The law’s new or­der

Funny man An­thony An­der­son gets a chance to prove his dra­matic worth, writes Siob­han Duck

Herald Sun - Switched On - - News -

JESSE L. Martin’s de­ci­sion to leave Law & Or­der af­ter nine years as Det Ed Green has been a god­send for ac­tor/co­me­dian An­thony An­der­son, who is set to join the show in a spe­cial cross­over episode, Burn Card, air­ing Jan­uary 30.

Martin cited burnout as his rea­son for leav­ing, and the show’s cre­ator Dick Wolf said he and Martin had been in talks for six months. Martin has since been linked to a biopic of soul star Marvin Gaye.

An­der­son (above) joins the cast as Det Kevin Bernard, an In­ter­nal Af­fairs of­fi­cer who wants to work in homi­cide.

‘‘His (Bernard’s) dream was to be­come a homi­cide de­tec­tive, but he had to serve two years in IAB be­fore that could hap­pen,’’ An­der­son says.

‘‘You may think he’s a by-the-book guy be­cause he comes from In­ter­nal Af­fairs, but he knows how to get around cer­tain things without cut­ting too many cor­ners to get the job done.’’

Tra­di­tion­ally, Hol­ly­wood hasn’t made it easy for co­me­di­ans to leap into drama.

The 38-year-old says he de­cided to do se­ri­ous roles be­fore he hit the big time as a co­me­dian to avoid be­ing type­cast as a funny guy.

As a re­sult, the ro­tund co­me­dian’s CV fea­tures a range of film work from the heavy, Os­car-winning films The De­parted and Hus­tle and Flow to the pop­u­lar slap­stick movies Big Momma’s House and Me, My­self and Irene.

Be­fore join­ing Law & Or­der, An­der­son’s ap­pear­ances on the small screen had been in sit­coms.

‘‘I’ve not for­saken com­edy,’’ he says. ‘‘I made a con­scious de­ci­sion to work in drama be­fore I be­came type­cast as a comedic ac­tor be­cause once you do it’s very hard for Hol­ly­wood to ac­cept you as any­thing else.

‘‘In Hol­ly­wood there’s a mis­con­cep­tion that comedic ac­tors can’t do drama.

‘‘But peo­ple for­get that Tom Hanks started in com­edy in (the sit­com) Bo­som Bud­dies and (the movie) Big.

‘‘Robin Wil­liams is a great co­me­dian and has done Good Morn­ing Viet­nam.

‘‘Richard Prior —some of his best work was not in com­edy in Lady Sings the Blues and Har­lem Nights.

‘‘Jamie Fox made his name in sit­coms but was bril­liant in the Ray Charles biopic.

‘‘More times than not co­me­di­ans and comedic ac­tors can do drama, but you can­not get a dra­matic ac­tor to do com­edy.

‘‘It’s a dif­fer­ent mus­cle that we ex­er­cise.’’

AN­DER­SON says winning a sup­port­ing role in The De­parted was a dream come true. He was stunned when di­rec­tor Martin Scors­ese phoned to ar­range a meet­ing with him at his ho­tel room.

‘‘I was sur­prised (to get the call) but I knew it wasn’t my friends play­ing a prank,’’ he says.

‘‘They wouldn’t joke about some- thing like that. They’d be more likely to ring and pre­tend to be the bill col­lec­tors.’’

He says Scors­ese of­fered him the role of Trooper Brown — one of the many char­ac­ters to get shot by Matt Da­mon’s char­ac­ter in the bloody fi­nal scenes of the grip­ping film — within five min­utes of their meet­ing.

‘‘To work with peo­ple like Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Bald­win and Martin Sheen — th­ese are some of the great­est ac­tors of our time,’’ An­der­son says.

‘‘To be part of an en­sem­ble like that is quite a feather in my cap.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.