Upfronts: The prime of Lance Reddick

LancereddickIs there a better character actor in TV these days than Lance Reddick?

His steely presence as the ramrod-straight (well, almost) cop Cedric Daniels added so much to “The Wire,” particularly in the final season that wrapped in March. He’s creepy-beyond-freaky in his recurring role as the ultra-mysterious Matthew Abaddon in “Lost” this season (on that show, that’s saying something). And he’s sure to add gravitas to J.J. Abrams’ latest small-screen adventure, “Fringe,” on Fox in the fall. I probably should’ve known that he was cast in that pilot but it didn’t register until I saw the cast shot this ayem when Fox announced its sked.

The Yale drama school-trained Reddick made his mark on the New York stage (that’s clear from his distinctive intonation) and gradually moved into film and TV roles. (He’s nothing if not versatile. His C.V. even includes a guest shot as a stage hand in a 1997 seg of “The Nanny.”) A semi-regular role on HBO’s “Oz” in 2000 and 2001 helped Reddick raise his profile, as did his role in the Emmy-winning HBO mini “The Corner,” a precursor to “Wire.” He’s done guest shots on all three “Law & Order” shows, he’s stopped in on “CSI: Miami,” “The West Wing” and “Numbers,” and been seen in features including “I Dreamed of Africa,’ “Don’t Say a Word,” “Brother to Brother” and most recently, the Tribeca entry “Tennessee.”Fringe3

Here’s hoping he gets a long steady gig on “Fringe.” He appears to play one of the good guys, an FBI agent working with the femme hero (played by Aussie actress Anna Torv, pictured right with co-star Joshua Jackson) to help solve the mystery of why a plane load of people die grisly deaths on a commercial flight (Flight 627 — what’s the numerology there, I wonder?) into Boston. Their probe begins to uncover traces of a broader conspiracy…but you already suspected that.

Update: Reader AC brings up a good question: Will Reddick’s role on “Fringe” prevent him from recurring on “Lost” next season and beyond? I’m thinking probably not, although it will probably take some advance planning on shooting dates, especially because “Lost” lenses in Hawaii. The fact that “Fringe” and “Lost” both hail from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot banner (albeit different studios in Warner Bros. and ABC Studios, respectively) doesn’t hurt either — both shows will (presumably) be more inclined to help each other make it work. Even if there was no such connection, Reddick’s role on “Lost” can only raise his profile with the same demo that “Fringe” hopes to attract, so you gotta believe that the powers that be see Reddick doing double duty on both shows as a good thing all around. Of course this presumes that “Lost’s” creative stewards see Reddick’s character continuing in a significant way. You can never tell on “Lost,” but they’ve certainly woven him into enough integral plot situations that it stands to reason we’re going to see more of him.

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  1. AC says:

    So will he be able to recur on “Lost” next season while doing “Fringe”?

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