Greg Kinnear finds his funny bone again in ‘Rake’

 
Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Greg Kinnear’s return to full-time television comes in the form of one of the oddest-named shows in recent years: Rake, 9 p.m. Thursdays.

He plays the role of Keegan Deane, a criminal defense lawyer who may be long on legal skills but is short on social etiquette or the fortitude not to gamble himself into misery. The Fox show is based on an Australian series of the same weird name.

Deane has so many flaws that even Kinnear’s not certain he would want him handling a case.

“I don’t mean that as an indictment on the guy,” Kinnear says. “At the end of the day, he’s — for the most part — brilliant at that aspect of his life in spite of all the other sort of self-destructive mechanisms in his life. I was intrigued immediately when I saw the show as to the mess of that guy, and that kind of absolute lack of need for approval is a hugely attractive thing, especially if you’re an actor.”

This is a character who at times has a great self-awareness of what he’s doing to himself but at other times is on a blind path to destruction. The appeal of the character is why Kinnear switched back to TV after making a series of feature films, including Little Miss Sunshine, Flash of Genius and The Last Song. He got assurances from executive producer Peter Tolan — one of the wacky minds behind Rescue Me — that Rake wouldn’t be a typical TV legal drama.

Deane sees plenty of court time, but he also has to deal with an I.O.U. with his bookie that grows faster than the national debt. There’s also a variety of women in his life, including a current love interest, an ex-wife and a high-priced prostitute. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s dealing with an offspring that appears to be following in his dad’s often twisted footsteps.

Rake has plenty of dramatic moments, but it also gets Kinnear back to his comedy roots.

“It’s tricky to try and find that comedic / drama balance, which is what appealed to me — doing that mix,” he says. “It’s certainly what I think I was most intrigued by, in terms of getting on board with this.”

Rick Bentley

Modesto Bee

Read more People stories from the Miami Herald

  • Celebrity birthdays on Aug 20

    Singer Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) is 66. Country singer Rudy Gatlin is 62. Singer-songwriter John Hiatt is 62. Actor-director Peter Horton is 61. Actress Joan Allen is 58. Rock singer Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) is 44. Actor Misha Collins is 40. Actor Andrew Garfield is 31. Actor Brant Daugherty (“Pretty Little Liars”) is 29. Singer Demi Lovato is 22.

  • Celebrity roundup

    Taylor Swift brushes off country roots with pop album; Kevin Hart engaged; Cindy Crawford removes kids from school due to toxins

    Taylor Swift is saying goodbye to country music for now: The singer says she’s releasing her first full-length pop album on Oct. 27. She revealed in a livestream via Yahoo! that 1989, named for her birth year, is her “first documented official pop album.”

  • The fashion scene

    Style Mafia founder Simonett Pereira: She’s the boss lady

    There’s a new mob boss in the 305. The name? Style Mafia — and out-of-the-box fashion is the game. The brainchild of 23-year-old Simonett Pereira, the Miami-gal-by-way-of-Venezuela’s collection is sold online and in her Wynwood-based showroom.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category