We know them, and they are many, the stars who, at one point, had it all, but something changed in a flash. They lost it. Some of them were megastars that suddenly came crashing back down to earth, others were stars that slowly dwindled, so to speak, but all have ego in common, massive, massive egos. One side of me can’t really blame them. They are idolized and loved across the world, they bleed dollar bills and all of them are really talen—most of them are really talented. The other side of me, however, starts to change my opinion of these actors. Sometimes, even for a seasoned movie watcher like yours truly, it is difficult to separate a character from the actor. I don’t like it but it happens.
Some of this is hearsay, but, like my mama always said, rumors are just as strong as the truth if people believe them. Not all of the stars on this list have completely crumbled and given up. No, many are still working, some are even still pretty popular, but they slipped up somewhere along the line; those egos of theirs got them into trouble. Don’t get mad at me if you see your pal on this list. I don’t make the news; I just report it. Let’s take a look at these egotistical stars, the 16 biggest shattered egos of Hollywood.
16. Katherine Heigl
There’s a saying in Hollywood, “Katherine Who?” Heh. Nah, she is famous. She was in Grey’s Anatomy and was made into a huge name. That was before she spat in the writer’s and show’s faces by withdrawing her Emmy nomination and openly criticizing her character because she didn’t like the way the show was going. She then made it big in film, in Knocked Up… right before she slammed that character and the entire movie as sexist. I think she regrets it now though, because her roles have become a little less reputable over the years. She’s also one of the worst rated actors in Hollywood. For such an outspoken actress about the roles she plays, you would think that she would choose better ones, but lo and behold, she does not and has not.
15. Edward Norton
I don’t like this one, but here it is nonetheless. I love Edward Norton and the guy is going to continue to work and show off his skill, but he did mess up a little. After making The Incredible Hulk in 2008, Norton looked like he was poised to join the Marvel universe for good, but, when The Avengers came out in 2012, Norton was nowhere to be found. His role as the Hulk had been recast and was now played by Mark Ruffalo. Norton says it was more his choice, but other rumors suggest it was about money; he was demanding far too much. So now, as Marvel pumps out dozens of films per year, Ruffalo has seemingly struck gold, while Norton has to actually work to find new roles. It might be safe to say that, whatever happened between the two sides, Norton probably regrets it.
14. Mariah Carey
I don’t know, maybe Mariah Carey is still relevant in your world, but in mine, she’s nowhere to be found. At one point, Carey had everything. She was one of the most highly thought of singers in the world and life was great, then she tried her hand at acting. While some people may give her a pass because she didn’t fall on her face in Precious, nothing, and I mean nothing, can ever erase Glitter from the public’s memory. For me and many others, Glitter pulled back the curtain on Mariah and showed us that singing is all she has. She may not be the worst actress to ever star in a movie, but she’s up there. Like who told her she was good enough to act? How could anyone, any studio, any director, believe she was good enough to frontline a movie? Start small Mariah. Give yourself a few trial runs before trying to fly for God’s sake. When she said, “If you see me as just the princess then you misunderstand who I am and what I have been through,” I guess she wasn’t referring to her monumental uphill climb to get a starring role in film.
13. Tom Cruise
It’s tough for me to claim that Tom Cruise’s ego shattered at any point in his career. The guy’s films make money hand over fist and he still gets really powerful roles from the studios. But I want to talk about perception here. In 2005, Cruise was probably the biggest star in the world, then he went on Oprah and every day after was a little bit weirder. Cruise went on the show to talk about his new love Katie Holmes, and went completely stupid, jumping, yelling, laughing, shaking—all over the top and all fake. It felt awkward; it was awkward. Couple that moment with his Scientology exploits and the public started looking at Cruise sideways, or perhaps they started seeing Tommy boy for who he really is: a friggin alien. Cruise doesn’t fit. He’s too happy, too energetic, too engaged. No human is like him. Ever since that startling Oprah interview, Cruise’s human costume has been a little less convincing.
12. Gwyneth Paltrow
Yeah, some people dislike Gwyneth Paltrow. She’s known for producing some really cringy, eye-rolling quotes. What do we know about her? She hates Cup-o-Soup, she hates cheese in a can, she likes expensive things, and loves, absolutely loves, a flowering zucchini in a garden. While promoting Iron Man 3, Paltrow admitted she didn’t even understand the plot from the script. More recently, the character of Pepper Potts has been left out of the Marvel franchise. Now these two things are very unlikely to be related, but she still is losing out on the 93 Marvel movies that are sure to be made in the next few years. It’s tough to say that Paltrow’s ego is shattered completely, but ever since she’s been ranking on the tops of the “most disliked celebrities” lists, her stock has certainly fallen.
Madonna has been in so many bad movies that it’s too time consuming to go over them all. She’s been nominated for the most Razzies, she’s won the most Razzies and nearly all of her movies, save one (arguably), have been terrible. Ok wait, A League of Their Own was good and she was good in it, but everything else was terrible. Yes, I’m including Evita, such a terribly overrated movie. Madonna has said she’s stopping acting, which is a gift that keeps on giving. But she blames the critics and audiences for this decision, feeling cheated by people who want to see her fail. Now only someone with a massive ego like Madonna could feel that her awful performances are our fault. After getting roasted in almost everything she’s done, she now will avoid films because of this “unfair” criticism. I wish more terrible actors would let bad criticism dissuade them from acting again, if that were more common, the world would be a better place. Less Madonna acting means more sunshine and less rain in my life.
10. Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon is a well known actress. She won an Academy Award for her performance in Walk the Line and has done some very large and well-received films. But a few years ago, when her and her husband were arrested for a DUI and disorderly conduct, we got to see how Witherspoon sees herself, and she sees herself as a giant, above the law and better than all other mere mortals. During the arrest, which was the result of her idiot husband driving drunk in the wrong lane, Witherspoon kept asking the officer if he knew who she was. She also felt that the event would be on “national news,” as if that was going to scare off the officer from arresting two drunk and dangerous morons. Though she sobered up and apologized for the event, the world got an up close look at the enormous ego of Witherspoon that night and her public image has never really recovered, nor should it.
9. Megan Fox
Megan Fox having an ego makes sense because the infatuation with her looks has probably been misinterpreted as infatuation for her acting ability. I’m not a fan of Michael Bay movies, but he made Fox who she is, then she went out and criticized him and called him names, and not just any names, she called him Hitler. Yes, she actually called him Hitler. It’s been said she believes that she’s a goddess, demands to be treated like royalty on set and she’s rude. Well there was a time when she was in huge demand. Now Michael Bay is the only filmmaker who wants her, for whatever reason. To top this all off, Fox is just the worst actress too, like seriously bad. She is one of the worst rated actors of all time, not the sort of high ranking you want attached to your name.
8. Jennifer Lopez
They say that Jennifer Lopez has one of the biggest egos in the business. It’s rumored that she doesn’t even speak to people on set directly. While she may be a massive star in the music world, in the acting world JLo is an amateur. Not only are most, if not all, of her movies awful, but she, too, is god awful in them. Her attitude on set is not doing her any favors, either. Her massive star status might have got her roles in the past, but at this point in her career, when her looks can no longer carry her, it’s acting ability which will keep her working. Unfortunately for Jenny from the Block, she has absolutely no acting ability. Maybe it’s time to lighten up Jenny, soon you’ll be begging for roles.
7. Shannon Doherty
A star in both Beverly Hills, 90210 and Charmed, Shannon Doherty will likely never again reach the fame she saw early on in her career. So why did she fall so hard, so fast? What happened? Well, in short, her ego basically happened. Apparently, Doherty was incredibly difficult to work with, at least that’s what most of her peers have said in the past. She’s a diva to say the least. She apparently had insane demands and had an unrealistic image of herself. What did she get for all of this? Well, she got written off the shows that made her famous in the first place. She’s been forgotten about, nothing more than a trivia question from 90s TV.
6. Val Kilmer
Many directors and actors have spoken openly about Val Kilmer and how much of a problem he can be to work with. His characters are often similar, very stuffy and stuck up, likely because this is an easy character for him to play. It seems, though, that Kilmer’s bad reputation has affected him because his roles over time have become less and less frequent and less, how do you say, good. I personally like Val Kilmer as an actor and entertainment star, but the more I read about him and his wild antics, the less I like him (and the less I respect him or his craft). What happened Kilmer? He used to be so cool.
5. Shia LaBeouf
After Shia LaBeouf’s Disney Channel career, he hit the ground running with Transformers, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Lawless, among others. While, critically, LaBeouf’s films may not have been flying successes, he made big bucks along the way. That is, until things got weird. I don’t know the exact chronology, but here’s what I do know. LaBeouf claimed that he beat up Tom Hardy on the set of Lawless. Tom Hardy. Video also surfaced of LaBeouf being beat up by a random guy outside of a bar. Shia went on to direct a short film, which we learned was plagiarized. Then he apologized with a Tweet, but that too was plagiarized. Then he started doing weird meta art installments, likely all in an effort to pretend this meltdown was part of a larger performance, a la Andy Kaufman and Joaquin Phoenix. You’re not fooling me Shia. I can only be let down so many times.
4. Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson… Man, what in the world happened to Mel Gibson? This is Mad Max we’re talking about. The one and only Martin Riggs from Lethal Weapon. Well, Mel’s had some issues in the past with alcohol, domestic abuse, racism and homophobia. What is true in all of this is tough to say because it has been shown that the leaked tapes, which were the basis of much of the ill feelings towards Mel, were doctored. Yet, edited or not, the tapes still include some pretty crazy things. He’s also been recorded acting pretty belligerently and saying other oddball things. In recent years, Gibson has fallen out of favor in Hollywood. He’s no longer considered the giant he once was and it seems his glory days are behind him. It’ll be interesting to see how his career evolves behind the camera because he has done some good work there. We will see if he can rein in the psycho bits of himself and regain control of his career.
3. Lindsay Lohan
There’s two sides to the Lindsay Lohan fiasco. One side says: “oh, Lindsay is an addict and is struggling to overcome her issues. It has been a really tough time for her.” The other side says: “Lindsay is spoiled rotten and deserves a much worse fate than her fame has allowed her.” Lohan is almost to the point of irrelevancy now that most of her drama is in the rear view, or at least, just ignored nowadays. There was a time that she was a huge star, though. Several drunken appearances, A few DUIs, a couple missed court appearances, one or two failed completions of community service time, deuce incredibly short jail sentences and some insanely fortunate house arrests later, and Lohan is turned into an afterthought. Whether it’s warranted or not, it’s because of people like Lohan that stars are villainized for their luck with the law. Lindsay’s broken the law numerous times and laughed in the face of the justice system but has suffered almost zero consequences. She better hope that she invested well though because the time has long passed since the word Lilo referred to her and not another social outcast from Disney.
2. Jean-Claude Van Damme
From the late 80s to the early 90s, Jean-Claude Van Damme was in every action movie there was. He was the master of martial arts and everyone wanted him. After 1994’s Timecop, the big studios came knocking looking to sign him to multi-film deals for big time bucks. The problem was, Van Damme felt that he needed to get paid more than the multimillion dollars he was being offered. Van Damme felt he deserved to get money on par with the biggest stars in the world, Jim Carrey money in excess of $20 million USD. The studios simply laughed and walked away from him. He was basically blacklisted and forgotten. The next 15 years for Van Damme saw him do straight-to-DVD films and some weak sequels (until JCVD and Expendables 2). It was a risky and cocky bet for the martial artist and it ended up being very expensive and nearly career-ruining for him.
1. Charlie Sheen
Tiger Blood. Winning. Remember that very strange and very weird period for Charlie Sheen? He was making stupid Two and a Half Men money but then he went crazy, like Gary Busey crazy. Things haven’t gotten better for him. He’s had health issues and relationship issues, all sorts of issues. Charlie’s family are almost all actors, but of them all, he’s the weirdest. Papa Sheen, Martin as his friends call him, he went a bit weird too, in fact, it was filmed. Apocalypse Now kept the hotel room scene in the final cut showing Martin dancing and punching and bleeding. In those moments, you can really see a little Charlie in there. Or, at the very least, you can see where Charlie might get it from. Who can say? I’m not a psychologist.