Saturday, August 29, 2009

More actresses who should think small (screen)

This week, Showtime announced that it was producing a new sitcom called "The C Word," starring acclaimed film and theater actress Laura Linney. This makes Linney the latest in an increasingly long list of talented actresses who, after finding only modest success on the big screen, have migrating to TV seeking a steady paycheck and meatier roles. She joins the likes of Glenn Close, Holly Hunter, Toni Collette and many others. Even acclaimed British actress Miranda Richardson ("The Crying Game") is making the AMC series "Rubicon."
So who do you think will be the next fabulous but under-appreciated actress to come to TV? Below is a list of the ladies I'd most like to see migrate.
1. Rene Russo: Every time I see the movie "Major League" on TV, I turn to my husband and say "What ever happened to Rene Russo?" I still wonder. Through the late 80's and mid-90's, Russo was a solid female sidekick in a series of comedies and thrillers, including "In The Line of Fire," "Outbreak," "Ransom," and two "Lethal Weapon" movies. Where did she go? Does she still act? I repeat -- WHAT HAPPENED TO HER?
2. Bridget Fonda: One of my favorite movies of all time is "Jackie Brown." And yes, that movie is all about the underrated talents of Pam Grier and Robert Forster. But Fonda, playing a persistently stoned beach bunny, is fantastic. She was so funny and tough that we saw that there was a lot more going on with this vapid character than we realized. She's pretty darn good in a bunch of other movies as well, including "Singles" and "It Could Happen to You." Yet for several years, she's been MIA. Was it by choice? What is she doing now? I'd hate to think she's quit acting or, worse, languishing in direct-to-DVD movies. Let's find this woman a sharp cable dramedy worth of her talents -- maybe something like Showtime's "Nurse Jackie." Just don't make her a mom on a treacly teen drama. She deserves better.
3. Linda Fiorentino: My guess is that Linda Fiorentino's portrayal of a man-eating crook in "The Last Seduction" dissuaded a LOT of men from trying to pick up women in bars. Playing a smart, evil, sexually aggressive character, Fiorentino was electric. Yet the movies had no idea what to do with her. So how about TV? I see her playing a tough but sexy businesswoman with a complicated personal life, possibly on FX. She could totally do it. Let's bring her back!
4. Uma Thurman: Ok, face it -- aside from Quentin Tarantino, NO ONE in the movie industry knows what to do with this lady. She's too blond, too tall, too beautiful and too talented. So she gets lost in the shuffle or (shudder) shoved into silly crap like "My Super Ex-Girlfriend." Uma might be a bit too intimidating for the small screen, but it would be so exciting to see her tackle a rich, complicated role. Someone please write it for her.
5. Frances McDormand: Of the women on this list, she's the one who has done the best for herself, winning an Oscar for her unforgettable work in "Fargo" and landing steady supporting work ever since. But why must she be SUPPORTING? Why can't she be the star again? I have a feeling that TV would kill to have this gifted, acclaimed woman headlining a series. Why hasn't it happened yet? It needs to happen now!

Who do you think should make the jump from movies to TV?

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