How Today’s TV Leading Men Redefine Masculinity in Emmy Eligible Roles

Variety | 5/29/2019 | Iain Blair
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In ancient Greece, the masks worn by actors and chorus, signifying comedy or tragedy, made it crystal clear to audiences what was transpiring on stage. Some 2,500 years later, the line between comedy and drama is far more blurred, as evidenced by roles inhabited by countless Emmy contenders.

Bill Hader may be best known as a comedic actor — he won an Emmy last year as lead actor in his comedy series “Barry” — but, as he notes, “there’s a lot of drama” in HBO’s dark comedy about a hit man trying to get out of the murder business and into acting. Hader co-created “Barry” with Alec Berg and says they “try to make the character as real and relatable as possible.”

Scripts - Comedy - Hader - Guy - Anti-hero

“We write it very straight, so the scripts are more dramatic than comedy,” Hader says. “Obviously the guy is very damaged and an anti-hero, and I’d say the way I play it and all the different emotions involved is very instinctual. You’re constantly trying to find where you and the character overlap, and I really get the idea of wanting to belong to a community, such as a theater, but fearing that you’re not good enough.”

George Clooney Watched 'Girls' 'Religiously' but Christopher Abbott Hasn't Seen 'ER'

Issues - Masculinity - Times - Role - Perceptions

Such issues of self-worth and masculinity in changing times also inform the role, he says. “I think perceptions of all that — what makes a man a man — started changing a lot in the ’70s, and to be honest, Alec and I are not very manly guys, so it’s nice to be able to make fun of some aspects of that in the show.”

For Christopher Abbott, playing Captain John Yossarian in the Hulu limited series “Catch-22,” “was quite challenging, as it pretty much touches all the bases emotionally.” The series tells the story in...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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