Taraji P. Henson who has amassed a roster of impressive roles in movies like Baby Boy, Hustle and Flow and her Oscar-nominated gem The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, is quite sold on the idea that to make it in the acting world, one must hone in on their craft. She rejects the notion that Reality TV could be a springboard for aspiring actors looking for a faster route to stardom.

She opened up to Sister 2 Sister magazine about the danger of falling into the trap of Reality TV by using it as a vehicle for exposure as opposed to taking acting classes, which in turn helps emphasize the legitimacy of the profession.

But does that logic still apply today? We live in a world where people have become stars virtually overnight thanks to the wonders of YouTube. There are hundreds of talented thespians that never make it past an Off Broadway performance while their less talented counterparts score film roles. The days when you had to prove your worth as an actor or actress and convince the powers that be that you have enough star quality to be on the big screen are long gone. The playing field has changed and now its pretty much anyone’s game.

Reality TV may be a difficult concept for the “real” actors like Henson to grasp, but to the starving artist out there desperate for the limelight, it’s a godsend.

Like the saying goes, its not how you get there, its what you do once you arrive.

What do you think? Would you downplay an actor’s talent because of his/her reality show background?

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  • LN

    Yaya Dacosta (ANTM) and Jamie Chung (MTV’s Real World) are two reality TV stars who have gone on to have pretty impressive (for where they started) movie careers. I think you can definitely parlay a reality TV career into a film television career. You just have to understand the seriousness of acting and be prepared to put in the work.

    On a side note, I read the interview and Taraji’s statements kind of reminded me of newspaper journalists who throw shade on bloggers, or models who throw shade on actresses who appear on magazine covers. The common thread? Being mad at a rogue force for shaking up the establishment. Love it or hate it, reality TV is changing the television landscape. The shows are much cheaper to produce, the stars require a much smaller salary (than established actors) and they are often ratings hits. Furthermore some of the reality TV stars go on to achieve more fame and notoriety than actors themselves.

  • They need to be listening to her.

  • BeautyIAM

    I actually did see one of these reality show actresses at my local Wal Mart earlier this year. She’s been on Tough Love, a talk show, and reality show that was on the CW. If some of these people were serious about acting, then they can find better things to do then terrible reality shows. I just find them to be a joke after I see them hope from one show to the next “acting” the same way.

  • Juliana

    It also depends on the type of reality show you go on. Project Runway vs. Bad Girls Club