Ginnifer Goodwin has had a varied career in Hollywood but is probably most recognizable for her unforgettable role as Snow White in the TV show Once Upon a Time. The fairytale series is far from the only project the actress has been involved in, and she’s even appeared in several romantic comedies on the big screen, yet Goodwin’s career hasn’t taken the stratospheric turn many believed that it would.
Some predicted Goodwin’s leading role in 2011’s Something Borrowed – a film based on the book by Emily Giffin — would transform the actress into an A-list star. As the Observer wrote upon its release: "Romantic comedy has taken a shellacking lately in a series of stupefying flops, but they didn’t have Ginnifer Goodwin." Having also starred in a plethora of other romantic comedies, including He’s Just Not That Into You, it seemed the actress was at least making a name for herself as a likable romcom protagonist … or maybe not.
Changes in her personal life seem to have impact the roles that she’s pursued. From her marriage to Josh Dallas — yep, the guy who portrayed Prince Charming in Once Upon a Time – to raising children, there are many possible explanations for why it seems like Hollywood isn’t casting Goodwin in big roles anymore.
Something Borrowed or something best forgotten?
After her part in the 2009 ensemble romantic comedy, He’s Just Not That Into You, Ginnifer Goodwin appeared to have finally arrived as a leading lady in the romcom Something Borrowed. Alas, her first major leading role on the big screen wasn’t the success that many predicted it would be, despite the fact that it was based on the popular book of the same name by Emily Giffin. In Something Borrowed, Goodwin plays Rachel, a 30-year-old-single lawyer, whose best friend, Darcy (Kate Hudson), is getting married to swoon-worthy Dex (Colin Egglesfield). However, when Rachel and Dex realize they have crushes on one another and hook up, Rachel’s lifelong friendship with Darcy is thrown into a pressure cooker.
While some viewers seemingly didn’t respond to the rom-com’s adulterous themes, The Hollywood Reporter called Something Borrowed a "clichéd, predictable and exasperating movie." The film was originally intended to have a sequel, based upon Giffin’s follow-up book, Something Blue. In the sequel, Darcy moves to London, where she ends up pursuing a relationship with childhood friend Ethan (John Krasinski) — a fellow who admits to harboring unrequited feelings for Rachel in the first movie. Needless to say, plans for the second movie were shelved due to poor reviews and mediocre box office returns, reported Entertainment Weekly, but we’ll always have a soft spot for Goodwin’s leading lady moment and her super-cute chemistry with Egglesfield.
She literally married Prince Charming
Ginnifer Goodwin met her future husband, Joshua Dallas, while filming the pilot for Once Upon a Time in early 2011. Dallas was married to actress Lara Pulver at the time, while Goodwin announced that she’d broke off her engagement to actor Joey Kern in May 2011. A source told E! News that the co-stars had an "immediate connection when they met" but were "just friends," considering one of them was married. When Dallas and Pulver separated in the fall of 2011, Goodwin and Dallas’ relationship supposedly turned romantic. Dallas told People in April 2012 that it was love at first sight: "It hit me like a blinding light. I thought, ‘I’m in trouble now.’"
Goodwin married her Once Upon a Time co-star on April 12, 2014. According to E! News, the couple wed "at sunset in an intimate ceremony in front of about 30 close friends and family in the Los Angeles area," with Goodwin wearing a custom-made Monique Lhuillier gown. Considering Goodwin and Dallas play star-crossed lovers Snow White and Prince Charming in the TV series, their real-life wedding was more than a little heartwarming. As Goodwin told Entertainment Weekly in May 2017: "Over the run of this show, I met Prince Charming, fell in love, got married, and had two babies. It doesn’t get better than that."
Ginnifer Goodwin became a mom
When Prince Charming and Snow White got married in real life in April 2014, Goodwin was already pregnant with the couple’s first child. As Goodwin revealed in an interview on Live! with Kelly & Michael in March 2015: "We were like, ‘We don’t need to get married, we’ll get married later.’ And then I was nine months pregnant and I was like, ‘We totally need to get married.’" Their first child, Oliver Finlay, was born in May 2014, and two years later, in June 2016, they welcomed a second son, Hugo Wilson Dallas.
Understandably, the expansion of their family had a huge impact on the couple’s professional life. Goodwin told E! News in 2015, "It makes me feel like acting is not at all creative, but being a parent [is]. Anybody who’s a parent I want to, like, give an Oscar to." In 2017, she told Entertainment Weekly, "I wish I hadn’t been so hard on myself when I had trouble concentrating at work after having my first baby and learning what it is to be up all night … forever." Of the couple’s decision to leave Once Upon a Time, Goodwin told Entertainment Weekly in 2018, "It involved a lot of discussing child rearing with our showrunners, because we really wanted to be spending more time with the kids." Consequently, Hollywood casting Goodwin less may have been a somewhat mutual decision between the industry and the actress.
Ginnifer Goodwin scared herself with theater
After leaving her role as Snow White on Once Upon a Time in 2017, Ginnifer Goodwin embarked upon a new adventure — the theater. The actress dove into a role in the play Constellations at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. "It’s one of, if not THE, most challenging, demanding role I’ve ever tackled and I’m doing it live, so I’m shaking in my freaking boots, which is AWESOME," she told Entertainment Weekly. Doing theater marked a huge Hollywood departure for the star.
Discussing her role opposite Downton Abbey‘s Allen Leech in Constellations, Goodwin told TheatreMania.com that she had felt "homesick for theater." The Walk the Line actress added, "I was looking for a different kind of challenge creatively than I’ve had in the past 10 years — and certainly found it in this play. I was obsessed with Constellations … and still, having read it a million times, I don’t think I quite understood what I was getting myself into." She also revealed to Broadway World that she "truly stalked everyone at The Geffen Playhouse" to land the job, confessing that she wanted to be "terrified" by her next role.
Ginnifer Goodwin didn’t make enough money
With a few exceptions, Ginnifer Goodwin’s big screen roles have failed to make as much money as anticipated. Despite having appeared in a slew of romantic comedies, including Something Borrowed, and Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!, Goodwin’s box office returns just haven’t produced the cash the studios likely expected. While the 2009 ensemble rom-com He’s Just Not That Into You found some success, grossing nearly $180 million worldwide, the movie co-starred A-listers Jennifer Aniston and Bradley Cooper, who no doubt helped draw a bigger audience. Meanwhile, Goodwin’s starring role in 2011’s Something Borrowed only netted $60 million at the worldwide box office, despite co-starring Hollywood heavyweight Kate Hudson. In short: Perhaps Hollywood won’t cast Goodwin anymore because she’s not bankable.
Goodwin has also focused on taking some smaller roles in art house movies, such as fashion designer Tom Ford’s directorial debut, A Single Man, which was released in 2009. That film, which starred Colin Firth and Julianne Moore, earned a worldwide gross of approximately $25 million. Meanwhile, 2007’s Day Zero, which featured Goodwin alongside Elijah Wood and Elisabeth Moss, reportedly had a domestic gross of just $16,659.
But don’t worry about Goodwin. "I’m honestly one of those people who’s just fine with being broke," she told the Los Angeles Times in 2009. "I would rather do church basement theater than so many of the film and television projects that my agents would talk to me about."
She’s more successful as a Disney character
One of Ginnifer Goodwin’s most successful roles to date is voicing a crime-fighting rabbit named Judy in Disney‘s Zootopia. The animation went on to gross more than a billion dollars at the box office worldwide. The voice work hides Goodwin from Hollywood’s bright shiny lights, but it suggests that her enigmatic vocals are providing an exciting way forward for her career.
Disney is reportedly planning to make two sequels to the hit animated movie, meaning Goodwin could be returning to the studio to reprise her role. According to Blog Mickey, Tommy "Tiny" Lister, who voices Finnick in Zootopia, reportedly told an audience at a meet-and-greet that a Zootopia trilogy was allegedly "the biggest film that Disney is producing." If that proves true, Goodwin may be able to keep a low-key Hollywood profile while doing big things behind the scenes. And speaking of opportunities behind the scenes…
Ginnifer Goodwin is stepping behind the camera
Having worked in the entertainment industry for a long time, Ginnifer Goodwin decided to step behind the camera on one of her more recent projects. Not only did she star in the 2019 TV movie I Am Somebody’s Child: The Regina Louise Story, but Goodwin also served as a producer, marking the first time that she’d taken on such a role. The film was also written and directed by women, making Goodwin’s producer credit all the more important in fostering female-driven work. Based upon the memoir Somebody’s Someone by Regina Louise-Taylor, the movie follows a young woman who is shuffled through more than 30 foster homes and psych facilities, before meeting Jeanne (Goodwin), who wants to help.
In an interview with TV Insider, Goodwin explained her role in the project: "Being told, ‘You are one of the storytellers,’ behind-the-scenes was really significant for me because, you know, we could try things on set … It was really fulfilling to feel like I was, in any way, helping, yeah, put those puzzle pieces together." Needless to say, Goodwin arguably may not need to rely on Hollywood casting her anymore because she’s increasingly assuming a leadership role in film and television.
Blink and you’ll miss her
Ginnifer Goodwin established her career as a television star with her unforgettable roles as high-school student Diane Snyder in Ed and as Margene "Margie" Heffman in HBO’s Big Love. And after taking on the iconic role of Snow White in Once Upon a Time, it’s understandable that Goodwin might have needed some time away from the spotlight to redefine her acting career. In 2018, it was announced that Goodwin had been cast in a new show on ABC called Steps. It had all the makings of a popular family sitcom, but the story was retooled from a series into a one-off TV movie, meaning that Goodwin’s return to the small screen was brief.
The actress did appear in an episode of Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone reboot in 2019. Goodwin discussed her dramatic, yet brief, return to the small screen, telling the Los Angeles Times that the episodes felt like "acting gold." She added, "I don’t feel like anybody has ever given me this much range to play. The way it felt is that I was being walked by the shoulders to the edge of a cliff and then pushed off and they filmed what happened."
Goodwin subsequent small screen role will also be brief — appearing in an episode of Netflix’s anthology series Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings. Each standalone episode features a different cast as it delves into a particular song by the country legend.
Ginnifer Goodwin could reconnect with Hollywood
Even though Ginnifer Goodwin’s career has been quieter since her departure from Once Upon a Time, the actress has several projects in the pipeline which could increase her popularity in Hollywood once more. Following her appearance in an episode of Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings, Goodwin has been cast alongside Lucy Liu in Why Women Kill, a series from the creator of Desperate Housewives. A ten-episode first season launched in August 2019.
Goodwin’s actor husband, Joshua Dallas, has also teased a possible cameo from his wife on his TV show, Manifest. He told Page Six that working alongside her on the series is "possible." While nothing is reportedly scheduled right now, Dallas said: "I mean, I’m never going to say ‘no’" when it comes to a cameo by his wife. Bottom line: With fresh roles underway, rumored Zootopia sequels, and behind-the-scenes experience, we’re hoping Hollywood will cast Ginnifer Goodwin in even more projects in the future.