For most of her cinematic career, Jennifer Aniston played "good girl" roles, no matter if it was the girlfriend of a would-be deity in "Bruce Almighty," the frustrated working woman in "Picture Perfect" or the devoted friend and single mom in this year's "Just Go With It."
For the new dark comedy "Horrible Bosses," however, Aniston gets to play against type as Dr. Julia Harris, a dentist who sexually harasses her assistant. Even before the release date, Aniston has been receiving a lot of buzz about this role, but she isn't the first performer to find a new audience by changing image and career direction:
Julie Andrews in "S.O.B."
In the 1960's, Julie Andrews became known for family-friendly features like "The Sound of Music" and "Mary Poppins." A decade later, Andrews made the shift to more adult-oriented roles, such as Dudley Moore's girlfriend in "10." Bo Derek was the hot topic in that film, but Andrews showed she could handle mature roles that didn't involve singing animals or animation.
Her real adult breakthrough came in the outrageous 1981 farce "S.O.B." Playing Sally Miles, a film star whose career path mirrored her own, Andrews took off her top for the camera and exposed her breasts. Though that bit of nudity didn't preclude her from taking roles in the "Shrek" and "Princess Diaries" movies, it did give Andrews the go-ahead for films like "Duet for One" and "The Man Who Loved Women."
Mary Tyler Moore in "Ordinary People"
As Laurie Petrie on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and the good-hearted associate news producer on her self-titled sitcom, Mary Tyler Moore epitomized kindness and virtue. Between the runs of these two television shows, she even played a nun opposite Elvis Presley in the film "Change of Habit."
The late 1970's and early 80's marked a turning point for Moore. She played a breast cancer survivor in "First, You Cry" and followed that up with "Ordinary People," a role about as far away from Mary Richards as humanly possible. Moore's portrayal of a mother struggling with the loss of a favorite son earned her an Academy Award nomination.
Will Smith in "Independence Day"
Popular musician and television star Will Smith made a few ripples when he crossed over into films with roles in "Six Degrees of Separation" and "Made in America." When Smith co-starred in 1995's "Bad Boys," however, he showed that he could be taken seriously as an action star. A year later, Smith laid claim to the Fourth of July weekend box office with "Independence Day," a thriller that firmly separated the cinematic Smith from his lighthearted "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" days.
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- Julie Andrews
- Jennifer Aniston
- Will Smith
- The Dick Van Dyke Show