Monk (2002–2009)
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Mr. Monk and the Actor 

A method actor gets in the way as Monk tries to solve a case.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Michelle Cullman
Jack Leverett
Garage Attendant
Actress Playing Natalie (as Carrie Chason)
Lara Black ...
Young Female Cop
Pretty Police Woman


A TV producer has gotten the idea of developing a movie based off of the events of Monk's capture of Steve Wagner in "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut." They have hired renowned actor David Ruskin to play Monk. However, to get into the role of Monk, Ruskin shadows his character for a couple of days as Monk investigates the linked homicides of a young woman killed in her apartment and a pawnshop owner shot dead during a robbery. However, things get bad when Ruskin gets a little too into the role of Monk. Written by dmcreif

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Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery






Release Date:

7 July 2006 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Carrie Reichenbach, who plays the actress playing Natalie, is 5"2' in real life. In 'Mr. Monk and the actor' she plays a woman who is 5"7' which is shown where she briefly plays a victim. (Directly after Stanley Tucci asks her to step on a chair.) See more »


While the impostor Monk is holding Jack Leverett hostage, he cocks the hammer of his revolver. After a cut, without firing a shot, the hammer is uncocked and cocked again following another cut. When real Monk (unwittingly) acquires the weapon, the hammer is again uncocked. See more »


Dr. Charles Kroger: That must have been a traumatic experience for you Adrian. And they cancelled the movie?
Adrian Monk: He said he wanted to play a character who wasn't so dark and depressing. He's in England doing Hamlet.
Dr. Charles Kroger: How about the little getaway you were planning? The weekend away?
[Adrian shakes his head]
Dr. Charles Kroger: All right, okay, maybe another time.
Adrian Monk: I guess I'm back to square one.
Adrian Monk: It's good to be home.
Dr. Charles Kroger: Adrian, please don't be hard on yourself. I think we should go back to three days a week for just a little while. That...
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Spoofs Monk: Mr. Monk and the Astronaut (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Lights, cameras, action!
16 August 2017 | by See all my reviews

'Monk' has always been one of my most watched shows when needing comfort, to relax after a hard day, a good laugh or a way to spend a lazy weekend.

To me, "Mr Monk and the Actor" was a terrific start to Season 5 and one of the better season premieres of 'Monk'. Admittedly the humour and the character moments are a little more memorable than the mystery, but in all honesty it was like that for a while on 'Monk' (a lot of Season 4 was like that, but still, like this episode, managed to do it well). Besides the mystery concerning a double murder is a clever one and lots of fun to see how it unfolds and is solved.

It's the character moments where "Mr Monk and the Actor" shines brightest. The character of David Ruskin is a triumph all round and his scenes with Monk are episode, season and show highlights. Particularly the climactic scene in the car dealership, which is just priceless, and the last scene with them together which really breaks the heart, not only seeing a more serious side to Stanley Tucci as the character but also perfect proof of how Tony Shalhoub is every bit as good delivering on the drama and pathos as he is with the comedy and quirks. Another side of Monk seen that was a joy was how innocent and child-like he behaved when hearing that Ruskin wanted to meet him, like his yearning for acceptance (which one can identify with, was like this in school myself) coming true.

As said many times, one of the best things about 'Monk' has always been the acting of Tony Shalhoub in the title role. It was essential for him to work and be the glue of the show, and Shalhoub not only is that but also at his very best he IS the show. Have always loved the balance of the humour, which is often hilarious, and pathos, which is sincere and touching.

Other than Shalhoub, the other highlight is Stanley Tucci's fantastic supporting turn as Ruskin. His metamorphosis of Monk, mannerisms, quirks, appearance and all is sheer genius and so believable that telling them apart is not always easy (despite how this sounds this is in a good way, seeing as it suits the concept of the episode perfectly).

Natalie is down to earth, sympathetic and sassy, also being sensitive to Monk's needs and quirks which Traylor Howard does well bringing out. Ted Levine and Jason Gray-Stanford have fun as Stottlemeyer and Disher, they are a bit goofy here (not unusual for Disher but rare for Stottlemeyer) but again it works well within the concept and is entertaining. Besides who doesn't like seeing a different side to Stottlemeyer which was needed actually.

It's not just the cast or story though. Another star is the writing, which is also essential to whether the show would be successful or not and succeed it does here. The mix of wry humour, lovable quirkiness and tender easy-to-relate-to drama is delicately done, particularly the last one. The quirks are sympathetically done and never exploited or overdone.

Visually, the episode is shot in a slick and stylish way, and the music is both understated and quirky. While there is a preference for the theme music for Season 1, Randy Newman's "It's a Jungle Out There" has grown on me overtime, found it annoying at first but appreciate its meaning and what it's trying to say much more now. Oh and a good job is done with the different opening credits sequence to accommodate the changes made.

Altogether, terrific Season 5 opener. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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