Lance Reddick elevated every scene he was in, big or small

It seems somehow incongruous that Lance Reddick, who died Friday at age 60, is gone. Wherever Redick went, his impressively solid presence appeared invincible, immortal. One of his last roles was Zeus in the upcoming Disney+ adaptation of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” which just seems like typecasting.

A wonderfully focused performer, he could elevate any scene without breaking a sweat. Reddick, whose voice was well-trained, resonant and easy on the ear, did not need to speak loudly to instill the fear of God into a character or viewer; You can well feel the currents running beneath a cool surface. He made an art of staring at Lou Boyle and Stern. When asked, he could fit a toothy smile to attract birds from the trees.

Known for crime dramas (“The Wire,” “Bosch”), genre exercises (“Lost,” last year’s “Resident Evil” series) or a combination of the two (“Fringe”), Reddick has guest shot on sitcoms (“Young Sheldon,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) and alternative comedies (“Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories,” “Key and Peele,” “The Eric Andre Show” and “Comedy Bang! Bang!” ) Were. Voice work in cartoons and video games. He appeared in Regina King’s historical drama “One Night in Miami…” and will be in the upcoming remake of “White Men Can’t Jump”. Which is to say, whatever generalizations I make about his career, there is definitely a contradiction somewhere within it.

Even if he could not keep the name, the face was familiar; Seeing him once, you are glad to see him again. Reddick was handsome in person, almost handsome. Tall, lean and finely muscled with a body made for clothes, he made suits good, and his parts tended to put him in them. Whatever he wore, he looked neat and dignified. (There was some exception in “Oz”, where he played a police detective undercover in prison. Again, he was a character playing a character more disordered than himself.)

Although we can dream of the series or movie that would never be made around him now, Reddick was the definition of a supporting actor at heart. As a man radiating authority, he was often presented as an authority figure. Often, as in “Fringe” or “The Wire”—not the only shows where he has played a senior officer of the law—he is called upon to act as a guardian of order, running hell. There is a guide for him. No one was better at making the unloading of expository detail look like a poetry recitation.

Even when he didn’t have much to do, Redick made a big impression. He only appeared in four episodes of “Lost” and yet his mysterious Matthew Abaddon is one of the series’ most memorable characters; He’s barely onscreen in the “John Wick” franchise, though he’s registered among its stars. As the invincible gatekeeper of a hotel for assassins, Reddick’s Charon imbues the film’s violent nonsense with something like an air of morality.

Indeed, although he rarely played a capital-H hero – often he was just a man dedicated to a job, and doing it as best he could – his characters would be read as heroic. And even when they’re flawed – as in “The Wire” isn’t it? — They’ll try to do the right thing.

To some unavoidable extent, his stature has carried his career. Physiognomy is destiny, even more so in show business than in normal life, and Reddick was not made to play weakness. Perhaps the best reason to spend time with Netflix’s “Resident Evil” is that Reddick gets to do extreme variations on his multiple clone character, even demonstrating his range within a single scene.

And there was more to them than fans could have suspected. Prior to graduating from the Yale School of Drama, Reddick earned a bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY Her 2007 album, “Contemplations and Remembrance”, which is available on multiple streaming platforms, popular pop/folk / There is no soul. Common for Chandni actors. It’s an original, personal and quite lovely work, with art-song melodies laid over jazz harmonies and Latin rhythms, sung in a higher, mellow key than might be expected.

This suggests that in another world, Reddick’s career might have been in performing or writing musical theatre. But in what we shared, he left us with a lot.

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