When on the stage, Kraft commands it. When he falls to the stage, his death is swift, cold and brutal, but it is at that epic moment—'Et tu Brute?'—that Kraft breaks our hearts. The subtle silence between Kraft and Jay Karnes (Brutus) in the seconds that follow these three famous words is a supreme moment in time.
Television actor Jay Karnes plays Brutus, and most importantly, he plays Brutus as a complicated, strong, thinking and flawed man with a conscience....His role as Brutus is memorable.... He’s statuesque, offering a certain dignity and grace to his character, and his slight sneer—not quite like Elvis, but one can’t help but make the connection—is oddly appealing. Karnes is a seasoned actor who understands the subtle nuances necessary to convey Brutus’ stoic emotions and his troubled mind. It’s almost as though Karnes allows us to see into the mind of his character and feel the impossible quest of his conscience.
Unlike Caesar, we do like Brutus, only because Karnes somehow slips a sympathetic vein into this complicated Roman patrician, and as far as we can tell, Brutus is an honorable man. While the play is called Julius Caesar, the real drama is that of Brutus. Karnes captivates.