n°171/ Locked In Heroes

May 2015

by Nathalie Azoulai

Are TV show heroes meant to be locked in their best TV show part? That is will Jon Hamm ever be Don Draper (Mad Men), Michelle Dockery Lady Mary (Downton Abbey) or Freddie Highmore Norman Bates (Bates Motel), just as his cinematic predecessor Anthony Perkins once was because of his uncanny and scary part in Hitchcock's Psycho? While some manage to fly from a show to another such as Dominic West (The Wire, The Hour, The Affair) or Courteney Cox (Friends, Cougar Town), very few-one in a million actually- seem to achieve their career change, such as Jennifer Aniston who somehow escaped Rachel Green-one is allowed doubt it-or a long long time ago, Mia Farrow Alison McKenzie-okay, this is a very very old story. So how does it work? An actor's assignment being to change his physical appearance, his name and his destiny in each movie he plays in, isn't there an ontological dysfunction in keeping him for seasons and years in one single character's shoes? An aberration that could lead him to some dead end...

 Mad Men

 Downton Abbey

 The Wire