Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dominic Chianese on Damages

It was good to see Dominic Chianese on Damages last night.   I interviewed him for The Sopranos Conference I helped organize at Fordham University in May 2008, and it was the centerpiece of the conference.   We talked mostly about Chianese's Uncle Junior role on The Sopranos, and a little about his Johnny Ola part in Godfather II, and it was clear that Chianese is an actor's actor, with a keen intellect that understands the cultural impact and depth of his craft.

Damages this year has really outdone itself with fine starring and supporting acting, the highlights being Martin Short as attorney for the Madoff-like character Louis Tobin (played superbly by Len Cariou) whose money is Patty's target, and Campbell Scott as Tobin's son Joe.

Chianese plays the mysterious and powerful Mr. Zedeck, who apparently has access to millions of dollars Tobin stashed away before his prosecution and untimely demise.   In last night's episode 3.6, Joe and Zedeck intersect, as Joe seeks some proof that Zedeck really has access to the hidden money.  But this is likely only the beginning of Zedeck's role.  Since Patty's looking for the money, sooner or later she'll come into conflict with Zedeck.

Beginning with Frobisher (perfectly played by Ted Danson) in Season One, Damages has thrived on duels between Patty Hewes and arch-villains.   Zedeck will make a fine addition to this roster, and to Chianese's cast of sinister, memorable characters.

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