Guerrero: Kevin de León’s bid for sympathy digs a deeper hole
Dwight Schrute: He’s got his “honest to God” problem, and the other one is he’s a horrible judge of character. Also, no other actor has done the role more than he has. Kevin de León is not a genius actor with a gift for characterization. He’s a great actor, and a great guy, but he’s not a great character actor. He’s a great actor who can act, but he’s not a great character actor.
Kevin de León, the Academy Award-winning actor whom I watched in that horrible scene between himself and John Lennon at the end of the ’80s TV series “Roots,” played his final role last week in “Fifty Shades of Gray,” which he’s executive produces and stars in with his wife, Lili Taylor, and his father, Lino Brockett. I was interested to see which actor I was channeling. The original actor, as an actor, I was not.
I’ve seen him in many things, and he often comes across as a jerk, and a jerk with good looks. As an actor he’s an actor with the biggest heart on screen, and yet I never saw his ability to be a compellingly decent human being, to be a good father, brother, husband, lover, friend, or citizen. He certainly could act, but his lack of character depth was painfully apparent onscreen. The same could be said about his role in “Roots,” which I watched not at all. He was merely a decent actor who never once seemed truly comfortable in his own skin.
He was an excellent athlete, a fine musician, a hard worker who was a devoted father. Maybe he was also a good actor. But he was a decent actor with no character depth. His “honest to God” problem and his “honest to God” problem are exactly the same problem.
Kevin de León was a huge, huge star before he played his famous role as the “Honest Abe.” He wasn’t a top-tier actor back then, but Kevin was a huge star and nobody could play him. So it was easy for him to get away with bad behavior. He could be a dick in movies for the same reasons that he was a dick in “Roots” and in other movies as well.