Is Avery Brooks a good actor?

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by Plomeek Broth, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. Yanks

    Yanks Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    So you are justifying subpar acting with great writing?

    I'm not saying I hated him, far from it. But this thread is about his acting, not about feelings etc.
     
  2. JD5000

    JD5000 Captain Captain

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    No actor springs immediately to mind that could easily handle all the roles given to Sisko. No denying that he is a very multi-faceted character with multiple motivations. He's thrust into a unique situation that none of us have full experience with - his actions and reactions should be confusing at times.
     
  3. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think the "The Captains Close Up" paints a much more coherent picture of Brooks. At least that's how it came off to me. I think the first version was edited to make him look like a crazy man. I mean, he's still a unique guy with an interesting way of saying things, no matter how you slice it. But I think "Close Up" is the better version.

    I think he was a little stiff in the beginning, but I think much of the cast was as well. As the series grew, so did the cast. And they were able to find their chemistry. Strangely, I really feel when he shaved his head he loosened up quite a bit and really found Sisko. The hair added to his stiffness! He also seems to be better when he's in scenes with better actors. Unless he's being extremely emotional, then it seems Brooks can erase all of his surroundings and just be overwhelmed by whatever emotion is in the script. To me, he's one of the actors who got better as the show got better, and became superb when the show was superb.

    Few of the actors were consistently good. Colm Meaney was, though his character was somewhat established. Andrew Robinson nailed it from the beginning. Marc Alaimo and Louise Fletcher were delicious villains from the beginning. I felt Rene Auberjonois and Armin Shimerman both got better as their makeup improved. I think Nana Visitor was better as she toned down her anger, but in her defense that was a character development. The improved uniforms seemed to help as well, oddly enough. :)
     
  4. trekker670

    trekker670 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think there are two very distinct sides to Avery Brooks.

    The side of Mr. Brooks that appears when he's on the job (acting, producing, teaching, etc.) is very professional and "normal." This is the side we see when he's playing the role of Sisko, when he's performing his duties as musical consultant in "The Captain's" documentary, and in a lot of the "official" interviews seen on the DVD sets.

    Then there's the side of Mr. Brooks that we see in "The Captain's" documentary and at conventions. He's very much a free thinker and "eccentric" to a point where, IMO, it's uncomfortable to watch (breaking into song mid-sentence, making everything an issue related to racial injustice, etc.). I've heard this side be attributed to his being intoxicated, but I wouldn't put too much credit into it.
     
  5. JD5000

    JD5000 Captain Captain

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    I'm no cop, but he never seemed drunk to me in the interviews I've seen. Just 'eccentric'. I wouldn't be surprised to learn he smokes a little herb here and there, but neither takes away from his natural personality. People are MORE like their 'true selves' with a little chemical influence.

    And well said dub and 670, I agree with all your thoughts and I think you both provided very well-written and well-thought out views.
     
  6. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, IMO, he's an excellent actor.

    I saw him on stage a few years ago, in a fairly small theater. I was in the first row, the equivalent of a camera right in front of his face, and my sense was that he was probably even better from a few rows back.
     
  7. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    Kira's development became obvious after Duet: confront past, grow mature. Odo's was more difficult. Auberjonois was extremely disappointed with his character in season one. He may have even threatened to quit. Season 2 was a huge turn around, obviously leading into the cultivation of the Dominion War. In the beginning, he was the funny alien who changed shapes. By the end, he held the key to understanding between peoples: he was the one who brought the Dominion War to its end.
     
  8. JD5000

    JD5000 Captain Captain

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    Tora Zival, and Philip Seymour Hoffman's recent death, just made me think about what it would be like to see Avery Brooks on stage. I think he would be great as Willy in 'Death of a Salesman'. He would also make a really interesting Stanley in 'Streetcar'.

    EDIT: Apparently he did play Willy Loman back in '08....to youtube! Here's a link to the trailer for the production at Oberlin College, if anyone's interested.
     
  9. Shik

    Shik Commander Red Shirt

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    I've seen clips from Brooks' one-man show about Paul Robeson & he was brilliant.
     
  10. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I find that baffling-season 1 Odo was one of the most unique characters in Star Trek-a gruff outsider with no knowledge of where he came from. Unlike Spock in that he was emotional and he had no known heritage to draw from. Unlike Data in that he didn't want to be more like the Humans.

    Then came late season 2 onwards Odo, and he became the love-sick guy whose people were at war with his adopted friends. I think he was better early on.
     
  11. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I do not find Avery Brooks to be a good actor. It always sounds like Sisko is quoting things remembered. He never speaks in a normal, conversational manner. LaVar Burton is a far superior actor, in this regard. However, I do not feel that Burton has the "presence" to be believable as a military commander. Which is ironic, in a way, because many real-life military commanders look rather ordinary and unintimidating. But from a storybook, Hollywood perspective, Avery Brooks definitely looks like someone men would follow into battle. I do not mean to sound overly critical of his acting, however. I find him at least as convincing as Shatner - and The Shat's hammy acting certainly didn't hurt him none, in STAR TREK, or in Hollywood.
     
  12. DS9forever

    DS9forever Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Jeffrey Combs said of Brooks in "Far Beyond the Stars": "Avery was spectacular. There was a scene toward the end where he falls apart with the camera right in front of his nose. It was just riveting."
     
  13. JD5000

    JD5000 Captain Captain

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    If Jeffery Combs thinks so, I believe him....in my opinion, Combs is a phenomenal actor. I only know his work in the context of DS9, but he managed to immediately bring life to characters that were extremely diverse from the first time they appeared on screen, very little development was necessary.

    In response to 2takes, I disagree. I think Levar Burton presented LaForge as someone who had no problem taking charge and issuing orders when necessary, he just picked the right times to do so and trusted his team the rest of the time. Unless a romantic interest had something to do with it, but lucky for him there is little time for that during wartime.
     
  14. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

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    To be honest, I'm somewhat puzzled over why Burton is brought up at all. What's the connection, other than the fact that both actors are dark-skinned? :vulcan:
     
  15. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I simply find LeVar Burton to be a fine, thespian actor, M. :cool:
     
  16. Tosk

    Tosk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    He's an actor actor?
     
  17. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes. Kind of like how New York, New York is a city city.
     
  18. Tosk

    Tosk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's a hell of a town.
     
  19. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

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    Yes, certainly, and he was the most realistic captain too.
     
  20. Navaros

    Navaros Commodore Commodore

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    No, Brooks is not a good actor, because his acting becomes vastly unbelievable whenever has has to get emotional, i.e. his flip-out scene in FBTS.

    Ah, here is Combs talking about the scene I just cited:

    I love Combs (Combs himself is a far better actor than Brooks, and most of the rest of the main DS9 cast), but Combs is dead wrong about what he said there. That scene should be riveting, but instead, Brooks' terrible acting makes it laughable.