Thoughts: Stars That Made the Jump From TV to Film
Jordan Peele’s horror movie Get Out comes out this weekend and appears to be headed towards critical acclaim. Obviously, Peele became known for his work on Key and Peele, but he’s created a nice career for himself in Hollywood since the ending of the show. That got me thinking, what other Hollywood stars came from television? There’s definitely many to choose from, so for the purpose of this article, let’s focus on actors and actresses that are still producing solid work currently (i.e. Adam Sandler will not appear on the list). Without further ado, here’s the list:
Bill Murray: We all know Bill Murray from his many classic films such as Ghostbusters, Groundhog’s Day, and Caddyshack, but this aging star continues to pump out solid work as he was involved in 2016’s Jungle Book in an inspired vocal performance of the popular Baloo. Murray spent three years on SNL before he devoted himself to film, becoming more popular with every sketch. Although he was definitely an SNL talent, I think I speak for most people when I say that we’re glad he moved on to film.
George Clooney: Back in his earlier years, George Clooney was known as the dreamy heartthrob on the TV series ER. After the ending of ER, Clooney went on to be in many more TV series before hitting it big in Hollywood. Although one of his first major roles was as Batman in Batman and Robin (yikes), Clooney has since steered his career into a much better place, consistently starring in award-caliber movies or giving great performances such as 2016’s Hail Caesar!
Jennifer Aniston: We all loved her as Rachel in the hit TV show Friends that aired from 1994 to 2004, but she has since carved out a nice career for herself in movies, showing in the past few years that she has some serious comedic chops in movies like We’re The Millers and Horrible Bosses. On top of that, see also received some award recognition for her dramatic turn in the movie Cake.
Seth Rogen: For every comedy that has been well received the last few years, odds are that Seth Rogen and his writing team played a role. Before Rogen hit it big with comedies like This Is The End or Neighbors, he was part of an all-star cast in the show Freaks and Geeks that also starred household names like James Franco and Jason Segel. After the show ended, Rogen then began to receive smaller roles in films such as Donnie Darko and Anchorman.
Melissa McCarthy: After getting her start on Gilmore Girls, Melissa McCarthy continued to work primarily in TV until she hit stardom after her performance in Bridesmaids. From then on, McCarthy used her brand of comedy to rake in millions of dollars at the box office. She has since return to TV for the hit show Mike and Molly but continues to put out comedies like Spy and many other team-ups with Bridesmaids director Paul Feig.
Steve Carell: Carell first showed his talent to improvise on set of The Dana Carvey Show back in 1996, playing a ton of different characters in only eight episodes. The funny man then broke out as the lovable idiot Brick Tamland in Anchorman which was all that Judd Apatow needed to see to put Carell as the lead of The 40-Year-Old Virgin the following year. He has continued to succeed starring in recent films such as The Big Short and Foxcatcher where he received critical acclaim for each performance.
Ryan Gosling: The La La Land star began in show business as a teenager in many different series like Goosebumps and Young Hercules before he starred in Remember the Titans and then rose to stardom quickly after the Notebook premiered in theaters. People soon realized that he had the acting chops to back up his physical features. He has since become recognized as one of the best working actors today and doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon as another another team-up with La La Land director Damien Chazelle is in the works that will document Neil Armstrong.
Leonardo DiCaprio: Arguably the best actor working today, Leo had a couple TV roles in shows such as Growing Pains and Parenthood (the old version), but then felt that film was a better outlet for his talents, starring in some of Hollywood’s biggest films like Titanic and some of the best reviewed movies of the of recent memory like The Departed, Inception, The Wolf of Wall Street, and many others.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Before he became a favorite of moviegoers everywhere, Joseph Gordon-Levitt got his start on the TV show 3rd Rock from the Sun at the young age of 7. After getting a role in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You, JGL never turned back. Now we know him for his many great movies such as Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, and Looper. He doesn’t seem to be coming close to stopping any time soon.
Kristen Wiig: Wiig became an instant fan favorite after debuting on on SNL in 2005, but she has since made a very nice career for herself in film. After she became a massive hit in the comedy Bridesmaids, Wiig has since done a nice job of alternating between indie films such as Welcome to Me and bigger movies like The Martian on top of a number of hard-hitting comedies.
Thanks for reading! What did you think of the list? Are there any other stars that made the leap from television to film that you enjoy? Comment down below and let me know!
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