Post by maherjunkie on Jun 3, 2010 15:47:48 GMT -5
Jamie Portman, Canwest News Service · Tuesday, Jun. 1, 2010
It was inevitable that Chris Noth would experience a moment of sadness when the cancellation of the original Law & Order series was announced in May.
After all, he propelled himself into the big time when he played Detective Mike Logan on the groundbreaking show’s first five seasons, and although he has had something of a love-hate relationship with the Law & Order franchise in the years since, it will always represent a key event in his career. But he does try to be philosophical about the show’s demise.
“You know, it’s like the writer said in one of the papers -- when someone’s 120 and they die, you go, ‘Well, it was a great run, but you did expect it.’ ”
Besides, the 55-year-old actor adds, “I don’t know how many more stories they could have told.”
Noth has never denied that he had philosophical differences with Law & Order creator Dick Wolf, or that he was unhappy with his more recent stint on the franchise’s Criminal Intent spinoff, complaining two years ago that the scripts for that show were “totally implausible.”
Noth is also a firm believer in the importance of character. He liked playing Mike Logan, but he was also up against producers convinced that the actors didn’t matter as much as the story -- a philosophy underlined by the show’s frequent cast changes.
“So you feel less relevant sometimes, and that makes the work harder,” he said in 2008. “In other words, if a character doesn’t count, and the story is the only thing going, and you’re pushing the story up the hill, it’s great when it comes together, but not as fascinating, creatively.”
Noth also tends to be pragmatic about this whole business of acting. Twenty years ago, he regarded Law & Order as the big break in his career. “But, you know, I never think in those terms any more; I used to when I was young. Every job, whether Law & Order or something else, was the ‘big break,’ but I don’t know how that works any more. You just try to do what’s in front of you -- and do it well.”
Furthermore, he continues to find new and interesting work. This Yale School Of Drama grad has maintained an active stage career, in which he’s been equally at home with David Mamet (American Buffalo), Gore Vidal (The Best Man) and George Bernard Shaw (Arms and the Man).
Then of course there’s his ongoing involvement with Sex and the City, in which he plays the love of Carrie Bradshaw’s life, Mr. Big, and his latest TV foray, the critically acclaimed The Good Wife, in which he plays Peter Florrick, a morally compromised attorney and Julianna Margulies’ cheating husband.
Noth promises that The Good Wife, a series rich in complex characters and social observation, will offer more solid drama next season, and that his character will fulfil his dream of running for state attorney. But he also wants to come to the defence of Sex and the City, and is impatient with criticisms that it’s frivolous and empty-headed. In fact, he would argue that, since the series ended and segued into a lucrative film series, the characters are becoming more interesting and complex as they get older.
“I just happen to believe that people over 35 are more interesting than people under 25,” he declared two years ago. “But somehow, we’ve gone amiss in our culture, thinking that’s the kind of entertainment we’re supposed to be watching. I’ve been waiting for years for teenage entertainment to take a back seat.”
He saw the first Sex and the City movie as “an adult romantic film; what really draws people in is human relationships, with all the twists and turns.”
He returned to this theme recently when he did press for Sex and the City 2, which is now in theatres.
“I’m always a little suspicious about ‘learning’ from an entertainment and fun movie,” he told reporters recently. Yet he also felt that the new movie -- which is set two years into the marriage of Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie and Mr. Big -- does examine honestly a crisis in their relationship.
He found it an “interesting journey” to try and define what marriage means to two people who have entered into it after they have already experienced “a long and very intimate relationship” with each other. He talks of a conversation (or possibly a conflict) “between the head and the heart,” and the fact that the head often has to deal with the pressures of society -- between what “marriage should be as opposed to what it actually is.”
In the film, the marriage is already showing fault lines when Carrie and her friends go off to the Middle East for a luxurious vacation. And it’s there that Carrie commits an indiscretion that, in Mr. Big’s mind, starts assuming monstrous proportions when she decides to tell him about it.
“An event that happens could possibly be poisonous to their relationship,” Noth says. But a way out is found, allowing Mr. Big to “turn the poison into medicine and not go to the impulsive place, as men often do in an event like that, and instead creates a bridge to a deeper relationship.”
In brief, suggests Noth, Sex and the City isn’t just frivolity. It does offer -- “something.”
Although Mr. Noth was unhappy during his time on CI, it rarely if ever showed in his performance. Some of my all time favorite CI episodes featured Mike Logan, and I thank Mr. Noth for his contributions to the series. His statement about how "totally implausible" some of the stories were strikes a "Right On!" chord with me--unfortunately, mostly with the G/E episodes.
Patrick Roy, 2006 inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame
Post by wilmingtonfan on Jun 5, 2010 9:51:58 GMT -5
I actually liked The Healer. I thought he did a good job. I liked most of the Noth episodes and in Season 5, I think his episodes are much better than the G/E episodes. I do think the writing starts to take a slide with Season 5. The zip and zing seems to be disappearing and Noth brings something new and refreshing to the series.
Post by crimefighter on Jun 5, 2010 10:47:55 GMT -5
Chris sounds like a man who has been through the Dick Wolf school of " This is how my shows work" he learned long ago that to Wolf the people on the shows are at the bottom, only the show and the stories are important. He got out at the right time, as we've seen the show has declined in the years since he left, and the loss of the best writers didn't help matters, there seems little if any interest in the new version, sometimes it's best to know when to cut a show loose. USA hasn't made all it's announcements yet, so I guess we will see how the wind will blow for this poor old show. It was such a great show, it's sad to see it dying such a slow death.
He must have thought it was goofy, but he played it so sardonically(did I use that correctly mj?), that it made the episode a good one. With anyone else, the episode would have tanked. So it can't be the story and just the story. It must be the actors who make the most ridiculous stories into good episodes.