Every day, we get one step closer to Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events, and a step away from the original 2004 film. In the beloved children's movie, Jim Carrey starred as the villainous Count Olaf, who spent all of his time and effort devising schemes to rob the Baudelaire orphans of their inherited fortune. The character was a perfect match for Carrey's zany and over-the-top comedic style, and when I heard that Lemony Snicket's famous series was going to be redone on Netflix, I had no idea who could possibly improve on Carrey's portrayal.
Then, I heard the casting decision — that Neil Patrick Harris is our new Count Olaf. I thought that was brilliant. Not only can NPH match Carrey's comedic talent, he has certain mischievous qualities that match Olaf perfectly. In fact, after seeing the trailer for A Series of Unfortunate Events, I think that NPH could actually be a better Olaf than Jim Carrey.
Check out the trailer here:
He Has The Perfect Comedic Edge
We all have our favorite Neil Patrick Harris role. Some abide by Barney Stinson's Bro Code, some idolize the brilliant yet tragic Dr. Horrible, and some even remember him from that one episode of Quantum Leap. The point is that everyone can easily recognize NPH's characters because he uses a unique sense of humor. This charisma and comedy that NPH brings to the table is the reason he already has such a large fan-base, and seeing those attributes partnered with Count Olaf is certainly exciting to say the least.
He Has Experience With Villains
Some actors are at their best when they're wearing a cape and fighting crime, and others excel at more villainous feats. Neil Patrick Harris has proven time and time again that he really works as the bad guy. He was the antagonist in that one episode of Quantum Leap, he was a lesser villain in A Million Ways To Die In The West, and of course he shined as Dr. Horrible. Count Olaf is the perfect kind of villain for NPH to play, because Olaf isn't some sort of high-stakes villainous mastermind.
He's Not Trying To Copy Jim Carrey
When popular actors play well-known characters, any follow up performances usually try to emulate the previous successful iteration. A mark of a good actor is the ability to make a character your own, which is very much the case with the upcoming Serious of Unfortunate Events. Harris isn't trying to redo Jim Carrey's interpretation of Count Olaf, he's giving us his own vision of the character.
He's A Diverse Actor
The majority of us know NPH as Barney, the successful and mysterious womanizer from How I Met Your Mother, but Harris has starred in multiple roles in a variety of genres. Did you know he played Carl Jenkins in the 1997 cult sci-fi hit Starship Troopers? He's also worked with comedy, drama, and musicals. He's acted in a variety of different roles, and Count Olaf will be another opportunity for him to show off his diverse acting chops.
He Has Great Vocal Talent
The character of Count Olaf himself is an actor, who uses his theater experience to masquerade as different characters. So any actor playing Olaf is also playing numerous other characters. That often means using different voices as well. NPH has voice-acted several times in the past, doing work for the animated Spider-Man and Flash characters. Plus, as you can tell from his voice as Stephano in the trailer, he has many other comical voices in store.
Some people believe that Jim Carrey's performance as Count Olaf can't be beat, but judging by the new A Series of Unfortunate Events trailer, Neil Patrick Harris might be a contender. Fortunately for us, we only have to wait until January 13th to find out when A Series of Unfortunate Events is released on Netflix.