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Ted Danson on Damages

Published August 13, 2007 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of FX.
Ted Danson Ted Danson
It's always good to see Ted Danson on TV. Help Me Help You didn't make it but we all have fond memories of Cheers, and to some extent Becker. Damages takes advantage of Danson's dramatic side. He plays Arthur Frobisher, a CEO under attack by lawyer Patty Hewes (Glenn Close). In this world of ambiguity, Frobisher has revealed very little about himself so far.

Danson with Damages


"I think knowing a lot about your character is only necessary when the writing sucks," said Danson. "Seriously. We don't know what's going to happen next but when the writing is so good, all you have to do is commit yourself to the writing and you end up discovering who you are."

It is easy to look at kindly Ted Danson and think he can't be all bad, but then that's the problem with all the swindlers. "A lot of the research I did beforehand, I met with some CEOs of top companies in the world and I looked at the Smartest Guys in the Room documentary, but most of that was so that I didn't try to have a limp and a scar. It was my attempt to find out what I didn't have to be. They come in all shapes and sizes so I didn't have to worry about, 'Oh, I have to play a billionaire CEO.' Because they're all different so I can be one too."



While the show may open TV viewers' eyes to Danson's less familiar serious side, it is not to say that he's given up on comedy. Damages is just the latest opportunity afforded him.

"I don't know that it informed my choice. In hindsight now it is really a lot of fun to be creatively indulgent in the moment and not worry about a rhythm or a dance step or a music that comes along with comedy that's always in the background when you're doing comedy. It's really fun to do this kind of work with really bright people. It's very liberating. I feel excited about acting again where I think I probably would have been a little more nervous stepping right back in the half hour situation, or I wouldn't have felt this excited. Once again, the answer I think for all actors is you follow the material."

Damages airs Tuesday nights on FX.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of FX.
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