I first saw Perrineau in the TV show OZ (1997 - 2003), the reason I remember is because OZ was one of the most hardcore programmes I had ever seen back then, it was also my introduction to HBO. Set in a prison, with some of the worst inmates you will ever see on TV, OZ might as well have called 'Practicing For Hell'. Perrineau's character immediately stood out because firstly he was in a wheelchair and secondly though he was a proper criminal before he went in, he remained one of the most morally decent characters throughout, despite all the brutality that went on around him. Just before he played the role of Augustus Hill in OZ , Perrineau played Mercutio in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo & Juliet (1996) and was also part of an ensemble cast in one of those dialogue dramas that allows an actor to stretch their thespian muscles in Smoke (1995).
But it was in 2003 that Perrineau became part of one of the most popular film franchises of the 2000s that would have him cemented amongst a popular mythology - The Matrix. Replacing Marcus Chong's character Tank, Perrineau played Link, the new pilot in the sequel and the following film and was no doubt seen by millions. The very next year, Harold was then seen in the instant cult classic TV series LOST, further entrenching his acting into the minds of the public and industry. Since then he has appeared in all manner of small to big productions in TV and film, but I have to say that my favourite performance to date has been his portrayal of Damon Pope in Sons of Anarchy. His performance in the drama showed me that he has transcended to the next level. Perrineau is now the veteran who appears on screen and steals the show.
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