Burt Reynolds received his first Oscar nomination for portraying pornographic film director Jack Horner in Boogie Nights.
Burt Reynolds plays the famous Porn director Jack Horner in a rather interesting way. As Horner he surprisingly never plays it exactly as you would expect. He could have easily played him as some extremely slimy type of character that would have been easy and incredibly obvious, but instead Reynolds gives a far more interesting performance. He begins in control of the film pulling in Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) into the industry. I like how Reynolds shows Horner's complete control of the situation, and is cool, calm manipulation of others to make his films. It is interesting because Reynolds carefully shows that Horner is not really manipulating anyone to be vindictive or really to control but he just really wants his films made.
What I found most interesting about his performance is showing that Horner actually believes he is an artist. Reynolds excels in every scene in which he must show this and makes Horner's belief that he really is a filmmaker both fascinating and somehow realistic. I like the enthusiasm Reynolds into the film making scenes and his enthusiasm to the ideas that his "actors" tell him. Every scene is fascinating involving Horner's obsession and love of film is brilliantly played by Reynolds. Especially strong scenes are when he determinedly defends the film over the use of video tape pushed by a Porn producer. He infuses the right passion in this scene and all his scenes to the utmost effectiveness. His performance interestingly is not that loud, or obvious but just always on the mark. He is always right in this performance never false despite the inherit oddness of Jack Horner. This character could have been easily too underplayed or too over the top but Reynolds instead plays Horner perfectly in the middle instead.