Monday, July 18, 2011
Cinematic Baggage and the Television Star
by Rachael Nisenkier
(a joint article with My Cinema)
Sometimes it’s fun when your favorite TV star pops up in a movie (I know I got a little thrill every time I heard the erst-while Chuck’s voice coming out of Flynn Ryder's mouth in last year’s Disney offering Tangled). And sometimes you find yourself wondering, “Why is McDreamy being so mean to Shia LaBeouf?” Between Serena VanderWoodsen in The Green Lantern, McDreamy in Transformers, Charlie Kelly in Horrible Bosses, and Don Draper in Bridesmaids, I’ve spent more time than I am comfortable with this summer being incapable of keeping my TV world and my cinematic world separate.
Sometimes I forget about the actors' other roles (I certainly wasn’t thinking about Rachel Green while watching Jennifer Aniston prance around half naked in Horrible Bosses) and sometimes it adds to the experience (see also Charlie Day’s legal-speak rant). But sometimes it just makes me way harder on the characters and the actors than I would otherwise be.
I say all this in preparation for Cowboys and Aliens, where the erstwhile 13 and Marissa’s lesbian lover will be joining with James Bond to fight alongside Han Solo. To what extent are we capable of dropping off our cinematic baggage when we take on a new venture? And is it our fault, as the viewer, for being incapable of forgetting about roles both iconic and annoying, or the actor’s for not making us forget them? What performances have you found marred by what you’ve already seen of an actor or actress?