TikTok arrives on some totally different screens

In a TikTok video uploaded on August 9th, Addison Rae dubbed Myra Molloy’s song “Stay” for 12 seconds. She wears a silver-trimmed, yellow strappy dress and cherry-red lipstick. A hand outside the frame reaches into the dust that sets powder all over her makeup face. When the melody becomes instrumental, the look is completed with a quick zoom in and out, a tilt of the head and a smile. The video has nearly a million likes, a fraction of the 5.4 billion likes on her account.

Rae, 20, started dancing to snippets of pop songs on TikTok in 2019. Since then, she has risen to become the app’s third most popular influencer and a name to be reckoned with in pop culture. While her choreography may be confined to the frame of a smartphone, her image will expand to computers and television screens around the world with her acting debut on Netflix August 27, “He’s All That.”

In this remake of the 1999 romantic comedy “She’s All That,” Rae plays a teen social media influencer, Padgett Sawyer, who suffers a breakup that goes viral on a live stream. To make a comeback, she vows to make her nerdy, antisocial classmate Cameron Kweller (Tanner Buchannan) the prom king. As expected in any teen romance, Padgett falls in love with Cameron during his transformation.

Millions of fans will tune in to see Rae. They form an army of 82.6 million on TikTok and 38.7

The TikTok logo.Kiichiro Sato / Associated Press

Millions on Instagram. “He’s All That” isn’t Rae’s first foray into traditional media. In March she also released a pop single called “Obsessed” which she performed on “The Tonight Show”.

Similarly, Charli D’Amelio, 17, who tops TikTok creators in terms of followers and likes, made her film debut as voice actress in the 2019 UK animated film “StarDog and TurboCat”. “No Running” (2021) , a science fiction thriller about the mysterious disappearance of a high school student, features TikTokker Loren Gray Beech (19) and Ariel Martin (20), known as Baby Ariel online, who starred in the Disney Channel original “Zombies 2” (2020). In addition to her many Disney and Nickelodeon television appearances, Martin was also cast in the upcoming universal horror thriller “Oracle”.

TikTok star Charli D'Amelio was photographed in the back yard of her home in Norwalk, Conn, last year.TikTok star Charli D’Amelio was photographed in the back yard of her home in Norwalk, Conn, last year.Jesse Dittmar / For the Washington Post

Some movie stars gain fame by appearing on the big screen, and others are already celebrities by the time they step into the audition room. Many athletes, musicians and supermodels have flirted with cameos and even started a successful second career as an actor. (Think Dwayne Johnson, Will Smith, and Jennifer Hudson.) “He’s All That” may be the mark of a new generation of actors spotted on TikTok.

The transition from social media stars to Hollywood is a well-known story from the heyday of YouTube. As independent content creators began releasing their own full-length videos or expanding their reach into partnerships with filmmakers, YouTubers began appearing in studio films. The German actor Flula Borg – Pieter from rival Das Sound Machine from Barden University Bellas in “Pitch Perfect 2” (2015) – started his American entertainment career with YouTube vlogs. His most popular video, Jennifer Is a Party Pooper, has nearly 11 million views. For almost two minutes, Borg babbles about his colleague Jennifer, who “poops at parties”. His online fame led to his robust acting career, which includes a long list of television episodes in addition to “Pitch Perfect 2” and a role in “The Suicide Squad” (2021) as Javelin.

Borg can sing. He can dance, and some may argue that he can act. YouTube is a video sharing platform whose longer format showcases talent that is more easily transferable to film acting. TikTok, on the other hand, is the Twitter of videos, which only increased its recording limit from 60 seconds to three minutes last July.

Flula Borg at the premiere of Flula Borg at the premiere of “The Suicide Squad,” in which he plays Javelin, earlier this month. Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty

Anyone can go viral on TikTok with a single clip of themselves dancing or rattling off their “OOTD” outfit of the day. Viewers and fans are also creators of the app, and those who benefit from the algorithm are considered normal people, the girl next door, a pretty older sister who is really good at makeup. Will their appeal remain when they become red carpet celebrities?

“Well, IT IS HERE !!!” Rae wrote her Instagram account and shared the trailer for “He’s All That”. “I honestly don’t know how to explain my feelings while watching it.” Many fans celebrated their next big career move. Some expressed skepticism: “They used you … on Netflix just because you have a pretty face. I’m sorry, but that’s the reality, ”wrote one commentator.

It remains to be seen whether double-tap likes will turn into ticket sales or subscriber wins. “StarDog and TurboCat” received lukewarm reviews and grossed just over $ 1 million worldwide. Films that are marketed to an already existing fan base are not after Oscar nominations. A new group of media consumers means a new production and marketing strategy, and some in the industry are placing their bets with an audience on movies from TikTok converts.

Kyung Mi Lee can be reached at kyungmi.lee@globe.com.

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