Monday, August 31, 2009

first impressions: PETER SARSGAARD

Josh Strand in Law and Order, Ep. 6.6 - "Paranoia" (1995)
Before Chuck Lane in Shattered Glass and Alan Troy in Jarhead a then-24-year-old Peter Sarsgaard had his very first on-screen role:  as the boyfriend of the deceased in a 1995 episode of Law and Order.  Sarsgaard's single scene in the episode was a mere two minutes, but he had the distinct honor that Law and Order tends to bestow on a character in every episode -- the first real suspect.  But Briscoe (Jerry Orbach) and Curtis (Benjamin Bratt) set their sights elsewhere rather quickly and Sarsgaard's character wasn't in the picture anymore.  I mean, an online pervert and a crazed roommate with a juvie history seem like more likely perpetrators, no?  But the younger Sarsgaard had, as always, a meek, soft-spoken nature about him, and I half-wanted him to be the killer so he'd get more screen-time.  Luckily for him, he got to go toe-to-toe with the best ensemble any Law and Order series had offered (Orbach, Bratt, Steven Hill, Sam Waterston, S. Epatha Merkerson, etc.) -- of course until SVU came along.

Second Impression:  Sarsgaard's next gig was the big-screen critical darling Dead Man Walking, in which the tables were turned, and he played the deceased this time around, Walter Delacroix.

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