I’ve recently had an unscheduled marathon of Peter Krause. I’m most of the way through the first season of Six Feet Under, just finished watching the Sci-Fi miniseries The Lost Room, and have been enjoying the new NBC series Parenthood.
I came to Parenthood first, so it was kind of interesting to see the different contexts that he’s worked in. In SFU, he plays a charming, but rootless young man who (at the beginning of the series) isn’t really sure what he wants to do with his adulthood. In both Parenthood and Lost Room, he plays a charming family man who is primarily motivated by his family.
What’s interesting to me is that Krause’s upbeat charisma is a constant through all his roles. In this, he reminds me of George Clooney. They may be in different roles, but their personal identity is so strong that it always comes across as well. I think this is a little different from one note, Michael Cera-ish acting. With bad actors, they don’t have the skill to understand, or create, the personality and identity of the character they’re playing. Good actors, even when they are bringing a lot of themselves to the role, allow their personality to become a part of the character, not overwhelm it. George Clooney is good at this, as is Meryl Streep, Geoffrey Rush and John Goodman.