“I didn’t really want to do something unless I had a voice beyond just being an actor,” Zooey Deschanel told Variety recently about her decision to take on the hit Fox sitcom "New Girl." “I was always wary about doing television, just because you have to play the same character for a long period of time. Being a producer gave me the confidence to know that it would be a dialogue, and I wouldn’t just be told what to do.” And she's not the only actor seeing creative value in small screen endeavours.
Tom Hardy—who will appear in the second season of U.K. gangster show "Peaky Blinders" and is set to star in "Taboo" from "Locke" writer/director Steven Knight—recently signed a first look deal between his production company Hardy Son and Baker and NBC Universal International, and made it clear that these days, film is getting a "kick in the balls" from TV. And while the money involved might not be the same, like Deschanel, Hardy relishes the idea of being a participant in the creative direction of a show.
“I would rather take that £18m budget and produce a TV series where an idea can fully flourish, rather than see it have to tick certain boxes and get cut into something it was never meant to be,” Hardy told Screen Daily. And not only that, Hardy revealed that he's developing a show that essentially emulates the "True Detective" model, that will enable him to secure top tier creatives.
“You get a higher level of talent who don’t want to commit to a longterm deal,” he said about the approach.
This is all just more evidence of the growing divide between TV and film, where both are using their resources—both big and small—to achieve different ends. For the studios, big money means big blockbusters more often these days, while TV divisions are using their boundaries to push the envelope with the kinds of stories they tell. Basically, the smaller the stakes involved, the greater risk you can take, leading to more interesting storytelling, which in turn is more interesting for actors (and directors, writers, etc.).
What do you think? Is Hardy right on? Let us know below.