May 10, 2007

The Native Keanu Reaves

NBC calls Adam Beach

With a TV movie set to air on CTV, Canuck star gets Law & Order gigAdam Beach is like some sort of native Canadian Keanu Reeves.

The star of this Free Willy-like movie of the week is an actor whose performances in films like Smoke Signals, Windtalkers and Flags Of Our Fathers swing between intense, vacant and intensely vacant. His vocabulary is equal parts dudespeak and tribal mysticism. And he looks good in a tight white T-shirt, as demonstrated in a prominent Gap ad a few years back, when Beach was being positioned as Hollywood's next big thing.

The heat on Beach's career died down following Windtalkers' tepid reception, but it's since reignited thanks to Clint Eastwood's Flags Of Our Fathers, starring Beach as real-life war hero Ira Hayes.

"There was a huge spotlight on me for a while there, dude, but you can't get caught up in that whirlwind or it's like, whoa!"
More on his SVU role:Beach is on the phone from the New Jersey set of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Producer Dick Wolf was so impressed with Beach's two-episode guest appearance this season that he's made his character, Detective Chester Lake, a series regular and signed Beach to a three-year contract.

"This is the best, dude," he says. "Every week you'll see my little mug."

While Beach has done plenty of TV guest shots on JAG, Third Watch, Everwood, The Dead Zone, Walker Texas Ranger and on and on this is his first as a series regular since North Of 60 almost 15 years ago.

"This is a whole different ball game," he says. "Everything's faster, and it's so hard to play catch-up since [SVU castmates] Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni have been doing this for so long. These are the big boys they don't mess around. They come to work so well prepared, you're like, "Whoa, I've got some homework to do. '"

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