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Buffy The Vampire SlayerThe Buffy Cast Is Very Good, But Can They Act On Movies ?
Friday 13 August 2004, by Webmaster
Comedy/Cult Movies Guide Sarah Bennett has opinions and she’s not afraid to tell Hollywood just how she feels about their so-called “comedies” which lately have been a collection of gross-outs and Animal House-retreads. Her reviews are must-reads before you spend your $10 this weekend to go see a "film." Here she answers my questions about how-ready-for-the-silver-screen some of today’s TV stars are.
I’ve always had trouble watching TV stars in movies. I see Ted Danson and I’ll think “Hey it’s Sam Malone, shouldn’t he be behind the bar?” Or I’ll see Michael J. Fox doing coke in the bathroom of a Manhattan club circa 1984 in "Bright Lights, Big City" and wonder where it all went wrong for Alex P. Keaton.
[Sarah Bennett] I think the reason a lot of TV actors are good for TV is that they don’t often don’t have the charisma that movie stars do. Obviously, this isn’t always true- a lot of film stars start their careers on the small screen, even in soaps. But for every Johnny Depp or George Clooney, you have a million Ted Dansons or Michael J Foxes, who do broad, TV shtick well that never transfers to the big screen. The reason so many young Disney TV stars are crossing over so successfully is that the vehicles they star in ("The Lizzie McGuire Movie," "What A Girl Wants") are usually nothing more than the equivalent of made-for-TV-for-movie specials.
Let’s talk "Buffy." We’ve got Alyson Hannigan and SMG and the biggest names to come out of that show...
[Sarah] As much as I didn’t like "Cruel Intentions," I can’t deny that the part SMG plays in that movie is nothing like Buffy.
Unfortunately, as much as I like her, Alyson Hannigan has a very distinct acting style that might make it hard for her to break out of the Willow mold. SMG, lucky for her, seems to have a bit more versatility.
Anyone else on the Buffy cast have a good shot at sustaining a movie career? James Marsters?
[Sarah] Considering that James Marsters is over 40 years old (no, really), my hopes aren’t too high. In a strange way, I have hope for Nicholas Brendan, even if his biggest screen role to date was in "Psycho Beach Party."
Any movie actors you’d like to see on TV?
[Sarah] I honestly can’t think of one. Such is the power of overexposure. The fact is, many TV actors, even beloved ones, aren’t that good. Acting for TV often isn’t very demanding; the jokes are broad, the drama over the top, and it’s often as easy to act as it is to watch. Sometimes the writing is so bad that not being terrible is actually a challenge, which is why so many of our best actresses start in soaps. This is not to say that movies are usually masterpieces, but the writing is still undeniably different, if only because it’s harder to have an audience know and like your character in 90 minutes than it is in a 22. In turn, the acting required for movies is more demanding, which is why a lot of TV actors don’t make the transition so well. Then again, film actors do a few bad movies and they’re screwed, where as Ted Danson always has "Becker."
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