Movie actors on TV

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Movie actors on TV

Postby OP Tipping » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:17 pm UTC

Seems to me that it is much more common for A-list movie actors to be in television shows.

Fifteen years ago, for an acclaimed cinematic actor to accept a regular TV role would have been considered slumming it: probably indicate they were no longer a hot enough item for movies. A couple of exceptions exist, I suppose.

Now I look at the Emmy nominees and it could just as easily be the Oscar nominees. Anthony Hopkins , Robert de Niro, Geoffrey Rush, Ewan McGregor, Nicole Kidman, Jane Fonda, Susan Sarandon, Viola Davis, John Lithgow, Judy Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer, David Thewlis, Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Lange, Robin Wright, William H. Macy. Not all of these people hold the same level of acclaim but they are all big names.

If I look at the nominees from the Emmys fifteen years ago, there's nowhere near the same kind of presence of top draw film actors.

I remember back when Gary Sinise appeared in CSI:NY in 2004, and thinking that this was a bit of a step back for him. Then Fishburne joined the CSI franchise as well. Perhaps they were the harbingers.

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Re: Movie actors on TV

Postby Zohar » Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:19 pm UTC

Anthony Hopkins acted on TV before he was in film, and continued alongside TV for a long time (17 episodes on War and Peace in 1972-3, lots of TV films, multiple-episode guest roles). Geoffrey Rush started off in TV as well. Same with Ewan McGregor. Nicole Kidman started with TV (including a 12-episode run in the 1980s). Viola Davis acted in TV alongside movies, and had longer recurring roles as well throughout her career. John Lithgow also played in both (and on stage) but is probably most well known for the sitcom he starred in...

I could go on but I have a feeling almost all of these will have very early intersections with TV. It's just not true that people don't move between the mediums.

Looking at the 1990 Emmy awards as a random example shows that Ted Danson won for Cheers, but he already played in Three Men and a Baby, a pretyt big blockbuster, before this win. Candice Bergen, best actress for that year, has also been in movies since the 70s...
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Re: Movie actors on TV

Postby Liri » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:34 am UTC

It's hard to deny though that TV has become the It medium lately. HBO and AMC kicked it off with The Sopranos, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad, and Netflix has really pushed it to a new level.

Sure, plenty of movie stars may have *started* in TV, and some may have done movies before TV in the past, but the current wave is hard to deny.
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Re: Movie actors on TV

Postby OP Tipping » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:27 am UTC

Zohar wrote:Anthony Hopkins acted on TV before he was in film, and continued alongside TV for a long time (17 episodes on War and Peace in 1972-3, lots of TV films, multiple-episode guest roles). Geoffrey Rush started off in TV as well. Same with Ewan McGregor. Nicole Kidman started with TV (including a 12-episode run in the 1980s). Viola Davis acted in TV alongside movies, and had longer recurring roles as well throughout her career. John Lithgow also played in both (and on stage) but is probably most well known for the sitcom he starred in...

I could go on but I have a feeling almost all of these will have very early intersections with TV. It's just not true that people don't move between the mediums.

Looking at the 1990 Emmy awards as a random example shows that Ted Danson won for Cheers, but he already played in Three Men and a Baby, a pretyt big blockbuster, before this win. Candice Bergen, best actress for that year, has also been in movies since the 70s...



I think you completely miss the point. I'm not talking about "moving between mediums". Pretty much all film actors _start_ on TV.

I'm talking about highly acclaimed, Academy award winning or nominated actors _returning_ to television. There once was a stigma on this which now, I suggest, has passed.

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Re: Movie actors on TV

Postby Zohar » Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:58 pm UTC

Most of these actors continued to act on TV alongside their careers. Often in miniseries or TV films, true, but the distance between a mini series and a Netflix or HBO season isn't very far.
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Re: Movie actors on TV

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:42 pm UTC

Well, yeah. Now.

15, 20 years ago? Not so much.

I mean, just imagine for a minute, it's 1999. The Matrix just did it's thing. Keanu Reeves's next role is... the dopey brother of a cop on a story-based comedic drama. And he'll take time off from it in season 2 to shoot the next Matrix Film.

That would't have happened then.

That would happen now.

It's a welcome change, for me, but it's still peculiar. But it certainly is a sign that TV is being taken more seriously by everyone involved.

I mean, people still call it "breaking in to film" when someone who has had TV success starts getting film roles.

They don't call it "breaking in to TV" when the opposite happens.
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Re: Movie actors on TV

Postby Zohar » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:23 pm UTC

Then instead of HBO/Netflix compare it to British TV. Still not a huge difference.

I'm guessing "breaking into movies" is a thing mostly because films have higher budgets and salaries (per on-screen minute, let's say) than TV.
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Re: Movie actors on TV

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:49 pm UTC

Ha, silly Zohar. Like any entertainment outside American creations counts.
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