Tuesday, May 26, 2009

James Callis on Numb3rs, Part 4


OK, I just saw Numb3rs with James. Wow. Just... wow.

He looks, talks and acts nothing like James at all. It's nothing like Gaius Baltar, nothing like Guy Curran, nothing like Tom, nothing like Mark Feinman. It's another person.

I was worried the character would be really black and white, someone you're meant to hate. Maybe it is, but somehow I felt he brought depth into the role. It's just the one episode, so there was no real time to build up his backstory, and a lot of it is done by others talking about him - "IQ of 155, educated himself in prison", etc. But the way he himself talks and acts is somehow... three-dimensional. I wanted to learn more about Mason Duryea. I can't say I liked him or even felt for him, but there's something fascinating about his madness. And he is very, very creepy.

Off character, I've never seen James be anything but kind and warm; he's cheerful most of the time, and you can usually hear the laughter in his voice even when he's not joking (tho he mostly is). Where does he get this darkness? How does he go into a character like this? I think this was the first time I was disgusted to see James kiss a beautiful woman! I felt like slapping him and spitting in his face too. It's a new experience. Yet, when they shot at him, I immediately went into "Don't you shoot MY JAMES" mode. In some scenes, I think his eyes look sensitive and tortured; I'm not sure if that's James showing through or a part of Duryea. It's so weird to see him like this.

The accent: It's nothing at all like his regular American accent; it's Oklahoma, and I don't have a lot of knowledge of that area, so I can't really judge it. It felt fake at first, but as I watched the character unfold, I kinda forgot all about it and just believed it was real. I think that's a really good sign.

The look: He looks horrid in the prison scenes, but actually not all that bad in the scenes with the tribe. He's such a hideous character that it's hard to find him appealing here, though. Some fans are wild about the wild man look, but I guess I like my James a little more groomed and, well, sane. :D His cheek hollows look more pronounced; I wonder if he lost a few pounds just to look more psycho and tortured.

I do like Numb3rs. It's a cop show, and I generally don't like those. I don't think I've ever sat through a whole episode of CSI, for instance. But this show introduces all these mathematical and computer science things that make it a bit more interesting. The cops act a bit too macho; it's a bit dramatic, a bit overdone, a bit too easy - would they really figure it all out so fast? - but it's still good TV, and it was enjoyable to watch. I'm happy and proud that James got to do an episode of this.

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