Clayne Crawford’s Martin Riggs SLAYS
If you are a child of the 80's you know and love the cast of Lethal Weapon, specifically Roger Murtaugh and Martin Riggs. During a time when sequels were a disappointment, the chemistry of these two characters, along with how they interact with the people they work with, made this franchise a welcome repeat and ended like a family reunion.
After the end of my relationship, I decided to move back to Minneapolis. You know the place I thought was home? One night I decided to suck it up and go visit my Mom. See if we could find a way to get along. After dinner I knew she wanted to say something but instead she decided we should watch tv. Imagine my surprise when I see Lethal Weapon the series in my Mother’s DVR. A smile instantly came across my face when I saw Damon Wayans, Sr. as Murtaugh but who in the blue blazes is playing Riggs?
I’d never seen or heard of this guy before I looked him up to write this article. I still really don’t know much about him except, during this very difficult time in my life, I’ve completely forgotten about Mel Gibson and have found a friend in Crawford’s Riggs.
“It’s scary going to work every day. I don’t know how we’re going to maintain this,” says Crawford.
Yes, indeed it would be. Wayans had it easy, we all knew he had Murtaugh in the bag. The part was practically tailor-made for him. But playing Martin Riggs is like trying to play the Joker. The secret sauce is: you have to make the character your own rendition and be good enough to keep the audience’s attention long enough to like your version. The best example of the nightmare Crawford has endured is when Peter Capaldi took the torch of Doctor Who from Matt Smith.
Normally with each regeneration of the Doctor I have about at least a half a season mourning period before I finally give the new incarnation a shot. Unfortunately, despite how much I love what I see about the new doctor, I still haven’t stopped to watch a single episode. It just keeps getting dropped further and further down my to do list.
This brings me to my point of the problem Matt Miller, McG and, of course, everyone at Warner Bros. and FOX had to solve when it came to casting Riggs.
“Every actor who came in, whether they knew it or not, they were sort of doing a Mel Gibson imitation, and that was never going to work,” says Miller, noting that the production team searched from the U.S. to Australia and everywhere in between without any luck.
First, I hated the hair
and then it was the accent, followed closely by the weird southern swagger he tried to push as tortured cool soul kind of gentlemen. Now, I can’t imagine my life without him playing this role exactly the way he does. I also love how the writers worked in a ganja reference as a well-placed pun in episode 3 ‘Best Buds’
I have laughed with Martin and last night as I watched the episode ‘Homebodies’ I cried for him. I felt his anguish. He made me believe because I’m in that kind of pain and the struggle is real. The fight to want to give up but still you try to move on and end up just doing the best you can… Crawford is either digging really deep or just has this character in his DNA.
“I thought everyone involved with the Lethal Weapon franchise had just done such a wonderful job, including, obviously, Mel Gibson, who really kind of dominated this role and didn’t leave a lot of the meat on the bone. So I didn’t even want to read the script,” says Crawford. “But I read the material and I couldn’t … say no to a man that was… so broken, but yet was kind of like a hero and trying to do the right thing. And it just kind of grabbed me immediately, [it was] so terrifying.”
Watching Crawford play Martin Riggs, I’d never imagine in a million years he had a doubt about his portrayal. His open honesty just makes me want to root for him even more. So, if you haven’t seen the show, I think you should definitely sit back, relax, get a tasty beverage and roll with these best buds.
*quotes taken from: http://www.tvguide.com/news/lethal-weapon-how-they-cast-riggs-murtaugh-fox/