Character Actors: Recognizing Manny Rey & a Commemorative Tribute to my Cousin James Karen @drjordanschaul
We sometimes forget how skillful character actors are at portraying a diverse array of mundane and eccentric characters. Many of these supporting actors are typecast because they look the part and are just so good in particular roles. Others are cast in many roles because their versatility can’t be underestimated. And some move back and forth between leading roles and supporting roles. Regardless, character actors are highly sought after for specific roles and are highly regarded by their peers across acting genres.
In these supporting roles, character actors capture the essence of people we interact with in our own lives and everyday situations. So, they have to be believable and convincing. In an entertaining way, they must be relatable and most importantly they must make us forget they are actors. In many cases character actors are immediately recognizable, but few may know their name as Indiewire staff shared in this editorial listing of some of the most recognized villains on screen.
Because we are increasingly exposed to docudramas and unscripted television programs, audiences often forget that these true dramatic artists are hard at work honing their craft. While reality shows may ‘play out’ for public consumption on screen. They don’t get a reception on stage. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a reality personality on Broadway? But behind all the glitz and glamor of Hollywood, there is a lot of talent to recognize on screen thanks to character actors.
My associate Ivy Lundeen at Ivy Management Co and are talent managers with Stein Entertainment. We work to advance and curate the careers of actors, should they endeavor to perform in feature films, commercials, situational comedies (sit-coms) or perform as comedians. These thespians may compete with media personalities and celebrities (sans training in media arts) , but their object is not usually to become famous and influential. They are passionately driven to be the best performing artists they can be.
Manny Rey is a talented actor and writer. He is constantly working on his craft. He can play a great Mexican cartel member or a street cop. He’s so convincing that when you meet him, like many character actors, you forget he’s an actor.
“His first big acting break was staring with Bryan Cranston in a final season episode of Breaking Bad (2013). Manny is happiest with roles that stretch his abilities as a character actor. Manny is a triple threat as he possesses the charm of a Joe Mantegna, the cold intensity of a Benicio Del Toro or James Russo and a panther-like physicality of a young Brando.
He gets cast as a cop and detective, but more often he nabs the role of villain, psychopath, crime boss, hit-man, among other undesirables . A chameleon on the small screen, Manny has appeared on the critically acclaimed shows…”Breaking Bad”, “The Night Shift”, and “Queen of the South.“
Excerpted from IMDb
In consideration of character actors, I was touched by the 2019 Academy Award’s commemorative tribute to my maternal grandmother’s first cousin James Karen. Karen was among the last of my family members from my grandparent’s generation that I knew or knew of. The Wilkes Barre, PA native was 94 when he passed away last October at his Los Angeles after a short illness and an epic career. He is credited with more than 200 television and film role credits.
The legendary character actor honed his theatrical skills on the stage before becoming a familiar face to motion picture audiences worldwide. Earlier in his career, Karen was recognized for his work in Poltergeist, The Return of the Living Dead, and Invaders from Mars. In 2006, he appeared in The Pursuit of Happyness, which was produced by Will Smith. One of his last performances was in the horror film Cynthia. He was a true thespian, but found his way to Hollywood before also filming a record-breaking 5000 commercials.