Numerous actors have made the transition from film to television and from television to film with varying degrees of success. Television has been a great launching pad for several actors who went on to make it big in movies, while other actors have brought their movie star power to the small screen. Gone are the days when making movies was the be all and end all of an actor’s career. There is no “step back” stigma associated with making a television show over a big budget film nowadays. Rather, stars are working in TV and finding meaty roles with great substance on great shows that audiences tune into with interest, anticipation and excitement.
Here’s a look at a few great movie actors currently starring on popular television shows:
Glenn Close on Damages
For me, two of Close’s most memorable movie roles are in Fatal Attraction and Dangerous Liaisons. Each film is set in a different era, but Close plays a strong, volatile and vindictive woman in both films and she plays bad so very well.
Toni Collette on The United States of Tara
Toni Collette emerged as an actress to watch after she appeared in The Sixth Sense, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress. Before playing mother to Haley Joel Osment, she starred in the Australian comedy Muriel’s Wedding.
Steve Buscemi on Boardwalk Empire
Steve Buscemi is doing some of his finest acting on Boardwalk Empire, and he’s left quite an impression on the big screen in some very quirky roles in several entertaining films. For me, his standout roles include his hilarious turns in the blockbuster films Armageddon and Con Air as well as his dramatic turns in Ghost World and Fargo.
Laurence Fishburne on CSI
Laurence Fishburne is bidding adieu to CSI next season to focus on making films. Two of his most commanding roles were as Ike Turner in the bio-pic What’s Love Got to Do with It and as Morpheus in the sci-fi phenomenon The Matrix. One of my personal favourites is his portrayal of caring, over-protective single father, Furious Styles in Boyz in the Hood.
Anna Paquin on True Blood
She’s the second youngest actress to win an Academy Award and she’s Canadian. After her Oscar winning turn in The Piano, Paquin didn’t suffer the fate of some child stars whose careers fizzle after reaching a big milestone at such a young age, a lá Tatum O’Neal. Rather, Anna Paquin has been working steadily since her Oscar win in a variety of different films such as X-Men and Buffalo Soldiers.
Jane Lynch on Glee
Before she became known as mean, ruthless Sue Sylvester on Glee, Jane Lynch made audiences howl as the oddball cougar with a crush on Steve Carell in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. She’s found her niche playing funny ladies in comedic films like Best in Show and Role Models. Her dramatic turn as a paranoid schizophrenic in Criminal Minds is proof that Lynch can mesmerize on screen even without being funny.
Alex Baldwin on 30 Rock
He’s the most famous of the four Baldwin brothers. He broke out big in the 80’s in popular films like Beetlejuice, Working Girl, She’s Having a Baby and Married to the Mob. Although not a great film, Baldwin was cast perfectly as the ruthless, narcissistic doctor in Malice. His acting work includes a bulk of television appearances on shows like Friends, Will and Grace and Saturday Night Live.
Which actor who currently dabbles in film and in television stands out for you? Let us know in the comments section.