Emmy Round Table: Do actors get frustrated with their characters’ bad choices?


Jon Hamm of “Mad Men,” Norman Reedus of “The Walking Dead,” Lizzy Caplan of “Masters of Sex,” Vera Farmiga of “Bates Motel,” Liev Schreiber of “Ray Donovan” discuss how they relate to their characters with Times staff writer Yvonne Villarreal.

When your character’s life story is built on a house of lies, when every decision he or she makes is a poor one, an actor’s bound to get frustrated playing that role, right? Not necessarily.

The Envelope invited six actors from some of television’s most compelling dramas — Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife”), Liev Schreiber (“Ray Donovan”), Vera Farmiga (“Bates Motel”), Norman Reedus (“The Walking Dead”), Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”) and Lizzy Caplan (“Masters of Sex”) — to talk about all things television with The Los Angeles Times’ Yvonne Villarreal, and the topic of characters’ bad choices was broached.

For Caplan and some of the others, it’s not an actor’s job to judge his or her character but rather to play the tole believably. For Reedus, when he was uncomfortable with his character’s life views early on, he asked the show runner to change it — and it worked, giving viewers the Daryl Dixon we all know and love today.

See what Hamm, Farmiga and Schreiber think about their characters as well in the video above.