6 actors that reinvented themselves online

Kevin Spacey (House of Cards), Laura Prepon (Orange Is The New Black), and Robin Wright (House of...

Kevin Spacey (House of Cards), Laura Prepon (Orange Is The New Black), and Robin Wright (House of Cards). (Handout photos)

Sean Fitzgerald, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:51 PM ET

The digital shows just keep coming at us.

In the last few weeks, we’ve seen numerous teasers for the upcoming season of Netflix’s Orange is the New Black. Chosen, which airs on Sony’s Crackle platform, went fairly big with its ad campaign for Season 3, which premiered this month. And we know that House of Cards will return for more political manoeuvring in 2015, so start planning your binge weekend.

In nearly all of the popular digital series, you can find actors who needed to rejuvenate their careers. Here’s our list of web shows that have given actors a second life:

House of Cards (Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright):

This is the big one. Kevin Spacey’s portrayal of anti-hero Frank Underwood has brought the actor back to the A-list category (don’t forget, he was in that Ellen DeGeneres all-star selfie at the Academy Awards). After winning Oscars in the ’90s for his roles in The Usual Suspects and American Beauty, he starred in a string of flops, including Pay it Forward (2000); K-PAX (2001); Edison (2005); Shrink (2009) and Father of Invention (2010). Aside from boosting his pop culture cred, House of Cards has garnered him nominations for an Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award. Spacey’s co-star, Robin Wright, has also earned kudos for her role as Underwood’s sexy, calculating wife Claire, and she made history this year by becoming the first actress to win a Golden Globe for a web series. And while we’ve known her as the love interest in The Princess Bride, Forrest Gump and Sean Penn’s life, Wright needed a new hit as much as Spacey did.

Orange is the New Black (Laura Prepon, Jason Biggs):

If it wasn’t for this show, Laura Prepon would be destined to live forever in reruns of That ’70s Show. And after the cancellation of the 2012 Chelsea Handler sitcom Are You There, Chelsea? – which starred Prepon in the lead role – she desperately needed a memorable character like Orange’s Alex Vause. Her co-star Jason Biggs, who plays struggling journalist Larry Bloom, also received a shot in the arm from this show. If it wasn’t for Orange, we’d always see him as the romantically awkward teenager in movies like Loser and the American Pie series. And in case anyone forgot, 2012’s American Reunion (a.k.a. American Pie 4) was a giant box-office flop. So it’s possible he was destined to become an obscure Jeopardy! question.

Chosen (Rose McGowan, Chad Michael Murray):

Rose McGowan was probably craving something new, especially since the WB series Charmed ended in 2006 and her post-Grindhouse movie output has been largely forgettable. She’s been linked to stalled adaptations of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar and a remake of the sci-fi classic Barbarella, but onscreen, fans have seen her – or more accurately not seen her – in Rosewood Lane and 2011’s Conan the Barbarian reboot. Thankfully, she’s joined the main cast of Crackle’s Chosen for the juicy role of Josie Acosta, a veteran killer that hunts down Chad Michael Murray’s character, Jacob Orr. Murray has also used Chosen to help refresh his career after his teen heartthrob status disintegrated a while ago. “I think Crackle’s an incredible place,” Murray recently told QMI Agency of Sony’s streaming platform. “And it’s growing at such an astronomical rate. I think it’s the future, man.”


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