TV Guide: Crossing the movie – TV divide

2011-10-28 15:09

Martin Sheen took over The West Wing and made it a success, Holly Hunter saved her career while Saving Grace; Sean Bean’s currently hogging audiences in Game of Thrones and Steve Buscemi’s award-winning roles on The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire have done his profile more good than all those independent flicks he’s been in put together.

All these actors and a slew of others have managed to make a successful transition from the silver screen to TV.

At the recent Primetime Emmy Awards, the event host, Glee’s Jane Lynch made a comment after Kate Winslet won an Emmy. “Congratulations to Kate Winslet.

She’s a wonderful film actress, and there are so many movie stars doing TV now that TV stars have been forced into providing voices for video games.

“And those very same video games are then turned into movies, starring the very people who put the TV stars out of work in the first place. Hakuna matata, my friends. Circle of life.”

She raised a valid point.

You have to admit, being called a ‘TV Star’ doesn’t quiet have the same ring as ‘movie star’. Just ask Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry who both left Friends to become Hollywood “A-listers”.

But when it comes to cash some TV actors, like Charlie Sheen (who also started in films like Hot Shots), who is apparently the highest-paid actor in TV, according to one of those endless Forbes list, earn more than most movie stars.

Laurence Fishburne, who’s number six on the same list for his role on the popular CSI is also best known for his days in films such as The Matrix.

While another on the list, Patrick “McDreamy” Dempsey’s TV roles have resuscitate his career and many a woman’s heart, while The Mentalist’s Simon Baker shrugged off the curse of being a wing man on the silver screen to become the main man on TV.

Another two high profile examples are Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons who has been steaming up the screen lately in The Borgias, and Sarah Jessica Parker who started out her career in movies like When Lucy Fell, before succeeding in Sex and the City which ironically ended up as a movie. Must be that circle of life Lynch was referring to.

This trend proves that the divide that used to exist between the two disciplines has been crossed and actors are now realising the value in broadening their appeal - hell for some movie stars the move to TV must feel like a promotion.

Of course the main reason actors learn to cross mediums is to create career longevity in a fickle, ageist industry.

In a time where the only people who flock to the cinemas are those who want to see teen heart-throbs in fantasy roles as vampires and wolves, the old guard has learned to adapt to the new environment of branching off into other avenues.

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