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It’s always sad to say goodbye to our favorite TV shows and while the thrill ride known as Cinemax’s “Banshee” is riding off into the sunset (it will all end in a happy place, right?) after Friday’s series finale, it’s time to look back at one of the most unique characters ever to appear on television.
That’s right, Job was a stand-out from the first time we met him in the pilot and he never failed to disappoint. Whether sitting back and trading vicious barbs with Sugar or, well, anyone else, or on his feet (often in heels) and kicking someone’s ass, Job was always an asset to have around.
Thankfully, I had the chance to talk to actor Hoon Lee several times over the run of the series about his transvestite character to find out what made him tick and to dispel the stereotypical ideas that come from a dude who likes to dress a little extra flair once in awhile.
And, in case you’re not aware, seeing Job in a dress and full makeup didn’t mean he was in a demure mood on bit. Quite the opposite. Job was kick ass and conveyed strength and power no matter what he was wearing.
Last year, when I sat down with Lee in Los Angeles, I had the chance to ask him about a fabulous fight in a season 3 episode when he just happens to be wearing heels but still manages to come out on top.
Coming up in this episode, we see Job in a few scenes and in each one he looks different. Then he’s ready for a fight in a boxing ring and he’s in this really great outfit. Can you talk what his changing of outfits means?
Hoon Lee: I think that on some level it’s almost dangerous for me to overthink it because I think that one thing we’ve tried to keep present for ourselves is the idea that this is not an act for him. It’s part of his life, and it’s part of his ongoing exploration of who he is and what makes him feel powerful and, more than anything, I reference the idea of a hacker and what I think of as a hacker’s mentality, which is subversion, self-empowerment, and a sense of do what works.
I think you can look at somebody who feels comfortable with a certain amount of gender fluidity of any kind as someone who says, “I’m going to express who I am because that is what puts me in a seat of power and control, and if social convention doesn’t agree with me, that’s too bad.” So I often feel that perhaps Job, when he decides to assume a certain affect, he is simply trying to place himself in a position of authority and a position of strength, and that may not be a conventional position of strength but it’s something that works for him. It’s personal to him.
We tend to think of is less like, say, getting dressed up or putting on some sort of guise and more like is he in a place of comfort? Is he in a place of heightened awareness? Is he in a place of peak efficiency? And that he really tries to mold himself to the occasion in a way.
So when he’s dressed in a certain way for a fight, it’s about power.
HL: This is where he feels strong, and I think that it just doesn’t happen to be what a conventional gender role would dictate…but we all do this, right? We put on a power suit, or we put on workout clothes and go to the gym and your Nike Pro Combat, whatever, and for him, it happens to be something that makes him feel beautiful and special and something to be looked at and wondered at and these are the things that make him powerful. (Full interview here.)
Last December, I talked to Lee again after seeing him make his Broadway debut in “The King and I.” At the time, he had finished shooting the “Banshee” finale so you know what I had to ask!
How was it to say goodbye to Job?
HL: Pretty painful. Job is a character I never saw coming and it was a just complete joy. I never once had a moment of frustration, disappointment. It was hard work and it was pleasurable work and I’m going to miss playing him because I think Job is a sort of bottomless well for me.There’s always something to think about and work through and try to improve upon and try to make deeper or clearer. There’s always a physical challenge, there’s always some aesthetic challenge and that challenge really came to define a lot of my experience in “Banshee” that’s why I feel like gained a tremendous amount from the steadiness and the intensity of the work and that’s not always the case, so I’m very much going to miss that. (Full interview here)
Here are some of Job’s best moments which showed you don’t want to mess with him even in a minor squabble. (And you’ll also see what a great actor Hoon Lee is!)
Here are a few clips from tonight’s series finale.
The “Banshee” series finale airs Friday at 10pm on Cinemax. Catch up on episodes right here on XFINITY TV.