Try­ing his

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Eguide Television -

HE’S a multi- award win­ning ac­tor, earn­ing two Os­cars, three BAF­TAS and an Emmy Award among oth­ers dur­ing an il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer that has spanned more than five decades.

But Dustin Hoffman’s lat­est role is some­thing that few could have seen com­ing, mov­ing from the glitz and glam­our of the movie world into Aus­tralian homes as he takes the lead in rich new HBO se­ries Luck.

It’s part of a trend that has seen a num­ber of A- list ac­tors make the tran­si­tion in re­cent years from movies into head­lin­ing their own tele­vi­sion shows.

For­est Whitaker in Crim­i­nal Minds: Sus­pect Be­hav­iour, Kathy Bates in Harry’s Law and Alec Bald­win in 30 Rock are only some of those who have pre­vi­ously con­trib­uted to the blur­ring of the tra­di­tional line be­tween movies and tele­vi­sion.

And sadly, Hoffman has ended up down on his luck.

Luck launched to pos­i­tive re­views from crit­ics in its movie- length pre­miere in the US, prompt­ing cable tele­vi­sion gi­ant HBO to promptly or­der a sec­ond se­ries of 10 episodes.

Then it went pear- shaped. First, viewer num­bers plum­meted. Then three horses died dur­ing pro­duc­tion, prompt­ing a swag of an­i­mal rights protests, and HBO can­celled sea­son two.

That leaves Hoffman’s gam­ble on the big bud­get block­buster a sin­gle roll of the dice, be­cause af­ter the sea­son cur­rently play­ing out on our screens, there is no more.

Set at Cal­i­for­nia’s Santa Anita Park with a story delv­ing into the un­scrupu­lous side of horse rac­ing, the nine- part se­ries in­cludes an im­pres­sive al­beit some­what age­ing cast: 70- yearold Golden Globe win­ner Nick Nolte, 71- year- old Os­car- nom­i­nated Bri­tish ac­tor Michael Gam­bon ( aka Pro­fes­sor Dum­ble­dore in the Harry Pot­ter movies) and 67- year- old Den­nis Fa­rina ( Snatch, Get Shorty ).

For 74- year- old Hoffman, the op­por­tu­nity to play Ch­ester Ace Bern­stein, a shady race­horse owner look­ing for jus­tice af­ter serv­ing three years in jail for a crime he didn’t com­mit, was an op­por­tu­nity not to turn down.

‘‘ What a star doesn’t an­tic­i­pate is that you’re go­ing to come full cir­cle: you’re go­ing to wind up sup­port­ing the leads, be­cause peo­ple don’t write leads for ac­tors in their 70s,’’ Hoffman says prag­mat­i­cally.

Re­fer­ring to the Kung Fu Panda

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