Bobby, Can You Hear Me?

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Bobby is everywhere these days. Literally. Every time I turn on the TV or walk through Times Square or watch a movie on demand, there he is. Whether it’s a ruthless gangster on AMC’s Boardwalk Empire, or a controlling, anxiety-ridden physician on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, or the hot shot real estate agent opposite Al Pacino in the latest Broadway production of “Glenngarry Glen Ross,” the man is literally portraying more characters than I can count. And brilliantly, I might add.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m talking about Bobby Cannavale.

Now we all remember him from his break out role on Third Watch, but we probably remember him even more vividly (at least, I do) from his guest appearance on Will and Grace– the role that earned him an Emmy. After that, he sort of fizzled out for a while, with a couple of less than successful projects i.e., Snakes on a Plane(yikes) and a sitcom that was cancelled in under 2 months – let’s just say Cupid didn’t shoot his arrow into our hearts the way the execs at ABC might have expected. It seems he ended up spending a little more of his time on (or near) the stage than the set, so much so that I actually bumped into him outside a small Off Broadway theater in my neighborhood years ago, casually smoking a cigarette before he went back inside. I didn’t get a chance to say hello but we definitely exchanged a friendly glance.

Fast forward to today. He has had a major resurgence, one that I really believe he deserves. And while I feel like I see him everywhere I turn (it’s almost as if he is some sort of omnipresent being) I am somehow not Cannaval-over him yet by any stretch. I was delighted to see him playing the role of Paul Giamatti’s jogging buddy in Win Win – though not exactly a realistic pairing – and as mentioned before, his stint (which will hopefully last for much longer) on Nurse Jackie has taken the show to a whole ‘nother level. And, here’s a fun fact: the young actor who plays his son on the show is actually his son Jake with former wife Jenny Lumet. Pretty cool, right?

Lately it seems like he’s not the only hard working actor to get noticed a little later in life. Melissa Leo has been delivering stellar performances for years and only just won the Oscar (among other major awards) for her role in The Fighter a couple of years ago. And Viola Davis is no newcomer either but snagged her Emmy nom in 2009 for her impactful role in Doubt and more recently for her brilliant performance in The Help just last year.

And it’s not just the ladies. Look at Louis C.K., for example. That guy’s has been busting his ass making audiences laugh for decades, and now suddenly he is everywhere, kicking ass and taking names (and multiple Emmys). I guess when lightning strikes, it strikes hard.

Will Bobby follow in their footsteps and head towards a bevy of awards now that he is back in the game in a major way? His Emmy nom for his role on Nurse Jackie is certainly a telling sign. If he lands the perfect film role sometime soon, I would not rule out an Oscar win for him either. No matter what, I hope to see even more of him in the coming years, because what I’m now realizing is that I’m not just a fan… I’m a Cannavalian.

Now voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these actors whose careers have recently been majorly jump-started is your favorite?

Bobby Cannavale
Louis C.K.
Viola Davis
Melissa Leo

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