The secret to Jason Butler Harner’s craft

By Adrian Ernesto Cepeda

Around our house, my wife and I are Sorkin-philes, if we ever see an actor on an Aaron Sorkin production, we become instant fans. I remember seeing Jason Butler Harner in the first episode of The Newsroom. His role as Lewis, the feisty right wing talking head who spars with Elizabeth Marvel’s Sharon, was pivotal to Jeff Daniels character’s one stage meltdown at Northwestern University. Harner most recently has been lighting up the screen with his intense roles in such series as Homeland and Scandal and now congratulations are in order to this friend of WordTheatre® as he has been added as a regular on the Showtime series, Ray Donovan.

With successes in The Newsroom, Homeland and Scandal, Harner has shown incredible versatility and an uncanny ability to dive right into any character. When asked about his preparation for each performance Harner says:

“When I’m preparing for a role, especially on stage, I like to do a huge amount of research for my character and other aspects of the project. It’s one of the best things of being an actor; you get to learn tons of information about sometimes useless knowledge, which is only useful for a certain period of time; or at cocktail parties. [But] it depends on the movie and the situation…Occasionally you have to go on the fly, because there just isn’t enough time to prepare as much as you’d like.”

Well, it is safe to say that even if Harner has been put into such a rushed situation, it never shows. He always seems to be in touch with the character he is portraying. Plus, It’s not just us who feel that Harner’s acting is always spot on. Director James Macdonald raved about Jason’s versatility when he said “I needed a skillful actor [for “Cockfight Play”] who could do both the width of it and the edge of it, but also make the guy sympathetic and human and understandable. Jason absolutely does that. He’s been amazing. He’s technically amazing but emotional amazing as well.”

It will be exciting to see Jason Butler Harner bring that energy to the set of Ray Donovan. I know he can fit into any role they ask, but I am curious to see what type of character they will cast him as. So be ready for him to shine in Ray Donovan, stay tuned to Scandal and make sure you check out Jason Butler Harner as a featured performer for WordTheatre’s Granta’s Dead Interviews on April 17th at Six01 Studio in Burbank. RSVP with your ticket purchase at WordTheatre®:

By | 2015-03-13T19:17:29+00:00 March 11th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

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