Alec Ebert's astonishing performance in After Nightfall left us all breathless once we saw his role as Brad Rosetta. It's not uncommon to get a glimpse of that after seeing such a memorable and challenging character in action, thanks to the breadth of experience that multidisciplinary actors like Ebert have to offer.
As has happened with several elite actors, it is the theatre that has been the tool through which Alec Ebert has been able to go the furthest. After years on stage, his expertise has been honed to the point where we find him today. His recent performances in “Titus Andronicus,” “Troilus and Cressida” and “Love and Information” at the Belvoir Theatre are a testament to how directors are clamoring to work with him, and it’s no surprise that US producers have come calling.
From afar, it is evident how transformative his acting craft has become, leading him to stand out as one of the best stage actors in the country and in turn has allowed him to exploit his full potential when it comes to acting in front of the camera.
We already know of a vast interpretative history that has shown us how the best stars can emerge from the stage. This has been the case with such well-known film and TV figures like Viola Davis, Denzel Washington and Jessica Chastain. The professional theatrical preparation that the background of an artist as complete as Ebert evokes, sprouts with a competitiveness that surpasses many other colleagues and that has unquestionably been transmitted through his acclaimed and award-winning performances in the award-winning play “Arthur and Marilyn,” as well as “The Expert,” and “Vulture.”
In a prior interview, Alec stated “I have little interest in social media, being famous or popular but to be respected and admired for my work, well, that is something entirely different for which I can allow some small indulgence.”
Indeed, Alec’s career showcases the auteur-like tendencies of someone much more concerned with their art than their profile. Upon this writers’ review of his background, a prolific trajectory in stage and Shakespeare has clearly formed the bedrock and foundation for a long-lasting artistic career.
Based on the foregoing, it is worthy of mention that the Sydney-born thesp received a notable prize affiliated with the Stella Adler Academy, which has enjoyed luminaries like Oscar-nominee Mark Ruffalo and Oscar-winner Benicio del Toro in its crop of players.
The intensity of those actors is clearly shared by the award-winning Ebert, who inhabits the David-Lynch like world of “After Nightfall” with ease. The exceptional cast of this project reminds viewers of the importance of an actor’s place in cementing a viewer’s attention and how their role is in service of story, not celebrity.
Such a notion is made even more important by virtue of the social significance of the series, which tells the story about the murder of a gay teenager and ensuing investigation in a small Australian town. The question of who killed Troy McLeavey hangs over the entire series, creating a dark cloud for the inhabitants of the town which is embodied by the actors who play them. Ebert is clearly a standout in his role as a police officer, and intermediary between the questions of justice and a grieving family.
There’s a moment in “After Nightfall,” where Ebert has to opt out of a grubby arrangement he’s found himself in as corrupt police officer Brad Rosetta.
The moment is compelling for a few reasons, chief among them, for representing the type of acting that is harder to come by these days - even while streaming services continue to saturate the market with ‘big-name’ projects. Indeed, Alec’s handling of the moment is an example of the type of emotional commitment wrapped in selfless ease, a seemingly contradictory combination, that marks many of the great performances. Reminiscent of both old-school actors like Montgomery Clift and Oscar-winning American Rami Malek, Alec’s down-to-earth Australianness clearly provides a point of difference which informs the series’ watershed moments.
The ease with which Ebert shifts from bravado to fear and disbelief is a testament to the emotional access of the passionate actor. The dexterity of Ebert’s range is also a reflection of his trained unique background, and the literal range of his life, as he didn’t start out in acting, but instead, in sales and business.
Chris Thornton says, “I have auditioned, casted and followed the work of many actors in the industry… I can confidently state that few can rival the skills and ability Alec Ebert possesses. I would rank Mr. Ebert as one of the very best performing artists internationally.”
For the award-winning “After Nightfall,” Ebert’s service to his character is clearly a reason for the series’ critical acclaim. Nightfall is currently streaming as a YouTube Original.
The role evokes certain subtleties that moves the audience through a neat but intense performance. Ebert lets himself be carried away by a character he has analysed for a long time, giving the viewer a way to be touched with tinges of deep emotion in a role that remains cold and distant.
Such was the commitment that led Ebert to achieve such a successful performance that the artist himself indicates “I actually need to schedule time to rest in my diary, because I get carried away with my work and forget to look after myself… and I want to be doing this for a long time, not burning out in my forties.”
It is because of the way he has excelled in the industry that the media spotlight is on Ebert today. And for that reason, we should all be excited to hear from afar how his upcoming roles in a slew of US theatre productions will be received. No doubt critics will write raves.