Every character in Boogie Nights has small details like this that encapsulate everything about them. Some of these qualities, such as Diggler's obsessive politeness whenever he's pulled away from a conversation, are written on the page. Others appear to be specific choices made by actors, like the way Philip Seymour Hoffman's Scotty J. nervously holds his arm during Jack and Dirk's confrontation.
As the film turns 20, Et is reexamining the breakthrough performances in Boogie Nights and Paul Thomas Anderson's showcase of incredible character actors.
Set in the late '70s, Boogie Nights chronicles 17-year-old busboy Eddie Adams’ (Mark Wahlberg) journey as he’s taken under the wing of pornography auteur Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds) and into a world where he could finally become the bright shining star he always felt destined to be. Adams quickly transforms into the neon sign dynamite that is Dirk Diggler and takes the industry by storm