Acting is easy, dying is hard
June 3, 2009 7:21 PM   Subscribe

posted by leotrotsky at 7:35 PM on June 3, 2009

that could be said for one's career as well.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 8:01 PM on June 3, 2009

“She’ll call me and say, ‘I know it’s not real, but I just want to make sure you’re O.K.,’ ” he said. “Not that many mothers have seen their son die over and over.”


I was also deeply amused by Christopher Meloni's gallows humor "commiseration." I mean, of course it wouldn't be funny in real life, but since it's acting ...
posted by bettafish at 8:02 PM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

that cat's got two more shows left.
posted by the aloha at 8:50 PM on June 3, 2009

Always die with your eyes open, on stage, singing the blues.
posted by darksasami at 8:55 PM on June 3, 2009

Sucks to be typecast.

"Hey! You're that dead guy, right?"
posted by brundlefly at 11:08 PM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Brundle: He did say in the last video that that death ended a six-year run on the show, so I don't think dying is all he does.
posted by flatluigi at 11:10 PM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Yeah, but he does it damn well.
posted by brundlefly at 1:37 AM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by maryh at 2:36 AM on June 4, 2009 [4 favorites]

I acted a dead guy in a high school play once, and couldn't stop laughing. Comments in the audience like "that's one lively corpse there" didn't help.
posted by dunkadunc at 2:43 AM on June 4, 2009

That's hilarious; I just saw him get shanked in the heart yesterday.

What timing!
posted by bwg at 3:09 AM on June 4, 2009

Dying is hard, especially if you're on stage and not on film or video. My first Shakespeare play, the one that eventually wound up getting me to go to grad school (long story), was King Lear. I played Oswald, the minor-villain steward who gets beaten to death with a stick by Edgar.

It was my first onstage death, and what nobody tells you is how hard it is to lie there after a vigorous fight scene, struggling to breathe without looking like you're breathing so the audience all of twelve feet away (it was a very intimate thrust-stage theater) can suspend their disbelief a little bit. It's even harder if you happen to get the choreography a tiny bit wrong (as I did one night) and fall on your knee instead of spreading the impact out over your side. I had to focus on getting "Slave, thou hast slain me" when my hindbrain was trying to grab control of my tongue and say "Fuck, that hurt" instead.

(Oh, and die with your eyes open? Bleah. Edgar and Gloucester go on for another thirty-eight lines after Oswald dies, and this was under stage lights in a very, very dry climate. It was either close my eyes or keep blinking like some sort of lazy zombie steward.)
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:50 AM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

I wondered what happened to that "Smith" show (the one with the exploding boat). I watched some of that get filmed but never heard about it again.
posted by octothorpe at 4:49 AM on June 4, 2009

Aw, I'm going to miss him. I like the recurring characters who have little to no backstory on dramas like this. It makes the world of the principals a little more real, since their story arcs have to get deeper and more ludicrous as the seasons go on.
posted by xingcat at 4:53 AM on June 4, 2009

The husband of a cousin of mine played a dead Borg in the episode "I, Borg". It was pretty entertaining. When another Borg removes his implants, I could totally see his boyish face.
posted by plinth at 5:32 AM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Smith was a pretty cool show, kind of like a TV version of Heat. CBS cancelled it after three episodes. I wish they'd stuck with it. Leverage is a hit and it's not hugely different.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:36 AM on June 4, 2009

Mike Doyle is an amateur. Seizo Fukumoto is the man we should be talking about.
posted by permafrost at 6:38 AM on June 4, 2009

I acted a dead guy in a high school play once

In a high school production I played a guy who killed another guy, stuffed his body into a trunk and framed someone else for the murder.

Oh yeah, my character was also older and gay.

The 'dead' guy had it easy.
posted by bwg at 6:40 AM on June 4, 2009

Seizo Fukumoto is the man we should be talking about.

The only problem is that when he dies for real, no one will believe it.
posted by bwg at 6:41 AM on June 4, 2009

The only problem is that when he dies for real, no one will believe it.

Now you mention it, in the photo it does look suspiciously like he's just been propped up behind Tom Cruise.
posted by permafrost at 7:44 AM on June 4, 2009

I met Michael Zaslow at a wake in NYC one time. I was a punk high school kid, invited there because the deceased soap actor had seen me perform with his wife's local theater group a few times and thought I was a promising young black actor. I had no illusions about my presence there, but decided against being a total fanboy. I walked up to Zaslow and said, "Hey, I've seen you die like three times!" He paused, composed and waiting for the punch. "On Star Trek. I've seen all of your red-shirt appearances." He smiled and kinda half-laughed, "Well, I seem to make my living by dying." His character at the time, Roger Thorp, was the baddie of the show and was frequently being killed (only to be "not really dead" of course) for dramatic reasons. We chit-chatted a bit and he was genuinely the nicest to me of any of the actors there.

So thanks for this article! I've found one of the best ways to get to know an actor (and about acting) is by talking about death.
posted by Eideteker at 7:32 AM on June 11, 2009

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