Top Hollywood stars who are able to manage stage and films

Apr 27, 2014, 09:35 IST | Shakti Shetty

Several Hollywood actors efficiently balance big movies along with their commitment to theatre

In the Hindi film industry, it's difficult to come across stars who are still active on stage. On the contrary, those who hail from theatre often end up ditching the stage "for lack of time" thanks to film offers. However, Hollywood offers a refreshing scenario as more and more actors — young as well as not-so-young — seem to be available for theatre. hitlist tells you about some of the juggling champs.

Catherine Zeta Jones
Catherine Zeta Jones

Last release: Side Effects (2013)
Lowdown: The Welsh actress had a long career as a theatre artiste before she made the switch to the big screen. Best remembered for her portrayal of Tallulah in Bugsy Malone, she won the Tony Award for her work in A Little Night Music.

Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman
Last release: Prisoners (2013)
Lowdown: Be it West End, New York, Broadway or Melbourne itself, the X-Men star has been wholeheartedly involved in several stage productions. Remember the time he sang beautifully as the Oscar host? Background checked.

James Franco
James Franco

Last release: Homefront (2013)
Lowdown: Is there anything this actor doesn't do? Other than acting, directing, scripting and writing a book, James has been active on the theatre front as well. After penning a play, he recently co-starred with Chris O'Dowd in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men.

Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig

Last release: Skyfall (2012)
Lowdown: A graduate of London's National Youth Theatre, the current James Bond never really stayed away from the stage — except during the mid-2000s. In fact, he and wife Rachel Weisz starred in Betrayal, the second most successful Broadway play of 2013.

Daniel Radcliffe
Daniel Radcliffe
Last release: Kill Your Darlings (2013)
Lowdown: The Harry Potter star recently received a standing ovation for his performance in the play The Cripple of Inishmaan. And this isn't the first time Daniel has managed to do so. He even went nude for the play Equus in 2007.

Maggie Gyllenhaal
Maggie Gyllenhaal

Last release: Frank (2014)
Lowdown: Maggie Gyllenhaal is all set to make her Broadway debut this year when she joins Ewan McGregor in a revival of Tom Stoppard's comedy, The Real Thing. The roles won both Glenn Close and Jeremy Irons Tony awards each back in 1984.

Edward Norton
Edward Norton
Last release:
The Great Budapest Hotel (2014)
Lowdown: Before making his debut in Primal Fear (1996), Edward started his acting career in Off-Broadway theatre. Between working in big-banner films and indie projects, the Fight Club star has delivered hit plays such as Burn This.

Let the movie play!

Some films where theatre played a major role in the storyline:

Roman Polanski's
Roman Polanski's Venus in Fur (2013) has its roots in a Parisian play and the quirky characters are wonderfully sketched — almost like a play.

Henry's Crime
In the 2010 film Henry's Crime, Vera Farmiga is a struggling theatre artiste while Keanu Reeves becomes her stage co-actor by accident.

Get Over It
Ben Foster and Kirsten Dunst are part of a play in Get Over It (2001) and their simmering love story climaxes on the stage in a funny sequence.

Bullet over Broadway (1994), directed by Woody Allen, is the closest the original play ever got to getting faithfully adapted for the big screen.

Jesus of Montreal
Jesus of Montreal (1989) shows the intermingling of real characters with imaginary theatrical characters to such a point that reality begins to blur.

A rare genius
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman was one of the few actors of his generation who struck a balance between theatre and cinema. The celebrated actor not only starred in memorable films but also in several plays like Death of a Salesman. He went ahead and directed his own theatre production, Jack Goes Boating, as well.

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