Funny: Gary Oldman Speaks out against Athletes as Actors

There are a few exceptions to this rule, but for the most part I just cannot stand it when a celebrity gets a movie role BECAUSE THEY ARE FAMOUS.

Yeah, I was going to find some pretty words to dance around that topic and find a better way of delivering the message because this is what I do. But I am going to let Gary Oldman – an actor – share exactly how I feel about seeing athletes in movie roles.

Of course I feel that the same thing can be said about musicians who try to be movie stars too. This is a general rule. Some entertainers have proven themselves outside their initial profession and can justify being hired as actors. And I don’t even mind when a small supporting role is given to a famous person where it works in their favor

Eminem did a great job playing a young upstart rapper from Detroit competing in the seedy club rap battles scene. I heard he spent years researching that role. But he hasn’t been in much else but his own music videos since. And there is likely a reason for it.

Michael Jordan [edited] did a fine job playing a Basketball player in Space Jam alongside animated characters of the Looney Tunes. But Shaquille O’Neal proved to be embarrassingly bad in the feature film Steel, based on a Superman offshoot character.

Exceptions that earned their right to call themselves actors? Will Smith, Jennifer Lopez, Mark Wahlberg and Cher.

If I paint a house, I still cannot call myself a painter. If I sing a song, I am not a musician. Yeah, everyone has to start somewhere, but just because an athlete is popular and good at being an athlete, it doesn’t mean they should get top billing in a movie.

They should earn it, just like real actors do.

Who are YOUR favourite non-actor celebrities that have proven themselves as actors?

18 Responses to Funny: Gary Oldman Speaks out against Athletes as Actors

  1. How do you mix up one of the greatest athletes in the world with Shaq. Space Jam was a great movie starring MICHAEL JORDAN.

    • Michael Jordan is an amazing athlete, but Shaq was as well at his time. Saying that is like saying "How do you confuse one of the greatest actreses in the world with Lucille Ball?!"

  2. My personal favorite is Denzel Washington. I actually had a conversation with a coworker just a couple weeks ago, and she was unaware that Denzel got his start as a football star. I remember scoffing at the idea that he could pull off an acting career when he first started appearing in movies.

    I'll also go on record as saying that I thought Rihanna did pretty well in Battleship. It wasn't a terribly difficult part, and she definitely had some stiff scenes. But, for a first major role, I've seen worse out of professional actors.

    • Yeah, like I had no idea Michael Jordan played baseball too. We were talking about it the other day and everyone started laughing when someone said "Michael Jordan baseball card" but apparently it's true.

  3. Yeah, there's no easier way to throw water on all of your prose than to make a huge error like confusing Michael Jordan for Shaq. That just screams not only "amateur" but "bad amateur."

  4. Here's a few musicians-turned-actors:

    Barbara Streisand
    Frank Sinatra
    Queen Latifah
    Mos Def
    Jack Black
    Harry Connick, Jr.

    And some athletes-turned-actors:

    Bob Uecker
    Alex Kerras
    Carl Weathers
    Fred Dreyer
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (who acted alongside Bruce Lee, no less)
    Jason Lee (former pro skateboarder)
    Jim Brown
    Bubba Smith

    ..and that's just a small portion of a bigger list.

    These guys have earned their chops.

    (And Shaquille O'Neal in Space Jam? That's called Did Not Do The Research.)

  5. Hmmm How about:

    David Bowie (Glam Rocker) – Labryinth, The Hunger
    Will Smith (Rapper) – Independence Day, Pursuit of Happyness
    The Rock (Professional Wrestler) – Rundown, Faster, Walking Tall
    Mark Whalberg (Pop Singer/Model) – Boogie Nights, The Big Hit
    Arnold Swarzenegger (Weight Lifter) – Kindergarten Cop, Terminator 2
    Jason Lee (Professional Skater) – Almost Famous, Chasing Amy
    Justin Timberlake (Bubblegum Pop Singer) – Social Network, Friends with Benefits
    Rowdy Roddy Piper (Professional Wrestler) – They Live! – that alone makes him worthy.
    Mickey Rourke (Amateur Boxer) – Sin City, The Wrestler
    Ken Jeong (Doctor) – The Hangover, Community
    Vinnie Jones (Futballer) – Snatch, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrells
    Alex Shafer (Amateur Wrestler) – Win Win
    Sean Combs (Rapper) – Made, Get Him to the Greek
    Dolly Parton (Country Singer) – 9 to 5, Steel Magnolias
    Greg Kinnear (Broadcast Journalist) – Little Miss Sunshine, Somethings Got to GIve
    Ice Cube (Rapper) – Boyz in the Hood, Friday
    Jennifer Hudson (R&B Singer) – Dreamgirls
    Milla Jovovich (Model) – Dazed and Confused, The Fifth Element

    It gets kind of tough to say what qualifies and doesn't as a trained actor. Buschemi was a firefighter and then there are the countless stand-up comics who go on to be actors. Let alone the countless female actresses that started as models and ended up as actresses – Colbie Smulders, Ali Larter, Rebecca Romijn, Famke Janssen, Estella Warren, Brooke Shields, Kathy Ireland, Uma Thurman, Elizabeth Hurley, Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, etc etc. Or what about writers that end up actors like Tina Fey, Andy Richter, John Stewart, Mindy Kaling, etc.

  6. Steel was a terrible movie and Shaq was not really meant to be that kind of actor. No actor could have saved the Steel movies and it was written. I blame the writers more than Shaq. Some people have that personality to where acting works and some don't. MJ was not a great actor either but he role did not require him to do much. You can't the same comparisons for everybody. Denzel can actually ball. There are actual actors that are good at sports but some were too short and went in a different direction.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.