Friday, December 22, 2006
“I am a free man, as was my father before me.”
When Andre Braugher delivered this line in the film Glory, I knew he was going to be one of the great ones. He probably saw that line in the script and thought, “This is what all the training has been for. That Shakespeare preparation is gonna pay off right here!”
Braugher just oozes with confidence and fierceness when it comes to acting. That’s why I was thrilled that he won the Emmy award for his role as Nick Atwater in the FX miniseries, Thief, and why I’m rooting for him to win the Golden Globe best actor award for the same role.
In the series, which began shooting in New Orleans just before Katrina struck, Nick leads a band of robbers on heist jobs that yield millions of dollars. Although Braugher’s character can be scary at times, he also has a soft side when it comes to his family. Mid-robbery he answers a cell phone call from his wife who wants him to talk to a police officer who has taken his stepdaughter Tammi down to the station. Nick convinces the officer to give Tammi another chance and goes right back to breaking into a bank vault.
In another well-done scene, Braugher displays his charisma and fine acting skills as he deals with one of his Christian born-again robbers, the sad-eyed Clifton Collins, Jr. Collins, who plays Jack in the series, tells Nick that he’s feeling guilty about the robbery they’ve planned. Seemingly amused, Nick looks at him as if to say, “You can’t be serious.” But in the next second he grabs Jack’s shoulders and tells him, “I need you.” Braugher delivers the line like a mother telling a child to “stop this nonsense and straighten up.” Jack hops to it.
It’s obvious that Nick adores Wanda, his white wife, but has trouble relating to Tammi. Scenes between Nick and Tammi, trying to get along, after Wanda is killed in a car accident, are some of the most compelling father-daughter pieces ever done on television.
Unfortunately, FX isn’t bringing Thief back due to a lack of viewers. What a shame. Why do the quality television programs always get the axe?
Oh well. Although he won’t be back for another season of Thief, Braugher deserves the Golden Globe award for the hard work he put in down in the Big Easy. The Golden Globes Awards will be televised on NBC, Monday, January 15.
Check out this interview with Braugher on Sky.com.
Posted by Alicia Benjamin at 12/22/2006 12:33:00 PM