We all know that there are some actors who are bad in many things, but sometimes great. Was Halle Berry the “best actress” of 2001? Not possible while people like Streep are alive and working. Did she give the best performance that year, in Monster’s Ball? Arguably yes.

Some actors are limited, and some are just uneven, but sometimes the director or the script brings something forth in that actor that had maybe been less visible. Those are inferior actors; if you need a good director to be good, isn’t that like, say, needing glasses to see? Isn’t your vision, by definition, inferior to those who don’t need the appliance?

Why do I bring this up? Two words: Vincent Kartheiser.

He was hateful and awful in Angel. He was the Wesley Crusher of that show. And now, as Pete Campbell, he’s kind of amazing. Now, maybe it’s that playing a petulant, pain-in-the-ass teenager is inherently less compelling than playing a petulant, pain-in-the-ass married adult. Or maybe the scripts here serve him better. Joss Whedon is known for bringing great performances out of so-so actors (not. naming. names.) but maybe in this case he fell down.

Or maybe Kartheiser is a bad actor in the right role.

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