More shows from HBO is always good news, and in the wake of losing Boardwalk Empire, at least we have Olive Kitteridge, the pay network's latest miniseries, to look forward to. Frances McDormand plays the titular character, Richard Jenkins is her optimist husband, and John Gallagher, Jr. plats Olive Kitteridge's son, Christopher.
And while many HBO fans probably recognize Gallagher from The Newsroom, he's actually spent much of his career as a stage actor. He began his Broadway credits with a role in Rabbit Hole, a 2006 Broadway play for which Sex and The City star Cynthia Nixon won a Tony Award. From there, he went on to do quite a few more plays and musicals — but his best known role is still probably Spring Awakening. (And if you were a theater nerd in the ninth grade when this musical came out, you definitely listened to the soundtrack on a first generation iPod nano. And you thought you were so edgy. Well, now, you can feel vindicated, because that 2007 musical was the breakout for so many actors who later went on to become TV and movie stars. Gallagher, Jr., Lea Michele (Glee), Jonathan Groff (Looking and Frozen), Skylar Astin (Pitch Perfect), Jenna Ushkowitz (also Glee), Hunter Parrish (Weeds)… wow.) But back to Gallagher...
He's Got a Tony Award
Gallagher won a Tony Award for Featured Actor in a Musical for Spring Awakening, then starred in American Idiot, the Green Day jukebox musical.
He's The "Nice Guy" on The Newsroom
Now, he's about to start his final season playing Jim Harper on The Newsroom, where he does his best to make Aaron Sorkin's horrible caricature of a Nice Guy come to life without making you hurl. He… tries his best, and all of my punchy rage always is directed at Sorkin, never at Gallagher. But even though The Newsroom is wrapping up, grabbing a role in Olive Kitteridge proves that Gallagher and HBO have a good working relationship. More so than a lot of other networks, HBO has a way of taking actors and giving them multiple shots at the part of a lifetime. So we may be getting more dramatic TV work from Gallagher soon.
He's Got The Indie Bug
And he's been on the big screen, too. Last year, he played opposite Brie Larson in the amazing drama Short Term 12, alongside a cast of mostly child actors. It was one of the most emotionally devastating films of last year (not to mention one of the best), so it stands to reason that Gallagher will be able to do Olive Kitteridge justice, a story that's set in a small New England town that requires more of a delicate touch than a big, theatrical performance.
He's a Social Media Whiz
And he just seems pretty damn chill in his real life. Usually, you have to prepare yourself for a little bit of douchery when checking out an actor's Twitter page. Some are great at social media, plenty more come across as tools, a select few refuse to play the game and stay off of the internet. But there aren't many who just sound like a totally regular person.
Comments about film screenings, daily horror movie recommendations for the month of October, and some very polite shilling for his band? That's all right by me, JGJ. All right by me.
Image: Jojo Whilden/HBO; Giphy; Getty Images