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.