Fans are used to seeing Julia Roberts' megawatt smile on the big screen, but now they can catch her on television. The A-list actress jumped over to the small screen in 2018 with the Amazon show "Homecoming" — and Julia's performance just earned her a Golden Globe nomination for best lead actress in a drama series. As we gear up for the Golden Globes in January 2019, Wonderwall.com is taking a look at more of Hollywood's biggest film stars who made the leap to TV…
Meryl Streep is known for her Academy Award-winning movie roles but the actress decided to take her talents to the small screen in 2018. In 2018, she finished filming Season 2 of the hit HBO show "Big Little Lies," which will premiere in 2019. Meryl stars as Mary Louise Wright, the mother of the late Perry Wright.
Penelope Cruz briefly left movies behind to take on the role of Donatella Versace on FX's "American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace." The 2018 miniseries didn't receive the Versace family's approval but still won three Emmys, including the prize for outstanding limited series.
Tom Hardy might have made it big starring in blockbuster action flicks, but that doesn't mean he hasn't made time for television. The handsome Brit returned to the small screen to star on BBC One's gory period drama "Taboo" in 2017. Season 2 of the show, which Tom also created and co-produced, will premiere in 2019. He's also earned raves for his work on TV's "Peaky Blinders" in recent years.
Thandie Newton first came to fame thanks to her film work but the British actress successfully switched over to television in 2016. She began starring as android host Maeve on HBO's "Westworld," a role that won her an Emmy for best supporting actress in 2018. Thandie also starred as Detective Chief Inspector Roseanne "Roz" Huntley on BBC One's hit police procedural drama "Line of Duty" in 2017.
Matthew McConaughey is well-known for his lovable rom-coms and, in recent years, his critically acclaimed movie roles. But he's also gained recognition on TV. The Texan starred as detective Rust Cohle on HBO's "True Detective" in 2014 — a role that earned him an Emmy nomination for outstanding lead actor. Fellow movie star Woody Harrelson also co-starred on the series.
Helena Bonham Carter temporarily ditched the movie business in favor of the small screen when she accepted the role of Princess Margaret on the third season of Netflix's award-winning drama "The Crown." The season began filming in July 2018 and will shoot back-to-back with the fourth season.
Nicole Kidman is at the top of the movie A-list, but that didn't stop her from accepting a phenomenal role on HBO's "Big Little Lies." The Australian actress stars as Celeste Wright, the perfect wife and mother who is secretly being abused by her husband. Nicole won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her work on Season 1.
Like co-stars Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon also switched to television to star on "Big Little Lies." In fact, the A-list actress started her own production company to create more fulfilling roles for women and produced the HBO show herself! Reese received two Emmy nominations for outstanding lead actress in a miniseries and outstanding limited series, winning the latter as a producer. She also won the Golden Globe for best miniseries as a producer.
Mahershala Ali won an Academy Award for his performance in the critically acclaimed film "Moonlight," but the Oscar winner is still all about TV. He will star as Wayne Hays, a state police detective from Northwest Arkansas, on the latest "True Detective" installment, which premieres on HBO in January 2019.
Kevin Bacon became an A-lister starring in blockbuster films in the '80s and '90s, but today, he is more interested in television. The actor played former FBI agent Ryan Hardy on the FOX series "The Following" from 2013 to 2015 and will take on the role of FBI vet Jackie Rhodes on the upcoming show "City on a Hill." The drama series, which is executive produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, will premiere on Showtime in 2019.
Academy Award nominee Amy Adams hit pause on her movie career to star as Camille Preaker, a journalist investigating the murder of two young girls in her hometown, on "Sharp Objects." The HBO series received critical acclaim upon its release in July 2018, with critics praising Amy's stellar performance.
After nearly 13 years away, TV actress-turned-movie star Jennifer Garner returned to her roots with a lead role on Lena Dunham's newest show, "Camping," playing aggressively controlling wife Kathryn on the 2018 HBO series.
Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins temporarily said goodbye to his acclaimed movie career to star as Robert Ford, the co-founder and director of a disturbing amusement park, on HBO's "Westworld." The celebrated sci-fi series was renewed for a third season in May 2018.
Carey Mulligan made the jump to TV after noticing a lack of quality roles for women in film. "Most of the female actresses I know, it's been about going where the better writing is," she explained at a Q&A session for "Collateral," her BBC2 series. "Films have tended to provide a lot for men in terms of leading roles, and not so much for women." Carey stars as detective inspector Kip Glaspie on the 2018 political-thriller miniseries.
Jessica Lange has been starring in super-successful Hollywood movies since the 1970s, but in the 2010s, it became all about TV. The legendary actress began starring on Ryan Murphy's "American Horror Story" in 2011 — a role that won her her first Screen Actors Guild Award, her fifth Golden Globe Award, and her second and third Emmys! In 2017, she collaborated with Ryan again and starred as iconic Hollywood actress Joan Crawford on FX's "Feud." Next up, Jessica will appear on the Netflix series "The Politician" in 2019.
John Travolta is the quintessential Hollywood movie star, but he made a change in 2016 when he starred as Robert Shapiro, lawyer to the rich and famous, on "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story." John received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for best supporting actor for his performance.
Beloved movie star Robin Wright helped usher in a new era of great TV with her role as Claire Underwood on "House of Cards," which premiered in 2013. The show was the first original series on Netflix, leading to a boom in streaming content across multiple platforms. "House of Cards" was also the first original online-only TV series to receive major Emmy nominations (they've earned 33), with Robin receiving a nod for outstanding lead actress. Her performance led to a Golden Globe win for best actress in 2014.
Colin Farrell has built a reputation for playing the tough or damaged guy in movies, but that doesn't mean he won't accept the right TV opportunity. The Irish actor starred as Detective Ray Velcoro on the second season of HBO's "True Detective" in 2015. The show also cast fellow movie stars Vince Vaughn and Rachel McAdams for its second go-round.
Winona Ryder was the It girl of '80s and '90s cinema with appearances in huge movies like "Beetlejuice" and "Little Women." When it was time for her to make her comeback in the 2010s, however, she chose television. Winona landed the role of Joyce Byers on the Netflix series "Stranger Things," for which she has earned Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award nominations.
Dakota Fanning took a detour to the small screen in 2018 when she starred as NYPD secretary Sara Howard in the period psychological thriller "The Alienist." The TNT series — which also co-starred film actors Luke Evans and Daniel Bruhl — premiered in January 2018 and was renewed for a second season, which will change the show's name to "Angel of Darkness" (the title of another book in author Caleb Carr's series).
Paul Giamatti is a character actor known for his quirky supporting roles in films, but the movie star transitioned to the small screen in 2016. He took on the role of U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades Jr., a lawyer battling white-collar criminals, on Showtime's "Billions." The hit TV series was renewed for a fourth season in April 2018.