4 TV Stars That Made It on the Big Screen

Marianna Massey/Getty Images

Marianna Massey/Getty Images

These days, the line between television and film have blurred. Movie quality stories have made their way to the small screen, and movie stars like Kevin Spacey, Halle Berry, and Matthew McConaughey have turned to TV to dig in to meaty roles. Everyone knows that A-listers like George Clooney, Jennifer Aniston, and Will Ferrell got their start on television. But the boob tube still churns out its fair share of successful movie actors to this day. Here are four TV actors who’ve made a splash in the cinema this year.

1. Chris Pratt

Between voicing the lead role of Emmett in The Lego Movie and acting as Star Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy, this Virginia native is having a big year on the big screen. But Chris Pratt made his home on the small screen for over a decade between smaller cinematic roles. In the late 1990s, he starred in the critically acclaimed drama Everwood. More recently, he’s kept fans laughing as Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation. It remains to be seen whether he’ll continue to take on TV roles now that his film career has taken off.

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

2. Kristen Bell

Not many actresses can claim to be an actual Disney Princess — but Kristen Bell managed that feat with her turn voicing Anna in last year’s explosively successful Frozen. But before she broke box office records, she broke ground — and won over critics — on TV. She guest starred on shows like Everwood and The Shield before landing a recurring role on Deadwood. From 2004 to 2007, she played the titular role, a high-school private eye, in the cult hit Veronica Mars — a part she reprised in last year’s successful independent film reboot of the same name. She’s never been able to completely abandon TV, though. In between film roles, she’s co-starred in the Showtime series House of Lies since 2012.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

3. Shailene Woodley

She’s starred in two of last year’s most successful films — the dystopian teen sci-fi flick Divergent and the tear-jerking romance The Fault in Our Stars. But Shailene Woodley began her career in the early 2000s on the popular teen drama, The O.C. After guest starring on the FOX series, she booked other small guest appearances before landing a starring role as Amy on ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager. She left TV behind after a breakthrough performance in the Oscar nominated movie The Descendents.

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

4. Jason Segel

He’s made waves both on the big screen in the hit Muppet reboot and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and on TV as Marshall in CBS’s How I Met Your Mother. But before this Sex Tape comedian was splitting time between the two, he first made a name for himself on the critically acclaimed teen dramedy, Freaks and Geeks. While he took on bit parts in films, he continued to earn his chops with a recurring guest role on CSI and a well-regarded performance as an upperclassman on the short-lived series Undeclared. Since How I Met Your Mother wrapped earlier this year, only time will tell if Segel will continue his forays into television or focus more heavily on film.

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