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Bobby Cannavale: Best Latino Actor You Didn't Know you knew

He's returning to Broadway in a new production of Clifford Odets' "The Big Knife"

By Se Fija!
Published on LatinoLA: June 28, 2012


Bobby Cannavale: Best Latino Actor You Didn't Know you knew


Originally published at SeFija

Bobby Cannavale, who spent some of his childhood in Puerto Rico and his first few years in theater, is returning to Broadway in a new production of Clifford Odets' "The Big Knife." It's set to premiere in April 2013 for a limited engagement…right after he finishes appearing with Al Pacino in a revival of David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize winning drama about a ruthless bunch of real estate sharks, "Glengarry Glen Ross."

Bobby Cannavale is one of those handsome/not handsome character actors that you didn't know you knew. He made his mark first in live theater, but over the last decade or more he's been part of half a hundred movies and TV shows, too, frequently in pivotal roles…and every time you see him, you have to shake your finger and say, "Where did that guy come from? Where have I seen him before?"

But that may be about to change – finally. After more than twelve years of work and a wide range of Tony, Emmy, and Alma Award nominations and wins, this charismatic Cuban/Italian actor may finally be making the long-overdue break into the full sunlight, with two separate Broadway shows and two big-time movies in the works.

Broadway is nothing new for Cannavale. He's been nominated for two Tony Awards: one for his 2007 Broadway debut in Theresa Rebeck's "Mauritius" and another for his 2011 performance in Steven Adly Guirgis' "The Motherfucker With The Hat," a production that was filled with talented (and nominated) Latinos, none of whom took home the honors last year.

And he's been busy on TV, too. He just finished work as Dr. Mike Cruz, the new boss on the fourth season of Showtime's "Nurse Jackie," and it seems likely he'll return for the next season. Working on the show must have been a special pleasure, since his real-life son, Jake Cannavale, played his son in the show as well.

So where have you seen him before? You might remember Cannavale from John Woods' short-lived drama "Trinity," almost fifteen years ago, or from his co-starring role in "Third Watch," where – at his own request – he died a rather spectacular death at the end of the season with a gunshot straight to the chest. After that it was in repeating roles or cast positions in everything for "Ally McBeal" to "Kingpin" to "Six Feet Under," he made a long-lasting impression as Will's on-again, off-again boyfriend on "Will and Grace"…big enough to take home the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in 2005.

And he just keeps working. In theatrical releases, he's appeared in "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" and the Will Farrell/Mark Walberg cop-comedy "The Other Guys." On TV he took a flyer on the adventurous but ultimately unsuccessful "The Knights of Prosperity," did the boyfriend thing again, this time with a girl, on "Cold Case," and played a modern-day demigod on one of the versions of "Cupid." He even had a short stint in a recurring role on "Blue Bloods" before he moved to the more demanding (and drug-involved) world of "Nurse Jackie."

And his upward trajectory continues – not just with the stage work, but on the big screen as well. Bobby's already scheduled to play Superman (Superman?) in the next, still untitled Farrelly Brothers comedy; he's part of the ensemble cast for the porn-actress-biopic Lovelace, starring Amanda Seyfried and James Franco, and he's even got a key role in the new Woody Allen comedy, also untitled. As a long-time New Yorker, he calls working with Allen "a dream come true."

There's a nice little piece here (http://www.broadway.com/buzz/162582/bobby-cannavale-on-spending-his-summer-with-woody-allen-its-a-dream-come-true/), on Broadway.com, about Cannavale and Woody.

We won't give it all away here, but among the notable quotes: "It's ironic that I'm not working in New York with him; I never leave New York, and I gotta go to San Francisco to work with Woody Allen?" And Bobby is necessarily silent on any more details – other than saying he'll be shooting in August. "I don't know exactly who I'm working with; you don't get to read the whole script, you just read your scenes, so I couldn't even tell you what it's about…Just that it's funny! They're very secretive about it. Penalty of death if I say anything!"

If you want to catch a glimpse of the Latino actor you didn't know you knew, you can grab "The Station Agent" or "The Bone Collector" at Netflix, catch up on the last season of "Nurse Jackie," or wait for the first of his two stages appearances in New York beginning in October.

And stay tuned for more: Bobby Cannavale is always on the move, and generally that move is in the direction of up.

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