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Platt makes his decisions about accepting acting roles based on the role being "different from what I just did...I do have to be interested in the role". After Married to the Mob, he appeared in Working Girl (1988), Flatliners (1990), Beethoven (1992), The Three Musketeers (1993), A Time to Kill (1996), Executive Decision (1996), and Bulworth (1998). In 1998 Platt and Stanley Tucci played two deadbeat actors who improvise with unsuspecting strangers in The Impostors. Tucci and Platt developed the characters while working on a play at Yale University in 1988, with Tucci later completing the screenplay and directing the film.
In 1999, Platt played the wealthy and eccentric crocodile enthusiast Hector in David E. Kelley's Lake Placid, alongside Bill Pullman and Bridget Fonda. Platt described Hector as "pretty abrasive and obnoxious at times, but, I hope, he has a way of growing on you. I think David originally thought of him as a great white hunter sort of guy, but when I signed on for the role he sort of wrote him in a different direction."
The short-lived drama Deadline provided Platt's first lead role on television. Created by Dick Wolf, who also created Law & Order, Deadline focused on the lives of newspaper journalists in New York City. Platt starred as Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Wallace Benton, an "unlikely hero". The strong cast, which also included Bebe Neuwirth and Hope Davis, could not compensate for substandard writing and the series was soon canceled. After Deadline's failure, Platt avoided work on television until he read a script for The West Wing and signed on for a guest role. He received an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of no-nonsense White House Counsel Oliver Babish, brought in during season two to compile a defense for President Bartlet and others who covered up his non-disclosure of multiple sclerosis.
His role in the television series Huff as Russell Tupper from 2004 to 2006 was well-received, especially by creator Bob Lowry, who said, "Oliver plays an alcoholic, drug-addicted, sexaholic, workaholic, womanizing misogynist who is adorable. I don't know any actor who could do that. I originally saw Russell as a blond stud, but when I saw what Oliver could do, I realized how much better, richer, and less predictable he was than my idea of the character ... Oliver is very committed to the idea that story and dialogue be character-driven and unique". Platt's work was nominated for two Emmy awards and a Golden Globe.
In 2005, Platt acted in Harold Ramis's film The Ice Harvest as an unhappy businessman with a trophy wife and two stepchildren who becomes involved with a friend who has stolen $2 million from a Mafia boss. He also played a lard merchant named Papprizzio in Lasse Hallström's Casanova, who competes with Casanova (Heath Ledger) for marriage to Francesca (Sienna Miller). Platt won the New York Film Critics Online Award for best supporting actor for his role in Casanova.
A Broadway production named Shining City was Platt's Broadway debut in 2006. The play was set in Dublin, and Platt's role was the tortured protagonist, John. Shining City's director said, "There is one word to describe Oliver. It's 'humanity.' He's got that everyman quality. He's a contradictory human being with flaws and strengths. And he's loveable. He can simultaneously make you laugh and break your heart. Oliver has brought to the role of John what I expected and more: tremendous inventiveness and sensitivity." Platt visited Dublin to prepare for the role and ensure his performance was authentic. He was nominated for a Tony award for "Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play".
In 2007, Platt played the part of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner in the ESPN mini-series The Bronx Is Burning. Platt signed onto the project after John Turturro was confirmed as Billy Martin, because "This thing lives or dies by that portrayal ... I think it's great casting. God knows he has the intensity." Platt starred in the pilot episode of The Thick of It, a remake of the British show of the same name in 2007. The series was not picked up by ABC.
Platt starred as Nathan Detroit, alongside Lauren Graham as Miss Adelaide, in the Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls which began performances at the Nederlander Theatre on February 3, 2009, and officially opened on March 1, 2009. The production closed on June 14, 2009, after 113 performances.
Platt starred as White House Chief of Staff Carl Anheuser in Roland Emmerich's 2012, a disaster film released November 13, 2009.
In August 2010, he was cast in the role of "The Man in Black" in 2011's X-Men spin-off, X-Men: First Class, directed by Matthew Vaughn. In 2012, he starred in the romantic comedy The Oranges alongside Hugh Laurie and Leighton Meester and appeared in the action film Chinese Zodiac. He provided the voice of Wiser the Owl in the 2013 animated film Dorothy of Oz. He appeared in Miramax's 2016 supernatural thriller, The 9th Life of Louis Drax.
The cast of "The Bear" is led by Edebiri as Sydney, Jeremy Allen White as Carmy, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Richie (often referred to as Cousin). Abby Elliott plays Carmy's sister Natalie (aka Sugar), who starts helping them run the restaurant in season two. Lionel Boyce stars as Marcus, The Bear's pastry chef, and in season two Liza Colón-Zayas's Tina becomes the restaurant's sous chef. Real-life chef Matty Matheson plays handyman Neil Fak and Edwin Lee Gibson plays Ebra. The cast also includes veteran character actor Oliver Platt as Uncle Jimmy Cicero and Chris Witaske as Natalie's husband, Pete. Jon Bernthal also appears in flashbacks as Carmy and Natalie's late brother Michael.
Additionally, season two introduces Molly Gordon as Carmy's childhood friend-turned-love interest, though it's not clear if she'll return for season three should it get the green light. Oscar winner Jamie Lee Curtis also guest-stars in season two as Carmy's mom, Donna, and she could return in future episodes. Plus, season two features quite a few cameos of folks from the real Chicago restaurant world, so it's possible that season three could feature even more.