Tom Pelphrey launched his television career playing Jonathan Randall on the CBS show, Guiding Light, for which he earned two Emmy Awards. He has also portrayed ex-neo-Nazi, Kurt Bunker, in the popular Cinemax show, Banshee, and has starred in Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit in addition to numerous other television, film, and Broadway shows. However, I first encountered Tom’s acting in Marvel’s mystic superhero fantasy, Iron Fist. In it Tom plays the disturbed and persecuted character of Ward Meachum.
When we first meet Ward he is ornery, secretive, and distrustful. By the end of the season however, we realize that Ward is a victim of severe emotional abuse at the hands of his diabolical father, Harold, played by David Wenham. Given my own background with child abuse and domestic violence, and my current work writing Those Who Weep, I was fascinated by David and Tom’s performances. The chemistry between Ward and Harold is accurately demonstrative of a relationship that began as parental apathy and child neglect, but blossomed into a nightmarish mix of emotional abuse, manipulation, mind games, and even physical violence. Tom’s performance brought Ward’s character so emotively to life, that while the audience begins the season despising him, we end sympathetic and rooting for him. All the while, David plays a disturbingly believable psychopathic hermit who pulls the strings of his victims from the safety of his luxurious lair.
But, I don’t want to give away any spoilers. If you haven’t watched Iron Fist yet, I recommend it. Despite being a fun action comic with nostalgic value to many, the character studies in the show are very well developed and fascinating. I could go on, but let’s cut to the reason I’m writing this blog …
Tom Pelphrey is raising funds for The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC). Founded in 1875, the organization is dedicated to providing counseling, educational, and legal services, free of charge, to the most vulnerable children and families in New York City. Every year they serve several thousand kids, and also provide resources for professionals caring for such children.
Right now, Tom is auctioning off lunch with himself and your friend at a New York City restaurant. The winner will dine with Tom, and get to discuss his acting career, philanthropic work, and of course take photos and snag an autograph. If you’re planning to be in NYC between December 1, 2017 — May 31, 2018, and would like to place a bid (or just donate toward the cause) you can do so here.