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TV Stars Make Movies: Jon Hamm Goes Disney, Whither Hendricks, Moss, Cranston?

Television
by Beth Hanna
May 30, 2013 3:16 PM
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AMC "Mad Men."

Don Draper has gone Disney. With the news of Jon Hamm starring in Disney's "Million Dollar Arm," which centers on the true story of one man's Mumbai discovery of the next pitching sensation in baseball, we take a look at four TV stars who are primarily known for one role -- and what their big-screen prospects are.

Who: Jon Hamm.

Known for: "Mad Men"'s slick, philandering, brilliant anti-hero Don Draper.

Recent movie roles: Hamm showed off his comedic chops in "Bridesmaids," playing a ridiculous cad; he also paired with Kristen Wiig for a low-key turn in his and wife Jennifer Westfeldt's indie production "Friends with Kids," as one half of a relationship that goes from hot to icy cold.

Upcoming prospects: "Million Dollar Arm" (above), in which he won't be too far out of his Don Draper wheelhouse, playing a sports agent; and Greg Mottola's promising "Clear History," an HBO film, starring a hirsute Larry David as a marketing exec who sells all his shares after a fight with his boss (Hamm, again going comedic).

Elisabeth Moss in "Top of the Lake"

Who: Elisabeth Moss.

Known for: Bright, ambitious if slightly beleaguered Peggy Olson of "Mad Men"; Moss recently gave us a new strong character with whom to identify her name, detective Robin Griffin of Jane Campion's "Top of the Lake," whose search for a missing teen brings up some dark secrets from her own past. (Check out our TOH! comparison of the two characters here.)

Recent movie roles: Moss hasn't hit her sweet spot on the big screen yet. She had a thankless girlfriend role in Jonah Hill-Russell Brand sandwich "Get Him to the Greek," and was one of the many women floating through Walter Salles' Jack Kerouac adaptation "On the Road."

'Mad' Women: January Jones, Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks

Upcoming prospects: She'll star opposite the ubiquitous Mark Duplass in "The One I Love." At the moment she can revel in her small-screen dual Critics Choice nominations for "Top of the Lake" and "Mad Men," a double nomination that may repeat -- God willing! -- at the Emmys.

Who: Christina Hendricks.

Known for: Strategic, straight-talking -- and yes, very curvy -- Joan from "Mad Men."

Recent movie roles: Hendricks' strongest movie role to date was probably the least seen, as a bitter single mother to Elle Fanning in Sally Potter's lovely coming-of-age film "Ginger & Rosa." She also lent her voice talents to likable Studio Ghibli entry "From Up on Poppy Hill." It's fairly bleak beyond that: She stomached the best friend role in atrocious Sarah Jessica Parker vehicle "I Don't Know How She Does It," and had her head blown off in Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive."

Upcoming prospects: A benefit from the "Drive" role is that it put her in contact with Ryan Gosling, who has given her the lead in his intriguing directorial debut "How to Catch a Monster." She's nabbed a role in fellow "Mad Men" alum John Slattery's directorial debut "God's Pocket," which has Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Turturro on board (Slattery proved his chops by helming some of the best episodes of the last two seasons of "Mad Men"). Also: Campbell Scott's Joan Didion adaptation "A Book of Common Prayer." 

Who: Bryan Cranston.

Known for: Cancer-stricken, ruthless meth alchemist Walter White of "Breaking Bad."

AMC Bryan Cranston in 'Breaking Bad'

Recent movie roles: Cranston's had moderate success transitioning to the big screen, with Best Picture winner "Argo" on his resume (albeit with Cranston in a very supporting role). He's made his way into would-be tentpoles "John Carter" and "Total Recall," and had a slightly meatier role in Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive." Directors obviously like him, but so far have offered him nothing even a fraction as propulsive as Walter White.

Upcoming projects: In the big-screen pipeline he's got Anna Kendrick comedy "Get a Job," and the 2014 remake of "Godzilla." But the Grand Dame on his slate is the final installment of "Breaking Bad," with the much-anticipated second-half of the fifth season premiering this summer. 

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