fb-pixel Skip to main content

Seeing Oscar winners on TV beyond the Academy Awards

Anthony Hopkins in "Westworld."John P. Johnson/HBO

I noticed that two-time Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins (in 1991 and 2020) is coming back to TV. The former star of “Westworld” has signed up for “Those About to Die,” an epic set in ancient Rome and created by Roland Emmerich. About the world of gladiatorial sports, and inspired by Daniel Mannix’s nonfiction book, the Peacock drama will feature Hopkins as the aging Emperor Vespasian, whose enemies are eager to supplant him.

It reminded me that TV is full of post-2000 best-acting Oscar winners these days. A number of them are currently on series, some are in upcoming projects, and others recently finished a run.


Jessica Chastain (won best actress in 2021): In the past year and a half, she has shown her range in HBO’s “Scenes from a Marriage” and Showtime’s “George & Tammy.”

Renee Zellweger (2019): She was the draw when it came to NBC’s “The Thing about Pam” last year.

Olivia Colman (2018): Lately, she has been all over “the dial,” most notably as Queen Elizabeth on Netflix’s “The Crown.” She has two more coming, Disney+’s “Secret Invasion” with Samuel L. Jackson and FX’s “Great Expectations” (as Miss Havisham).

Gary Oldman (2017): His current work on Apple TV+’s “Slow Horses” is up there with his best.

Emma Stone (2016): She’s got a Showtime comedy coming, called “The Curse.”

Brie Larson (2015): She’ll be in the adaptation of the Bonnie Garmus bestseller “Lessons in Chemistry,” due later this year on Apple TV+.

Julianne Moore (2014): She’s heading up an AMC period drama, “Mary & George,” after starring in Apple TV+’s “Lisey’s Story” in 2001.

Cate Blanchett (2013): After her memorable turn as Phyllis Schlafly in Hulu’s “Mrs. America,” she’s returning to TV in Alfonso Cuarón’s upcoming “Disclaimer” on Apple TV+.

Colin Firth (2010): Last year he delivered a stunning turn in “The Staircase” as Michael Peterson.


Natalie Portman (2010): She’s starring in Apple TV+’s upcoming “Lady in the Lake” miniseries, based on the novel by Laura Lippman.

Jeff Bridges (2009): He’s currently starring in the FX series “The Old Man.”

Kate Winslet (2008): Her impressive TV work includes “Mildred Pierce,” “Mare of Easttown,” and the upcoming “The Palace,” all on HBO.

Helen Mirren (2006): After years on TV as Jane Tennison in “Prime Suspect,” she’s currently starring in “1923″ on Paramount+.

Forest Whitaker (2006): His MGM+ drama “Godfather of Harlem” is now in its third season.

Reese Witherspoon (2005): She’s done “Big Little Lies” and “Little Fires Everywhere” in recent years, and she’s also in “The Morning Show” on Apple TV+.

Sean Penn (2003, 2008): After his Hulu series “The First” failed to find an audience, he starred in last year’s Starz Watergate series “Gaslit.”

Nicole Kidman (2002): She has been a busy TV bee lately, with HBO’s “Big Little Lies” and “The Undoing,” Hulu’s “Nine Perfect Strangers,” and a pair of upcoming projects, Amazon’s “Expats” and Taylor Sheridan’s “Lioness” on Paramount+.

Adrien Brody (2002): He stars in MGM+’s “Chapelwaite,” and he’s about to recur on Natasha Lyonne’s “Poker Face.”

Julia Roberts (2000): After Amazon’s “Homecoming,” she starred in Starz’s “Gaslit.”

Hilary Swank (1999, 2004): Her Netflix space drama, “Away,” didn’t catch on, but her ABC journalism series “Alaska Daily” just might make it.

Meryl Streep (1983, 2012): She’s scheduled for Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building” later this year, after a season on “Big Little Lies.”


Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.