Kelsey Grammer on Why He Loves His ‘Boss’ Character and How He Takes Criticism

kelsey-grammar-bossSure, we all saw Kelsey Grammer play Dr. Frasier Crane for about a hundred years, but deep down inside we all knew that with that scowl and deep timbre of voice that he would make a fantastic villain.  I mean, the minds behind The Simpsons were obviously on to something with Sideshow Bob, right?  So Grammer was the perfect fit to play the corrupt Chicago Mayor Tom Kane in Boss, which will soon begin its second season. 

In an interview with Reuters, Grammer talks about transitioning from comedy to drama and his feelings on critics of his performances, including not being nominated for an Emmy.

Grammer admits that despite the character’s evil nature, he loves the role.  He points out, “He is a great character to play because he is so energetic. The guy’s vitality is fantastic. He is dying and yet he has more vitality than most people who have another 50 years to live. It is more energizing to play in a weird way.  We have explored and lifted from Shakespeare quite a bit. Apparitions in Shakespeare are common place and in the culture of that time they were meant as real things. It is up to the audience whether they want to accept it as a real thing or a figment of his imagination.”

As for the transition to drama after twenty-five-plus years of mostly comedic roles, Grammer is planning on sticking with dramatic roles, but it all depends on the material.  He explains, “I’d love to do another comedy too if the right thing came along. It’s all about the role. At this point in my life, if the material is good, if it’s a character I think ‘Wow! I’d love to do that,’ it won’t matter what the venue or the reason is except it’s a fascinating character to try to wrap my brain around.”

Despite the critical praise — including winning a Golden Globe — Grammer confesses he was upset that he wasn’t nominated for an Emmy.  He reveals, “Oh yes, it hurts a lot. It is a little confusing, actually. I still don’t know what to make of it. I am still not sure how it happened, but I am stuck with it, so there we go.”  Then again, I doubt the five-time Emmy winner has lost much sleep over the snub.  Still, Grammer points out that he finds criticism helpful in assisting him grow as an actor, adding, “I find critical writing to be helpful sometimes so I often will investigate what they are saying. If it’s a slaughter piece, I am not going to continue to read it or let it impact my spirit too much. But if it’s what I grew up understanding as critical writing, they might make some interesting statement. I can slough off the stuff that is negative, personal attacks.”

The second season of Boss starts Friday on Starz

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