In just the last few months, we've seen Alfred Molina, one of the best Hispanic actors in the business, play a detective and an attorney on "Law & Order: Los Angeles"‘«™then switch gears and play an accused wife-killer in a multi-episode arc of "Harry's Law." And that is just the latest in a long string of "man of a thousand faces" portrayals that began, believe it or not, with "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
Molina was born in London; his mother was an Italian housekeeper and his father a Spanish waiter. But what he really is, is ethnic. There is a powerful aura around the man that signals foreigner, other, outsider, pretty much all the time. And he's made a career of that. "I've given a few good Jews," he says about his own acting career. "I've given a few good Arabs, too. Good European, good South American, I give good Cuban. Generally speaking I give good foreign."
He's got that right: he's had Tony nomination for Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof"; he's played Doctor Octopus in "Spider-Man 2" and Diego Rivera in "Frida." And on September 23, he'll appear in Taylor Lautner's new thriller, "Abduction." And after that, he's got half a dozen other project shooting or already in the can, from Vivaldi to Poe and back again.