Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Movie Stars Heading to the Small Screen: The Triumphs

[halle_berry_1.jpg]As I was reading some of my favorite television and gossip blogs ( and the out)  I came upon a story that Halle Berry is in talks to star in her own television series.  Halle Berry won an Academy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in 2001 for the great performance in Monster's Ball.  Halle Berry was the first black female to win this award (I personally would have picked an actress who was not nominated that year Naomi Watts in Mullholland Dr.).  After her Oscar win, Berry starred in a string of flops: Catwoman, Gothika, Die Another Day, Perfect Stranger, Things We Lost in the Fire, Frankie and Alice.  Berry did of course star as Storm in the X-Men film franchise, but I thought she miscast and I would have much rather seen Angela Basset.  Overall beyond her Oscar win Berry's film career has not been that stellar, so moving to television could be a smart move.

In the last ten years there have been a number of huge movie stars that have shifted their careers focus from film to television.  This has added new life to their acting repertoire.  I have been re-watching the television show 30 Rock starring Alec Baldwin, and he is my favorite movie star who transitioned from primarily film roles to being a huge television star.

Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin co-host OscarsBaldwin started his career in television and his first acting credit was the soap opera The Doctors from 1980-1982.  Baldwin scored some major role in the 80s and 90s in films like Beetle Juice (1988), Working Girl (1989), The Hunt for Red October (1990) and Prelude to a Kiss (1992).  In the 200s his career started to look different he took a guest starring role on  both Friends and Will & Grace,  and played smaller roles in films with great comedic timing.  This was probably the contributing factor that landed him one of the best roles in television history playing Jack Donaghey.  This role has also helped him to land more movie roles in films like It's Complicated, and I have appreciated his comic timing more than anything.  Baldwin has won several awards for his role, from Emmys to Golden Globes.
One of my favorite moments in 30 Rock was this season where Tom Hanks makes a joke about the official A-list at Baldwins expense.

There have been several other success stories recently.  Sally Field obviously started her career as the flying nun then went on to win two Outstanding Lead Actress Academy Awards; she recently took on the role of the matriarch in the television series Brothers and Sisters (2006-2011) where she played Nora Walker, and won an Emmy for her role.
Kiefer Sutherland started his career playing that bad ass teenage boy in films like Stand by Me (1986) and after that had numerous roles in film.  Then came the television phenomena 24.  Sutherland has done more here creating the role of Jack Bauer than he ever did with any film.  Rumor has Sutherland is also in talks to star in another television series.

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Glenn Close is seen as one of the most talented actress in film history, with five Academy Award nominations (0 wins); she has made a great presence in the silver screen.  Then in the 2000s Close took on an Emmy nominated role in the television series The Shield, but got her own series in 2006 entitled Damages where she plays tough as nails lawyer Patty Hewes.  Damages is not one of the most watched shows that was F/X but it helped to create indelible television characters.

As television becomes more and cinematic with shows like Boardwalk Empire. Dexter, Mad Men, Breaking Bad etc more big stars will be drawn to taking on roles in television series.  I wish Halle Berry success and hope her journey to small screen bring her more success.

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