If you ask some of the world’s greatest actors, they’ll honestly tell you that it’s not too hard to act. As the famous Vaudevillian American actor George Burns once said, “Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” Plenty of actors like Robert Downey Jr., Liam Neeson, Johnny Depp, and Jane Fonda ridicule their profession saying that pretty much anyone can do it. Yet, you’d be surprised how many people flat-out suck at acting.
Obviously, not everyone can do it. Plenty of you readers are probably staring at the screen, shaking your head, and thinking, “I can’t act.” Well, fair. At least you’re self-aware enough to acknowledge that (though everything’s worth trying once). There are plenty of celebrities out there that have tried acting because, why not? It’s a great way to stay in the media spotlight, not necessarily work intensive, and potentially fun. Trying your hand at acting can actually be a great strategic move for a celebrity in another realm to stay relevant, as it has been with Queen Latifah, Ice Cube, and Jamie Foxx. But it doesn’t work for everyone.
Though most of these celebs are still pretty famous, whether it’s for their acting or not, we can all pretty much agree that they shouldn’t be making movies or be acting on TV anymore — for our sake. With so many quality actors out there, they should probably just stick to what they know best and have some mercy on their viewers. Here are fifteen celebs who tried, and failed at, acting:
15. Nicki Minaj
Okay, it’s very rare that we’re going to say someone is a bad actor on this list and then go on to compliment them. However, Nicki is a very special case. Aside from her many appearances as herself on plenty of shows and movies, she’s acted in a few cases including Barbershop: The Next Cut, The Other Woman, and Ice Age: Continental Drift. And no, she’s not a very good actress. However… she kind of knew it all along.
We’re going to single out the movie The Other Woman; though it wasn’t very popular, it was a funny movie about women who have been cheated on by the same man. Nicki plays Cameron Diaz‘s assistant, one who takes and gives no sh*ts. And she is mercilessly, painfully honest, just like Nicki probably is in real life! So no, she was not very entertaining to watch, but if you imagine it’s just how she is in real life, it makes her seem like the absolute coolest chick.
14. Kate Upton
Since we’re already kind of talking about it, let’s stay on that movie The Other Woman. It starred Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann, both totally renowned and respected actresses, and it kind of had the writing potential to be hilarious (even though it was a grown woman’s version of John Tucker Must Die), but then they cast Kate Upton as the young ingenue. Don’t get us wrong, Kate is GORGEOUS. Stunning. Radiant, even. But she is not a good actress. We’re pretty sure this air-headed model doesn’t have a whole lot to offer Hollywood besides her barely-plus-sized progressive moves in the modeling industry. She’s still getting roles in things like Wild Man and The Layover, mostly because dudes will pay anything to see the body at work, but she doesn’t have much in the way of acting skill or talent. She pretty much just smiles and tilts her cute little head.
13. Jaden Smith
It’s amazing how far a father will go to make his child’s dreams come true. When Will Smith‘s daughter told her parents she wanted to have a music career, the family invested in a song of hers called “Whip My Hair” (that was indeed as terrible as it sounded). And when Jaden Smith told his dad he wanted to follow in his footsteps and be an actor, Will gladly did everything in his power to get him the career his brilliant son deserved. Except here’s the thing: he didn’t deserve it. Jaden is a terrible actor. While the remake of The Karate Kid was well-intentioned, it ended up being terrible. And then, their second attempt to show how “talented” he is wound up as After Earth, a dreadful science fiction film whose ending could have been predicted five minutes in. Jaden, just live your life off of your parents’ fortune and stay off the big screen for a while.
12. Jessica Simpson
Jessica Simpson was a major hottie back in her heyday. She’s looking a little worse for wear these days, but we’ll cut her a break for that. Our point is that back in the nineties and early 2000s, she totally had it going on. She was curvy in all the right places, had a gorgeous face that walked the line between innocence and danger, and had long blonde hair that was always perfectly tousled. She was stunning. But that didn’t mean that she was a good actress.
Jessica got her start on The Mickey Mouse Club, alongside Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. She was one of the few that continued to accrue fame and glory, though no one was really sure how it happened. She pursued a career in singing, with lead hits like “I Wanna Love You Forever,” “Where You Are,” and “I Think I’m In Love With You.” Then she went on to do movies like The Dukes of Hazzard, Employee of the Month, and Blonde Ambition — seriously, each one was significantly worse than the last. Thank God she spends all her time now on her widely popular fashion line.
11. Nick Jonas
Technically, Nick Jonas got his really big break in acting. Remember when Nick wasn’t really known by his first name and was instead just another member of the Disney Channel’s horrible Jonas Brothers? We like to pretend that didn’t happen, but it totally did. We watched this kid grow up into a sex symbol. Euck.
Nick had always wanted to be a musician, so he transitioned out of the Disney band life as quickly as he could. More recently, we’ve all known him pretty exclusively for his angsty pop music songs like “Chains,” “Levels,” and “Bacon.” But now, he’s trying to get back into the acting spotlight, and he confesses it’s been difficult. He wants to be known as a serious actor, yet he keeps booking jobs like Night At the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and Scream Queens. Sorry, buddy, but no one’s going to take you seriously in any of those.
10. Chelsea Handler
Chelsea Handler is absolutely hilarious. If anyone is under the misogynistic impression that women aren’t funny, they’re absolutely wrong, and Chelsea is loud and proud proof of that. She’s published countless books, had numerous and famous comedy specials, and is frequently brought onto other comedians’ shows and specials to add to the witty banter. She is a laugh riot — but she’s not so great at acting. Seriously, anytime she tries to play a role other than herself, it just doesn’t work out. Take her role alongside Reese Witherspoon in This Means War, for example: instead of playing a funny, quirky friend, she played more of her typical drunk self with a few loud insults thrown at idyllic men like Tom Hardy and Chris Pine. Maybe you should just stick to your martinis and Netflix specials, Chelsea, because it seems the world of acting isn’t for you.
9. Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift is beyond being a bad actress. She’s downright terrible. She’s not even convincing in her own music videos! Oh, you have bad blood, Taylor? You and your fierce little clique are gonna go after all the Hollywood meanies that have wronged you? Oh, please. Kim Kardashian can shut your ass down via Twitter.
Taylor hasn’t attempted a lot of acting — whether it’s because she knows she’s bad at it or people really just don’t want to hire her, we’re not sure. But what she has done has been pretty dreadful. The Lorax, for example, where we didn’t even have to watch her act (because it was animated), was pretty dreadful. Or The Giver, another childhood story ruined by Taylor and her angsty teen ilk. Or even her small cameo-type roles in things like New Girl, which had fans annoyed and thinking, “Sorry, he’s leaving Cece for THAT?” Yeah, we’re not buying it, Taylor.
8. Vanilla Ice
Whoa, back up there Vanilla. We didn’t want you in our faces back in the nineties when you were moderately acceptable, and we haven’t wanted you since. If you could just fade into the background, that’d be cool.
Vanilla Ice, whose real name is Robert Matthew Van Winkle (isn’t that just hilarious), wasn’t all that famous back when he thought he was famous. He was more of a one-hit wonder with his song “Ice, Ice Baby,” which totally and shamelessly ripped off the background bassline of “Under Pressure.” But he has refused to go away even after his fifteen minutes of fame had been spent. He thought he was totally witty back in 2005 when he starred in a parody of The Matrix called The Helix… Loaded which… wow, literally no one wanted that. Then he was in the Adam Sandler movie That’s My Boy, which was also just as terrible. Most recently, he was in the terrible slapstick comedy The Ridiculous 6 as Mark Twain and seriously, the famous author must be rolling in his grave.
7. Mariah Carey
Mariah is a very talented singer. Even if you don’t like her music, and plenty of us don’t, you have to admit that the woman’s at least got some pipes on her. And everyone enjoys some Mariah every now and then. Songs like “All I Want for Christmas is You,” “Always Be My Baby,” and “Obsessed” are genuinely fun to listen to sometimes… but only sometimes. Like, four times a year maximum.
But Mariah is not a good actress. Despite her best efforts, she just doesn’t seem to have talent that transitions well on-screen. She’s played herself several times and that’s always been fine and acceptable, but it’s when she tries to take the lead in a film that all of us shake our heads in disappointment. She made it into Precious, Glitter, and Lee Daniels’ The Butler, and each time we saw her on the screen, we’d lose interest in continuing watching the movie. If anything, she should stick to voice acting as she’s always fared better at that (as was the case with The LEGO Batman Movie and American Dad!).
6. Kendall Jenner
Oh, those Jenners. They have everything, yet they constantly seem to be wanting something more. Can’t they just go away for a while?
Kendall Jenner, mostly known for her countless appearances on Keeping Up With the Kardashians!, has always kind of lived in the shadows of her elder sisters’ fame. But now that she’s (barely) grown, she’s trying to find what she can make her mark as. She’s started in fashion and has been faring pretty well, considering her fairly average proportions (in comparison to her freakish sister Kim Kardashian-West, that is). She’s started to dabble in acting, but she’s already prepared to admit it’s not for her and would rather aim to be the next Cindy Crawford than the next Meryl Streep. It takes a smart person to acknowledge their shortcomings, so we’re surprised she’s made such an adult realization. If you’re interested in watching some of her epic fails, check out Hawaii Five-O or the upcoming Ocean’s Eight.
5. Carmen Electra
While some people, like Kendall Jenner, are mature and big enough to recognize that they’re bad actors and oughtn’t really do it anymore, some are not so wise. Some people transition into acting, realize they’re bad, and then press on and do it anyways. If the paychecks are still rolling in, why stop, right? Who needs dignity or integrity or self-respect anyhow? Psht, that stuff is lame.
Carmen Electra has never really made her fame doing much anything respectable anyways. She got her start modeling for Playboy and the like and dabbled in singing and acting from then on. And her movies have pretty much always been terrible, most of them centered around her nudity or sexuality. Sure, there are plenty of parodical comedies we all expected to be awful like Meet the Spartans, Scary Movie, and Starsky & Hutch, but she couldn’t act well in a film if her fortune depended on it.
4. Mick Jagger
Some of you are wondering, “When did Mick Jagger even act?” Good question. He didn’t really act a whole lot. Mick Jagger, if you don’t know and have been living under a rock for the last half a century, is widely renowned not for his acting abilities but for his music talent. The front runner of The Rolling Stones, he is one of the most iconic rock stars of all time. However, when it comes to acting, we don’t mind if he takes a back seat.
Mick Jagger is best known for his roles in The Man From Elysian Fields, Bent, and Freejack. Haven’t heard of any of these movies? Well, that’s because they’re all terrible. And we mean it — TERRIBLE. Some actually had potential to be kind of good, and they still ended up plain awful. Mick Jagger, your mastery of rock music is flabbergasting — but please don’t try to act anymore.
Okay, calm down! There are a few exceptions to this rule. If you enjoy female sports movies (which feels like a select group of films), you probably cite A League of Their Own as one of your all-time favorite films, and Madonna did amazingly in that. But outside of that? People who reveled in Madonna movies were ones to avoid. Desperately Seeking Susan, Dick Tracy, The Next Best Thing… all of them were terrible and hardly watchable! Not to mention her biggest train wreck, one that somehow managed to be popular despite all logic: Evita. How in the world did people stand to sit through Evita?! The story is about Eva Peron, an Argentinian actress who married President Juan Peron. MADONNA IS LITERALLY PORCELAIN WHITE. How was she supposed to accurately portray an Argentinian woman?! She didn’t even sound that good when she sang, so her vocals were hardly an excuse to cast her! Next time you feel like white-washing, Madonna, maybe, just don’t.
2. Paris Hilton
This may be the most unattractive picture of Paris Hilton ever taken. And we think it’s hilarious.
Paris Hilton grew up never having to lift a finger. So, when she was a big girl, all grown up, she decided to play around with what she could do to continue her family’s empire. She tried modeling, but she was so crazy anorexic, it just wasn’t cute. Then she tried acting, and, good Lord, was that a mistake. If you need any proof that she’s a terrible actor, just watch a few minutes of House of Wax. You’ll be laughing so hard, you’ll forget it’s actually supposed to be a horror movie. If she’s not pretending to be herself in a movie (you know, a snobby, bratty, entitled, stuck up snot), she shouldn’t be in it. These days, she’s sticking to controlling a fashion line and humanitarian efforts (look at that, she does have a heart); here’s to hoping her fashion products aren’t as terrible as her forced crying.
1. Kim Kardashian
Ah, we have made it to the pinnacle of terrible: Kim Kardashian‘s terrible acting. Now, you can enjoy Kim all you want. You can think she’s wonderfully sexy, or that Keeping Up With the Kardashians! is a fun show, or that she’s actually a cool person — you can think any of that. But if it’s your opinion that Kim is a fine actress, we’re gonna have to go ahead and laugh in your face. Kim is TERRIBLE. Her debut role was in Disaster Movie, which intended to parody a bunch of popular movies, but the movie itself turned out to be quite the disaster, and Kim was a grand part of that failure. She’s gone on to have several cameos and appearances in shows, but most of them are mocking her as they pay her to be on set. Kim is an awful actress (and a hilariously ugly crier), but we still enjoy keeping her in the spotlight — who else would slam Taylor Swift on Twitter or make us believe there’s something lovable about Kanye West?