It's always a challenge for an actor to play a well-known part on TV and then to start over on a new show as someone entirely different. Audiences will always be tempted to see them as that first character, leading to typecasting and premature cancellations of new projects. However, recently, actors like Ray Romano have turned this theory on its head. After nine (nine!) seasons on Everybody Loves Raymond, he's deftly crafted a new persona on Men of a Certain Age that, for all intents and purposes, is the anti-Ray Barone. As the second season comes to a close tonight on TNT (and as we count down to the return of Breaking Bad), we take a look at other performers this summer who moved from a career-defining role to successfully portraying its polar opposite. (Yes, we know Sons of Anarchy isn't really a summer show, but we couldn't resist.)
The premiere episode of the excellent TNT drama The Closer is tonight. As I mentioned in today's GTC, it's kind of schlamazing. In a nutshell: Brenda and Fritz have moved in together and are still adjusting to cohabitation and its attendant maelstrom. A photojournalist is trailing Brenda -- and getting in the way of her investigation, which raises some interesting questions about voyeurism and the moral responsibilities of the press. At the center of the action is an arson crime that sees the return of season one's homicidal pyromaniac Billy Croelick, whose chemistry with Brenda is ... sizzling. In anticipation of the TV event of the, um, week (?), I had the opportunity to do a little round-table thingy with the show's star Kyra Sedgwick, whose no-BS New York gal personality stands in sharp contrast to the spitfire Southern sweetheart Brenda Johnson. I guess that's why they call it "acting." Here are the highlights:
Shaq does something awesome (as usual), and Jeffrey Donovan does something very not awesome (unusual!), but at least James Marsters is in a space suit.