While it isn’t necessary to define yourself as a huge star based on having had an established movie career, some celebrities are just better suited to be in the movies instead of on television. The small screen can’t contain their talent and fans need their popcorn, movie tickets, and weekend openings with trailers to find their favorite stars and follow their careers.
Being a film actor has its benefits too. The shorter schedules, the quicker projects, and often better pay means a few hit movies on your resume as an actor, and you’re set for life. You can choose your own timelines, work with the people you want, and demand the big bucks on your next film.
But, transitioning from television to film is not always easy. Look at actors like Bryan Cranston. For some reason, while he’s finding steady work, he can’t seem to get much going in the movie industry. Yet, he was a household name as Walter White in Breaking Bad. Kerry Washington has done the same by making a huge name for herself on the hit show Scandal, but landing smaller, more forgettable roles in movies. We know at least five more actors that we think–like these two examples–are better for the small screen.
With that in mind, we also have 10 actors we believe could successfully make the jump to film. Can these 10 actors follow in the steps of people like George Clooney, Will Smith, Ryan Gosling, and Will Ferrell? Let us know what you think. Share this post on your social media and ask your friends who they’d want to see make the jump and who they’d prefer didn’t.
15. Should Jump To Movies: Corey Hawkins
Some actors do both television and film, and Corey Hawkins is one of those actors. In 2016-17, he’s come on strong with big roles in both. He’s been the star of 24: Legacy and had a smaller role on The Walking Dead. He’s also found roles in movies like Kong: Skull Island. But, his most memorable role was playing Dr. Dre in Straight Outta Compton. He absolutely rocked that film and fans would like to see him in more roles that allow him to flex his acting muscles.
Hawkins is truly a breakout star, and he deserves to be considered for some important Hollywood films. There’s currently nothing on his future resume for movie projects, and now that 24: Legacy has been canceled, he’ll be free to take more film projects.
14. Should Jump To Movies: Jim Parsons
Jim Parsons has made over $25.5 million for his role as Sheldon Cooper on Big Bang Theory and currently makes about a million per episode shooting that show. He’s also slated to help out with a spin-off show called Young Sheldon, and there’s no telling how successful that show will wind up being. With so much on the go, there’s really no reason for him to leave the show which, by the way, is still a massive hit.
Yet, Parsons is starting to branch out from the Cooper character and get involved in movie roles that allow him to separate himself from being typecast for the rest of his career. He’s currently filming A Kid Like Jake and should consider taking more roles that are different from the one he currently plays. Fans absolutely love Sheldon Cooper. They’ll probably still love him if he takes on other projects.
13. Should Stay On TV: Bob Odenkirk
The star of Better Call Saul is doing amazing work on the Breaking Bad spin-off show, and there is absolutely no way that fans want to take the chance that he wouldn’t want to keep doing the show because of commitments to movies. His portrayal of Jimmy is so good, and the show hasn’t really crept up to the point where Jimmy has turned into the creep we knew from the Breaking Bad series. There’s just so much more that can happen there that he’s best to stay right where he is.
When the show is over, by all means, Bob should look at films. He’s a strong actor and could play some pretty cool parts, but it seems evident that Odenkirk is satisfied with television and writing. That’s where his bread and butter is.
12. Should Jump To Movies: Evangeline Lilly
For a while, Evangeline Lilly left Hollywood. The huge star from the hit television show Lost decided she’d had enough and eventually took a break. She came back with a vengeance with roles in films like The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies and Ant-Man. As such, this isn’t so much a call for Lilly to jump to movies; it’s that just she should stay there.
If the schedule of shooting a television series was what drove her out of Hollywood, her starring in upcoming movies like Little Evil, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and the new untitled Avengers movie should show us that she’s figured out her passion, and we’ll get to see a lot more of her. She’s got a bright future ahead and should be a big movie star.
11. Should Jump To Movies: Zendaya
Zendaya is probably near the top of the list for the next big breakout star. When you come from a Disney background, you know you’ve pretty much got a straight shot to doing whatever projects you want. Zendaya is a multi-talented actress, and she’s landed a pretty big role in a new movie you might have heard of.
Zendaya will be starring alongside Tom Holland in the new Spider-Man: Homecoming and has two other animated projects in the works. Her time on shows like K.C. Undercover and Shake It Up! were a great start for her, but she needs to move on and make a play to become a leading lady on the big screen. She has the talent to do it. She just needs to avoid going off the deep end like other Disney stars did before her.
10. Should Stay On TV: Sofia Vergara
Sofia Vergara has made millions for her role on Modern Family, and she’s actually a pretty savvy entrepreneur. With the show being renewed, she’ll be set for a long, long time. She’s also 44 years old, and her jump to movies so far has not been nearly as successful as her stints in television.
Vergara is very much a one-dimensional character. Her accent and her look make her one of the hottest female celebrities out there, but it doesn’t necessarily translate into serious roles that would make her a big movie star. She’s got a few film projects in the works, but none of them look like they’ll be huge successes. She’s much better on television and should stay there where she’s making more money than almost anyone.
9. Should Jump To Movies: Jon Hamm
Yes, I know that Jon Hamm is already a movie star. But, the simple way to describe why he’s included on this list is to say that while he’s already made the jump from television to movies, he should do more film and less TV. He’s a natural star, and the roles he’s taken on the big screen have highlighted his abilities as an actor.
He should be commended for the amazing work he did on Mad Men, and he repeatedly makes cameos on other television series. But, we can only hope he puts those full-time television days a bit more behind him and takes on more film roles. It looks like he’s doing so with projects like Baby Driver, Nostalgia, and High Wire Act and here’s to more of the same for the foreseeable future.
8. Should Jump To Movies: Taylor Schilling
Orange is The New Black is a huge hit for Netflix. Taylor Schilling is the show’s star. She won the 2013 Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy, was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama, and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2014. It’s about time she takes her talent to the big screen.
It appears as though she’s going to try and tackle both genres. She’ll continue on the show, but she’s also got a film coming out called The Titan and another called The Public. She’s got a great range as an actress, she’s extremely attractive, and she’s got ‘movie star’ written all over her. She just needs the opportunity.
7. Should Stay On TV: Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry has proven that he’s a pretty decent actor who gets a lot of chances to make TV shows work, but he’s also proved that he’s not able to translate that success into a film career. In fact, Perry’s career resume reads like a laundry list of television programs, some of which were big successes and some of which were huge flops. So, producers understand that thanks to the success of Friends, he’s a recognizable face and their hope is that he hits another one out of the park.
To Perry’s credit, I think he’s realized that his jump into films didn’t go well, and he’s much better suited for the small screen. It looks like his plan is to continue trying to find that perfect TV hit he can make a run with.
6. Should Jump To Movies: Emilia Clarke
Fans of Game of Thrones won’t have to wait long for Emilia Clarke to become a big movie star. Already making a whopping $500,000 per episode for the hugely popular HBO television drama, it won’t take long for her character to be killed off (I mean everyone is killed off on that show, aren’t they?), and she’s got some movies already on her resume.
She starred in the box office hit Terminator: Genysis, and she is set to star in the new untitled Star Wars Han Solo prequel and anthology film. No movies are more highly anticipated than Star Wars movies. She also just completed the movie Above Suspicion, a true story about an FBI scandal that shook the foundations of the nation’s top law enforcement agency, ending in the first ever conviction of an FBI agent for murder. Fans of Clarke don’t want her leaving Game of Thrones just yet. But when she does, she should have a successful film career waiting for her.
5. Should Jump To Movies: John David Washington
John David Washington is doing extremely well on HBO’s hit show Ballers, and it looks like he’ll have a good run on that show for some time. But with his bloodlines (Denzel Washington), how can you not want to see him make a jump to movies?
Washington could be an action star, the lead in a major drama, and he clearly knows how to be funny and witty (if you watch Ballers). He’s got some future projects on the go like Coco which is directed by RZA and Monster starring alongside Jennifer Hudson. Our prediction is that John David Washington becomes a breakout star within a year and a major movie star within three years. While he’s working on that, he’ll start making some big money as one of the stars of Ballers alongside the most famous man on the planet right now, The Rock.
4. Should Stay On TV: Ellen Pompeo
Is there an actor/actress more associated to a show than Ellen Pompeo is to Grey’s Anatomy? Pompeo has been making some $400,000 per episode and really has no reason to leave the show, but it would just be weird for fans if she wasn’t on it. She’s been a part of the cast for 12 years and with so many other mainstays having exited the show, her status there is pretty safe.
So too, her movie resume is pretty sparse. You have to go all the way back to 2005 to find something she’s done since joining the TV show, and it’s pretty evident that she’s realized her true calling is on television and not in film. With the money she’s making, she’s proved that you don’t have to be successful in movies to have a huge career.
3. Should Jump To Movies: Lennie James
He’s on arguably the most popular show on television, and while other characters are being consistently killed off, he remains. That said, it’s time for Lennie James to start working more in films and maybe a little less on television. He’s had lots of TV roles, some of which haven’t been as successful as The Walking Dead. But, he’s clearly the best actor on the entire show and deserves a chance to show his range on the big screen.
He’s got a role in the upcoming Blade Runner 2049 film, and hopefully, he adds a lot more work in movies, even if it’s not the lead. He needs to prepare for his future death on the show (which is inevitable unless you’re Andrew Lincoln), and when he’s gone, producers and directors should be trying to scoop him up.
2. Should Jump To Movies: Michael Weatherly
He’s been a part of some hugely successful television shows and his new show, Bull, is a huge hit as well. It is actually the year’s most watched new TV series among total viewers, with 15.5 million viewers weekly. Needless to say, the show will likely be ongoing.
It would be nice to see him try to make a couple go’s in the movies too, though. He’s got the acting skill, and he’s in the right age to take on a variety of different types of roles. He’s also lived the television schedule for years and the more fluffy schedule of a movie might be a nice change. He’s not afraid to take risks (having left NCIS when it was still popular), and that bodes well for him trying different movie roles.
1. Should Stay On TV: David Duchovny
He came back for The X-Files, and he was amazing on Californication. He’s got Twin Peaks, Better Things, and other shows on his resume. He’s often looked to for new projects and basically, David Duchovny is a television star and that’s where he belongs. Fans appreciate his work much more there, and his jump into movies hasn’t been a memorable one. If we never see him in another movie again, the world will be okay with that because not only would the movie not do well if he was its star, but he’s so naturally fit for TV that his fans really only want to see him there and nowhere else.
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