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David Hyde Pierce at Sundance: Not exactly Niles Crane

January 26, 2010

Usually, actors will do almost anything to avoid being typecast, or too closely associated with a particular character they’ve played in the past (Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, we’re looking at you here, among many). But sometimes having that extra baggage can be useful for an actor.

In Sundance movie “The Perfect Host”, David Hyde Pierce — or Niles Crane to anybody (and it’s nearly everybody) who’s ever seen 1990s sitcom “Frasier” — makes use of his public perception as the timid little brother of Kelsey Grammer’s Frasier Crane in his portrayal of Warwick Wilson. In the film, directed by Nick Tomnay, Wilson is a “consummate host” who unwittingly invites a career criminal to dinner. As the dinner progresses, the audience finds that appearances can be deceiving.

“When you first see (Wilson) in the movie he’s not all that different from the way people have seen me on television,” Pierce said at the Sundance Film Festival this week, where the film screened. “Then he goes on a very different journey, so I get to sort of escort people away from the way they know me (as Niles Crane) into someplace else.”

Indeed, the Sundance web page for the film (click here) shows an image of Hyde Pierce’s character in a bathrobe, brandishing a fireplace poker (much unlike the effeminate Niles), so his fans may be very¬† interested to see where his new journey goes in “The Perfect Host.” Hyde Pierce talks a little more about it in the video, above.

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