From the new issue: Thomas Willett on John Belushi
“And that’s the brilliance of Belushi. Animal House is one of the finest college films ever made, mostly thanks to its anarchic heart. We don’t meet Belushi with a smile and a handshake, but when he’s urinating outside the Delta House. His expressive face turns moments—like the one where he smashes a guitar and says no more than “sorry”—into comedic gold. Big and aggressive in the moment, he knows how to use his movements economically. As with Charlie Chaplin, we are more likely to remember how he moves rather than what he says or does. Belushi’s work transposes silent film techniques to a story full of alcoholism and pranks; innovative in its juxtaposition.
His performances always embodied something positive about bigger people to me. In a world where I feel forced to embrace obesity because it’s who I am, John Belushi is one of the few who understood that being plus-sized isn’t a defining feature. He could fill a scene with personality, dance like people half his size, and act loud or obnoxious when necessary. His enthusiasm outweighed his weight.”