Tuesday, May 27, 2014

30 Days of OUAT - Day 28: Best Actor/Character

Day 28 - Best Actor/Character

And no one is shocked, right? Though in all honesty I probably don't even agree with my pick (really for me it's a three way tie between MRJ, Robert Carlyle, and Colin O'Donoghue), but I keep coming back to Michael Raymond-James. I mean if you've followed along with the 30 days of Once so far you know how I feel about his character Neal Cassidy, and if you follow me on Twitter you know I've been quickly catching myself up on his work. (Well, for the most part... the idea of watching his True Blood or Black Snake Moan character terrifies me. LOL!)

I don't want to do a huge gushfest considering I've gushed pretty much non stop all month, but I do want to say that I believe MRJ to be a very underrated actor (at least to the general public). He's more than just a character actor (guy is totally typecast ha ha), he's very skilled at his craft. His style is very laid back and natural on screen and that makes his characters believable. It's his warmth and charm that makes Neal a likeable guy even after all we find out about him (which in the grand scheme of things I don't believe makes him all that bad a person... it's all totally forgivable, which is what Emma does... but I digress).

If you want to see him shine outside of OUAT, I highly recommend Terriers. It was a short lived (not even a full season) show that he was a co-lead on. It's a "buddy drama-edy" about two down on their luck type PI's who end up getting a case that's way bigger than they realize. It was on FX and just didn't get the ratings (I kinda remember the promos for it, but I never watched it when it aired. Wish I had). You can stream it on Netflix (which I do regularly) - it's 13 episodes and well worth the time to take a day and binge watch. If the pilot doesn't catch your attention, keep watching. I wasn't hooked until episode 2 or 3, even with it being MRJ (I'm not a fan of Donal Logue's acting, so it took a while to get over him being co-lead with Michael).

With Neal now dead and gone (with creators Adam and Eddy both repeating the OUAT mantra "Dead is Dead" whenever asked about a possible return for the character) Michael fans are waiting to hear of his next project. He tweeted a while back that after an extended vacation he was back to work on a project he's excited about. He ended the tweet with "Details soonish"... and THIS fan is convinced it's "soonish" and he needs to spill! Especially since he keeps popping up on twitter every few days to share his "pearls of wisdom" (the latest being on washing dishes).

Whatever the project is I really hope it's a good one. Not a couple episodes arc on an established TV show where he ends up dying or some other tragic storyline. I want to see him branch out and play something that we haven't seen much of in his filmography - because judging by his interviews, twitter, and the like... he seems like a fairly happy go lucky kinda guy. So, come on, dude! A little less depression for your fans, please?! ha ha!

Oh, and totally superficial/random/weird point - as a photographer I cannot get over his eyes. They catch light perfectly and make them just stand out and are soooooooo beautiful... and I don't normally say that about dark eyes. But dang.

Oddly enough, however, I don't think Neal is the best character on the show. As much as I'm obsessed over the whole "Quiet Minds" thing, and how much I admire the actor, the character took a while for me to warm up to (not MRJ's fault, the writing didn't make him all that likeable for a long time). No, the best character award most definitely goes to Neal's Papa, Rumpelstiltskin. Robert Carlyle is a sheer genius in this role (and I probably should've given him his due as best actor... but puppy dog eyes won out on that one ha ha).

Seriously this man plays evil to perfection, and he does it in a way that the character is still so sympathetic. Even though he abandoned his son - dropped him down a portal! - and murdered a mute maid because she found out his dagger is what controls him, you still feel for him as he searches for a way to reach Baelfire in the land without magic. You cheer for him when he finds love with Belle (even if the age difference and scales make it kinda creepy), and your heart breaks each time he "loses her"... and then Quiet Minds happens where his son tells him to let go and tells him he loves him with his final breath... and we weep for him. And during his sons funeral, while he's caged and Zelena's prisoner, he feels every painful shovel of dirt burying his son - forever separating them. And you just want his pain to end.

Rumple's relationship with his son is yet another reason why I really really hope that this is truly NOT the end of Nealfire, even though I know it is.

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