Polito weighed 150 and thought of him for The Dane. Well, the guy’s a fighter (he apparently took his fight for better pay/more screen time on “Homicide: A Life On The Streets” into the newspapers and subsequently his character Crocetti committed suicide… and didn’t return again until the reunion TV Movie) and got them to see him for Johnny Caspar. Frustration and passion are what you get when you see Jon Polito. Who will never stop working.