You Have to See This Nathan Fielder Acting Moment from The Curse
Fielder’s work is usually compelling as hell but it has never been viewed as “acting” per se. In fact, most of Fielder’s acting roles have been limited to bit parts in things like The Disaster Artist and Tour de Pharmacy. Despite all his comedic experience, Fielder sticks out as a novice on The Curse, which is a fact that he seems profoundly aware of. When The New York Times review of The Curse referred to Fielder as “a more limited, stiff actor” he made a meal of it during his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live to promote the show.
While pointing out Fielder’s relative acting limitations when compared to legitimate movie star Emma Stone is fair game by The Times, it also undersells what he’s able to accomplish here. Because, stiff as he may be, Nathan Fielder is capable of producing breathtaking moments of comedic acting several times through The Curse‘s 10-episode run.
One moment in particular comes at the tail end of the just-released episode 4 “Under the Big Tree” and it needs to be seen. So we asked Showtime if we could show it to you. They said yes, thank God. Give it a look below and then let’s talk about it more.
Fielder’s performance as Asher is indeed “limited and stiff” because Asher himself is limited and stiff. Through four episodes, the show has successfully established Asher as perhaps the least remarkable man to ever live. Despite inexplicably bagging a certified baddie in the form of Whitney, Asher doesn’t seem to know how to interact with any other human beings properly.
That quality itself is not unusual for a Nathan Fielder character. The versions of “Nathan Fielder” depicted in Nathan For You and The Rehearsal are similarly awkward. Where those “Nathans” differ from Asher, however, is that they understand their social limitations while Asher instead tries to power through them with disastrous results. In the clip above, which is the last scene of “Under the Big Tree,” Asher is subjecting himself to a corporate comedy class that Whit suggested he take (re: forced him to take).
Whit was understandably rattled by a focus group’s response to Asher in a rough cut of their HGTV pilot for “Flipanthropy” (“He wasn’t funny at all,” one participant grouses). When their show is actually picked up by HGTV, Whit realizes that he’ll need some work to become TV ready.