Heroic actor of the week: Curran Walters

In our second Heroic Actor Of The Week column, we take a look at how Curran Walters stole our hearts with a phenomenal performance in the latest episode of Titans.

We’re back for the second installment of Heroic Actor Of The Week – a new column in which we celebrate the best performance(s) to take place on superhero television over the past week. And after Candice Patton’s amazing performance in The Flash‘s Season 6 premiere resulted in her becoming the very first to hold that title, it was no easy feat finding a worthy successor.

That’s not as to say there weren’t a number of worthy performances – because there really were, with The Flash‘s Grant Gustin, Arrow‘s Stephen Amell, Batwoman‘s Rachel Skarsten and last week’s champ Patton all turning in some incredible offerings over the past week – and any one of them would have been worthy of holding the title.

However, there was one outing that single-handedly managed to turn everything upside down rather late in game, as it only arrived on Friday when the latest episode of Titans, “Bruce Wayne”, hit the DC Universe streaming service.

Curran Walters – Titans

Curran Walters wasted no time grabbing our attention with his appropriately loud approach to Jason Todd when the character showed up in (and subsequently recurred throughout) Titans’ first season. His promotion to a series regular for the second gave him plenty of opportunities to amplify all of that – which he did in an effective manner.

It’s hard not to have an opinion on Jason Todd, and that’s a testament to the strength of Walters’ performance – as he somehow effortlessly manages to exude that arrogance and cockiness that makes Jason who he is. It’s a joy to watch him perform because his screen-presence is just so larger-than-life, and he has a natural ability to make you believe that you’re actually watching the charming, reckless Jason in the flesh (as opposed to an actor playing him).

But we’re not here to talk about that today. Quite the opposite, in fact, as Walters delivered something much more quiet in the latest episode of Titans – something that not only allowed us to see a different aspect of Jason’s personality, but solidified him as one of the show’s strongest actors.

The seventh episode of the show’s second season, “Bruce Wayne” saw the character attempt to deal with the fact that he almost died at the hands of Deathstroke. But as he struggled with his post-traumatic stress internally, he found himself on the wrong end of multiple accusations from the other Titans. And this very nearly pushed him over the edge.

For a character that was always so self-assured and confident, it was really quite something to see Jason so emotional, so vulnerable. After one night from hell, he was quite literally at the end of his tether and ready to give it all up for good in a bid to “fix things”.  But Walters’ performance wasn’t over the top or dramatic, it was quiet and subtle, allowing us all to see how, in spite of the cocky smirks and arrogant one-liners, Jason was hurting.

He said a lot with very little and, in the process, gave us one of the most moving moments on television this week. This was, in its own reserved way, incredibly powerful.

Bravo Curran, bravo!

Titans Season 2 streams on the DC Universe on Fridays. Come back next Sunday to find out who will be crowned next week’s most heroic actor.