The Top 10 White Trash Heroes of Cinema
Redneck and "white trash" culture tends to get a bad rap by the snootier elements of our culture. Maybe you think that hicks and hillbillies don’t know nothin’ ‘bout nothin’, but you couldn't be further from the truth. Sometimes we need to look to the trailer parks for succor, refuge, and justice.
Source: Twentieth Century Fox
10. Aileen Wuornos from Monster
Source: Columbia TriStar
Charlize Theron was one of the first of the bombshell actresses to get on the white trash bandwagon. Never one to make a misstep when it comes to her career, she took a role requiring her to gain weight, nastify her hair, wear hideous clothes, and generally make herself ugly so that she was a repulsive sight to behold.
And it worked. Theron won the Oscar for Best Actress in 2004 and gained lots of street cred as an actress. Some people might point out that Aileen Wuornos, the real person Theron’s character was based on, wasn’t exactly a hero. In fact, she was a prostitute and a serial killer. However, she was also a one-woman feminist movement, dispatching violent, misogynistic truckers left and right for women everywhere. Theron made beautiful actresses everywhere realize that to win awards, sometimes you gotta get your hands (and hair and face) a little dirty. And she made truck drivers think twice before giving their prostitutes cheap tips.
9. Karl from Sling Blade
Source: Miramax Films
This movie is white trash to its core. I mean, the man who wrote, directed, and starred in it is named Billy Bob. When was the last time you met a Billy Bob who didn’t count jerky as one of the major food groups? The beauty of this pick is that we have a hick playing a hick – Billy Bob played Karl, the mentally unbalanced, convicted murderer-turned-child advocate. Sure, by the end of the movie he murders again, but he does it in the name of love and affection for Frank (Lucas Black), the boy he’s befriended.
So who's the bigger redneck? The redneck or the redneck who plays him? This is a question only Angelina Jolie can answer.
8. B-Rabbit from 8 Mile
Source: Universal Pictures
The beauty of Eminem’s character in 8 Mile, B-Rabbit, is that he’s a self-confessed member of the white trash club. He wears it as a badge of pride. Being white and living in a trailer park is what sets him apart from the competition, and he even uses it to his enemy’s disadvantage at the end of the movie. Whether you’re a fan of Eminem’s music or not you’re definitely rooting for B-Rabbit by the end of 8-Mile, and wishing you too had the street cred (and freestyle skills) that come from being poor and underprivileged.
7. Russell Casse from Independence Day
Source: Twentieth Century Fox
Independence Day gives us one of the great world-saving white trash heroes of all time: Russell Casse, played by Randy Quaid. Of course, Randy Quaid pretty much plays a bumpkin hick in just about every movie he appears in, but the stakes are so much higher in this one: aliens are hovering over every major city on earth, systematically exterminating humanity like a cockroach infestation, and no one’s been able to break through their defenses. Leave it to a broken-down wino with a crop duster and a plus-size RV to be the last hope of mankind.
The fact of the matter is that since the time of Christ, it’s always been the downtrodden, penniless bastards who sacrifice themselves to get humanity out of sticky situations. Casse is no exception. After years of suffering anal probes and the indignities of being on the margins of society, he gives it back in spades and drops those elitist aliens like the intergalactic city slickers they are.
6. The Ram from The Wrestler
It’s somehow fitting that Mickey Rourke is at the height of his comeback after playing a beloved symbol of white trashiness, Randy “The Ram” Robinson. He’s a professional wrestler, lives in a trailer park, works in a deli, and spends his free time hitting on strippers.
And yet there’s so much more to the man. He sacrifices his own health – nay, his own life – for the entertainment of the people. He knows that he’s a beacon of hope to the kids who show up to his matches and as such gives all of himself every time he’s on the mat. All the pain, injuries, steroids, and humiliations he endures are for the only people who believe in him: his fans.
When The Ram body slams someone, he body slams them in the name of peace and goodwill. And when he gets punctured by staple guns, he gets punctured in the name of awesomeness.