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We're All Alison Wright

I know you've done it; I do it all the time. Watch an actor on television or in film and say, "That woman or guy is always superb, in dozens of different roles. Always truthful, vulnerable, real. I always especially relate to his or her character."

Alison Wright is one of those actors. They used to be called character actors, because they weren't vapid, one-note leading men or ingenues. Now they're just called good.

I first got to know her work in "The Americans" but, as is so common in this Platinum Age of TV, then came across her in totally different incarnations. Ms. Wright has done a bevy of disparate, unique, challenging roles, and always with great style. She's always pure fun to watch.

Here's just a smattering of her recent credits: Martha in "The Americans," Pauline Jameson in "Feud," Marjorie in "Sneaky Pete," Justine in "The Accountant." Bridget in "The Nanny Diaries." And lots more.

She is the kind of actor I aspire to be. It's honestly not about chasing fame as much as it is about knowing I can truly disappear into a character, embody her, represent the deepest truth of her. That's the real thrill. (A certain level of fame is handy, though, because it gives you more chances to do the work you love.)

Here's a great interview with Alison Wright entitled "We Are All Martha" with Scott Simon, originally broadcast on NPR. You'll enjoy her take on Martha, on "Sweat," the Lynn Nottage play she's doing now on Broadway, and on life and acting in general. I just hope she keeps up all this amazing work, because I, for one, thrive on it.

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