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Joe Hansard, the actor I’m pleased to spend some time with on this episode of Actors Talk is a wonderful character actor from the New York area. Joe has been a professional actor for several decades and it shows in his presence on the screen. Whether he’s playing one of America’s most wanted, a NY Cop at the turn of the century on THE KNICK or a homeless person on the mean streets of the big city, Joe Hansard brings something special to each role. The label, Character Actor, is a badge of honor, as well it should be. He wears it well.

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Interested in having Joe Hansard in your project? Joe’s Agent

Equally at home in mainstream media and the independent film scene, Hansard has years of experience as both lead and supporting player. Known for an eclectic screen persona, his characters span the gamut, from hillbillies to the homeless — a mixed bag of lovable creeps, kooks, cops, etc.

What image comes to mind when you hear the term ‘Character Actor’?

If you’re a fan of the Steven Soderbergh series, THE KNICK, then you’ll recall seeing Joe Hansard recently in his fine turn as Tuggle, a bull dog of a detective who bites off more than he can chew in THIS IS ALL WE ARE, the final episode of season two. Or maybe you caught him as the homeless man in MYSTERIES OF LAURA or on THE WIRE, HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET or one of the many other shows to which he’s contributed his talent.

Joe Hansard – Nature of The Business

It’s the nature of the business that many fine actors, fine character actors in particular, often labor in a kind on anonymity. They are ‘that guy in that thing.’ Or ‘you
know…THAT guy.” Familiar faces who always deliver something interesting in what can be rather pedestrian programming.

They are actors whose faces may ring a bell but whose names, sadly, often escape us. But to the people who produce and cast television and film roles, it is these wonderful actors who can be pivotal to the success of a project.

I’ve been following the career of Joe Hansard for a few years now and, full disclosure, I consider him a friend. Not that we’ve ever met. But as a character actor myself, I’ve always appreciated what my fellow character actors bring to the set and then to the screen.

Wonderful actors like Joe Hansard are, in large part, made we want to try to work in this crazy business…made me believe there might be a place for me.

I hope you’ll enjoy my chat with Joe Hansard. Joe Hansard offers a revealing glimpse into the struggles and celebrations that make up an actor’s journey.
It’s an honest and revealing chat and a look into the heart of a terrific actor.

CHARACTER ACTOR – It’s a title Joe Hansard wears honorably and wears well.

And if you haven’t checked out THE KNICK, be sure to do so.

Be bold, start with the final episode of Season 2, THIS IS ALL WE ARE, so you can see what I’m talking about when I say Joe Hansard is an actor I will always look forward to watching on screen.


What exactly IS a character actor?

That question will likely provoke lively debate among fans but here’s a decent definition I found in Wikipedia:

A character actor is a supporting actor skilled at playing distinctly unusual, interesting or eccentric characters, such that they are “almost unrecognizable from part to part, and yet play many, many roles convincingly and memorably.”

Not a bad definition. But What about you? Who is on your ‘go to’ list of favorite character actors?

Perhaps you think of Paul Giamatti, Steve Buscemi, Gary Oldman, Danny Trejo or John Hawkes.

Let’s not forget wonderful female character actors like Joan Cusack, Tilda Swinton or Maya Rudolph to name just a few.

Listeners closer to my age might first think of someone like Karl Malden, Jack Albertson, Alan Arkin, Ned Beatty or Wilford Brimley. And character actresses like Lois Smith, S. Epatha Merkerson, Sharon Gless, Mary Kay Place, Regina King,

Older still might go to Peter Lorre, Charles Bickford, Walter Brennan, Gabby Hayes, Harry Carey or his son Harry Carey Jr. who like his father had a very successful career
as a Hollywood Character Actor, predominantly in westerns.

I can’t leave out actresses like Ellen Corby, Jessica Tandy or Thelma Ritter.

I would also be remiss if I excluded my great friend, the late Gregory Walcott a leading man early in his career but best known as a reliable guest star on hundreds of episodic television shows from the 1950s through the 1980s and for dynamic character turns in films such as Battle Cry, Joe Kidd, The Eiger Sanction, Norma Rae and my favorite of his character roles, Weenie in Prime Cut opposite Lee Marvin and Gene Hackman – two more examples of character men who had long careers as major stars.

Who Is Missing?

Is one or more of your favorites missing? Of course they are. Any ‘top of the head’ listing of these wonderful actors is bound to leave out scores of deserving men and women.

Want to have some fun? Check out these few lists of favorite character actors, male and female. If you really want to honor your favorite character actors, make your own list on IMDb.

Best Female Character Actors of All Time

25 Great Character Actors

Best Character Actors Of All Time

The post Joe Hansard Character Actor The Knick |ATP 064 appeared first on Actors Talk.

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