Adrien Brody and Kristen Connolly star in Houdini.
Adrien Brody and Kristen Connolly star in Houdini. Photo Channel

From Hollywood to TV: Adrien Brody transforms into Houdini

TELEVISION'S drama renaissance has lured yet another film star over to the small screen.

Adrien Brody is the latest Hollywood leading man to helm a TV mini-series.

In the acclaimed two-part drama Houdini, Brody plays master illusionist Harry Houdini.

The first half of the mini-series aired on Tuesday night and Brody was all I needed for motivation to tune in.

As well as his serious acting chops, Brody still possesses the dark on-screen magnetism that made him a standout in 2002's The Pianist.

Houdini has same the dark, period feel as Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes films, starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law.

The mini-series follows famed American escape artist Harry Houdini on his rise from circus sideshow and small-time vaudevillian magician to world-renowned escape artist.

But Houdini's life wasn't as simple as a rise to fame in step with the increasing danger of his routines.

He was a man devoted to his mother, haunted by the failures and death of his father and obsessed with flirting with death.

He was also a spy for the US and British governments. Houdini was able to use his celebrity status to get close enough to the German and Russian elite to discover vital information in the years before the First World War.

He also encountered many of the greatest names of the era, from US presidents to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and even carried out one of the earliest aerial flights in Australia during his tour Down Under in 1910.

It is worth noting Brody studied magic as a child and performs many of the tricks in the series, from sleight of hand to Houdini's famous Chinese Water Torture Cell and suspended straight-jacket escape.

I can only hope this is not last time we see Brody in a leading role on TV.

The second half of Houdini airs this Tuesday on Channel 7.

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