At 58, Jeff Daniels has made more than 40 movies, been nominated for three film
That changed Thursday, when the actor scored a lead actor in a drama nomination for his portrayal of anchor Will McAvoy on HBO's fictional cable-journalism series
Daniels leads a pack of film performers who have caught the television academy's eye with their move to the small screen. Although the shift has been underway for several years, it perhaps reached a tipping point at the
"We all follow the quality. It was indie film for a while, and now it's cable," Daniels said in an interview Thursday from his home in Michigan. "The creative freedom these shows offer is why many of us are going there."
Everywhere one looked on the Emmy list there was an iconic cinematic character — Tony Montana (Al Pacino, nominated for lead actor in a movie/miniseries for "Phil Spector"), "Alien's" Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver, lead actor in a movie/miniseries for
There was a queen,
To say nothing, of course, of Keyser Söze. Kevin Spacey had won two
In a further sign of this commingling, the Liberace biopic "Candelabra," which director Steven Soderbergh had initially sought to make as a theatrical feature, ended up on HBO. The movie garnered 15 nominations — becoming the rare Emmy contender to premiere at the
Performers say the proliferation of cable and other platforms for high-end, shorter-run series has made the crossover easier. To act on TV once meant a 24-hour commitment to a network show, often for years at a time. Film actors now can dip in to 10 or 12 episodes — or in the case of HBO's spate of prestige movies, not even that.
The fact that many theatrical films are now watched soon after on small screens — including laptops and mobile devices — has also led to the leakage, as actors say that TV roles have pretty much been stripped of any stigma.
"The crossover is easier now because technology has changed the way we watch television and film," said Farmiga, who also noted that "Bates'" 10-episode run on A&E made for what "didn't feel like a massive commitment."
That doesn't necessarily mean TV is easy for actors accustomed to a big-screen schedule. "With film, you know it's a 90-page script. It's a beginning, middle and end, and you're done. With a show like ours, it's like you're making a 10-hour movie," Daniels said. "[Co-star]
There are benefits, though. For one thing, when many of the actors turn up to the Emmys ceremony in September, they'll also have new films to promote.
Benedict Cumberbatch, nominated for lead actor in a miniseries/movie for "Parade's End," stars in the fall awards hopeful "12 Years a Slave," while
That double-dipping is particularly pointed in Mirren's case. Even as she was being nominated for her role in "Spector," the actress was preparing to open her summer action-comedy "Reds 2," which hits U.S. theaters Friday.
Times staff writer Amy Kaufman contributed to this report