Today’s LA Times has a very nice feature on S. Epatha Merkerson, which you can read at the following link: The life force of S. Epatha Merkerson
"The first thing you see about her is the raw talent on the screen," says "L&O" show runner Rene Balcer. "The second thing is her tremendous work habits. She communicates so much sometimes by saying so little. There's just this tremendous life force in her…Sometimes we have overlooked her, to our detriment," admits Balcer. "It's a thankless role for actors, being the pivot in our first half, yet she's been able to imbue it with such moral authority that you can't help but notice her."
“…Working within the limitations of a small character's role, Merkerson has made Van Buren more than the sum of her parts. And what might turn out to be the biggest surprise for those who haven't worked with Merkerson is that she's much looser around the office than the lieutenant she plays.
"She has a big, broad way of talking, full of low-down language and colorful expression," says Sam Waterston, who's been a cast member almost as long as Merkerson. "All that sure helps with getting through the long hours of shooting."
My personal hope is that she is nominated for, and wins, an Emmy for her performance this past season!
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