Burly character player Gary Farmer has veered away from stereotypes with the range of roles he has played on stage, screen and TV. With his ample yet imposing frame, large round features, thoughtful eyes and avuncular manner, Farmer has avoided playing the fierce and noble 'savages' typified by the lean leathery likes of a Wes Studi. Rather, his best screen characterizations tend toward the philosophical and even the whimsical. Mainstream Hollywood has generally consigned him to fleeting character bits--more often than not, playing cops and manual laborers--but he has shone in a few indies. Regardless of the size of the role, Farmer brings a sense of dignity leavened with good humor. To place him center stage is to risk having him steal the show.