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June 12, 2003


Actor Isaiah Washington has been

Actor Isaiah Washington has been on the collective Robot mind a lot lately, and here's a Fame Audit from Fame Tracker: I guess we're not alone. He is in the new Hollywood Homicide, and he also played the role of Lane Staley (coincidence?*) in an episode of the TV show "Homicide". I seem to have a mental block similar to the FT writers about Isaiah and his many roles in many movies, apart from that same exact "Tuffy liked to tussle" scene from Out of Sight that's mentioned in the audit. Which we think indicates what a great character actor he is, like how he hung out on the streets of Detroit for months in preparation for his role [tx ADM]. -amy

    If I ever meet Isaiah, I'm going to ask him if he and Don Cheadle knew each other before they were in movies. They're acting style is similar in some precise ways, and it makes me guess they either studied at the same school or learned from each other when they were young. If you ever watch either of them while they're being quizzed by another character, their shifty, non-chalant attitudes (just slightly tinged with weakness) seem to mirror each other. Tough, but punctuated with an almost imperceptible fear. You can see both of them in action at once in Out of Sight, where Cheadle is memorable as Snoopy Miller, and Isaiah (as Snoopy's cousin) has that great scene with J. Lo that Amy mentions.

    Both of them command your attention as soon as they enter the frame, but can shift from a position of strength to one of weakness without your even noticing. Amy and I started talking about Washington the other night because I had just watched an old episode of Homicide in which he goes head to head with Andre Braugher in the interrogation box. Braugher's confidence, particularly in his Homicide role, is different from Washington's and Cheadle's: there is no vulnerability. And so, as he duels with Washington in the box, it becomes increasingly evident that the scene was never a duel at all: it was Braugher destroying Washington's character. And again, the moments in which Washington begins to shift from street-bred non-chalance to a broken man slip by you, until suddenly you can't believe that Washington's transformation occurred in only one scene. It's funny that Fame Tracker has a "Hey! It's that Guy!" profile of him...As I mentioned to Amy the other day, he and Cheadle seem ripe for a "Two Stars, One Spot" feature, and it does seem like IW has been getting less work since DC came into prominence in Boogie Nights. -adm

    *In another episode of Homicide, the detectives investigate someone named "Chris Novoselic", so it seems that the writers on the show had a thing for naming supporting characters after grunge rockers. -adm

posted by amy at 9:52 AM | #


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