Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How Typecast is Jeff Daniels?

I started Season 1 of The Newsroom last night and thoroughly enjoyed it, despite the negative reviews of many critics. Still, I couldn't get over the fact that Jeff Daniels plays Will McAvoy, a crotchety but genius news anchor.

To me, Jeff Daniels is Harry Dunne from Dumb and Dumber. How could he possibly play an intelligent character like McAvoy?

Daniels is not typecast in the way we usually understand the term, because he has played a variety of roles. Just two years after Dumb and Dumber, he portrayed the lovable father in Fly Away Home. Still, Daniels is typecast in my mind. None of his other roles will ever be as memorable as Harry. I named my golden retriever Harry, for godsakes.

At one point in the second episode of The Newsroom, Daniels speaks to a female character and lights a cigarette. For a second, I thought the scene would surely play out like this:

Maybe it's because I've seen Dumb and Dumber roughly 879 times, but I would watch The Newsroom much differently if Will McAvoy were played by a different actor.

I think that Daniels is thoroughly entertaining on The Newsroom, and I plan to keep watching. I just don't see how I'll ever watch the show without thinking of Daniels in a top hat and a baby blue tuxedo.

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