There was a time when it was a rare occurrence to see a true triple threat in show business. A triple threat used to mean a singer/dance/actor. These days, it might mean rapper/actor/fashion designer (PDiddy) or reality star/socialite/business owner (Kim Kardashian) or singer /actress/dancer plus designer/producer/spokesmodel (Jennifer Lopez). This type of multi-tasking seems to have become the norm rather than the exception in show business. It got me to thinking (again), when did just being a movie star, or a singer or whatever, become “not enough?” Is it no longer acceptable to do one thing really well? Must everyone be a “brand?”
I often wonder how other actors, I mean serious actors who have studied their craft, feel about this? For instance, let’s pretend you are an accomplished actor, between gigs, looking for work, interviewing, going to callbacks, etcetera. You turn on your TV, and someone, say NeNe Leaks, is being featured on Entertainment Tonight. No offense meant to Ms. Leaks because she is doing her thing! She is a former stripper turned reality star, turned socialite, turned primetime TV actress. She is on three television shows, Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Fox’s Glee in a recurring guest role, and on NBC’s The New Normal. That’s two roles that could have gone to, I won’t say “legitimate” actors, but maybe two more seasoned actors… I guess my question is, “Is it fair?” I mean do we really want to see our favorite singers acting in movies?
Apparently we do according to some opening weekend box office takes. For the weekend of Jan. 4-6, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D starring R&B singer Trey Songz was #1, with comedian/Grammy award-winning singer/Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx at #2 in Django. In addition, that same weekend, the #5 movie was Parental Guidance starring Tony/Golden Globe/Emmy award-winning comedian Billy Crystal and Oscar-nominated/Golden Globe/3xGrammy/Emmy/Tony award-winning performer Bette Midler. In a twist on that theme, the #4 movie, MUSICAL Les Miserables starred an ensemble of great actors that we didn’t even know could sing except for Tony award-winner Hugh Jackman.
Should we all just stay in our lane and do what we do best? That’s how it is for most of us in the real world. Maybe we are just playing it safe… There is a series of Nexium commercials that feature our doctors showing up to do our jobs. Of course it would never happen, but it’s funny to think about. Take a look at one…