With five films due in 2011, is Natalie Portman (and other stars) in danger of overexposure?

no-strings-attached-01Image Credit: Dale RobinetteNo actors plan to have three or four movies out in one year. And yet, it’s happening to the best of them: Natalie Portman has five movies opening in theaters in 2011. But she’s not the only one: Matt Damon and Channing Tatum each have five in the pipeline, while Daniel Craig has four. Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, and Jennifer Aniston each have three.

The reasons for the glut of releases from the same stars vary. Some projects require a lot of postproduction or get delayed after completion, then suddenly cram the release doorway all at once, nudging each other as they clamor for audience attention. The biggest potential pitfall to having so many movies hit the marketplace in such a short period of time is overexposure, which Portman herself acknowledges: “I’m a bit like, ‘Oh God, people are going to get really sick of my face,” the actress tells EW. “But I’ll be out of the public eye for a while after this. I promise.”

But there are pros to balance out the cons. Craig has four chances this year to show he can open a non-Bond film; Cowboys & Aliens and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo look like reasonably safe bets at the box office. Portman shows off a silly side with No Strings Attached (opening today) and the upcoming sword-and-sorcery farce Your Highness, while her two long-delayed indie dramas Hesher and The Other Woman may piggyback on some of her Black Swan heat. Channing Tatum, who has five films due in theaters this year, admits, “I am totally worried, for sure. I don’t want to overdo it.” But Tatum concedes that being an in-demand actor who works regularly is a high-class sort of problem to have. “It’s just really unfortunate that all these great opportunities came along,” he jokes.

For more about overachieving actors pick up the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now.

Read more:
Natalie Portman’s laugh is the new Brendan Fraser clap
The Golden Globes: How did they affect the Oscar race?
Golden Globes: Best/Worst Moments
Natalie Portman on girly rom-com cliches: ‘That stuff offends me’

Comments (86 total) Add your comment
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  • Marten

    I don’t dislike actors for being in too many movies, I only dislike them a little if all the movies suck.

    • Bluto

      Channing Tatum has no danger of being overexposed, because no one really cares that Channing Tatum is in the movie.

      • Erin

        I care. I cant stand Channing Tatum, I think he’s rather wooden, his range is very limited and he aint all that pretty to look either these days.

  • petuniafromhell

    Well, this happened to Jude Law a few years ago and nobody was complaining…

    • A

      Ah, yes. 2004: the year of Jude Law.

      • Whatevs

        So true !! I remember, I was 14 and had never heard of this guy and suddenly he was everywhere. That’s the first case of overexposure I can remember.

      • Tye-Grr

        LOL! Yes, he was in EVERYTHING! Even a voiceover in ‘Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events’.

      • Cygnus

        Chris Rock mocked Jude at the Oscars that year for his overexposure, and then Sean Penn defended Jude as being one of the finest actors around.
        Can you blame an actor for taking advantage of every work opportunity they get, and make those big bucks while it’s offered?

      • kimmy

        such a good year! i love Jude Law.

    • IMO

      First one I thought of too… and didn’t mind a bit.

      I don’t think we can honestly hold it against the actors considering how much funding of movies is up in the air. They may only shoot 2 or 3 in a year, but its up to the studio when they are distributed.

      And I think everyone on your list shakes up the kinds of movies they film enough that its not Actor B in Role B every time.

      • Erin

        I don’t hold it against them persay (unless they’re one of those famewhorey actors prancing down every red carpet), but I still get very sick of them.

    • lindsey

      thats exactly what i thought when i saw the title of this!

    • Nathan

      and I’m certainly not complaining about too many Natalie Portman movies, I wish she made 5 every year!

    • Jen

      Jude Law was my first thought as well

  • Sarah

    There is a difference between overexposure because you are an actor with a project to promote (Portman, Craig) and overexposure because you have no talent and the only way to stay relevant is to constantly grace the cover of tabloid magazines (Kardashians).

    • Kelsey

      Totally agree. I don’t mind seeing the Portmans or the Craigs or even the Tatums, because they have an actual product to offer. The product may or may not suck, but it’s still a product. It’s SOMETHING that they can use to show that they’re actually working.
      Whereas the famous-for-being-famous types, that IS overexposure.

    • IMO

      cool points for sarah…

      • Bluto

        Definitely cool points. Sadly though, I do plan on buying the issue of People detailing where one or all three of the Kardashian sisters have met their demise/s. And framing it.

  • Kiki

    Who in their right mind would give Channing Tatum an acting job? And five?!?! I will likely see…none of them.

    • Buddymoore

      Haha, Channing Tatum will go 5 for 5 with the flops in 2011.

      • Vince G

        Looks like you couldn’t have been more wrong retard..So far he is two for two with The Vow and Jumpstreet grossing over 100 mill at the box office. You know G.i. will to. So looks like his quote next year is going to be 12 mill to get him. i love when morons like you open your mouth, but don’t have a damn clue.

  • Thom

    I’d say yes. It’s almost irrational to think so, and it usually happens through no real fault of the actors’ own, but overexposure happens.

    I have friends who groan at the sight of another Johnny Depp or Robert Downey Jr movie. Again, it’s not really their fault (and if the movies stink it isn’t really their fault either, lots of cooks, etc.) they’re just striking while the iron is hot for them, it’s just a weird kneejerk reaction people get sometimes.

    • dawnomite

      Yes, knee jerk reaction is the perfect way to describe how I am sick of Natalie Portman – and I normally like her fine! But when you go to the movies and half of the trailers have her in it, I can’t help but roll my eyes.

    • AT

      Honestly, I used to love Johnny Depp, but he’s really getting involved in too many projects. I’d really like to see some other actor get a few of the projects he’s been attached to recently.

  • Harvey Dent

    This is Nick Cage every year

    • THIS

      THIS! hahaha.

      Though the guy is bankrupt, so can’t really blame him – he’ll take anything he can get.

  • Kay

    As I read this only one thought came to mind — Who is Channing Tatum? (I had to wait for the line “he jokes” to know his gender). I don’t think overexposure is going to be a problem.

    • allie

      Kay, you’re dating yourself…. clearly you are not a female in the 16-35 range. Dear John, GI Joe, Step Up, She’s the Man, Stop-Loss. And those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head!

      • Heather P

        I’ll back you Kay. I don’t know who he is either. I’m 34. Never seen any of those movies allie listed.

      • Prunella Von Schleidlhaagen

        Actually, some of us just don’t watch the kind of crap movies Channing Tatum apparently makes.

    • Kris

      Yeah you clearly aren’t in with the teen girls if you don’t know who he is. The guy has been a teen heartthrob since 2006.

  • G.

    Just as an invisible hand guides the economy (or there should anyways), there is an invisible force that guides the rise and fall of talent. That invisible force is controlled by the movie-going audience.

    Jude Law is a great example: actor on the rise, academy-award nominated, great leading parts at his feet. The problem is all his movies opened in that Fall season, and they all pretty much sucked. People were so turned off, that they lost complete trust in the brand of a Jude Law movie and even his acting abilities. There was such backlash that I don’t think his career has ever fully recovered…

    You can see that people did a 180 after seeing Sherlock Holmes because he was a welcome surprise. People remembered why he was so popular in the first place.

    This shows you that there are some actors who capitalize on all their opportunities only to realize that the market doesn’t really want all of them, and there are some actors who you can’t get enough of because they only do projects sparingly.

    There are also actors from whom we can’t get enough, like a Natalie Portman or Robert Downey Jr. or Johnny Depp (although they may push it at times), but it shows you that the combination of cinematic/personal identity is really important for how audiences react to some actors and why sometimes, too much of a good thing is not good at all…

    • Stephen

      well said.

    • Tracey

      I think that remains to be seen with Natalie Portman. She’s been around a long time and a lot of her movies have flopped. I think as her movies roll out with all the Oscar hype behind her if they all will do well. I think we’re getting to that point with Johnny Depp, you see how The Tourist fared in the US. The Last Iron Man did well, but not as big as the first one. His last movie didn’t reach the $100 million dollar mark here. It still did well, but I think Johnny and Robert could afford to take a little break.

      • Tracey

        Sorry for the typos. But I meant it remains to be seen with Natalie. Of course, when I started talking Iron Man I was referring to Robert. Another one of the verge of overexposure is Angelina Jolie. It wouldn’t hurt her if she didn’t make a movie for 2 years.

      • annonymous

        Actually, Robert Downey Jr’s Due Date reached over $100 million in the US and $105 in International sales. It has made $206 million already.

    • teatroborikua

      Um, sorry, but Johnny Depp and RDJ I have had enugh of, especially when they constantly play variations of the same role. RDJ and JD are guaranteed to make me avoid a film. (Especially Depp)

    • jennrae

      Just watch Closer to see Jude Law AND Natalie Portman acting their butts off, particularly Natalie. When she tells him, “I’ve been you,” it’ll break your heart. So overexposed, maybe, but better her than a Kardashian. I mean, really, we’re complaining about seeing too much of talented actors when there are Kardashians on the loose?

  • Jennifer E.

    In my opinion, it only becomes overexposure if Entertainment Weekly features the star (*cough* Johnny Depp) on its cover every time his or her movie comes out.

  • Tracy

    I was recently thinking about how, during the Golden Age of Hollywood, this was very common.

    John Wayne often did anywhere from 5-9 movies a year. Donna Reed had 7 one year. James Stewart between 4 and 6.

    I don’t know the logistics of how movie production and releases work and the pay for actors has significantly increased. But, it seems like actors used to really make a day job out of being a movie star.

    • whatevs

      I wonder how much those stars got paid for their movies (disregarding inflation, of course)?

      • timbo

        They were contract stars back then…Got weekly salaries….Nothing like the multimillion dollar paycheck actors get now….I think Elizabeth Taylor was the first actor to get 1 million dollars for Cleopatra….times have changed.

      • Polly

        I know, I am still baffled by the fact that Julia Roberts made $3,000,000 in 6 minutes for Vday. $500,000 per minute MINUTE! Crazy. I’m sure Natalie is enjoying a salary as hearty as her laugh!

    • petuniafromhell

      That is very true..but then again, back then there was not cable, no internet, etc etc to over expose these people..now days, now only do have to see them at the movies, there are everywhere!

  • starr

    i all honesty, I don’t mind that it’s these actors who will be “overexposed” at least they have been known to produce quality work (and yes, i’m including Channing Tatum in that statement…)

  • Jeremy DC

    It seems like Natalie Portman is in a movie only every few years, so her having six within a year won’t really bother me. I do wish she would pass on crap like No Strings Attached though.

    • ashley

      I agree. That movie looks stupid.

    • Joe

      Let’s also not forget that ‘the other woman’ is already available on demand, so it doesn’t really count as a new release in the same sense as the other films.

  • graeme

    No one will ever top Julianne Moore’s 1999 year where she had 5 incredible performances: Cookie’s Fortune, The End of The Affair, Magnolia, The End Of The World, and An Ideal Husband.

  • Steph

    I refuse to think of Channing Tatum as one of “the best of them”. I just want him to stop being in stuff.

  • Ben

    The only decent movie of the five is Black Swan. He rest are crap (An Ashton Kutcher movie? Oy.).

    • Kevin

      Black swan isn’t one of the 5. The fifth is Thor.

    • Ian

      “The rest are crap”? How many of them have you seen?

    • Kris

      First of all, Black Swan isn’t included in that list. Second of all, how many have you seen? No Strings Attached will probably be a cliched rom-com (Which isn’t horrible. The Proposal showed us rom-coms can be cliched and still very entertaining) but none of the others have even come out. How do you know? If you think her movies look stupid that’s fine but dont make a general statement that you probably will never know the answer to.

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