5 Actors Transitioning from TV to Film
Although movies seem like a constant stream of new releases, that doesn’t mean the quality is a constant stream of awesomeness. And while TV certainly has similarities, this is arguably the golden age for TV. AMC’s Breaking Bad may be over, but that show mixed with greats like AMC’s Mad Men, HBO’s Game of Thrones, and limited series like HBO’s True Detective, FX’s Fargo (yes, the sample size is still small), and many more make me wonder if TV is that much better than film right now.
It can be interesting that some actors are known for one medium over the other. When looking at big-time actors like Will Smith, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Johnny Depp (to name a few), some of our favorite movie actors were TV actors first.
That, and the release of this weekend’s Decoding Annie Parker starring Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul or Neighbors starring New Girl’s Jake Johnson, got me thinking about the future. Could we have seen some of the best up-and-coming film actors already on the silver screen?
As this list shows, maybe we have. Here are five (in alphabetical order) TV actors I think are poised to be big-time players in the film industry for years to come.
Known for: HBO’s Game of Thrones
Upcoming films: Terminator: Genesis
Emilia Clarke will perhaps always be known as the mother of dragons. Her character in HBO’s Game of Thrones may have started off as eye candy, but she’s morphed into quite the character presence. I can’t speak to her longevity in the Game of Thrones universe (I haven’t read the books), so she may be busy for awhile. However, her recent role in Dom Hemingway mixed with her upcoming job as Sarah Connor in Terminator: Genesis has me thinking she’s going to break into the movie scene in a hurry.
Known for: FOX’s Ben and Kate
Upcoming films: Cymbeline, Fifty Shades of Grey
Dakota Johnson was first seen by me in The Social Network. However, she transitioned to film quickly thereafter and was cast as one of the leads in the short-lived (and never seen by me) FOX series Ben and Kate. While this ultimately petered out, Johnson continued to find work. She more recently made headlines as the lead in the risque, but in-popular-demand, Fifty Shades of Grey film adaptation. If she can nail this role (no pun intended), expect to know Johnson more. I need to stop with these innuendoes.
Known for: FOX’s New Girl
Upcoming films: Neighbors, Let’s Be Cops, Jurassic World
Jake Johnson – or to me: Nick Miller – broke into the scene with his hilarious turn as Nick opposite Zooey Deschanel in FOX’s New Girl. Like the others, this role may keep him busy for quite some time. However, when he does get a chance to jump over to the big screen, he’s proven to be quite the actor. Personally, I’ve found him to be great in both Safety Not Guaranteed and Drinking Buddies. Expect his hot streak to continue with a great crop of upcoming films, including one this weekend (Neighbors).
Known for: AMC’s Breaking Bad
Upcoming films: Decoding Annie Parker, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Fathers and Daughters, A Long Way, Quad
Aaron Paul may be coming down a bit from his hot streak (especially compared to the others on this list). As an unknown actor coming into (what turned out to be an utterly amazing) Breaking Bad, he lined up a bunch of gigs following the show’s end. This includes the critically-acclaimed Smashed (technically released before the end of Breaking Bad) as well as his starring role in Need for Speed. His future isn’t slowing down too much, but he doesn’t exactly have that franchise film quite yet. With such a talented body of work in Breaking Bad, I don’t think he’ll struggle lining up jobs.
Known for: NBC’s Parks and Recreation
Upcoming films: Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World
Of all the names on here, Chris Pratt’s future would be the right one to bet on in Vegas. He’s lined up huge roles in both Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (the next film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) and the long-awaited Jurassic Park sequel, Jurassic World (alongside, incidentally, Jake Johnson). He’s known as a funnyguy, but that shouldn’t stop him from continuing to seemingly rule the world. Pratt is a force to be reckoned with…and a talented one at that.
The others I considered were Alison Brie (of AMC’s Mad Men and NBC’s Community), Gillian Jacobs (also of NBC’s Community), and Aubrey Plaza (NBC’s Parks and Recreation). Any others I missed?
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