We all know a Spike Lee joint when we see one; mostly for its authentic New York look and distinctive sounds. What’s also notable about a Spike Lee joint is that the man himself has starred and made appearances many of them. Since his first feature film Spike has had a knack for being in front of the camera as well as behind it taking on very different roles to showcase his acting ability. Having starred in over 10 joints I thought it would only be right to list my top five favourite Spike Lee performances.

5. Snuffy – Crooklyn (1994)

A small role, but a no less notable one as Spike plays Snuffy, the neighbourhood crackhead in this poignant story of a family growing in 1970′s Brooklyn. Snuffy and his compatriot go around terrorising the little kids on the block for change in order to feed their drug addiction. A comical role to say the least, with his large afro and what seemed to be a constant mesh of saliva and what was left of heroin around his mouth.

 

4. Giant – Mo’ Better Blues (1990)

Spike takes it up a notch with this role as he plays Giant, the manager of Jazz musician Bleek (played by Denzel Washington) and his band, The Bleek Quintet. With his distinctive shoulder lean walk and broad shoulder padded suit, Giant is no doubt a memorable character, not just for his look but for his love for gambling which gets him into debt. Giant’s debt gets him into a lot of trouble which is exemplified in an epic scene where two loan sharks (one of whom is played by Samuel L. Jackson) beat him down to the ground.

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This article was first posted on September 14, 2012