I went to see Side Effects on Sunday and it was an entertaining two hours. One of the highlights? Peter Friedman. You know his face, you’ve seen him in a bunch of stuff, he’s one of those guys who’s kind of in everything (he played the neighbor, the one you just knew was gonna get some limbs chopped off by crazy Jennifer Jason Leigh in Single White Female), and I just think he’s really great. He’s a New York actor (another thing I liked about Side Effects– so many New York theater actors onscreen), and I first saw him onstage a few years ago in After the Revolution at Playwrights Horizons.
He always seems to be living when he’s acting. He doesn’t feel like an actor man delivering lines, he feels like a fully realized human being going through an experience. He interrupts himself, he laughs, he scratches, he wants something from the other actors around him. When I watch him act, I say “Oh, I know that guy” or “Yup, I do that, too.” Sanford Meisner taught that acting is the ability to listen and respond, and I could watch Peter Friedman do it endlessly.