Although I have not been as big a fan of the second and third installments of “American Horror Story” on FX, the one great thing about all three has been Jessica Lange. In each incarnation, she’s been doing her best work since her Oscar-nominated work in the 1982 feature “Frances.” The reason her work is so strong is that Lange is so happy with the bizarre characters she’s had the chance to play in the three versions of the show.
It often takes actors on a TV show a few episodes to feel comfortable working together. In the case of Skylar Astin and Alexis Knapp — stars of the new TBS comedy “Ground Floor” — the bond was immediate. They had already worked together on the feature films “Pitch Perfect” and “Cavemen.”
On the new TV comedy they share, Astin plays a white collar financial whiz while Knapp’s character is part of the company’s blue collar support staff. The comedy comes from what happens when their different worlds come together.
There are few people who can play sneaky, back-stabbing, slimy characters as believable as Gregory Itzin. His best work was as President Charles Logan in “24.”
I chatted with Itzin during a visit to the set of his new series “Lost Angels.” He’s playing another politician so I had an opening to ask him about being on “24.” He says it was a great part and he would love to reprise the role for other “24” productions.
Maybe, I’ve been doing this job a little too long. Or maybe, I’ve been doing it just long enough.
I had a chance to sit down with Anson Mount to talk about his very under appreciated cable series “Hell on Wheels.” If you aren’t watching, pick up the first two seasons on DVD to get ready for the third season that starts in August.
We talked a lot about the series, his acting career and finally his early years growing up in White Bluff, Tenn., a town that is little more than a bump in the road. I’m familiar with it because I grew up only a few miles away in a town that doesn’t even qualify as a bump. I asked Mount how he was able to go from such a small town to a professional acting career.
AMC continues to turn out exceptional dramas. The latest jewel from the cable channel that already airs “The Walking Dead,” “Mad Men” and “Hell on Wheels” will launch “Low Winter Sun” on Aug. 11. It’s a gritty cop drama set in Detroit starring Mark Strong.” The first episode is the best new series in this genre since “The Shield” launched.
The series is the same high quality AMC has delivered with past shows but this one’s starting even stronger because of Strong. The British actor brings such a distinct look and superb acting style to the show that it’s elevated by his mere presence. It also helps that he played the character in the original series that ran in Britain. He jumped at the chance to take on the role again.
I had a chance to catch up with Fresno’s Christopher Gorham to talk about the new season of “Covert Affairs” that begins July 16. It was time to chat again as the third season ended with a big event for Gorham’s character.
If you haven’t been watching the show, you have been missing an Emmy-worthy performance by Gorham. He plays CIA agent Auggie Anderson, who’s always been there when fellow agent, Annie Walker (Piper Perabo) needs help. Auggie just happens to be blind.
Gorham doesn’t play the character as if the blindness is a handicap. It’s just one of the things Auggie deals with in doing his job. An actor of lesser skill would have played the character more as a stereotype but Gorham never falls into any of those bad acting mistakes.
Charlie Day, one of the twisted minds behind “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” is always a fun interview. That’s why it was so great to talk to him twice in a month, first for his voice work in “Monsters University” and then for “Pacific Rim.”
Not only is he very grounded but has a great sense of humor. On his role in the new action film “Pacific Rim,” Day says he’s excited that he finally isn’t playing “the dumb character.” He’s actually the smartest character in the upcoming film from director Guillermo del Toro about a war between giant robots and massive creatures. Day’s character is the one who comes up with a plan to stop the invasion.
Casting him in the role as a super genius shows the confidence del Toro had in Day. The director knew the actor from his work on “Sunny.” I’m not saying the character on the cable TV series is dumb but he once pretended to have cancer as a way of picking up women. And his character in “Monsters University,” Art, is a few pixel short of a full picture.
Danai Gurira, who plays Michonne in “The Walking Dead,” is playing such a popular character on the AMC series that you can bet her star power will have shot up dramatically when she finally decides to go back to stage work.
She doesn’t worry about how a TV show will impact her career on stage because long before Gurira started leading two limbless, jawless zombies around on the AMC series, she had distiquished herself as a stage actor and writer.
She made her Broadway debut in August Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” in 2009. Before that, in 2006, Gurira won an Obie Award, Outer Critics Circle Award for writing, and the Helen Hayes Award for Best Lead Actress for her off-Broadway play “In the Continuum.”