TV's Soon-To-Be Breakout Stars of 2014: The Crazy Ones Actor Hamish Linklater
After going through the motions of highlighting everything that was good, bad, amazing, or generally confounding about the year that was 2013, we felt it was time to move on, to look ahead; to not only make note of things we want in the form of resolutions, but to set a course for the deserved to get their due course. So we’ve decided to highlight these perfect TV storms to let you know who’s on the cusp of making it big in 2014. Last week was Heléne Yorke, this week’s one to watch is The Crazy Ones star Hamish Linklater, an actor that totally deserves to have 2014 be his breakout year.
Hamish Linklater is no stranger to the world of television (or film, for that matter), having previously appeared on The New Adventures of Old Christine as the Julia Louis-Dreyfus character’s brother, but 2014 needs to be the year everyone knows his name. Because he’s just that good. No, no, I take it back: he’s better than good. His talents make him crazy-bananas-good, and lie in his ability to deftly wield emotional understanding of the characters he embodies, making every moment feel honest and real — whether they're having the best or worst days of their lives.
Like during his turn last year on The Newsroom. As Jerry Dantana, the misguided-but-driven producer hell-bent on bringing a career-making (and simultaneously government-burning) story to light — only to bungle it all up with editing buffoonery and arrogance. To make a character like Dantana fully realized is no easy feat, especially when he comes from the mind and pen of TV dramatist Aaron Sorkin. But Linklater is a pro — perhaps its all that work he did on stage in New York — and under his control, Dantana was both a character you could despise, understand, empathize with, and sympathize for — even if you were yelling “No! You stupid fucking asshole!” as you watched him edit the resulting interview. But that’s how good he is: he creates depth and layers that force you to react.
And that acute sense of emotional range and control is what makes him such a standout on The Crazy Ones, which, considering the cast involved (Sarah Michelle Gellar, Robin Williams, and adorable-as-a-puppy/”not great, Bob!” James Wolk) is no small feat. The CBS show has moments of heightened hilarity (thanks to Williams and Wolk), but the heart of the whole thing lies with Linklater’s Andrew Keanelly. The vulnerable, goofy creative at an ad agency run by confident egos automatically sets him apart, but if it weren’t for Linklater’s more subdued comedic timing, the whole thing could’ve very easily capsized into a mess of comedic one-upping.
The thing that makes him stick — and should not and cannot be overemphasized — is Linklater’s his restraint and keen understanding of where and when to push or pull himself. By just being in a scene, he makes everyone else in it better. His talents make him worthy of far more acclaim and notoriety than he has: he’s dynamic and engaging any time he’s featured on screen. If anything, it’s high time the actor transitioned from occasional character actor sidekick to main man on the scene. 2014 should be the year everyone knows Hamish Linklater’s name and talents: because they’re both extraordinary.
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