We all have regrets. Some of ours are bigger than others, but we all wish would go back and change something, do something a little different. For celebrities in the public eye, bad decisions are magnified. They can haunt careers. They can affect everything an actor does moving forward. Whether it’s taking on a role they shouldn’t have, turning down a role they should have taken or a life decision that has stuck with them, these are the regrets we want to hear about. Why do we care? Well, regrets are little pieces of humanity that remind us that Hollywood stars are regular people. They show us that in the film and television industry, bad decisions are made all the time, as they are in real life. This is comforting.
Obviously the decisions that appear on this list weren’t career-ruining. These are A-list actresses, which means they’ve been quite successful, almost from start to finish. Yet, regrets are regrets. We hear such few truths from celebrities. These are professionals. They are well-versed in the ways that their words can be misconstrued. They also know that their words can influence the way people view them. If the people turn on them, the studios will turn on them. For the most part, everything that comes out of their mouths is filtered and veiled. Even still, once in a blue moon, we get some unfiltered honesty. We’d like to think that these are some of those honest moments. Here we go: 15 A-List Actresses Confess Their Biggest Regrets
15. Jessica Alba – Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Jessica Alba takes some criticism for being beautiful. Not directly of course but, because she’s so gorgeous, critics expect her acting to be subpar. That’s not always the case. Though she has been in some really awful flicks over the years, the Fantastic Four films are some of the worst on her resume. Alba knows this, but she also claims that she didn’t have control of a whole lot during filming, especially on Rise of the Silver Surfer, which is why the film is one of her biggest regrets to date. “I wanted to stop acting,” she said. “The director was like, ‘[your crying] looks too real. It looks too painful. Can you be prettier when you cry? Cry pretty, Jessica.’ He was like, ‘Don’t do that thing with your face. Just make it flat. We can CGI the tears in.’ And I’m like, But there’s no connection to a human being. And then it got me thinking: Am I not good enough? Are my instincts and my emotions not good enough? Do people hate them so much that they don’t want me to be a person? Am I not allowed to be a person in my work? And so I just said, ‘F–k it. I don’t care about this business anymore.”
14. Sofia Vergara – Applying Sunscreen On Her Chest
It might sound weird to hear that the stunning Sofia Vergara has some regrets about the way she looks, but she does. Though you won’t hear very many people criticize, the actress’s biggest regret comes from letting too much sun get to her chest. “In my 20s, I started to use sunblock on my face,” she says. “I wish I had put it on my chest too.” No one’s getting close enough to see if the sun has had an impact on her chest skin, but if she’s complaining about it and comparing it to her face skin, it must be at least somewhat noticeable. Still, at age 44, the Colombian beauty looks better than most 20-year old women, so you won’t catch us complaining. Not one bit.
13. Natalie Portman – Baring It All
After a short came out from Wes Anderson called Hotel Chevalier (prologue to The Darjeeling Limited), there was a big to do about Natalie Portman’s nudity in it, which is basically covered up anyways. Papers started printing that she was ashamed of the role. Her quote was as follows: “I’m really sorry I didn’t listen to my intuition,” she said. “From now on, I’m going to trust my gut. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is say no.” It turns out, however, that this quote was in regards to Goya’s Ghosts, a role that has her character show much more nudity, but it was actually a body double. Portman did clarify the regrets, though, and they weren’t necessarily about getting nude. Well, they were, but it was because she knew what would happen if her character got nude. “It’s more that I don’t like misappropriation of stuff,” Portman stated, “Like when you create something as part of a story and then a piece of it ends up on a [skin] site. It’s meant to be a dramatic scene and part of a story. That really makes me angry. It’s inevitable and I should know what happens.”
Portman has reined back the nudity in the past, specifically in her role in Closer, which she asked for the nudity to be completely cut out of the final film. Probably because this type of thing would happen.
12. Sienna Miller – G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra
It wasn’t obvious at first that G.I. Joe was something that Sienna Miller regretted doing until she was asked about her reprising her role in a second film. In fact, she probably would have kept all her feelings inside if no one asked her if she was coming back to the franchise. That was when we learned that G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra “compromised her values.” For Miller, participating in it in the first place was entirely a financial move and nothing more. She insists that she will choose roles in the future that allow her to show off her acting abilities more. “G.I. Joe (was) a great paycheck,” the actress claims. “If, financially, I’m okay – which luckily I am – there’s no point in doing stuff that’s not right for me. It’s too much time away from home.”
11. Michelle Pfeiffer – Grease 2
If stars didn’t run the risk of being blacklisted for speaking out against their films or weren’t contractually obligated to promote them, we would definitely hear more of them openly criticize some of the movies on their resumes. Since most stars are smart and don’t like to crap where they eat, they keep their judgements to themselves. Many take on bad films that they live to regret, but, for most, those films were their only options at the time. That’s pretty much the case for Michelle Pfeiffer. She took the role in Grease 2 because she was new in film and was generally excited for it, but it turned out to be a disastrous film. “I hated that film with a vengeance and could not believe how bad it was,” said Pfeiffer. “At the time I was young and didn’t know any better… I hear it’s a cult movie now.” Eh? Not really Michelle, not really at all.
10. Kate Winslet – Titanic
Kate Winslet has a lot to say when it comes to her first big break in Hollywood, Titanic. She’s complained about her younger self and the weak American accent, and she’s rolled her eyes at her acting choices in the film. But for her, the worst part of all is the fact that she got so naked in the film. In Winslet’s words, “I wish I hadn’t shown so much flesh but I was young and I knew I had things to prove.” This has been her biggest regret. While she still takes on some roles with nudity these days, it was likely the fact that the nudity was unnecessary in the film. If anything, it kind of feels out of place. Nah, nevermind. Don’t worry, Kate. We don’t regret you did it.
9. Christina Applegate – Turning Down Legally Blonde
Christina Applegate has had a pretty strong career, but it could have been a lot better if not for bad timing and bad decisions. When the blonde beauty was coming out of TV and trying to break into the film industry, she started receiving a ton of scripts and offers, but she was pickier than she probably should have been. There is only so much time that an actress can stay out of the limelight before the industry moves on and finds the next big thing. That’s how it went with Applegate when she got offered the role of Cher in Legally Blonde. As the actress tells it, “The script came my way, and it was after I had just finished Married […With Children]. I got scared of kind of repeating myself. What a stupid move.” While she was still able to carve out a great career, Legally Blonde would have given Applegate a good chance at becoming a megastar.
8. Jennifer Lawrence – Not Saving A Raccoon
When Jennifer Lawrence joined Stephen Colbert on The Late Show, she participated in a segment called “Big Questions with even Bigger Stars.” While looking up at the stars, Colbert bounced questions off of the Academy Award winning actress, and she gave brutally honest answers in return. When asked about her biggest regret, Lawrence answered, “Not helping that raccoon get his head out of the mayonnaise jar.” It should also be noted that Colbert’s biggest regret was “eating that mayonnaise-covered raccoon,” so, sadly, we know the little guy’s fate. Sometimes the smallest things can haunt us and Lawrence is proof of that scary fact.
7. Jessica Biel – Baring It All In A Photoshoot
In 2000, Jessica Biel did a photoshoot with Gear Magazine that showed off a lot of the actress. The pictures sort of hid some of the nudity, but it was very apparent that the actress was naked. So, what’s the problem? Well, she was only 17 years old at the time. While Biel says that she learned from the experience, it is something that she regrets. She would say later, “That photoshoot was just a really bad decision on my part and I got myself involved with people who weren’t thinking about me and were instead thinking about what kind of a story they could get out of it.” Yeah, there was no story Jessica. You were naked. Case closed.
6. Betty White – Wasting Time
Of all the regrets on this list, Betty White‘s is the sweetest. The legendary actress met Allen Ludden, the television host of games like Password, in 1961. The two would start up a relationship together, but when Ludden asked White to marry him, twice, she turned him down. On the third attempt, in 1963, White accepted the proposal and the two lived happily together for 18 years until, sadly, Ludden died of stomach cancer in 1981. More recently, White was asked about any regrets she had and she responded, “I spent a whole year, wasted a whole year that Allen and I could have had together, saying, ‘No, I wouldn’t marry him. No, I won’t. No, I won’t leave California. No, I won’t move to New York,'” she said. “I wasted a whole year we could have had together.” Since she was robbed of her time with him, White looked back longingly at a time when she had control. When she was asked why she didn’t remarry after 1981, White said, “once you’ve had the best, who needs the rest?”
5. Emily Blunt – Becoming An American
Emily Blunt has two related regrets. The first was revealed while she was promoting her film, Sicario, at the Toronto Film Festival. The British-born actress, talking about the recent GOP debate, said, “I became an American citizen recently, and that night, we watched the Republican debate and I thought, ‘This was a terrible mistake. What have I done?'” After that, we realized she had a second regret. Thanks to the hail of fury from proud Americans asking her to denounce her citizenship, move back to Britain and other things that cannot be said here, Blunt regrets being so blunt. She regretted trying to make a political joke. She went on to retract her statements, claiming it was only a bad joke and she is proud to be an American. Awkward.
4. Nicole Kidman – Not Showing More Confidence
Nicole Kidman is a strong and powerful woman. She’s had a long and enduring career in one of the most difficult industries in the world and she seems to be fully in control of her own destiny. However, that wasn’t always the case. When speaking to a room full of women at an awards ceremony, Nicole spoke about her regrets when she was first breaking into the industry, how she held back because she thought it would serve her better in the long run. “I was afraid of my own power,” she said, “afraid that it would threaten people, intimidate people. And it’s a great sadness wishing to be less than you actually are. And it’s hard to take on the world when you’re constantly in a battle with yourself. I worked through it … I’m working through it.” It’s impossible to say whether this restraint helped or hindered her career, but it’s an empowering warning for new actresses nonetheless.
3. Courtney Cox – Plastic Surgery
Courtney Cox has always kept quiet on her plastic surgery while the whole world talked about it. Compared to most of the botched jobs in Hollywood, Cox’s isn’t the worst, but it’s definitely not good. Over the years, she has tried to revitalize her looks but has ended up looking quite different than the person she started as. It wasn’t until recently, however, that she opened up about the whole thing. “I have done things that I regret,” the Friends actress admits, “luckily they’re things that dissolve and go away, so that’s good, because that’s not always been my best look.” When asked why she chose to go that route, Cox responded, “I was trying to keep up with getting older and trying to chase that [youth].” Aren’t we all? Aren’t. We. All.
2. Rooney Mara – Whitewashing In Pan
When Rooney Mara was cast to play Tiger Lily in the film Pan, people were instantly critical. Why would Hollywood cast a white woman to play an obviously native character? Mara spoke up about the issue, not defending the choice but regretting that she had ever become a part of that debate. “I really hate, hate, hate that I am on that side of the whitewashing conversation,” she said. “I really do. I don’t ever want to be on that side of it again. I can understand why people were upset and frustrated.” In the end, the film was bad enough that most people forgot about it right away, which is a positive for Mara. Anyways, she was really endearing about the whole thing. Throughout the entire debacle, Mara remained sincere about her feelings, while trying not to be too critical of the people who pay her. That being said, she would say. “I feel really bad and embarrassed to be a part of that,” which makes it pretty clear how she feels.
1. Helen Mirren – Baring It All
Early on in Helen Mirren‘s career, she was nude a lot. In both films and photoshoots, the seductive Mirren bared it all on many different occasions, but nowadays, thanks in large part to her age, she’s reined it in. With all that nudity, you would think that she was comfortable with showing so much skin, but, the actress revealed, she wasn’t. “I might seem uninhibited but believe me, I’m not. I’ve always had a problem doing nudity,” she said. “In fact, I hated it. It has never been a comfortable thing. I’ve never enjoyed it. It’s always mortifying… I did those scenes because I didn’t want to be uptight. Now I got stuck, in a way, with a reputation for doing nude scenes.” The legendary beauty says that only Caligula, a film produced by Penthouse and is as close to a skin flick as a film can get, is the only one she doesn’t regret. “Everyone was naked in that,” the actress said. “It was like showing up for a nudist camp every day. You felt embarrassed if you had your clothes on in that movie.”