I'm sure many have noticed how some actors seem better suited to one type of role than another. It's like they are only capable of handling a certain range of emotions, or playing a certain type of person with any credibility. However there are some actors whose talents are such that not only are they perfectly capable of handling any role offered them, the characters they play come to life on screen or stage. Mainly this is due to their ability to render them as multidimensional and multifaceted human beings. Somehow they are able to not only enact what is required to tell the story being presented, they are able to tell the character's story simultaneously.
As we go through our daily lives each of us carries around an involved personal history which impacts our decision making process. Even though it very rarely bubbles through to the surface, the actor who is able to bring that sense of personal history to their portrayals, is far more convincing in his or her performance than another. Whether an audience is aware of them doing it or not, they recognize something in the character that helps them identify with him or her. Instead of being merely a one dimensional figure, they are fully developed characters who are far more believable than most of the ones normally seen on screens.
After watching the box set of Murphy's Law, The Complete Collection, being released by Acorn Media on August 31 2011, what sticks out the most is the quality of the acting of everybody appearing in the series, and especially James Nesbitt's performance in the lead role of undercover police officer Thomas Murphy. Over the course of the series' five seasons, we watch as Murphy's job evolves from being undercover as an observer in an effort to find answers to a crime (In the first episode of Series Two he pretends to be a homeless man in an effort to find the person who killed a fellow officer) to acting the role of a hardened criminal in order to gather evidence against various crime figures. As this involves winning the criminals trust, there are times when he has to play fast and loose with the laws himself and observe things that sicken him without reacting.