All Articles Tagged "underrated"
They are some of Hollywood’s best kept secrets. These talented brothers and sisters can hold their own on the screen alongside the industry’s heavyweights and consistently give great performances. Yet when the awards seasons roll around, their names are barely, albeit, rarely mentioned. Here is our list of actors who we think are truly underrated, and not just the usual suspects. Do you agree?
Aunjanue Ellis has captivated audiences with her riveting performances in movies Ray, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and most recently in her role as Yule Mae in the box office hit The Help. She has also earned critical acclaim for her TV work on True Blood, Missing and The Mentalist. With her acting chops, it’s hard to believe she has yet to land a lead role on TV or on the silver screen. The Brown University graduate was recently invited to teach entertainment industry courses as an Artist-In-Residence at Hampton University.
We’ve talked so much about underrated actresses in the past, but the ladies on this list are women who had huge breakthrough roles in some of our favorite movies. And while it was easy for us to see them having all the luck and reaching superstardom in Hollywood (or at least black Hollywood), things haven’t been that easy. We’re still hoping they’ll become household names sooner or later. Check out 9 black actresses and the movies that put them on our radar and help us figure out why they aren’t as big as the Gabrielles, Tarajis, Nias and more. Where are they now?
Tracy Camilla Johns
My hair idol! And also the heroine in one of my favorite films of all time. Tracy Camila Johns was dope as the sexually liberated Nola Darling in Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It. She knew what she wanted, and the number of men she wanted it with, and scoffed at the idea of monogamy and being a one-man woman (how do you like that!?). But after she breaking through in one of Spike’s first feature films, she kept the momentum going for a second, and then fizzled out. Johns went on to have a tiny role in Mo Better Blues, was the scandalous girlfriend of G in New Jack City, and had a small role in an early Air Jordan commercial, but after ’91, that was it. *sad face*
Note:Remember the piece, “9 Artists Who Should Have Blown Up…But Didn’t“? Well, one of our readers has a list of her own of artists that need way MORE shine. Some are big names, others are fairly unknown, but they all are highly underrated in her book.
By Monique H.
Have you ever heard a great song and wondered who was that and why aren’t they mega famous yet? Well, I have a few times.
Over the last few years, in the entertainment business, we have heard an enormous group of unknown, underground, or underdog artists say that the music industry shut them out because they didn’t have the “it” factor. Every record label wants the next Beyoncé. I consider myself to be a musical connoisseur. I have a vast collection of music from “independent” artists who I think should be bigger than many of these non-singing singers (Rihanna, J.Lo, Ciara, Ashanti, etc). Not that I am not picking on them, but I don’t believe that they have the vocal talent to be in the same class as Beyoncé, Adele, Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston.
So while record companies may be scrambling for the next big thing with a little, thin voice, in my personal opinion I believe this group of artists has just the opposite of that. If given the proper promotion and financial backing from a great record label rather than the artist having to do it all alone, I believe these singers can fill the void that the mainstream music scene needs badly.
So let me introduce you to a few singers with talent that should be given a chance on the big stage, as well as some known ones who need to be on superstar status…like years ago.
Syleena Johnson has been steady on the grind in the music industry for years. But despite the effort she’s put forth in her own career, she’s best known for providing the hook vocals for Kanye West’s “All Falls Down” But this diva is anything but discouraged, after releasing eight studio albums, she’s constantly looking for the next opportunity. Madame Noire sat down with this R&B/Soul maven to talk about her struggle in the industry, the meaning behind the title “Underrated” and her new reality TV Show.