The Tony Awards are the biggest night in theater, but they've often struggled to attract viewers who are more interested in TV or movies as their primary source of entertainment. This year, though, they shouldn't have any trouble attracting an audience full of binge-watchers and moviegoers, as the 2014 nominations are filled with familiar faces. Whether you're going through Breaking Bad withdrawal or you haven't been stopped singing the score to Frozen in months or you're just sick of waiting for the final installment of The Hobbit franchise to hit theaters, this year's Tony Awards should cater to all of your interests.
However, it's not all good news for the Hollywood stars who decided to tread the boards this year. Plenty of big name actors were left off the list of nominees, resulting in reactions of shock (Are the Tony voters just not big Harry Potter fans?) and disbelief (No, McKellan and Stewart have to be here somewhere. I'll check again). We've gathered up all of the Tony nominations and snubs for our favorite Hollywood stars into one handy guide, so you'll be ready to place your bets by the time the awards roll around June 8th.
Bryan Cranston We Know Him For: His award winning turn as science teacher turned meth kingpin Walter White on Breaking Bad. He is the one who knocks. Nominated For: Best Leading Actor in a Play for his role as President Lyndon B. Johnson in All the Way Previous Nominations: None This Makes Up For: Being shot full of holes at the end of Breaking Bad; the threat of losing an Emmy to the McConaissance
Chris O'Dowd We Know Him For: Romancing Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids; providing the world's worst tech support in The I.T. Crowd Nominated For: Best Leading Actor in a Play as the gentle giant Lennie in Of Mice and Men Previous Nominations: None This Makes Up For: That time he had to pretend to be disabled during a disastrous night at the theater
Tony Shalhoub We Know Him For: Playing the obsessive-compulsive detective Adrian Monk on Monk Nominated For: Best Leading Actor in a Play for playing theater icon Moss Hart in Act One Previous Nominations: Two Best Featured Actor in a Play nods: in 1992 for Conversations with My Father and 2013 for Golden Boy This Makes Up For: Years of having to clean up after people in the middle of murder investigations
Tyne Daly We Know Her For: Being one half of the most famous female cop duo on television, Mary Beth Lacey on Cagney and Lacey Nominated For: Best Leading Actress in a Play for her turn as the grieving mother of an AIDS victim in Mothers and Sons Previous Nominations/Wins: One Best Leading Actress in a Musical win for 1989's Gypsy and one 2006 Best Featured Actress in a Play nomination for Rabbit Hole This Makes Up For: Not immediately being offered a guest star stint on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Come on, one of Terry's twins is named after her!
Neil Patrick Harris We Know Him For: Playing the legen - wait for it! - dary Barney Stinson on How I Met Your MotherNominated For: Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his in-your-face performance in Hedwig and the Angry Inch Previous Nominations: None, but he did host the awards four times. This Makes Up For: That disaster of a How I Met Your Mother series finale. Kind of.
Sutton Foster We Know Her For: Starring in the cult ABC Family hit show Bunheads, playing Brett’s sign-flipping girlfriend Coco on Flight of the Concords Nominated For: Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her role as Violet, a Southern girl travelling to get televangelist to heal her terrible scars in Violet Previous Nominations/Wins: Three nominations and two wins, both for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for 2002's Throughly Modern Millie and 2011's Anything Goes This Makes Up For: The fact that Bunheads was cancelled far too soon. They will never take Khaleesi's dragons!
Idina Menzel We Know Her For: Voicing Elsa in Frozen, playing Rachel Berry's birth mother, Shelby Corcoran on Glee, her alter ego, Adele Dazeem Nominated For: Best Leading Actress in a Musical for playing Elizabeth, a woman struggling with the different paths her life could take in If/Then Previous Nominations/Wins: One nomination in 1996 for Rent and one win for playing Elphaba in 2004's Wicked This Makes Up For: John Travolta's Oscars flub; everyone having "Let It Go" stuck in our heads for the past six, long months
Stephen Fry We Know Him For: Making up one half of Fry and Laurie, starring in Jeeves and Wooster and Blackadder, being an international treasure Nominated For: Best Featured Actor in a Play for his turn as the pompous, scheming servant Malvolio in Twelfth Night Previous Nominations: Best Book of a Musical in 1987 for Me and My Girl This Makes Up For: Playing the least intimidating villain in The Hobbit films. At least Smaug can breathe fire!
Anika Noni Rose We Know Her For: Voicing Tiana, the first black Disney princess in The Princess and the Frog, holding her own opposite Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls Nominated For: Best Featured Actress in a Play for her performance as Beneatha, the activist sister of Walter Younger in A Raisin in the Sun Previous Nominations/Wins: A Best Featured Actress in a Musical win for Caroline, or Change in 2004 This Makes Up For: Having her two most famous characters overshadowed by Beyonce and Adele Dazeem
Daniel Radcliffe We Know Him For: Playing the most famous and most beloved boy wizard of all time, Harry Potter Snubbed For: Best Leading Actor in a Play for his hilarious and heartbreaking performance as Billy, a crippled Irish boy in The Cripple of Inishmaan At Least He's Got: An encyclopedic knowledge of spells and hexes with which to enact revenge
Denzel WashingtonWe Know Him For: His Oscar winning performances in Glory and Training Day, being one of the biggest movie stars in the world Snubbed For: Best Leading Actor in a Play for his take on the iconic role of Walter Younger in A Raisin in the Sun At Least He's Got: His devastating looks to fall back on.
James Franco We Know Him For: His Oscar-nominated performance in 127 Hours, his lackluster Oscar hosting gig, the dreads and grills he rocked in Spring Breakers, being the older brother of Dave Franco Snubbed For: Best Leading Actor in a Play for his role as George in Of Mice and Men At Least He's Got: About 50 other slightly pretentious artistic endeavors he can distract himself with
Zach Braff We Know Him For: Playing the goofy daydreamer JD on Scrubs, making Garden State, the movie everyone loves to hate Snubbed For: Best Leading Actor in a Musical for playing playwright David Shayne in Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway At Least He's Got: One of the cutest celebrity friendships ever with Donald Faison to comfort him in his time of need
Zachary Quinto We Know Him As: Murderous Sylar on Heroes, the rebooted version of Spock in Star Trek Snubbed For: Best Leading Actor in a Play for his interpretation of Tom Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie At Least He's Got: A new Star Trek movie coming up to keep him busy
Ian McKellan We Know Him For: Playing two of the most iconic and nerdy characters of all time: Magneto and Gandalf Snubbed For: Best Leading Actor in a Play for both No Man's Land and Waiting For Godot, which ran in rep at the Cort Theater At Least He's Got: Many more exciting New York adventures with Patrick Stewart to cheer him up
Patrick Stewart We Know Him For: Playing two of the most iconic and nerdy characters of all time: Professor X and Captain Jean Luc Picard Snubbed For: Best Leading Actor in a Play for both No Man's Land and Waiting for Godot, which he starred in opposite McKellan At Least He's Got: Many more adorable New York adventures with Ian McKellan to cheer him up
Michelle Williams We Know Her For: Her Oscar nominated performances in Brokeback Mountain, Blue Valentine and My Week With Marilyn, playing bad girl with a heart of gold, Jen Lindley, on Dawson's Creek Snubbed For: Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her Broadway debut as Sally Bowles in Cabaret At Least She's Got: Those Dawson's Creek residual checks to make up for it.
When Dawson’s Creek first premiered in 1998, I was just starting the eigth grade, one year younger than the show's characters who would become my best friends. The day after it aired, my pals and I got to fighting about who was most like Joey. I won because we shared the same collection of Abercrombie zip-up hoodies with arms that we both self-consciously pulled down over our hands, and because I had already printed the lyrics to "I Don’t Want to Wait" off of Yahoo and hung them up in my locker.This was before Katie became Tom-Kat and before Dawson was in on his own joke. It was just me and Joey Potter, navigating adolescence together. She taught me that if you were coy, emotionally withholding, and smiled with only one side of your mouth, then a boy would buy you a wall.Joey was the manic-pixie-dream-girl-next-door. She was beautiful, broken and brainy and she showed us quirky chicks that over-analyzation could be cute (it's not). She made all of us late-bloomers believe that we too could be discovered. We’d sit on park benches with nerdy books, walk solemnly past the popular boys in the cafeteria, and wait for our turn to be noticed by a brooding filmmaker with unruly bangs. If it could happen for the waifish girl with a bad dye job from the wrong side of the bay, then why couldn’t we have a perfectly story-boarded first kiss?Dawson’s Creek made talking about feelings totally de rigueur. It taught a new breed of baby feminists that emotions should be valued, as long as they were expressed through awkwardly big words. We spent afternoons perfecting our lingering looks, our lower lip bites and our bedroom eyes, only to realize that once we started boozing in college, all of these skills would become obsolete. Dawson’s Creek gave us the training wheels we needed to wax poetic about sex without having it and gave our boyfriends major complexes because they couldn’t compete with the men of Capeside. Not even the gay guy.When the show ended after six beautiful seasons, I cried more than I ever have at a funeral (RIP Jen Lindley – miss you, girl!) It wasn’t just that I wouldn’t have my American Eagle-clad friends around anymore (though that was a very embarrassing part of it). I went into mourning for future generations of girls who wouldn’t have the same sentimental role models I did to teach them how to feel, use their SAT words improperly and hold their booty calls to higher standards. I guess they'll always have Teen Moms for that.
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A particular school of quantum physics expresses the idea that there are an infinite amount of universes coexisting, each representing a different timeline until every possible manifestation of reality is accounted for. But in none of these realities is Tom Cruise not a superstar.
It's just not in the cards of the multiverse fabric to make Tom Cruise a nobody, a schmoe, an everyman. He always needs to be huge. And if physics doesn't know how to make Cruise a loser, you can't really expect Hollywood to, either. Think about every movie of his that you’ve seen in the past twenty years — he’s always at the top of his field, whether that be ‘80s rock, espionage, the film industry, taxicab crime, or the battlegrounds of feudal Japan. In every reality that the film industry dreams up, Tom Cruise is always a winner.
And this isn’t limited to his feature film work. Think about when Cruise went on Oprah (the biggest show on TV) and declared his love (the most memorable episode in the history of the biggest show on TV) for his wife, Katie Holmes (the It Girl of the late ‘90s — don’t even start with any of that “I’m more of a Jen Lindley fan” nonsense). In this universe and all others into which he traverses, Cruise just can’t seem to stop being huge.
Cruise is so huge, as a matter of fact, that even at the relatively diminutive size of 5 feet 7 inches, he has still earned the role of the hulking Jack Reacher, a character created by novelist Lee Child and set to be embodied on film in the developing One Shot adaptation.
Cruise is so huge that his 2011 blockbuster, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, had the actor playing the most adept member of the most elite agency in the most dangerous, secretive, and exciting occupational fields, rappelling from the very top of the tallest building in the entire world. And they’re making a fifth one — you know they’re going to try and outdo themselves!
And of course, Cruise is so huge that the nearly 50-year-old performer is laying waste to the would-be restrictions of the ascension of his years, and is taking on the role of Stacee Jaxx — the epitome of a rock and roll superstar, sex symbol, and all around timeless legend — in the musical film Rock of Ages, which opens on Friday. The dude leaves no territory unmarked.
So while it seems like Cruise is solidified unwaveringly as a god among men in the public’s spectrum, it is possible to remember a time before this was the case. Back before Cruise played the German soldier who came the closest to killing Hitler (the most evil man in history) with an explosion (the coolest way to kill Hitler) in Valkyrie. Back before Cruise fought through a remake of the iconic extraterrestrial invasion film (War of the Worlds), before he played the richest and most in-vogue dude in New York City (Vanilla Sky), before he played the very last samurai (…The Last Samurai). He was even huge (literally, and otherwise) in Tropic Thunder. But before all this, there was a time when Cruise was, dare it be said, a regular guy.
The kind of guy who could louse around with a few other wrong-side-of-the-tracks hooligans, looking for trouble and keeping his hair straight. The kind of guy who you’d believe really might be having some personal problems that a simple reconnection with his estranged Autistic Savant brother could solve. The kind of guy who would celebrate his parents leaving town for a few days by dancing around the living room in his underwear. You know, normal.
So what happened to that guy? When did the world stop believing Cruise as a man, and started insisting upon him the role of superman? When did Bob Seger-backed hallway sliding stop being enough? When did Tom Cruise become Tom Cruise?
One hundred and twenty-nine minutes into Jerry Maguire. That’s when.
That’s the moment Tom Cruise became irreparably unstoppable. The actor kicked off the movie as a regular guy; an ambitious loser. Then, through some fancy footwork and a few strokes of good fortune, Jerry Maguire hit it big. Right around this minute mark, Cruise's character had just returned home after living through the greatest underdog story to ever grace the sidelines of professional football (the premiere American sport — don’t even start with any of that “I’m more of a baseball fan” nonsense), with fresh claims to personal and professional victories, recognizing that he had one last world to conquer: he had to fix his marriage. And with that Tom Cruise, spouted the most referenced line in contemporary romantic cinema: “You complete me.” At that point, he became a hero. Wanted by some, envied by all. He was beyond human. Even beyonder than the undead character, Lestat de Lioncourt, that he played in Interview with the Vampire two years prior. From then on, there was nothing that Cruise couldn’t do. And all of his film roles since have reflected that.
Of course, there are a couple of different ways to look at this. On one hand, Cruise reigns supreme as an unparalleled Hollywood icon. He’ll never starve for media attention, or for blockbuster roles. On the other hand, however, this comes at a price. Cruise’s best films to date are his smaller, simpler stories: Risky Business, Rain Man, A Few Good Men. The movies where he played ordinary people dealing with personal struggles — not international espionage or the pressure of countless fans awaiting his rendition of “Pour Some Sugar on Me” — were the ones that really showcased Cruise’s talents as a performer.
The real question is, can Cruise ever play a role like these again? Maybe once he’s past the days of defeating alien races and flying over Dubai, Cruise will resolve to thicker character pieces — but at this point, such is no more than wishful thinking. The next few films the actor has on his plate maintain the status quo. And although Cruise movies are rarely short of entertaining, it’s about time for the man to really wow us once more.
But if Cruise can't seem to stray from his BMOC motif, maybe there's a middle ground. Maybe in M:I5, Ethan Hunt will undergo a jarring midlife crisis, asking himself whether or not he'd be happier living out his winter years in the comfort of suburbia, surrounded by a wife and children. Maybe Cruise can really explore what it means to be human in his forthcoming apocalypse pics. And maybe, just maybe, Top Gun 2 will get to the bottom of Maverick's daddy issues, all the while keeping him at the peak of his field.
So, hope is not lost to see a deeper, more intimate Cruise. We might have to see a deeper, more intimate Cruise who also saves the universe in the end, but you take what you can get. And who knows? Maybe an Interview with the Vampire/Twilight crossover piece wherein he and Robert Pattinson play a contentious father and son on a journey to a happier relationship will cover all bases.
Oh, come on! You'd see it! Don't even start with any of that "I'm more of a Jacob fan" nonsense.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter.
[Image: New Line Cinema, TriStar Pictures]
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The God of Legion secular Hollywood’s latest Biblically-inspired action flick is old-school an angry spiteful Almighty with a penchant for Old Testament theatrics. Fed up with humanity’s decadent warmongering ways He’s decided to pull the plug on the whole crazy experiment and start over from scratch.
Fortunately for us the God of Legion is also a rather lazy fellow. Instead of doing the apocalyptic work himself and wiping us out with a giant flood which worked perfectly well last time He opts to delegate the task to His army of angels — a questionable strategy that starts to fall apart when the archangel charged with leading the planned extermination Michael (Paul Bettany) refuses to comply.
Michael who unlike his boss still harbors affection for our sorry species abandons his post and descends to earth where inside the swollen belly of Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) an unwed mother-to-be working as a waitress in an out-of-the-way diner sits humanity’s lone hope for survival. Why is this particular baby so important? Is it the one destined to lead us to victory over Skynet? Heaven knows — Legion reveals little details its script devoid of actual scripture. What is clear is that God’s celestial hitmen want the kid whacked before it’s born.
But Michael won’t let humanity fall without a fight. Armed with a Waco-sized arsenal of assault weapons he hunkers down with the diner’s patrons a largely superfluous collection of thinly-sketched caricatures from various demographic groups led by Dennis Quaid as the diner’s grizzled owner Tyrese Gibson as a hip-hop hustler and Lucas Black as a simple-minded country boy.
Together they mount a heroic final stand against hordes of angels who’ve taken possession of “weak-willed” humans turning kindly old grandmas and mild-mannered ice cream vendors into snarling ravenous foul-mouthed beasts. They descend upon the ramshackle diner in a series of full-frontal assaults commanded by the archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand) the George Pickett of End of Days generals.
Beneath its superficial religious facade Legion is really just a run-of-the-mill zombie flick a Biblical I Am Legend. Bettany an actor accustomed to smaller dramatic roles in films like A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code looks perfectly at ease in his first major action role wielding machine guns and bowie knives with equal aplomb. Conversely first-time director Scott Stewart a former visual effects artist does little to prove himself worthy of such a promotion serving up some impressive CGI work but not much else worthy of note.