This weekend gives you two chances to see Bill Hader stretch his acting muscles. In dark comedy The Skeleton Twins, Hader and his former Saturday Night Live co-star Kristen Wiig play siblings who reunite after suicide attempts. Meanwhile, in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them, Hader has a supporting role as the best friend of James McAvoy’s Conor, who is going through a pretty rough time in his relationship with Jessica Chastain’s titular character.
Saturday Night Live actors taking on dramatic—or, rather, serious—roles is nothing new. Wiig has steadily been putting films with weighty themes onto her resume, like 2013’s Hateship Loveship, based on an Alice Munro short story. Will Forte surprised audiences with a nuanced turn in Alexander Payne’s Nebraska last year, which also saw Taran Killam playing a small part in 12 Years a Slave. Though he’s inflicted Grown Ups on the public, Adam Sandler has also shown he can do more than his schtick in films like 2002’s Punch Drunk Love; he’s jumping back into the dramatic game with this year’s Men, Women & Children. Then, of course, there’s Bill Murray’s entire career to consider, especially the films he’s made since 2003’s Lost in Translation.
So, which SNL mainstay will take on a meaty, dramatic lead next? The jury’s out for now—but I’ve imagined a few roles for current and recent cast members who have yet to fully embrace their dramatic sides.
Armisen puts his musical talents to good use in a sprawling Paul Thomas Anderson film about the grunge movement of the 1990s.
Bryant plays a deeply tragic character on SNL’s recurring Girlfriends Talk Show sketch: a girl forced to endure a friend who consistently rejects her. She’ll mine that same sense of pain in this indie, in which she plays a small town store clerk forced to reconnect with her sister, who inflicted horrible abuse on her in high school.
I a) fully believe Kate McKinnon can do anything and b) think she could have been a film star in the 1940s. Therefore, she belongs in a period piece about women working in steel factories during WWII. (Yes, I think McKinnon is Rosie the Riveter.) Angelina Jolie will direct.
Bobby Moynihan gets a small but crucial part in a biopic of the artist Honoré Daumier, playing one of the men that Daumier caricatured. (Don’t you sort of see it?)
Poehler dons prosthetics for a Madeleine Albright biopic. Because it’s what Albright would want. (We think.)
Thompson—you know, of All That—goes meta in a Spike Jonze drama about a down-on-his-luck former child star who’s enduring disturbing hallucinations about his show-business past.
Samberg’s turn in the romantic dramedy Celeste and Jesse Forever was surprisingly subdued, but he taps into his zany energy in an absurdist Coen brothers film about a jovial cantor who starts receiving death threats out of nowhere.
Sudeikis taps his charm/smarm and his classic good looks—isn’t there just something old time-y about him?—to play Clark Gable in a film about the making of Gone with the Wind. (Sudeikis, it should be noted, is actually set to play Jesse Owens’s coach Larry Snyder in an upcoming biopic.)