Is Avery Brooks a good actor?

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

  1. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Goo goo goo joob Moderator

    Feb 4, 2002
    Sitting in a nutmeg garden waiting for the sun
    He had an idiosyncratic acting style to be sure, but I never felt he was lacking in presence or authority...unlike some hero captains (*cough*Bakula*cough*).
  2. Bad Atom

    Bad Atom Commodore Commodore

    May 14, 2001
    Brooks is a polarizing actor, to be sure. I attribute the eccentricities in his acting to three things:

    One is the fact that he played such a complex, multifaceted character. There were a lot of different sides to Sisko (leader, father, religious icon) and he brought something different to all of them while still staying true to the character. That's a tricky balance to pull off and not come off as bipolar - a criticism often leveled at Kate Mulgrew. I think he succeeded for the most part. I'd also add that Brooks benefited from good, consistent writing for the character.

    The second is that he was first and foremost a stage actor, and even after seven years that heightened sense of theatricality remained. (Patrick Stewart was also guilty of this, to a smaller degree.) I've directed stage actors in film projects and it takes a lot of work to bring them down to the level of intimacy required for TV acting. There were definitely moments where Brooks needed to be reined in more.

    Third is his real-life eccentric nature. In interviews, he comes across as extremely intelligent but more than a bit "out there". It's a testament to his acting (and the writing and directing) that the character comes off as real and grounded.
  3. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jan 7, 2001
    On the run.
    I love Avery's acting. What a bland world we would live in if every actor had the same style.
  4. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 27, 2012
    Bay Area, CA
    "YOU BETRAYED YOUR UNIFORM!!!!!" I love it!

    Brooks is over the top, but I wouldn't call that bad acting. As others have said, if he had played it bland, the show would not have been as entertaining.

    My favorite Sisko moment:
  5. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 9, 2012
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    I always like how (for want of a better word) 'raw' Avery's performance felt to me. I always liked the way Sisko felt like a man whose issues were always there, somewhere under the surface, and he was always masking them with a joie de vivre. I believe in this man, a single father still never quite dealing with the trauma of losing Jennifer the way that he did. He could accept that Picard had no personal part in that, but the situation still played tragically on his mind. I liked that it was a wound that never quite healed as time went on, either. He felt to me sometimes like the most 'real' of all the Star Trek captains. Relatable. We were not simply seeing an efficient officer of duty, as we did with many of the other captains. In Bejamin Sisko we were seeing the man beneath the uniform. Something of a tortured soul, looking for a purpose.
  6. JD5000

    JD5000 Captain Captain

    Nov 23, 2013
    Jackson, WY
    I think 'raw' is a great choice of adjective, even though Mr. Brooks is an experienced actor. Occasionally, I think he might even humble Sir Patrick. But **** it, it worked. DS9 is a totally enjoyable series,and Sisko/Avery's quirks only add to it. Avery makes Scott Bakula wonder if he Shat his pants, or if that's just the smell of his own failure.
  7. JesdenScott

    JesdenScott Ensign Newbie

    Jan 19, 2014
    Wow, you guys are real hard on Bakula, poor guy :lol: I loved Enterprise personally.

    But DS9? That's what really hooked me into Star Trek universe completely. Sure, TNG was great, but DS9 sold me. Absolutely loved it.

    As for the topic, I think Brooks is definitely an odd guy in real life and his acting is certainly unconventional when compared to the other captains. However, as noted above, I think this just makes him a more interesting person to watch. I certainly had a similar impression when watching him that there was always something beneath the surface for his character, waiting for it to erupt at any moment. A controlled crazy. :evil:
  8. mickmike

    mickmike Captain Captain

    Nov 3, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    I think Avery stood out most in his scenes with Jake and Kasidy. Those scenes always felt really natural and Avery had amazing chemistry with both Cirroc Lofton and Penny Johnson.

    I also liked the way Avery handled scenes were Sisko had to discipline the crew. The scene in 'Sons of Mogh' where Sisko tears strips off of Worf and Dax was pretty awesome.
  9. cal_nevari

    cal_nevari Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 2, 2013
    I liked him on DS9, and he did some narration work I liked, and I vaguely remember I liked him in Spenser For Hire as Hawk.
  10. mendelin

    mendelin Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 23, 2013
    DS9 differs from Roddenberry's TOS&TNG. DS9 is more realistic and more complex.
    Captain Sisko must have been a complex and multifaceted character. Brooks is quite odd to perfectly represent Sisko.
  11. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

    Apr 14, 2000
    QC, IL, USA
    I think his acting would be great live on stage, but sometimes I think he forgot that there was a camera right in front of his face.
  12. JD5000

    JD5000 Captain Captain

    Nov 23, 2013
    Jackson, WY
    I've never been a professional television actor, but I get the impression that forgetting about the camera is impossible.
  13. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 29, 2012
    I enjoyed that Kirk, Sisko, and Archer weren't afraid to be asses at times. Janeway comes off as psycho though ,and the only time Picard was an ass was about kids.
  14. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Commodore Commodore

    Sep 19, 2010
    east coast U.S.
  15. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

    Oct 14, 2009
    Kingston, ON Canada
    Over the breadth of his career, I cannot say. As Sisko - certainly.
  16. Michael

    Michael Le modérateur de fanart Moderator

    Jul 10, 2007
    Aloha Quadrant
    Personally, I think Brooks is brilliant as Sisko, genius even. I never felt his performance was too theatric. I always loved to see and listen to him. I must confess, however, that I'm somewhat weirded out by the way he behaves off camera.
  17. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

    Aug 3, 2007
    I'm curious...what is it with all the "Brooks is insane/weird/eccentric" stuff?

    What exactly did he do? Are we talking about Charlie Sheen, Tom Cruise, or Joaquin Phoenix levels of weirdness here?
  18. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

    Jun 19, 2013
    Containment Area for Relocated Yankees
    ^He sound random in his interview with Shatner. To me, he soundedb like a jazz musician.
  19. Yanks

    Yanks Commodore Commodore

    Jul 6, 2011
    NX01 Bridge
    On a personal note, I met/saw/took pictures/listened to him at the ST Vegas Con in 2010.

    It was a revealing experience for me as I know can see where those "querks" come from.

    Of the discriptors you listed, I think eccentric applies to Arvery more accurately than the others.

    I was listening to him on stage answering questions from the fans and I say thinking to myself... "I have no idea what this guy just said/means" :lol:

    You can also get a good feel for Avery in Shatner's "The Captains".

    The guy is "out there".

    In my opinion, he's a much better musician than actor.

    I kept rooting for him watch DS9. I complelety supported Star Trek having a "black captain". I thought it was appropriate and the franchise needed to go there. (Same with Janeway). But my thoughts were always "why didn't they chose someone that could act?"

    As I said before, the plethora of great supporting actors helped him immensely. Being the CO of a Space Station rather than a Star Ship where stories could be centered on other characters and situations "hid" is limitations as an actor.
  20. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 29, 2012

    As I said before, everything in the pilot doesn't tie well together...but on the other hand, he was hit with a shitload to do in that show.

    Be Sisko three years ago. Lose your wife. Be a father, a commander, told you're some kind of Emmisary, discover the wormhole, talk to non-linear* aliens....etc...etc..

    *That bit about "You're not as linear as you think Sisko" is still moving.