I am sure anyone that watches a fair amount of TV has their favorite TV actors. It’s why people are getting so excited that Summer Glau is going to be in the next Arrow season and why I would kill a family of squirrels to sniff Alyson Hannigan’s hair (wow… that got weird fast!) Anyway, I am sure many of you want to see these actors break into films, so you can see your TV heroes in a big budget blockbuster. This is one of the benefits of British TV actually, as if the talents there they will be hired for movies (Idris Elba, Matt Smith, David Morrissey).
Well, if any directors still need convincing that TV actors should be in their films, I have complied three reasons for why TV actors should be making the jump from TV to film more often. Please put a comment below if you agree or if you have a TV actor or actress that you really want to see hit some big time movies.
3 – WIDER AUDIENCE
For one, I imagine if you cast right, you might bring in some new fans to the genre. I know a handful of people that will watch a film just to see Nathan Fillion. I am going to be watching Ryan Gosling’s directional debut just to see Matt Smith play a movie character that isn’t the Doctor. Hell, if a TV actor I have an eye on turns up in a film that is completely outside of my usual genre, I will still strongly consider going to watch it.
There isn’t really too much else to say on this point, as it is pretty much a given. I just know that the fan bases behind some TV actors are insane. Maybe it’s the fact that they seem more accessible. Odds are you can stumble across Firefly’s Jewel Staite at Comic-Con. Nathan Fillion is already talking to his fans on Twitter. They seem more real than movie stars like Russell Crowe and Angelina Jolie. It seems silly not to try and hack into that following.
2 – THEY GO ALL-OUT WITH THE ACTING
I am going to go with ‘Serenity’ here, because it is the perfect example of TV actors hitting the movies. Without meaning any offence, ‘Serenity’ is going to be the only movie that most of these actors will ever get a chance to star it (I hope I am proven wrong here). However, in a way there is a sense that this was liberating for the actors. If this was their one big shot, then they were going to grab it with both hands. The acting in that movie is superb, because it is the one time they have to act in a blockbuster movie. They go for broke and give us one of the best Sci-Fi movies out there.
If a TV actor does get put in a movie, they usually end up using that as a chance to get a wider audience. They will not give you a bad performance, because they cannot afford to. Recently, I have noticed that Denzel Washington has given a few dud performances, out of laziness than lack of talent (see Safehouse). He is picking up a pay check and not really putting the work into the role. You would never get that with a TV actor. Watching the cast of ‘Serenity’ bounce off one another is amazing, as it shows you how better a film is when the actors are actually enjoying what they are doing.
1 – THEY’RE PERFECT FOR TWISTS
(Spoilers for the Lone Ranger below.)
I was watching ‘The Lone Ranger’ the other day and I felt the twist could have been handled better. The villain of the piece was actually Tom Wilkinson, but we all guessed that as the movie asked us to believe that this powerhouse actor was really going to settle for playing a background role as the guy building a railway. Of course, he was going to have a bigger part in the plot.
Which is why I reckon directors should hire TV actors to fill these secret villain roles. I would totally buy the fact that an actor like Stephen Amell would have a tiny role in Lone Ranger, never expecting him to play the villain of the piece. TV actors have cameo parts all the time (Tahmon Penikett had a bit role in Man of Steel), so it wouldn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary. If you want to keep your nemesis hidden in the shadows, maybe stop trying to convince us that Sean Bean died in the first five minutes of ‘Goldeneye’.
Interesting that you should mention Jewel Staite and Nathon Fillion; they’re two of my favourite Tweeters. Great relationships with their fans. You make a great point about tapping in to their legions.
They are just more down to earth than the A-Listers. I am sure that A-Listers are perfectly nice people, but TV stars are generally more accessible.
I like a good actor no matter the format 😀
Mix and match if always fun 😀
I love good actors popping up in video games. It’s something I want to see more of.
Summer Glau in Joss Whedon’s feature movie ‘Serenity’ is the perfect example of a wonderful transition from tv series to movie.
I’m still wondering why she didn’t continue to play in movies after that.