Seven TV Stars at the Globes – But Not For TV

Matthew McConaughey. Clive Owen. Viola Davis. Maggie Gyllenhaal. When the stars stroll down the red carpet at the Beverly Hilton Hotel before the 72nd Annual Golden Globes on Sunday, film stars such as the rarified crowd listed above will be in attendance as nominees – but not for film. The number of actors and actresses broadening their resume to include prestige televisions series is ever growing, and much discussed.

But what about those who went the other, more “traditional” route – a breakout TV part first, then onto film? This year’s crop of Best Actor and Best Actress film nominees has its fair share of some of our past (and present) favorites of the small screen. Here are a few faces who made their mark on television before snagging one of this year’s best film roles.

Benedict Cumberbatch: Nobody is better at playing geniuses than the man with the most British of all British names. The Internet’s boyfriend has broken a lot of hearts within his fandom of late with the one-two punch of his engagement and impending fatherhood, so perhaps it’s good timing that his role as mathematical genius Alan Turing in The Imitation Game is earning him critical acclaim and wider recognition. Cumberbatch may boast an impressive film resume now, but television was responsible for his rapid-fire rise to fame. To be sure, his breakout role came in 2010 as the calculating, brilliant, yet borderline sociopathic Sherlock Holmes in Steven Moffat’s Sherlock, a modern-day adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic stories. Yet even before that, Cumberbatch turned heads with his interpretation of Stephen Hawking in the BAFTA-nominated TV movie, Hawking.

Helen Mirren: Oscar winner (for The Queen in 2006) Mirren is no stranger to awards nominations for her superb film work . She first came to critical notice for her heartrending performance in 1984’s Cal, for which she won Best Actress at Cannes. But, it was her depiction of prickly DCI Jane Tennison in the long-running British television program Prime Suspect that made Mirren a household name. Tennison – a complicated, driven, unflinching woman fighting to keep her foothold in a male-dominated field – was certain to be a star-making turn in the right hands, and Mirren seized the role with aplomb. She was so attached to the character that she insisted the character not die at the end of the seventh miniseries, but rather live and give some hope to the viewers who loyally followed her for fifteen years.

Julianne Moore: The clever and versatile Moore is nominated for not one, but two Best Actress Golden Globes (as a woman battling early-onset Altzheimer’s in Still Alice in the Drama category and as a narcissistic actress in the dark comedy Maps to the Stars). What most people don’t know is that Moore’s first on-screen role was as the seventh version of Frannie Hughes on the CBS soap As the World Turns. As Frannie – and her estranged British twin, Sabrina – Moore won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Ingenue in a Drama Series in 1988. A perennial good sport, Moore returned to the show for a cameo appearance in the show’s final season in 2010.

Steve Carell: There’s no trace of Carell’s overeager, people-pleasing, aspiring World’s Best Boss Michael Scott in Foxcatcher‘s twisted John Du Pont. Carell’s Golden Globe winning performance in The Office allowed him to work his comedic chops, yes, but also gave him plenty of chances to show his more sensitive and dramatic side. The combination clearly prepared him well for his series of respected funny-but-serious turns in films like Dan in Real Life, Little Miss Sunshine, and Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Jennifer Aniston: “The Rachel”: THE haircut of the 1990’s, modeled after the carefully coifed head of Rachel Green, the reformed mean girl who captured the heart of Ross Geller on the sitcom juggernaut, Friends. Aniston won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for the role, and despite her steady work in film after the show’s end in 2004, she’s never reached the same level of success. Although her raw performance of a desperately poor woman in 2002’s The Good Girl was fascinating, until now she hasn’t chosen any role as equally interesting. As a woman suffering from chronic pain in this year’s Cake, Aniston finally has a chance to earn some accolades and prove that she still has the ability to enthrall the nation.

Bill Murray: Before Dr. Peter Venkman, before Groundhog Day, before Wes Anderson’s filmography, there was Saturday Night Live. Murray joined the cast in 1977, after Chevy Chase’s departure, and for the next three seasons, he was part of an ensemble that produced some of the funniest sketches to ever grace a television screen. His deadpan delivery and ability to be endearingly sleazy made him a good fit with the rest of the cast, and continue to be his trademark in his impressive work on the big screen. This year’s entry, as a misanthrope turned babysitter in St. Vincent, is no exception.

J.K. Simmons: Prestige TV was a fledgling concept when Oz debuted on HBO in 1997. As white supremacist ringleader Vernon Schillinger, Simmons made a terrifying villain largely due to the fact that he didn’t play him as a villain, but as the hero of Vernon’s own personal story. It’s the same eye for the character’s internal life that made him as equally intimidating as a never-satisfied, cruel jazz band director in Whiplash that earned him a nomination this year. Oz may be his best TV role to date, but it isn’t the only show on which Simmons found success; he also had memorable turns on Law & Order and The Closer.