Stars and celebrities often take a job because they have to live. You can’t always star in the next Best Picture Oscar-winner, sometimes you just have to take a job that will pay the bills. Every actor and celebrity has done it, whether they’d admit it or not. Sure, every celeb wants to have stellar, pristine acting credentials, but that’s simply not always possible.
While you can’t usually tell on-screen or on-air – they are actors, after all – oftentimes these stars will air their dirty laundry after filming completes, or after watching the finished product. In interviews or letters or voicemails, these foul words become publicized (intentionally or leaked), and tell the world how a star really feel about working with a particular director, or producer, or co-star.
Some of these may surprise you: stars who are bad-mouthing the very work that made them famous or a household name. Others will probably leave you thinking to yourself, ‘Yeah, I could see that. That film/TV show sucked.” Here are 10 stars who trashed their own work.
10. Halle Berry – Catwoman
Though Hallen Berry might have looked good as the eponymous role in 2003’s Catwoman, the movie garnered a horrific reception, currently having just a 9% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 3.3/10 on IMDb.
Halle Berry managed to receive the Razzie Award for Worst Actress in 2004 after just coming back from an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2002’s Monster Ball, and being the first woman of color to do so. Talk about flipping the script! She went on to thank Catwoman’s studio, Warner Bros., for “putting [me] in a godawful piece of s**t movie.”
9. Christopher Plummer – The Sound of Music
In 1965, Christopher Plummer became a superstar after the success of the popular musical film, The Sound of Music. The film held the distinction of being the highest-grossing film of all time – even more so than Gone with the Wind – for five years, starting in 1966.
And despite winning five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, legendary actor Christopher Plummer hated it. He told The Hollywood Reporter in 2011 that the movie was “awful and sentimental and gooey,” and that “you had to work terribly hard to try and infuse some miniscule bit of humor into it.”
8. Steven Tyler – American Idol
Rock legend Steven Tyler was one of the more popular judges during his two-year run on American Idol (2010 to 2012), often giving heartfelt insight to competitors, while keeping the show light and fun at the same time. Even so, Tyler admittedly was not a big fan of the show himself.
The Aerosmith frontman said to Rolling Stone that he “loved it and hated it,” and was “something to do while the storm blew by,” (meaning the momentary lapse of his band). He said it was, “not [my] cup of tea,” and when announcing he was leaving the show, he called Idol his “mistress,” adding that he had to let her go before the show, “boils my rabbit.” Despite those remarks, many speculated that Tyler was dumped from the show by the producers.
7. Katherine Heigl – Knocked Up and Grey’s Anatomy
Katherine Heigl has been known to be notoriously difficult to work with, and perhaps some of that stems from when she bashed the very film that made her a star, Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up (2007). She told Vanity Fair that the movie is “a little sexist,” and “paints women as shrews, humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys.”
The year after that morose review, Heigl lashed out at Grey’s Anatomy writers for not giving her enough good dialogue to be nominated for an Emmy. Interestingly enough, Heigl WON the Emmy for Grey’s Anatomy the year before (in 2007, when she was busy bashing Knocked Up).
6. Megan Fox – Transformers
Before bouncing back by starring in the high-grossing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), actress Megan Fox was having a rough go – all but being shunned by the Hollywood community and media. Most of this stemmed from her time in the 2007 Michael Bay film Transformers, and its sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009).
Fox went on a very public tirade against director Michael Bay, comparing the director to Hitler, and to Napoleon. Her comments led her to being fired by executive producer Steven Spielberg. Despite the media spinning these comments into a hate-feud between Bay and the actress, Fox would work against with the action-movie director for Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles.
5. Mariah Carey – American Idol
Another veteran who was much more vocal about her ultimate distaste for American Idol was superstar Mariah Carey, who judged one season of the show in season 12 (helping to replace Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez). Her season was tense and uncomfortable, particularly when working with fellow judge Nicki Minaj. Their disputes made for good ratings, but a horrible experience for Carey.
She referred to the show as, “the worst experience of my life,” saying that it was “so boring and so fake.” She also believes the producers purposely pitted her against Minaj, saying, “I’m not going to get into what it was, but let’s just say I don’t think they had any intentions for us to have a good experience during that show.”
4. Angus T. Jones – Two and a Half Men
Speaking of sitcoms and biting the hand that feeds, Angus T. Jones gave a surprisingly negative review about the Two and a Half Men, the show which made him famous, as well as the highest-paid child star in television. He played Jake Harper for 10 years on the show, and viewers got to see Jones grow up onscreen, from a young boy to a young man.
Still, after being guaranteed $7.8 million for two seasons from 2010 to 2012, he made a public YouTube video, stating that, “I’m on Two and a Half Men and I don’t want to be. Please stop watching it an filling your head with filth.” During an interview in 2014, he explained his position, saying that “it was making light of topics in our world that are really problems for a lot of people, and I was a paid hypocrite because I wasn’t okay with it, but I was still doing it.”
3. Nicole Kidman – Australia
Although the 2008, 3-hour epic film by Baz Luhrmann is the second highest-grossing Australia movie of all time, the film did not bode well with critics, viewers, or even the leading actress. In 2009, Nicole Kidman told an Australia radio host that she “squirmed in her seat,” during the film’s premiere in Sydney, Australia. She added that it was “just impossible for me to connect to it emotionally at all.” Considering that Kidman is an Australian-American, those digs must cut pretty deep.
2. Chevy Chase – Community
Saturday Night Live legend Chevy Chase has always been vocal about his working relationships with co-stars, crewmembers, directors, and producers, and that was shown on full display in 2012, when a profanity-loaded voicemail to Community creator Dan Harmon was leaked on the Internet.
Rather than apologize for the voicemails, Chase went even further later that year during an interview with HuffPost UK. Even though he starred in four seasons of the show, he said that, “the hours are hideous, and it’s still a sitcom on television, which is probably the lowest form of television.” Low form or not, tell that to people like the cast from The Big Bang Theory – all of whom are making around a million dollars an episode.
1. Alec Guinness – Star Wars
This might come as a shock and bit of a sting for Star Wars lovers all over the world. In author Piers Paul’s 2011 book, “Alec Guinness: The Authorised Biography,” the writer reveals that Obi-Wan Kenobi himself was not a fan of the iconic franchise.
In fact, ‘not a fan’ is putting it mildly. And Guinness’ published letters disowning the franchise weren’t just in hindsight, many of them were published during the filming of the original trilogy (so we can’t just assume he was referring to the prequels). Guinness called the films “fairy-tale rubbish,” with “excruciating and lamentable” dialogue. I think the fanboy in me just died a little.