troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Star-Making Role
"Everyone said I was an overnight success, but it was ten years leading up to that."
Naomi Watts, in relation to her success with Mulholland Drive

Every A-List star starts somewhere. They do bit parts and walk-on roles, sometimes even becoming "that guy". They may be a lesser part of an Ensemble Cast who becomes an Ensemble Darkhorse. They may even wind up doing something they may not be proud of later. Either way, when their memoirs are written or they sit down with James Lipton, this will be the role that they point to and say "that's where it really started for me" — the rise from obscurity to getting first billing. The role may have been written for the specific purpose of making this specific person a star by showcasing their talents. More often than not, it's a case of taking the right part and running with it. This is the role they earn their name with.

This isn't always a star's first role. It's not even their first film or series to be a major success. It might even become completely overshadowed by the parts it helped give them in bigger-budget productions. It's the first role where they stop being "that guy" and become known by their name alone.

See also Retroactive Recognition for reactions to roles the actor had before his SMR (think Harrison Ford as a bellhop in Dead Heat On A Merry Go Round, here). Contrast Star-Derailing Role for when the star goes in the opposite direction. Compare Breakthrough Hit (equivalent for creators).


Pages with their own sets of examples:

Other examples:

  • Playboy Magazine has a habit of turning its centerfolds into stars (albeit usually as sex symbols who have difficulty being taken seriously as actresses). Several of them have gone on to bigger and better things after posing nude for the infamous men's magazine; some become so famous that it's easy to forget they got their start as one of Hef's girls.
    • Marilyn Monroe, the magazine's first ever nude model, gracing the cover of the very first issue.
    • Jayne Mansfield
    • Betty Page
    • Shannon Tweed
    • Pamela Anderson
    • Anna Nicole Smith
    • Kelly Monaco
    • Kendra Wilkinson
    • Jenny McCarthy
    • Brande Roderick
    • Donna D’Errico
    • Sara Jean Underwood
    • Dorothy Stratten
    • Carmen Electra
    • Erika Eleniak

Sports PreemptionShow BusinessSweeps
Star-Derailing RoleTriviaStillborn Franchise

alternative title(s): Breakout Role
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
6435
5