The film industry can often be an uncertain one. One minute, actors are at the top of their game, and the next thing they know, they aren’t getting as many calls as they used to. Being a woman in Hollywood is especially difficult, it is almost as if the industry easily disposes of actresses when they reach a certain age, regardless of what they can bring to the table.
Fortunately, there is always television. Gone are the days when television actors were stigmatized. Thanks to high-quality programming, a good number of Hollywood talents are now flocking to the small screen. Aside from A-listers like Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, Explore Talent is putting the spotlight on underrated movie actresses who migrated to television and finally found success with the roles they chose.
5 Underrated Movie Actresses Who Found Great Roles in TV
1. Vera Farmiga in Bates Motel
Despite garnering her first and only Oscar nomination for Up in the Air, Vera Farmiga continues to be one of the most underrated movie actresses in Hollywood. Her biggest movie role was playing a real-life paranormal investigator in the Conjuring film series.
However, Farmiga’s portrayal of Norma Bates in the Psycho prequel, Bates Motel, managed to overshadow anything she’s ever done on the big screen. She serves as a perfect scene partner for Freddie Highmore with her signature brand of tragic comedy.
2. Taraji P. Henson in Empire
A lot of people have said that without Taraji P. Henson, Empire would not be the hit TV series it is today. As Cookie Lyon, Henson is fierce, stylish, and powerful. It is almost as if the role was written specifically for her. Prior to playing Cookie, Henson was ridiculously underestimated by Hollywood with only a few supporting roles under her belt. After Empire became a hit, Henson stepped into bigger roles, such as Katherine Johnson in the Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures.
3. Jessica Lange in American Horror Story
Like many underrated movie actresses of her age, Lange found more success on stage and television than in films. She appeared on the Fox television anthology American Horror Story for four seasons and was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the show. Despite the plot and script being ridiculous and sometimes trashy, Lange remains fully committed to each role she plays.
4. Lena Headey in Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones fans may not know that Lena Headey has been around the Hollywood circuit for more than two decades already. However, she did not get mainstream success until the 2006 movie 300, where she played Spartan queen Gorgo. The film’s box office success did not guarantee more job opportunities for Headey, though, so she turned to television to wear the crown of the wine-loving queen Cersei in HBO’s Game of Thrones.
As Cersei, Headey became the woman audiences loved to hate. Her portrayal of the power hungry queen is a pleasure to watch onscreen. Fans are hoping to see Headey take on more roles when the series comes to a close in 2018.
5. Robin Wright in House of Cards
Robin Wright gained attention for the films Princess Bride and Forrest Gump back in the early nineties. But after her tumultuous on-and-off relationship with actor Sean Penn, Wright retreated from the spotlight. She bounced back with the Netflix series House of Cards in 2013. Starring opposite a seasoned performer like Kevin Spacey may be a challenge for many actors, but Wright manages to counter his actions with an extraordinary amount of grace and subtlety.