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Michael Weatherly: TV Actor

In a recent article that I did about Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, some of the comments said they were okay actors, more suited for TV than film. It’s a bit surprising that people still tend to think lesser of television actors than they do film actors. That is really unfair. What is not shown on the small screen, or thought about, is the hard work and very little preparation television actors get, yet we do not fail to nail them to the wall if they stink the joint up. If you think soap opera actors are rank amateurs, go ahead and walk a mile in their shoes. What they have to do and the little time they have to do it in, they earn their stripes pretty quickly. As well, it may look easy, but only because they have worked their rear ends off and put the time in to get where they are.

Michael Weatherly is a good example to my point. He has made his name on TV. One of the stars of NCIS, Weatherly portrays Anthony DiNozzo on the massively popular show. Before that, he was Logan Cale on the Fox show, Dark Angel, starring opposite future movie babe, Jessica Alba. Some would call Weatherly a TV actor (disparagingly so?) and, on the basis of his filmography, you would be correct. Do actors like Michael Weatherly and, for that matter, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki have the ability to be movie stars? If they do, why aren’t they?

A lot of actors have made the transition from the small screen to the big screen, notably George Clooney, Johnny Depp, among countless others. Weatherly, Ackles and Padalecki more than have the ability to transition to the big screen. There are, no doubt, a variety of reasons they don’t. Chief among them is, in spite of all the work, an actor is, at least guaranteed a steady paycheck and won’t have to traipse around the country and the world to earn it. Also, when one considers that actors on television regularly work fourteen-hour days, it is no surprise that, when they get done filming, the last thing they want to do is film a movie. Weatherly’s lack of a large film resume is certainly excusable when you factor in that he has children, as well. But does this make him less of an actor than, say, Channing Tatum? I would take Weatherly in a second, as I would Ackles and Padalecki. Look at Justified and Walton Goggins. His ability is undeniable, yet was terrible in Machete Kills and G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

Of course, the moment dictates an actor’s course as much as anything. You go were the jobs are. We should appreciate actors like Weatherly, Goggins, Ackles and Padalecki more. They are of far more value to the entertainment world than the Daniel Day-Lewises.


Tags: Michael Weatherly NCIS

  • Kadysn

    Anyone who says Ackles and Padalecki, as well as Weatherly, are merely “ok” actors should have their heads examined. These men are at the top of their game consistently, and just when you think you’ve seen their best, they surprise you with something even better. I’d put them up against ANY A-list actor and these men would be the best. Just because they aren’t in the movie theaters often doesn’t mean they don’t have the talent to do so.

    • Trina S

      I think it’s weird when people put Jared, Jensen and Michael Weatherly in the same bag. Both Jensen and Michael’s chracters are “bad boys”. Which is really easy to play, you just have to be funny and make smart ass comments. Jared deserves more, because he actually had to play many versions of Sam. He showed that he has much wider range than Jensen or Michael. I know I’m gonna get hate for this, but as Jared fan it frustrates me, because there’s always articles where people are praising Jensen and I’m always sitting and saying to myself: What about Jared? And there’s finally article praising Jared and of course they have to compare him to Micheal Weatherly and ruin the whole thing for me.

      • Kadysn

        I completely get what you’re saying. Jared never gets the praise or recognition he deserves. I’m not just saying that because I like him because I love Jensen too, but Jared is every bit as talented as Jensen is.

        • Trina S

          I know right? Jared is incredibly talented actor. Everybody seem to praise his personality ( don’t get me wrong, Jared is amazing person), and his acting gets overlooked. I used to think it was because SPN is genre show, but people do praise Jensen so I don’t understand why Jared gets no love. I hope he will get some interesting project in the future so he can show everybody how amazing actor he is.

      • TVTrance

        Jared has gotten the vast majority of showy storylines over the course of the series while Jensen has mostly been the support guy. The fact that Jensen still shines despite being given mostly sidekick material speaks to his charisma and talent and his remarkable ability to rise above the material. No one ever calls Jensen wallpaper in his scenes even if Dean spends most of a season making Sam soup and mopping his supernaturally fevered brow. I mean even Carver has said that Dean is boring but he is still by far the most popular character on the show so when the character’s writer deliberately writes him as “boring,” all credit must go to the actor.

  • Mel

    Seriously? Nothing against Jared, but saying that it’s “easy” to play “bad boys” is absurd. First of all, if you think Weatherly’s Tony DiNozzo is *only* a bad boy, you obviously don’t know the character at all. DiNozzo is the funny fratboy on the surface, but anyone who’s watched the show for eleven years knows that he’s a multi-layered character, and that Michael Weatherly is adept at playing the angst, drama and many complexities of the character with great depth. Weatherly has always been a very under-rated actor. I understand we all have our favorites, but to blindly belittle the talents of others in order to put *your* fav up on a pedestal, is just narrow-minded and petty.

  • Lizvh

    I don’t know about Padalecki, but as a huge soap opera fan, I am happy to say that both Ackles and Weatherly began their careers on soap operas, as did many famous TV and movie actors.

  • Lisa Liscoumb

    Another thing about TV vs. movies – with a movie, once the movie is over, the character is done (discounting sequels of course). With TV, especially with long-running series such as NCIS and Supernatural, the actors have to come up with a way to keep the characters fresh day after day, year after year.