Regretting something from your past is a terrible feeling. The only thing that could be worse is if that mistake followed you around everywhere you went. These 15 stars have to deal with their biggest regret being on their resumes, their Wikipedia pages, and in $5 movie bins all around the world.
It’s an issue that even the best of the best have to face at some point or another throughout their careers; Bruce Willis has said that he would like to strike about a dozen of his past projects off his list of attributes, while Johnny Depp reportedly cannot stand to watch his own movies because he doesn’t like seeing his own acting.
Often this scorn comes from the embarrassment of a movie being poorly received, others times it is because the actor doesn’t feel like they did a good enough job in the film. In certain cases these actors have been nominated or have won awards for their performances, or the film was extremely successful at the box office and the award circuit, and yet the actor still passionately dislikes the film.
Whether they blame it on themselves or others, here are 15 actors who were very vocal about their hatred of their own movies.
15 George Clooney – Batman & Robin
In 1997, George Clooney was cast in the now infamous movie Batman & Robin. Critics and audiences alike deemed it the worst superhero movie ever made and even Clooney himself wasn’t a fan, stating, “I think we might have killed the franchise.” For a while he was right, Hollywood waited almost a decade before rebooting the film series with 2005’s Batman Begins, starring Christian Bale. Clooney still looks back on the experience, “It was a difficult film to be good in. With hindsight it’s easy to look back at this and go ‘Woah, that was really shit and I was really bad in it.’”
14 Katherine Heigl – Knocked Up
Starring the likes of Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Katherine Heigl and Leslie Mann, it’s hard to imagine that someone didn’t like Judd Apatow’s 2007 comedy Knocked Up. It’s even harder to imagine that the leading lady of the film disliked it. After the release of the movie Heigl told Vanity Fair, “Knocked Up is a little sexist. It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys. It exaggerated the characters, and I had a hard time with it, on some days. I’m playing such a b*tch; why is she being such a killjoy? Why is this how you’re portraying women? Ninety-eight percent of the time it was an amazing experience, but it was hard for me to love the movie.”
13 Mark Wahlberg – The Happening
M. Night Shyamalan’s 2008 horror film The Happening was a box office flop. Not too surprising when you think about the plotline: a toxin is polluting the air and causing people to commit suicide for no apparent reason. Critics everywhere were extremely vocal about their distain of the film, and a few years later Mark Wahlberg vocalized his negative attitude towards to movie as well, “The Happening. F*ck it. It is what it is. F*cking trees, man. The plants. F*ck it. You can’t blame me for not wanting to try to play a science teacher. At least I wasn’t playing a cop or a crook.”
12 Sylvester Stallone – Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot
1992’s Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot is a story of a cop and his interfering mother. The late famed critic Roger Ebert has deemed the film one of the worst movies he’s ever seen, but it’s Stallone himself that is the worst critic of the film, “I made some truly awful movies. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot was the worst. If you ever want someone to confess to murder, just make him or her sit through that film. They will confess to anything after 15 minutes.” That’s not the only time he’s trashed talked the movie, he’s also stated, “It may be one of the worst films in the entire solar system, including alien productions. A flatworm could write a better script.”
11 Daniel Radcliffe – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The sixth installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, made an impressive $934.4 million at the box office, was nominated for Best Cinematography and the Academy Awards, and pleased fans everywhere. Regardless of all of this, Harry himself was not a fan. “I’m just not very good in it. I hate it… My acting is very one-note and I can see I got complacent and what I was trying to do just didn’t come across. My best film is the fifth one, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, because I can see a progression.” Radcliffe can’t even watch himself in the film, he believes himself to be that unbearable.
10 Ben Affleck – Daredevil
2003’s film Daredevil is the story of a blind lawyer who moonlights as a crime fighting superhero with heightened senses. Co-starring Jennifer Garner and Colin Farrell, the movie had all of the elements to be a success. Unfortunately, not too many people were a fan of the film, including leading man Ben Affleck, “Daredevil I didn’t like at all, some movies should have worked and didn’t. At a certain point, it’s just up to the movie gods.” At least something good came out of working on the film for Affleck, he fell in love with now wife Garner during filming.
9 Alec Baldwin – Rock of Ages
Alec Baldwin agreed to star in the 2012 musical film Rock of Ages, mainly because the actor wanted to work alongside Tom Cruise and Russell Brand. Julianne Hough, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mary J. Blige, and Bryan Cranston also star in the film, but Baldwin was very excited to act alongside Cruise and Brand, for some odd reason. The excitement quickly disappeared once the actor actually began working on the movie, Baldwin actually asked to be replaced but there was no time to find anyone for the role. “The film was a complete disaster. A week in and you go, ‘Oh God, what have I done?’”
8 Jim Carrey – Kick-Ass 2
2013’s Kick-Ass 2, the follow up to 2010’s Kick Ass, depicts the story of young superheroes and villains fighting crime and fighting one another. The movie is extremely violent, so much so that star of the film, Jim Carrey, refused to support the movie. He avoided promoting it, and distanced himself from it completely. Carrey tweeted this just before the film came out; “I did Kick-Ass 2 a month before Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence. My apologies to others involved with the film. I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart.”
7 Halle Berry – Dark Tide
The only good thing about the film Dark Tide is that Halle Berry met her current husband, Oliver Martinez, on set. Berry told talk-show host Chelsea Handler that the pair met “on a sh*t movie”. Dark Tide is the story of a shark expert who has to overcome her intense fear of sharks, brought on by a shark attack that took the life of an employee. The movie only made a little over $400,000 at the box office, despite the fact that it had a budget of $25 million. Berry said about the film; “You don’t expect a movie to be as bad as it is sometimes. Then it comes out, and you think, ‘F*ck. That’s what I did?’”
6 Matt Damon – The Bourne Ultimatum
Matt Damon hated The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Identity franchise’s third film, and held the scriptwriter responsible for his detestation, “I don’t blame Tony for taking a boatload of money and handing in what he handed it. It’s just that it was unreadable. This is a career ender. I mean, I could put this thing up on eBay and it would be game over for that dude. It’s terrible. It’s really embarrassing.” Damon’s displeasure seems a little ridiculous when you look at the fact that it was his highest-grossing leading man role and that the movie itself won three Academy Awards; Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing.
5 Shia LaBeouf – Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
The second installment in the Transformers franchise, 2009’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, made over $800 million at the box office, a huge success. A lot of people watched the film, but very few actually liked it, including the movie’s lead, Shia LaBeouf, “I wasn’t impressed with what we did. There were some really wild stunts in it, but the heart was gone. It’s just a bunch of fighting robots.” Roger Ebert seemed to have agreed with LaBeouf, calling the film “A horrible experience of unbearable length. If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into a kitchen and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination.” Ouch.
4 Kate Winslet – Titanic
Kate Winslet fought for her role as Rose DeWitt Bukater in the 1997 film Titanic and was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the Academy Awards. Even so, she is so turned off by her performance in the film that she can’t stand watching it, “‘Every single scene, I’m like ‘Really, really? You did it like that? Oh my God’”. Her issue is mainly with her American accent, she still feels like she didn’t do a good job on it in the film. She has also said the movie’s theme song, Celine Dion’s iconic “My Heart Will Go On” makes her want to throw up every time she hears it. Maybe if she had won the Oscar back in 1997 she would be able to look at the film in a more positive light.
3 Arnold Schwarzenegger – Red Sonja
Red Sonja is a 1985 film based on the Marvel Comic of the same name, centered on prehistoric barbarians who partake in sword duels. Schwarzenegger has starred in some bad films throughout his career, but this one takes the cake. He even uses the movie as a form of punishment, “It’s the worst film I have ever made. When my kids get out of line, they’re sent to their rooms and forced to watch Red Sonja 10 times. I never have too much trouble with them.” A reboot of the film is currently is the works, hopefully there’s a brighter outcome this time around for those involved.
2 James Franco – Your Highness
“Your Highness? That movie sucks. You can’t get around that.” James Franco has said about the 2011 film, co-starring Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel, and Danny McBride. Franco has also made fun of the movie during his roast on Comedy Central. He has said that the film is the one career choice he regrets. Roger Ebert stated, “Your Highness is a juvenile excrescence that feels like the work of 11-year-old boys in love with dungeons, dragons, warrior women, pot, boobs, and four-letter words.” The film only grossed around half of its original budget, resulting in a total flop at the box office.
1 Sean Connery – James Bond
Sean Connery has been the star of several James Bond films. Some actors would consider that the role of a lifetime, and yet Connery has publicly said that he hates the franchise. “I have always hated that dammed James Bond. I’d like to kill him.” He’s been in a legal feud with the producers on the films, continually asking for more money, and refuses to make any public appearances that have anything to do with his famous 007 character. Some say the pressure of such an iconic role was too much for Connery, hence his distain, while others believe the actor is guilty of being greedy. It’s a pity that Connery has so much resentment towards the role that changed his life.