Thursday, 14 August 2014
Learning to love Bradley Whitford
Has there ever been an actor that you've seen in a bunch of similar and quite unlikeable roles who you assume you don't particularly like, only to have your perspective completely turned on its head by seeing them act in something fantastic?
One such actor for me is Bradley Whitford. For years I had seen Bradley pop up in films. Always as a supporting character. Always as kind of a dick. To me, he was "the weasel guy" (courtesy of his role in Billy Madison).
In late 2005/early 2006 I bought that first season of The West Wing on DVD and settled down to watch this show that I'd heard so many good things about. The credits rolled and I groaned upon discovering that the weasel known as Bradley Whitford was among the cast. Ten minutes later, I was converted. His character, Josh Lyman, was already my favourite (a distinction that would not change throughout the entire 7 seasons).
The West Wing showed me what Bradley Whitford could do with a fantastic script and likeable character. I've since come to appreciate his weasel like work in films but for me Bradley is such a wonderful television actor that I don't really mind if I never see him in another big screen role.
Since The West Wing's cancellation in 2006 Bradley has been a part of some other great television series, all of which have sadly only lasted one season. Studio 60, The Good Guys and Trophy Wife were all short lived but fantastic shows. The first two in particular still have me astounded at their brevity. Wonderful writing, acting and humor should have ensured them a longer run and I'm honestly still mourning their loss. I can only hope that whatever Bradley's next endeavour may be turns out to be a bigger ratings success than his last several ventures.
What do you think? Do you have an actor that you've completely changed your view about?