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Currents: nate corddry on harry's law

Alumnus Nate Corddry Stars in NBC's 'Harry's Law'

Nate Corddry '00, a Communication Studies major who has gone on to a successful career as an actor in television, film and theater, is now co-starring in a new legal drama series called “Harry's Law,” which premiered Monday, Jan. 17, on NBC. The show airs Monday nights at 10 p.m. EST and features Corddry as hotshot corporate lawyer Adam Branch, with Academy Award-winner Kathy Bates (“Misery,” “About Schmidt”) as the title character, Harriet “Harry” Korn, a patent attorney who is bored with her job and is abruptly fired and forced to find a new career.

Corddry, as Adam Branch, is a great admirer of Harry's prowess as an attorney, and he takes a leave from his corporate law firm to help her get started in her new law office/shoe store, which she has set up in a storefront in a bad section of Cincinnati. The show is written and produced by David E. Kelley (“Boston Legal,” “The Practice, and “Ally McBeal”), an Emmy Award-winning television producer.

View the first episode of Harry's Law on Hulu.

His role in “Harry's Law” marks another major leap in Corddry's acting career, which has taken him from the stage at Colby-Sawyer College to bigger stages around the country, and from advertising gigs and comedic and dramatic roles on the small screen to a growing number of appearances in feature films. His interest in acting began as a high school student in Weymouth, Mass., where he performed in school productions. When he began his college search, he was looking for a broad liberal arts education rather than one narrowly focused on the performing arts. He became a Communication Studies major at Colby-Sawyer, and appeared in every college theater productions that was staged while he was here. He found a friend and mentor in former Associate Professor of Performing Arts Jerry Bliss, whom he credits for teaching him most of what he knows about the craft of acting.

In a 2006 interview with the Colby-Sawyer Alumni Magazine, Corddry said that one of the first things casting directors ask is where you trained as an actor. “The fact that I went to Colby-Sawyer, which doesn't offer a theater degree, is a novelty,” Corddry said. “But it really benefited me because at Colby-Sawyer I learned by doing. I performed in a lot of great roles, as well as produced and directed productions and started an improv group. Other kids have Yale theater degrees, but I have more experience because I had so many more opportunities.”

Corddry also spent four summers during and after college at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, a training ground for talented actors, and soon went to New York City to seek roles in theater and television. He eventually landed a correspondent role on "The Daily Show with John Stewart," alongside his brother, Rob, before being cast in a much anticipated television drama, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” created and produced by Aaron Sorkin (“West Wing,” “The Social Network”), which took him to California, where he still lives.

When the show was cancelled, Corddry went on to appear in films such as “The Invention of Lying” with Ricky Gervais and “The Ugly Truth” with Katie Heigl and Gerard Butler. He also played a lead role in the Warner Bros. feature “Yogi Bear” and as the voice of a lead character in the animated “Tron” series. This winter he will appear in a lead role opposite Julianne Moore in the feature film “Shelter.”

Most recently, Corddry has appeared as the series lead in Larry Charles' "Our Show" for NBC, in the HBO's miniseries “The Pacific,” produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, and in a starring role opposite Sarah Michelle Gellar in the HBO pilot "The Wonderful Malady's." He also had a major role in a 10-episode arc on the Spielberg-produced Showtime drama “The United States of Tara” and a guest cameo on the Emmy Award-winning NBC series “30 Rock.”

Back in 2006, Professor Bliss expressed his belief in Nathan Corddry's talent and his devotion and drive. “He was so exciting to work with as an actor. He knows what he wants, and he's absolutely driven,” he said. “There's nothing Nathan can't do as an actor. He's completely honest and willing to take risks. He's going to do very well.”

-Kimberly Swick Slover