Cpl. Person & Ziggy

In watching the first two episodes of Generation Kill, I was intrigued by the choice in casting of James Ransone. Corporal Josh Ray Person is played by Ransone, who in the second season of The Wire plays Ziggy Sobotka. Watching the first two episodes I couldn’t help but find uncanny similarities in their characters, with both being very talkative, controversial and really just dominating every scene they were in. Cpl. Person is very prevalent in the first two episodes largely due to Evan Wright’s character being in Cpl. Person’s humvee. Wright’s character is constantly jotting down quotes from Cpl. Person, who is either informing the reporter on the blunt truths of the Marines or offering several different theories to fellow Marines. Cpl. Person has several memorable scenes including his theory that the war was about “pussy” instead of oil or WMDs, or his response to a letter received from a fourth grade student. Ziggy, of course, is equally controversial, with his own theories and his ability to search out trouble while carrying around a duck. There are also tones of homoeroticism exhibited by both characters as Ziggy often flashes his genitals in the bar, and Cpl. Person is quick to comment on the good looks of Rudy. The casting of James Ransone was my initial clear perception of David Simon and Ed Burns’ influence on Generation Kill, amongst the ensemble cast and depictions of Encino Man & Captain America.

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