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Great Character Actors: Denis O’Hare

posted by Nell Minow

I love character actors, those utility infielders who have to create a complete character in seconds and hold a scene opposite a superstar.   They’re the ones who always seem vaguely familiar but are so chameleon-like that we never quite place them.

One of my favorites is the astoundingly versatile Denis O’Hare, who seems to be in everything these days.  He’s a testy judge in “The Good Wife” and the vampire King of Mississippi in “True Blood” (very mature material).  He has played officious bureaucrats in “The Proposal” (watch the closing credit outtakes) and “Charlie Wilson’s War” and a singing, dancing prince in “Once Upon a Mattress.”  He has appeared in “Brothers and Sisters” and “CSI: Miami.”  It is a pleasure to be able to pay tribute to such a versatile performer.


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  • Jamie from Actor Design

    I’m a character actor myself, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It has taken me a good 20 years to ‘grow into my face’! But I stuck with it knowing that the roles would eventually find me, and they have.
    Character Actors always have the most fun, playing the strangest, funniest, and most interesting characters.

    • Nell Minow

      Thanks, Jamie! I agree.

  • actors

    Whenever I hear actors talking, their focus centers on the business aspects of the job. How do I get an agent? How do I get auditions? How do I get into the union? Seldom does the conversation turn to the skills and techniques required of the craft. For instance, how does one create the internalizations of a particular emotion, thought or intention? How does one memorize a scene or a long speech? In portraying characters, how does one generate believable gestures, movements, and blocking? All of these questions seldom come up and if they do, they receive only cursory attention.

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