The New A-List: The Actors Getting All the TV Offers
This story first appeared in the Sept. 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
For two years running, Rose Byrne's name has landed atop more than a dozen castings wish lists.
Hot off of her comedic turn in 2011's Bridesmaids, the Damages star was being courted both for television comedies and dramas. And she isn't the only one with casting directors banging down her door. Among the others who have the latter drooling: Kate Hudson, Isla Fisher, Marisa Tomei, Jessica Alba, Diane Lane, Julianne Moore, Michelle Monaghan and Halle Berry.
Following a buzzworthy arc on Mad Men, former Freaks and Geeks star Linda Cardellini is expected to be deluged with offers as well. Monaghan, who will appear in HBO's event series True Detective, was the first choice for NBC's hotly anticipated The Blacklist (the part went to Megan Boone), Tomei came close with the Emily Mortimer role on HBO's The Newsroom, and Hudson's name surfaced for a big project at HBO as well as broadcast entries including CBS' Bad Teacher.
A tier below is a subset of in-demand women who regularly field multiple offers -- and consistently take small-screen roles. That set is led by such names as Becki Newton, Sarah Chalke and recent addition Ellie Kemper, who like Byrne and The Goldbergs' Wendi McLendon-Covey, benefited from the Bridesmaids glow.
The list of men is slightly shorter, in part because many of the recent "gets" have signed on to high-profile projects. Atop that list was Kyle Chandler, who coming off of Friday Night Lights passed on dozens of broadcast and cable projects including Emmy winner Homeland before taking the lead in Showtime's The Vatican.
Others included House of Cards actor Corey Stoll, who was swarmed with offers and ultimately opted to take FX's The Strain, Dominic West (Showtime's The Affair), Justin Kirk (FX's Tyrant) and James Spader (The Blacklist).
Still left on the wish list: James Marsden, a red-hot pick for multiple comedy projects, along with Josh Duhamel, Matthew Fox, Casey Affleck, Patrick Wilson, Topher Grace, Hugh Laurie and Paul Bettany, who turned down an offer to star in Fox's Sleepy Hollow. Grace is said to be circling an HBO project, while Laurie, following his long-running turn on House, has passed on a slew of offers, including the Spader role in Blacklist.