During the Spring of 2010, Lauren Graham visited the 10! Show on NBC in Philadelphia to promote her show, Parenthood after not having a main presence on the tube since The WB's "Gilmore Girls" came to an end back in 2007. This interview was enlightening on not only what she thinks about her own abilities and/or limitations in the entertainment industry but also whether there truly is an imbalance of job opportunities between television and movies, for women, specifically actresses.
When asked if she wanted to get back into television or did the Parenthood role speak to her, Lauren Graham told the host that her decision to join the NBC cast was based on a combination of those factors. Graham also added, "I think the best jobs for actresses are on television in general, unless you're Julia Roberts".
Is this really true? I don't think so. Then again, I'm not Lauren Graham so what do I know? Maybe she can find better roles on television than in movies....or maybe there is something to what she's saying, not the whole "Julia Roberts" part but acting roles in general. During an appearance on ABC's The View, actress Marg Helgenberger who stars in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation also stated that there are more roles for women in television than there are available in film. Based on the fact that two different women (who work for different networks and were interviewed on two different types of TV shows) made similar statements in the same week, maybe there IS an imbalance of opportunities between the two industries, as Lauren Graham mentioned.
As a Gilmore Girls and Lauren Graham fan, her comments still made me sad and wonder if she's selling herself a little short.
Here are three ways, from a TV fan's perspective, in which Lauren Graham could possibly find more roles in film so that she doesn't continue to believe that television is her only or more promising option.
1. The Best roles are not on Television. Steady roles are on television. Take a walk down the Jennifer Aniston path. During the rein of Friends on NBC, there was probably no reason for actress Jennifer Aniston to be concerned with landing film roles because she was not only part of the cast of a popular show, but she also had a lucrative job at the moment (weren't those Friends cast members making like $1 million each per episode or something?) so of course, in that position it could be easy to believe that the best roles are on television. The question though is.....where is Aniston working now that Friends is over? I haven't noticed her dominating television recently. Why? Because she's busy landing film roles.
Aniston seems to be finding jobs just fine in film, in roles that are probably better in quality than what she's been offered in television since departing from her Friends and she doesn't seem to be worried about Julia Roberts either. Isn't there enough room for a variety of talent? Actresses may have great roles on television but reality shows still seem to dominate the channels, which does not add much substance to broadcast networks in terms of quality program options for both cast members and TV audiences.
2. Star in Comedy Movies
Lauren Graham may be great in comedy movies. Why stop at Bad Santa or Evan Almighty when it's clear that comedy seems to be your thing? I'd likely go to the movie theater to watch Lauren Graham in the next "Meet the Parents" spin-off or it would be nice to see her work with Steve Carell, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell or even Adam Sandler.
3. Do something Daring, or at the very least, something Different (really different, not just raising a new set of kids on another TV network).
As of 2011, I've watched up to three different programs where Lauren Graham essentially had the same role.....a single mom. The thing is, all of these roles were not on television (cue The Answer Man if you don't believe me) so maybe it's time for her to try a new character that doesn't come with a dead-beat dad, homework help and college tours.
Maybe she could benefit from playing a professional woman with no children (Sarah Jessica Parker in Smart People, anyone?), a psychotic lesbian, a married woman with a family or anything other than many of her previous roles that depict a woman who had a child too early and has to try and figure out how to raise this child on her own. It seems that the story has been told already, many times over with different kids but the same mom...Lauren Graham. I think we get it. She can play a single mom. What else is in store for Lauren Graham, not the mom, but the actress?
Jessica Biel's transition from television (7th Heaven) to film (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Blade: Trinity) didn't seem to be that difficult. Mila Kunis also took her That 70's Show fame on the road, gaining film roles that put her next to best of 'em in the business such as The Book of Eli opposite Academy Award Winner, Denzel Washington and The Black Swan next to industry darling, Natalie Portman, which Kunis has been getting lots of media attention for over the last 12 months.
The bottom line is, everyone does not have to be Julia Roberts and even Julia Roberts started somewhere (anyone watch Satisfaction?). Actresses such as Lauren Graham can still find the "best" movie roles, and may even win huge awards.....the possibilities are out there.
Hey, if all else fails, call Tyler Perry. He seems to be on a movie making roll these days. Side note: Can you believe he got that Alex Cross role for the next James Patterson movie, right up from under Morgan Freeman? SMH!
His bankrolling skills also got Gabourey Sidibe an Oscar for Best Actress (see Precious) and hey, while Graham may think she's no Julia Roberts.....there may be plenty of TV fans and movie fans who think Sidibe is no Lauren Graham, so there you go!
Watch the Full Lauren Graham Interview here:
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