Angel’s Amy Acker and J. August Richards Identify Their Acting ‘Niche’

Two stars from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off Angel, J. August Richards and Amy Acker, conversed about their various TV roles and determined that each of them has a distinct pattern.

Richards, who runs an acting course titled “Being a Series Regular,” shared a clip on X (formerly Twitter) of his conversation with Acker about patterns in their TV credits. Richards listed some of Acker’s best-known roles, including Winifred Burkle, who first appeared near the end of Angel Season 2 and transformed in Season 5 to a very different character, Illyria. “What is your niche?” Richards asked Acker, and then let her think about it while he explained that he thought his own niche could be either “men who have to protect their families under extreme circumstances” or “good people who do bad things that you still have to root for.”

In Angel, Richards played Charles Gunn, a human with no superpowers who had nevertheless been hunting vampires on the streets of Los Angeles while raising his younger sister. Richards also had a recurring role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D as Mike Peterson, a.k.a. Deathlok, whose primary motivation when he was voluntarily turned into a cyborg fighter was taking care of his son.
Acker, who also appeared on S.H.I.E.L.D. and has another Marvel adaptation under her belt with Fox’s 2017 X-Men series The Gifted, summarized her own niche with, “I think it’s usually along the lines of, someone you think is one thing and turns out to be someone else.” Richards agreed enthusiastically, proclaiming, “That is you!”

What series did Amy Acker and J. August Richards share?

Angel, starring David Boreanaz as the titular vampire with a soul, premiered in 1999 and ran for five seasons. The show took up Angel’s story after he left Buffy the Vampire Slayer at the end of its third season, and focused on his mission to redeem his past sins by helping the helpless. Along with Acker’s Fred and Richards’ Gunn, Angel had help from Buffy crossover characters Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), Wesley (Alexis Denisof), and Spike (James Marsters), as well as a range of original characters.

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