Saturday, April 01, 2006

David Morrissey

Last fall, She Who Must Be Obeyed and I discovered an astonishingly good actor by the name of David Morrissey in two series BBC America was airing. The first was Viva Blackpool, a murder mystery musical in which Morrissey starred as Ripley Holden, proprietor of a skeezy Blackpool amusement hall that he was trying to turn into a hotel casino. As Ripley, Morrissey turned in a terrific performance as a larger-than-live, Elvis-sideburn sporting character, whose outsize behavior masked outsize depth of character. He underplayed his part by overplaying it, if you follow what I mean; if I knew more about acting I could make it more sensible.

The other was State of Play, a taut political thriller in which Morrissey played an up-and-coming politician caught up in a scandal. This time he turned in a perfectly controlled performance as a consumate politician whose world was falling apart around him.

Either performance alone would have been noteworthy. But watching them in tandem was a revelation -- Morrissey's such a chameleon that he barely looked the same in either part; he inhabited the skin of each man so completely it was almost impossible to imagine him being anyone else. Surely, I thought, this was an actor to watch; big things no doubt lay in his future. In an idle moment, I thought that the folks who had case Daniel Craig as James Bond had missed out by not casting Morrissey -- but I put that thought aside. It seemed impossible that another perfect showcase would not come along.

But if the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go awry, so too must the idle musings of a grad student who watches too much television.

You see, a big movie with David Morrissey as its male lead just opened.

It's called Basic Instinct 2.

Can't win 'em all, I suppose...

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