13 Actors Who Refused To Promote Their Own Movies

Nothing is more heartbreaking for a director then putting their heart and soul into a film only to have it sabotaged by the actors. Everyone knows that once the film is made, the hard part is promoting it to the point where they can actually make some money off of it. This part of the film-making process does not always go as planned; in fact, it is sometimes the reason why a film becomes a flop. The movie business is a complicated mess of love/hate relationships; it relies heavily on making personal connections to get those great actors, and making a film that can ultimately be relatable to most people. Sounds impossible right? At times it can be, one of those times is when your plan of action for promotion does not supersede itself. There have been many incidents of actors turning their backs on a film that they grew to hate during the production process. George Clooney was so disappointed by the way that Oceans 13 turned out that he did not even want to talk about the film in passing. Actress Mo’Nique refused to be overworked and underpaid, so she did not promote Precious, the film that garnered her an Oscar nomination and Vince Vaughan flat out refuses to acknowledge that he even participated in the filming of Four Christmases (because that was his worst film). These incidents of actors jumping ship at the most inconvenient times is more popular in Hollywood than one would think; below is a list of some of your favorite actors who refused to promote their films.


13 Daniel Craig & Rachel Weisz – Dream House (2011)

It looks like co-stars/husband and wife Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz, jumped ship at the right time by choosing not to promote their box office flop, Dream House. They both apparently agreed that the final edit for the film was not to their liking and chose to not put any energy into promoting a film they did not believe in. They had support from the film’s director Jim Sheridan, who also chose not to promote the film for much of the same reasons. Together they refused to go to any promotional events or even speak of the film. You know things are bad when the director also chooses to not acknowledge his own film.

12 Mo’Nique – Precious (2009)

Precious made actress Mo’Nique a household name, so it was a surprise to everyone when she reportedly refused to promote the film. The story goes like this; director Lee Daniels wanted Mo’Nique to Tweet, Facebook, Instagram and anything else she could do to promote the film, unfortunately for Mo’Nique she did not want to do any extra promotional events, since she was only paid $50,000 for her role as a sadistic mother of a troubled child. She stated in an interview with Access Hollywood, “When you work Monday through Friday, 40 hours a week, and then your boss calls you up and says we need you to come in on Saturday and work for ten hours, do you do that for free?” Yikes!

11 Vince Vaughn – Four Christmases (2008)

After reports that co-stars Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon could not get along, Vince decided it was in his best interest to ditch not only the film’s LA premiere, but ultimately every promotional event for the film. Thus leaving Reese high and dry to answer awkward questions about his absence, she did her best to laugh-off rumors of their rift, but eventually she made a comment that sounded like a back-handed dig. “People can’t talk as fast as you think. You can’t keep up with him. But I feel like I've been in training – Vince Vaughn training”. They ultimately blamed Vince’s absence on “other work obligations” but to this day, he does not speak about Four Christmases.

10 John Cusack – Better Off Dead (1985)

We all know that actor John Cusack did some of his best work in the 80s, however, there is one film that he will forever regret and will not hesitate to tell you. John thought his film Better Off Dead, was so bad that he walked out during the premiere screening. When he was asked what he did not like about the film, he said it was the worst thing that he had ever seen and he was so disgusted that he would never trust Steve Holland as a director again. Pretty harsh words for a film made in a decade that sparked the teen film craze.

9 Nicole Kidman – Australia (2008)

Baz Luhrmann’s epic flop starred Nicole Kidman, a woman who is notorious for not watching her own performances; not out of embarrassment, but because she feels awkward watching herself on screen. This time around, Nicole decided to break tradition and watch this film and her response was priceless; she claimed to have squirmed in her seat due to her hideous performance. She admitted to not being proud of the film. She eventually distanced herself from promoting the movie to her best ability. Nicole went on to declare that she could not connect to the movie emotionally. This is probably her biggest regret.

8 Michael Caine – Jaws:The Revenge (1987)


British actor Michael Caine admitted to not seeing the sequel to the hit film Jaws, which he starred in. He did not do a lot of promotion for the film simply because it was not of any importance to him. After Michael openly stated that he did not watch the film, he went on to famously state; “by all accounts it was terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific”. It is cheeky comments like that, that make it hard for anyone to be angry that he is bashing a film that he starred in.

7 Burt Reynolds – Boogie Nights (1997)

Legendary actor Burt Reynolds, wasted no time bashing Oscar nominated film, Boogie Nights. Burt apparently hated the film so much because he did not understand the “rhythm” of the script. According to an interview with co-star Mark Wahlberg, Burt always wanted to try out new ideas including an Irish accent. Mark also confirmed that Burt “hated” the film and although he was nominated in the best supporting role category at the Academy Awards in 1998, he was unhappy with the film. Mark admitted that Burt would have won the Oscar “had he not dug such a hole for himself."


6 Christopher Plummer – The Sound of Music (1965)

Christopher Plummer waited about 40 years to express his distaste for the hit film, The Sound of Music. Christopher, who played head of the house Mr. Von Trapp, refused to participate or promote the 40 year anniversary of the film in 2005. He never spoke openly about why he hated the film; however, a close friend stated that Christopher routinely referred to the film as The Sound of Mucus. Given that the pet name he gave for the film refers to something you find deep down in your throat and nose, he may have hated the music aspect of the film.

5 Jim Carrey – Kick Ass 2 (2013)

Kick Ass 2 was the highly anticipated sequel to a film about make-shift, ordinary superheroes; the cast included Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Moretz and cast newcomer Jim Carrey. Things went south after the unfortunate tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook elementary school. Jim refused to promote a film that encouraged youth violence, he stated on Twitter, “I did Kickass a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence”. He went on to say that he sends his condolences to the rest of the cast and adamantly stated that he is not ashamed of his decision given the recent events. The Twitter-sphere hit back and encouraged Jim to donate his salary from the film to charity; he did not respond.

4 Edward Norton – The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Superhero films are normally a big summer splash. They are exciting with high energy and it is almost a guarantee that anyone playing a character of high popularity will experience an immediate boost in their career. Although, popular actor Edward Norton did not need a boost in his career when he signed on to play The Incredible Hulk; this could be the reason he did not feel bad when he chose not to promote the action film. Supposedly, Edward and the scriptwriter did not see eye-to-eye on the humanity of his character and even after several script re-writes, he was still unhappy. While co-star Liv Tyler was out promoting the film, Edward was nowhere to be found (it was reported that he went on vacation).

3 Rosie O’Donnell – Exit to Eden (1994)

Rosie O’Donnell seemed like the odd woman out in this film that portrayed a hedonistic-like getaway for singles. Rosie reportedly hated the film so much that she resorted to bringing her dog to red carpet events, as a way of avoiding any conversation or questions thrown her way. So why did Rosie hate this film so much? She did not like the final edit of the movie; in fact, she thought it was “terrible”. Anyone could see this coming a mile away; you have a well known comedienne in a non-comedic detective role based off of a non-comedic erotic novel written by Anne Rice. So many ways for this to go wrong.

2 Lindsay Lohan – The Canyons (2013)

Actress Lindsay Lohan went AWOL when it was time to promote her film The Canyons. Lindsay was said to be a terror on set and habitually late. Film director Paul Schrader, openly criticized Lindsay for her poor work ethic after she missed the premiere and promotional interviews. However, Lindsay saw it another way. She stated that the leaked stills of her naked scenes were enough promotion from her. The film was ultimately a bust and Lindsay did not care, but Paul took to Facebook to blame Lindsay for not doing her part. There is never a dull moment with Ms. Lohan.

1 Katherine Heigl – Knocked Up (2007)

Katherine Heigl may be the most popular example of someone who did the exact opposite of promoting her hit film. After the film Knocked Up came out, Katherine got up on her high horse and immediately began bashing the film that basically made her a household name, and helped her transition from TV star to sought after movie star. Katherine bashed the film for portraying her pregnant character as a “b****” and a “killjoy”. Unfortunately, she did not bank on co-star Seth Rogen and film director Judd Apatow calling her out on Howard Stern’s radio show for improvising most of the lines that made her character look like a b****.



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