Hollywood is a weird place; one day you could be the hottest thing on the scene with all the critics singing your praise. The next day, the spotlight moves on to the next star or starlet, and the world keeps on moving like you never existed. Some say the trick is staying consistent, but if you consistently make bad movies, that’s not such a great thing either. Here are eight actors below who at one point were scorching hot in their career, but now, not so much. Enjoy below ….
Alicia Silverstone was pretty much the center of popular culture when she starred in the era-defining high school movie Clueless in 1995. The film didn’t necessarily have any serious dramatic gravitas to it, but for the movie it was, Alicia Silverstone was perfect in it. Next, she got the high profile gig of Batgirl in the 1997 Batman reboot (George Clooney was Bruce Wayne in case you’re keeping track). But after that, nothing really seemed to click in a career that at one point looked like it was shooting for the stars. She has appeared in the occasional television movie here and there, but this is one star we would have loved to see dominate the upper echelon of Hollywood actors.
Ryan Phillippe is one of those Hollywood actors you always keep waiting on to fully arrive. Sometimes when your breakthrough role is so memorable, it can almost be a handicap for the rest of your career. For Phillippe, the nefarious role he played excellently in the film Cruel Intentions whetted our appetite for more exemplary performances in the future. He hasn’t completely disappeared in the years that have followed. He has had noteworthy performances in films like Crash and Flags Of Our Fathers, but he never really developed that consistent momentum to take him over the edge. He could have easily been the Ryan Gosling of his time, but it looks we’ll just have to continue to wait and see.
Colin Farrell first exploded on the scene in 2001 with the Spielberg-directed movie, Minority Report. He starred in other movies like Phone Booth, The Recruit and Miami Vice that continued to increase his popularity and reputation as a dark and brooding Irish leading man in Hollywood. But even with his good looks, appealing bad boy image and strong screen presence, he was never able to put together a string of solid movies to place him in the elite section of Hollywood actors. But there’s still hope – he’s been cast as one of the lead actors in the next season of True Detective. If that doesn’t really revive his career, we don’t know what will.
Let’s get this out the way. First and foremost, Edward Norton is a truly gifted and amazing actor. In the beginning of his career, he completely dazzled and awed audiences with his brilliant acting in movies like Primal Fear, Fight Club and American History X. These three movies alone are enough to prove that Norton is a remarkable master at his craft. Even though he has appeared in other watchable flicks since then like The Score and 25th Hour, we really haven’t seen Norton in enough cinematic vehicles that show off his endless potential. Norton can be as good as Pacino, Hoffman or Day Lewis, and we really want to see him reach that rarified peak.
The svelte and statuesque actress Katherine Heigl was supposed to be one of the next big breakout stars in television and film. She was one of the original cast members on the hit show Grey’s Anatomy, and she stayed at the hit show from 2005-2010. She decided to leave the series because the big studio producers started offering her big movie paychecks of over $10 million per flick. But her choice of movies didn’t get the response she expected. Movies like Killers (with Ashton Kutcher), Life As We Know It and The Big Wedding were widely panned by critics. And just like that her career was in a little bit of a tailspin. She is currently on a new NBC show called State of Affairs which starts this November – perhaps if this show is a hit, she can regain the popularity and success she once had.
When Josh Hartnett burst onto the scene in 2001 with blockbuster movies like Pearl Harbor and Black Hawk Down, everyone thought that the world had been introduced to the new and handsome leading man of the future. He was extremely good looking, but in a manly kind of way, and he had the acting chops to back it up. But somehow, all the potential didn’t translate, and his next choices of movies like Lucky Number Slevin, Sin City and The Black Dahlia didn’t elevate him to the heights expected. Since then he has appeared in sporadic films here and there, but he made his major return to the limelight this year with the Showtime show Penny Dreadful. The show is getting good reviews and it’s already coming back for Season 2. Perhaps this might be the reintroduction of Mr. Hartnett as the leading man he was born to be.
Brendan Fraser :
For a while there, it seemed liked Brendan Fraser was going to be the natural successor to Harrison Ford. He was that tall, cute and loveable leading man who could bring in the big bucks at the Box Office. He had family-friendly and commercially successful movies like George of the Jungle, The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. It was widely believed then that he had received permanent A-list status, but then all of a sudden, he just dropped off. Lately, movie hits from Mr. Fraser have been few and far in-between, and we’re still waiting to see whether he can fulfil the potential of being the new Indiana Jones.
Anyone who vividly remembers the ‘90s knows that one of the major dramatic television series of that era was the show Party of Five. In the show, Neve Campbell played the role of Julia Salinger and she was critically hailed as the “most believable teenager” on television. She leveraged her success on television to starring roles in hit movies like The Craft and the immensely popular Scream movies. But alas, it seems those Scream slasher flicks might have been the kiss of death, because her career hasn’t been able to scare up any excitement since then. No one is doubting her acting ability, but honestly, her career hasn’t lived up to the potential expected by so many.