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- Cher prove herself as a serious actress in Hollywood, despite facing skeptics and laughter at her first acting gig in the film Silkwood.
- Cher pursued acting because she always wanted to be an actress, but fame with Sonny led her away from her dreams. She found success and fulfillment in acting.
- Cher won an Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Moonstruck, solidifying her talent and proving that she is a versatile and acclaimed performer.
Multi-talented performer Cher is one of the most successful women in Hollywood. Cher has a massive wealth of over $200 million built through singing, television hosting, films, and Broadway.
While many know Cher for her distinctive contralto voice and evergreen music, people do not always consider her a serious actress. Her road to success as a serious actress in Hollywood was rife with skeptics, which was heartbreaking for the performer. But Cher proved that she had acting chops, with the support of powerhouse actress Meryl Streep.
Cher Was Laughed At For Her First Acting Gig
Cher experienced the jeers herself at a movie premiere
Cher wanted to do something more than just singing, so she decided to go into acting. Her debut dramatic role would be a supporting role in the 1983 biographical film Silkwood about Karen Silkwood, who blew the whistle about the hazardous practices at a plutonium plant but later died under suspicious circumstances.
The film starred Meryl Streep as Karen Silkwood, Kurt Russel as Drew Stephens, and Cher as Dolly Pelliker, Karen Silkwood’s lesbian roommate. This would be the beginning of Cher and Meryl’s friendship, but it was also the first drama film for Cher, and she took it to heart.
In her eagerness to see what people thought about her film, Cher checked out the trailer at a movie theater in Westwood, Los Angeles. She didn’t know what she would meet, but Cher was not expecting the reactions she witnessed at the movie theater.
While giving a tribute to Mike Nichols (Silkwood’s director) at the 38th AFI Life Achievement Award, Cher revealed that people laughed when they saw her name in Silkwood.
“So Meryl’s name came up, and everybody applauded and everything. And Kurt’s name came up on screen, and everybody applauded. And then my name came up on the screen, and everyone laughed. And I bit the inside of my cheek, and ran to the telephone and said, ‘Dad they laughed at me.’ But he said, ‘But babe, when they see the movie, they won’t laugh, they’ll clap,'” she narrated.
The remarkable thing was that people truly were stunned by her performance. Cher got raving reviews for her acting in Silkwood, with colleagues saying that her naturalness on set made up for her inexperience.
And to top it off, the role got her an Oscar nomination and a win at the Golden Globes, proving that she knew just exactly what she was doing when taking up acting in Hollywood.
Cher Never Wanted To Sing (And Preferred Acting)
Cher admitted that becoming famous with Sonny led her away from her acting dreams
After showcasing her talent in acting with her debut film Silkwood, and effectively shutting up her critics, Cher gradually took on more leading and supporting roles in films. Her genre ranged from drama, musical, romance, and comedy films.
She appeared in films like Mask, The Witches of Eastwick, Suspect, Moonstruck, Mermaids, If Walls Could Talk, Tea With Mussolini, Burlesque, and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, among others.
On taking on acting, Cher felt the need to step up because there wasn’t enough representation of dark-haired Hollywood actresses. Cher was also revealed she studying to be an actress before she met Sonny.
“When I first met Sonny, I was studying to be an actress,” Cher said. “And that’s what I wanted to be. But Sonny didn’t like the idea, so I gave it up. Then I became famous, and I thought that fame was all that mattered – that being famous was the end result of everything.
It wasn’t until later that I began to feel that it was empty in a way because I had never done what I’d always wanted to do. It never occurred to me that I would be a singer. I didn’t want to be a singer. I wanted to be an actress.
Good thing Cher stuck to her true path because it favored her, and she was able to express herself in front of the cameras. She also got several nominations and won an Academy Award and three Golden Globes in the acting category.
And after experiencing the ups and downs in Hollywood, Cher planned to capture her journey in a biopic that would really tell her story.
Although Cher didn’t plan for her biopic to take so long to make and ultimately get scrapped, she is one of the most iconic women in Hollywood, having climbed to the peak of her career one adder at a time. She is not afraid to start again.
Cher Won An Oscar For Best Actress For ‘Moonstruck’ In 1988
Acting came naturally for Cher after her debut
Cher did not win an Oscar for her performance in a big-screen dramatic debut in Hollywood, but she did take home an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Film for her leading role in Moonstruck (1987).
Cher played a widowed bookkeeper who falls for her fiancé’s unruly younger brother. The romantic comedy-drama allowed Cher to portray a truly human and flawed character who was a simple yet hopeless romantic. She starred alongside Nicolas Cage in the comedy-drama, and the two gave a pair of energetic performances.
Moonstruck was also a critical and box office success, making over $100 million and scoring six Academy Award nominations, including Best Actress.
Cher was nominated alongside her friend Meryl Streep and other actresses, Glenn Close, Holly Hunter, and Sally Kirkland.
According to Cher, winning her first Oscar was surreal, but she was not there yet.
“I don’t think that this means that I am somebody, but I guess I’m on my way,” she said in her acceptance speech. She also mentioned having to be nominated with her friend, Meryl Streep, whom she acted with in her first film and then circled back a few years later, getting selected alongside her.
Cher continued to garner praise and accolades for her supporting and leading roles in future projects. Thereby certifying the multidimensional performer that she is worth her salt.