We’ve all seen it before. A new celebrity hops onto the scene, and for what feels like a long while, they’re all that anyone can talk about. They star in multiple movies a year, always the biggest box-office hits. They play superheroes and love interests, and they’re the ones that survive in the horror movies or play the independent struggling person that endures a personal battle but comes through stronger, yada yada yada. They make millions of dollars in short periods of time, and then, suddenly, as if someone flipped a switch, they disappear, never again to be seen in movies.
Well, they don’t totally disappear. They just fade into the background despite their best attempts to linger in the spotlight. So what happens? Did they get in wrong with the right people in Hollywood? Did everyone realize they just sucked at acting after all those movies? Was there some protest we missed against casting them in any more films because we decided we got bored of seeing their faces? Well, perhaps it’s a combination of some or all those things, or maybe it’s none of those things. Whatever the reason, they’re the celebrities we were obsessed with for a period of time and later left us wondering, “Hey, whatever happened to…?”
We’d like to tell you exactly what happened that made them disappear so suddenly, struggling to get cast in even the worst Hollywood products. Here are twenty actors Hollywood won’t cast anymore:
20. Cameron Diaz
Cameron Diaz has never derailed. Cameron is a classic beauty and has always been known for her relatable characters, chipper smile, and simply stunning looks. Though she seems to have been in everything, she’s probably best known for her roles in There’s Something About Mary (as the titular character), Gangs of New York (as Jenny Everdeane), and her dozens of chick flicks. It hasn’t felt like she’s been getting less work, perhaps, but if you actually examine her track record, she’s slowed to a complete stop. She’s hasn’t had any work since 2015. What happened? She claims she just wants to have a family and is settling into life with her husband Benji Madden (of the band Good Charlotte) with her millions of dollars. But really? We think she’s got a tremendous fear of getting old and is afraid Hollywood won’t find her sexy anymore if she ventures back into the casting room. So instead, she’s hiding at home.
19. Taylor Lautner
By all rights, Taylor never really should’ve been a famous actor in the first place. He’s not a very good actor, and many of his mannerisms are so unique to him that they sometimes distract from what he’s in — for example, he walks incredibly straight and his spine curves in an odd way. What’s up with that? Taylor got his big start in The Twilight Saga as the werewolf love interest Jacob Black. Since then, he tried to launch his own career with movies like Abduction (Nathan), Tracers (Cam), and The Ridiculous 6 (Lil Pete), but nothing’s taken off. Why? Come on, folks: you know it, they know it, and he knows it. Taylor is a bad actor. His bad acting was once tolerable when he was in a corny teen romance series, but in anything else? We’re all sick of Taylor, and Hollywood doesn’t want to jeopardize a good movie by casting him in it.
18. Jim Carrey
This guy can still tickle most of our funny bones. Jim Carrey was a comic genius at his prime, best known for his hilarious roles in The Mask (Stanley Ipkiss), Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (as the title character), and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (again, as the title character). But those that followed his career also savored his serious roles, such as those in The Truman Show (as the title character), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Joel Barish), and The Majestic (Peter Appleton). Jim’s career has been fruitful in almost every way possible, so why has it slowed? Well, Hollywood thinks he’s gone crazy. Look, most brilliant comedic minds have darker sides that are repressed; it seems Jim’s has just surfaced a bit. He’s been taking drugs, an ex-girlfriend of his recently committed suicide, and he’s been trying to seek solace and peace hidden from the prodding eyes of the paparazzi. Follow his Twitter for some sweet and sometimes very odd updates on his life.
17. Freddie Prinze Jr.
Perhaps Freddie was never really the belle of the ball, getting all of the roles, but there was a time when everyone knew his name and he was constantly in the news! Freddie is probably best known for his roles in the Scooby Doo movies (Fred), or maybe for his roles in the I Know What You Did Last Summer movies (Ray Bronson). If you don’t know him from those, perhaps his top-selling chick flick She’s All That (Zack Siler) will ring some bells. Whatever you know him from, the point is that you knew him — so where’d he go? For some reason, Hollywood up and decided it was sick of seeing his face. Maybe it was because he always played the same type of character, or was it because that boyish face started to wrinkle with age? In either case, Freddie seems to struggle to book any work these days that isn’t voice acting.
16. Sarah Michelle Gellar
While we’re talking about Freddie Prinze Jr., we might as well go ahead and mention his wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar. The couple had known each other for years, beginning from when they met on the set of I Know What You Did Last Summer (where she played Helen Shivers) before really hitting it off while filming Scooby Doo (where Sarah played Daphne, coincidentally, Fred’s love interest), and they’ve been married ever since. Sarah was once renowned for her kick-ass role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (as the title character), and she was one of the sexiest women in Hollywood for a turn. Well, it’s kind of unclear why she’s not around anymore. Hollywood doesn’t seem to have much of an interest in her anymore, but the feeling’s mutual. It seems Sarah is content to wait around for a good role and spend time with her two kids in the meantime.
15. Tobey Maguire
“Yeah… where is Tobey these days?”
Good question. You probably know him best for his roles in the Spider-Man series (as the title character), or maybe from The Great Gatsby (as Nick Carraway), but you’ve probably at least heard of him even if you don’t enjoy any of his movies. But where did he disappear to, and so suddenly? We haven’t really seen him since he was in the independent odd comedy series, The Spoils of Babylon (Devon Morehouse). To be fair, he did voice act in one movie this year (Boss Baby), but it was a small role. What’s happened? To be honest, Spider-Man 3 happened, and it ruined everything. The movie was so bad that Sony killed Spider-Man 4 and decided to scrap the whole series and start over with a new actor. Ouch. Plus, he’s getting older, and his once boyish charm now has him looking like a giant man-baby. These days, he spends time feeding his gambling addiction and spending time with his wife and kids.
14. Angelina Jolie
Angelina‘s story is a different sort altogether. She’s still constantly in the news, she’s still in movies all the time, she’s still drop-dead gorgeous, and the paparazzi still follow her every move. So what do we mean, she’s not getting cast anymore? Look at her track record. The past three movies she’s done were Maleficent in 2014 as the title character; By the Sea, a movie she and her ex-husband produced and were cast in together in 2015; and Kung Fu Panda 3 in 2016, a series she’d signed contracts to keep involved in. Otherwise, Angelina has not been cast in the past three years. What happened? Our theory: Hollywood is afraid of her. Straight up terrified. Angelina is an entertainment, political, and logical force to be reckoned with. She’s smart, she knows the Hollywood game, and she’s got the best connections of anyone around. You mess with Angelina or get on her bad side, your career is done. That’s why Hollywood directors and indie youngsters are afraid to get her involved.
13. Jason Alexander
Jason Alexander is probably best known for his time playing George Costanza on the 1990s sitcom Seinfeld, but you may also recognize him for his roles in Pretty Woman (Philip Stuckey), Shallow Hal (Mauricio), or Bye Bye Birdie (Albert Peterson). He was everywhere in the 1990s and even in the early 2000s — but then he sort of just disappeared. So what happened? Well, Jason’s now hurtling towards his 60s, so he probably claims he’s just winding down and getting ready to retire. Truth is, Jason doesn’t have a whole lot of range. Sure, he’s got a great singing voice and is a good actor, but he doesn’t have many looks. He looks like a businessman, a clumsy friend, or a strict dad — that’s about it. Jason’s not getting roles anymore because he’s worn out all of the types he can play. No one wants Jason playing George Costanza playing someone else; it’s just not that funny anymore.
12. Mickey Rourke
Mickey Rourke is a very different kind of actor. Best known for his work in movies like The Wrestler (Randy Robinson), Iron Man 2 (Ivan Vanko), and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (Marv), he always plays the same kinds of roles: the bad ass, the fighter, the oppressed turning the tables on his oppressor. And he’s made a fortune playing these roles. So why is he suddenly getting cast less and less? Well, would you really need an excuse beyond that hair? Okay, how about this: Mickey is all about playing the badass tough guy. But Mickey is turning 65 this year, and there’s only so much audiences will buy into. A guy this old is still an amazing wrestler? A badass that can bite a bullet? Someone that can take down one of the greatest known superheroes? No, thanks. He’s not totally done as he’s filming a fighting movie set to release this year, but Hollywood is sure scaling back on Mickey’s career.
11. Sissy Spacek
Sissy Spacek, best known for her roles in movies like Carrie (as the title character), Tuck Everlasting (Mae Tuck), and Coal Miner’s Daughter (Loretta Lynn), was once one of the most famous actresses out there. There was even a time when it seemed people would follow any title featuring Sissy Spacek. No matter what she was starring in, it was likely to be great. Nowadays, people wonder if she’s even still alive or if she’s faded away like so many other Hollywood stars. She’s been a regular on the show Bloodline (Sally Rayburn), but other than that, she’s been pretty inactive. Well, she is 67, though she looks amazing for her age. (Seriously, what is she eating that gets rid of all her wrinkles like that?) But it doesn’t change the fact that she’s a bit too old for all of her typecast work as a mother or a romantic interest — and she looks too young to be a grandma! She’s filming a movie with Robert Redford that’s set to release next year, so it looks like she won’t be in a whole lot that doesn’t, in some way, reference the fact that she’s getting old.
10. Dev Patel
Dev Patel!? But didn’t he JUST get famous?! Dev is hands down best known for his role in the award-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire as the protagonist Jamal. However, he got his start on the acclaimed British television show Skins (as Anwar Kharral), and he’s been in some huge titles, including The Last Airbender (Prince Zuko), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Sonny Kapoor), and The Newsroom (Neal Sampat). For a while, he was doing wonderfully — so why is his career suddenly pumping the brakes? We don’t believe it has anything to do with Dev wanting to decrease his workload; we actually believe that Hollywood thinks they’ve milked him for all he’s got. Hollywood offensively works with minority actors in recognizable cycles: they find a good actor, cast them as supplementary stereotypical roles, then boot them off the scene when they’ve overdone it. You’ll notice other Indian actors like Irrfan Khan and Mindy Kaling are getting most of the roles for the Indian community today instead of Dev.
9. Maggie Gyllenhaal
Maggie Gyllenhaal could have had it all. She’s got family in the business, with her twin brother, Jake Gyllenhaal, being one of the most famous male actors out there. She’s got an amazing track record behind her, including White House Down (Finnerty), Mona Lisa Smile (Giselle Levy), and Stranger Than Fiction (Ana Pascal), plus, she’s been one of the leading stars of one of the most highly-acclaimed and highest-grossing movies of the past ten years, The Dark Knight (Rachel Dawson). So why isn’t she cranking out movies constantly? A casting director in Hollywood recently told her that she was “too old” to play the love interest of a 55-year-old man (she was 37 at the time). Hollywood has this huge sexism problem where men are able to achieve happiness at any age, but it’s only interesting if a woman does so while she looks young. Maggie has always looked a little old for her age, so Hollywood is giving her the cold shoulder earlier than expected.
8. Catherine Zeta-Jones
Holy smokes. Catherine Zeta-Jones is clearly still mega sexy, and she’s never been known as a bad actress, so what happened to her? She was always known for her sexy roles in Chicago (as Velma Kelly), Ocean’s Twelve (as Isabel Lahiri), and The Mask of Zorro (as Elena). Plus, she had a bunch of roles that showcased just what an amazing actress she was, like in The Terminal (Amelia Warren), Entrapment (Virginia Baker), and Side Effects (Dr. Victoria Siebert). So where’d she disappear to? Well, her separation from husband Michael Douglas was kind of ugly, and he certainly smeared her name in the aftermath, saying her bipolar disorder turned abusive on him and made her a terror to work with. For a while, she also refused to take indie film work. She’s lately been changing her tune on that big time since it seems to be the only way for her to stay even partially relevant in Hollywood.
7. Hayden Christensen
Some of you out there may be really bummed that Hayden isn’t really active in Hollywood anymore. Then again, plenty more of us are applauding and cheering that this actor can’t hurt us anymore with his terrible acting. Hayden Christensen is hands down best-known for his roles in Star Wars, Episodes 2 and 3 for his portrayal of the iconic character Anakin Skywalker — the man destined to become Darth Vader. The thing is, his movies are commonly regarded as the worst in all of the Star Wars franchise, not just because of him, to be fair, but he had a lot to do with it. Hayden was a terrible actor, and Hollywood figured that out pretty quickly — probably before George Lucas exposed it. Though he occasionally still gets roles nowadays in indie films looking for a big name on their ticket, such as 90 Minutes in Heaven (Don Piper), most of Hollywood likes to pretend he never existed.
6. Eddie Murphy
This comedian-turned-actor-turned-producer was everywhere in the 1990s and early 2000s. Like, everywhere. He mostly focused on comedy work, such as his Nutty Professor movies, Beverly Hills Cop movies, and many other scattered comedies. Occasionally, he would star in something sort of serious and that would really throw us off, as it did in Dreamgirls. But he’s been pretty quiet this decade, excluding the occasional Shrek sequel. So what happened? Rumor has it that Eddie Murphy is tired of playing the same old schtick in movies — which is fair, because we’re kind of tired of watching it. He’s tired of playing the stereotype black man, making jokes about being the victim of racism when he could be standing up against it. Really, we think that Eddie is tired of Hollywood, tired of audiences, and tired of what passes for entertainment these days — and casting directors don’t want to push him and cause a scandal.
5. Macaulay Culkin
Swinging to the opposite end of the spectrum, let’s talk about Macaulay Culkin. You may not be able to tell by looking at this young man with his cheetah-print car-seat covers, but Macaulay Culkin was once America’s little sweetheart. He was the lead in almost everything when he was a little boy, from the Home Alone series (as Kevin McCallister), to Richie Rich (as the title character), and even in My Girl (as Thomas J. Sennett). So what the hell happened to him? Macaulay decided he didn’t want the Hollywood life — he wanted to be a rebel and a part of the counterculture. So the actor, now 36 years old, was once in a pizza-themed comedy rock band (if you can figure out what the hell that is, let us know), is a major druggie (from the simple stuff to the really hard core stuff), and makes an occasional screen appearance in titles like Adam Green’s Aladdin (a drug-fueled adaptation of the classic story). Why doesn’t Hollywood work with Macaulay anymore? Because Macaulay derailed like an Amtrak train speeding into hell.
4. Lindsay Lohan
Oof. We probably don’t even have to tell you about this one, but we’re all here, so we may as well talk about this train wreck of a person.
Lindsay Lohan was another child star who was handed everything on a silver platter. Getting her true start on the Disney remake of The Parent Trap (as both twins, Hallie and Annie), Lindsay was pushed into the film industry by her parents and encouraged to start her career while it had momentum. So she dwindled away her childhood making movies like Freaky Friday, Get a Clue, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, and Mean Girls. And they were fun movies! But they actually drove her crazy, pushing her to drugs and shoplifting and struggling to find herself in acting, modeling, and singing careers. She started to really lose it then, and directors found her difficult to work with. They placed an implicit embargo on work with Lindsay and she’s since been shunned from Hollywood until she gets her sh!t together. Fortunately for her, she manages to scrape by through indie roles and cameos making fun of herself.
3. Mike Myers
Again… do we really need to explain this one? He’s kind of just crazy. Mike Myers was at one time famous for his crazy wit, and everyone thought he was hilarious as an actor, director, writer, and producer, especially when his movies like the Austin Powers series or the installments of Shrek came out. But at some point, Mike got really full of himself and started releasing movies that were offensive, not funny, and plain garbage. Need examples? How about The Love Guru, The Cat in the Hat, or Mystery, Alaska? Most of Hollywood chooses not to work with him not only because he demands he be given all creative power of the project, but also because, if they gave Mike Myers creative power of a good project, he’d still likely turn it to sh!t. He’s announced a fourth installment of the Austin Powers franchise to release soon, but, honestly, we’d rather he just stay out of work.
2. Amanda Bynes
This story is painfully similar to Lindsay Lohan’s, though perhaps more heartbreaking. While Lindsay was always cute, we kind of all knew from the start that she’d be a bratty diva trying to take over Hollywood. Amanda never had that vibe. She was famous for her carefree, lackadaisical attitude whereby she claimed not to want fame or fortune or status, just as she seemed to display in The Amanda Show, What a Girl Wants, and She’s the Man. So what happened to our dear, sweet Amanda? She was lying to us all along! She was always just as much of a diva as anyone else on this list and apparently became unbearable to work with as she demanded her way and blatantly went against her contracts and the wishes of her directors. She hasn’t acted in film since 2010 because of how difficult she is to work with. We hope she gets her life together soon, but who knows? She could stay a precocious diva living off her childhood fortune for the rest of her life.
1. Shia LaBeouf
And we come to the king of all disappointments: Shia LaBeouf. Shia has an interesting story, one that we’re all still trying to figure out since he feels he doesn’t owe us an explanation on anything. He got his start on the Disney Channel show Even Stevens, and his fame only increased as he got older and landed roles in Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Disturbia, and the Transformers series. Then suddenly, as he was at the peak of his fame and could have become one of the icons of today’s scene, he lost it. Like Macaulay Culkin, he opted to become a part of the counterculture and has been doing some weird stuff, like indie art pieces in New York, Sia music videos, and odd performance art. We still have hope for him after his fairly recent roles in Fury and Man Down, but he’s certainly struggling through a period of his life that Hollywood does not want to tamper with.
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