Being an A-Lister in Hollywood comes with a seemingly endless array of fringe benefits. Whether it is the impressive paychecks, people throwing themselves at you at every turn, an endless supply of freebies, or any number of other gifts they receive, life seems like it is sweet for them. That said, it isn’t all sunshine and roses. A major negative of the celebrity life is that resentment can rear its ugly head with great ease. In some cases, those feelings present themselves due to jealousy, but in others, the star in question may be perceived as a douchebag who doesn’t deserve or appreciate the position they’ve managed to find themselves in. It is that second grouping of celebrities, who inspire the desire to inflict pain in many onlookers, that we’re looking at today.
In order for someone to find themselves on the shortlist for inclusion on this list, the star in question needs to be a man, as we here at therichest.com don’t condone violence against women. Secondly, they need to not only be famous but renowned enough that some would refer to them as household names at one point in their lives. We only considered people who’d starred in at least one film, as musicians and sports stars could populate a list of their own. While the alleged disgusting actions of men like Woody Allen and Bill Cosby are certainly worthy of punishment, we didn’t include people like them here as they are far too frail. Finally, you need to have done something or have the type of personality that rubs a lot of guys the wrong way. So, without any further ado, let’s get to the list.
15 Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin has been a mainstay of our movies for many, many years. SpaceCamp, Parenthood, To Die For, Return to Paradise, Hotel Rwanda, Walk the Line, The Master and Her, are all films that this actor has made a lot better. However, he is also the star and subject in the documentary/mockumentary hybrid I’m Still Here, that is reviled by many. While some may point to the effort as an example of what makes him an artist, as it was an experiment that could have, and may have, blown up in his face. Others see it as pretentious, despite the film’s actual content, and don’t like him for it. A single film may not be a good reason to punch a movie star to some people, but those that already feel that actors carry themselves in a self-satisfied manner need very little provocation.
14 Adam Sandler
For anyone who wasn’t around and old enough to understand what is going on prior to the year 1999, let us tell you something shocking. Adam Sandler was once a beloved figure. Between his years on Saturday Night Live, his popular comedy albums and movies like The Wedding Singer, Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison, he gave the world lots of reasons.
Then, the dark ages of his career began with the release of Little Nicky and although he still managed to appear in movies like Punch-Drunk Love, Click and 50 First Dates, his movies were clearly on the decline. Fast forward to the present day, where we can depend on him to star in awful, awful fare like Pixels, Grown Ups, The Ridiculous 6 and The Cobbler, which leads to why we think he deserves a punch. While we appreciate the fact that he seems to be making these crap piles in order to employ his friends and go on vacation, this man needs to be snapped out of his malaise. Maybe if he received a punch to the face it would finally wake him up to the idea that making good movies would be far more valuable to all involved and the world as a whole.
13 Ben Affleck
It may be the common consensus that Ben Affleck’s Batman is the best thing that the DC Extended Universe has created so far, but that doesn’t make the man who embodies this immune to this list. An actor, who was once a mainstay of Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse, Ben created an image for himself as an amusing man who was loyal to his friends and could be pretty great in movies. Then, he got involved with Jennifer Lopez, a relationship that saw his face shoved down the throats of anyone passing by a cash register and all of the goodwill his film work had earned him, seemed to evaporate.
Actually, things got so rough after starring in a string of lambasted films like Gigli, Pearl Harbor and Daredevil, that it seemed wise for him to step away from acting to a large degree. Brought back to the limelight with his directing efforts, in Gone Baby Gone, The Town and Argo, DC made the prudent choice to attach his new artistic integrity to their film franchise. Unfortunately, the resulting films Ben has been a part of so far have received divided responses from fans and it seems to us that the haters are probably starting to feel that rage bubbling up to the top.
12 Charlie Sheen
An actor who is best remembered for his work in acclaimed films like Platoon, Wall Street, Young Guns, Major League and Hot Shots, years of entertaining projects earned Charlie a lot of fans. It wasn’t until he found himself all mixed up in the Heidi Fleiss controversy that a lot of his followers began to get a view of the seedy underbelly that was his personal life.
Then, after years starring on one of the most popular and hated shows in television history, Two and Half Men, Charlie went full “tiger blood” crazy and became something of an oddity. Hilarious to some and overhyped and annoying to others, the perception of Charlie has never fully recovered. That is why we submit to you that there are many, who’ve hated his series, including Anger Management, as well as his antics that would love to give him a bit of what they think he has coming.
11 James Franco
You have to give James Franco a lot of credit. Only thirty-eight years old, he has accomplished far more than many people do in their entire lives, including becoming a movie star, student, director and teacher. While he has proven that he can act with the best of them, including work in Freaks and Geeks, James Dean, Spring Breakers, 127 Hours and many popular comedies, he also has some real stinkers under his belt. Do we really need to bring up Spider-Man 3 or Your Highness?
Still, almost every actor appears in some crappy projects (John Cazale is a notable exception, check out his filmography if you don’t believe us), so why did we include James here? We mean, look at that picture of his face, there is just something incredibly punchable about it. We could attempt to chalk it up to his social network photo controversies, that time he “hosted” the Oscars or loads of other things, but we’d be putting up a front. The truth of the matter is that James may be a likable dude whose movies we’ve mostly enjoyed and seems to have a lot of loyal friends but that can never make us fully ignore that smug look his face seems to have a lot of the time.
10 Johnny Depp
Remember all of those things we said about Adam Sandler? They mostly apply to Johnny but the gigantic difference is that Adam was the star of mostly infantile comedies that we enjoyed a lot in our youths, but we thought of Johnny as a great actor and artist. Edward Scissorhands, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, Ed Wood, Donnie Brasco, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Blow, that is the type of filmography that puts you amongst the best actors ever.
Now, with the notable exception of last year’s Black Mass, Johnny is no longer someone whose films we look forward to. Instead, we have movies like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Tourist, The Lone Ranger, Transcendence, Mortdecai and others. On top of that, he mostly carries himself like he thinks he is above the trappings of everyday life and while we can never be sure about the truth of his relationship with Amber Heard, her accusations are certainly troubling.
9 Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise is the type of figure who elicits very different reactions out of people. Cinephiles seem to be bound to respect his career after starring in so many amazing movies. If you think otherwise, then consider he starred in The Color of Money, Rain Man, A Few Good Men, Interview with the Vampire, Magnolia, Minority Report, Collateral, Tropic Thunder and of course, Mission Impossible.
On the other end of the spectrum, there is Tom’s public persona of the last several years. Between serving as the poster child for Scientology, jumping on couches, disrespecting those who suffer from postpartum, and his seemingly odd divorce from Katie Holmes, a lot of luster has worn off. Perhaps, the best evidence we can think of to support our view that many would love to punch him, aside from his also punchable face, is the way he handled a prank. While walking the red carpet, Tom was interacting with what he believed to be a reporter until he was squirted in the face with a little harmless water. Not laughing off the incident as nothing more than a joke nor getting angry and walking off in a huff, Tom instead opted to stand for several moments and lecture the prankster. While we can appreciate how rude this action may have been, the patronizing manner in which Tom demanded some kind of suitable motivation spoke volumes about what he thinks the world owes him.
8 Russell Brand
Ok, ok, Russell just barely met our criteria for what makes an A-Lister but squeaked in after starring in several films and being a big deal in his homeland for years. While we enjoyed him immensely in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and the underrated Get Him to the Greek (and he was great as part of the Despicable Me movies), he is one note and grates on the nerves. While he has proven that he is actually far smarter than his persona has made him seem to many, watch him in an interview and you may be astonished, he is hard to like a lot of the times. Plus the fact that he got to marry perennial hottie Katy Perry, one of the most desired women in the world, is probably enough on its own to earn a lot of hatred in some people.
7 Russell Crowe
The second Russell in a row, when this man comes to mind we first think of his many major movies. The Insider, Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man, 3:10 to Yuma, American Gangster and The Nice Guys, all bring about feelings of respect for Russell in us. Unfortunately, there is a good reason why South Park portrayed him as the star of a show called Fighting Around the World, as his image is almost equally wrapped up in the perception that he enjoys little in this world more than getting into some fisticuffs with people. Even that may not have been enough for him to find his way here if it weren’t for the type of stories that made that perception concrete. Alleged to have struck a desk clerk with a phone in 2005, he has told his side of the story, which is much more understandable, but a lot of people have never let go of that story. The perception of a big star attacking a common man working his everyday job, is there anything more punch worthy than that?
6 Steven Seagal
There was a time in which the idea of punching Steven Seagal in the face would be anything but an appealing idea. An action star with a legitimate history in aikido, most people, even if they felt like handing him a beating, probably would have thought twice of the idea. Now, as an older man who has put on a great deal of weight, he no longer seems nearly as intimidating which may inspire many more to really consider the idea. While punching someone who was once seen as tough is enough for a lot of people, Steven has done some things that a lot of people would abhor. Someone who is an outspoken supporter of Vladimir Putin, he has gone so far as to say that he “would like to consider [Putin] as a brother” and supports Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Statements that are seen as unpatriotic by millions of people, we’re guessing that knowledge has inspired a lot of clenched fists when he walks by.
5 Sean Penn
Another highly respected actor, Sean’s work in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Carlito's Way, Dead Man Walking, The Game, I Am Sam and Milk, has assured his legacy lasting the years. Then, there is his life off the big screen. Someone who has been dogged by accusations of beating his ex-wife Madonna for years, despite the fact that she has said that there is zero truth to them; many seem incapable of letting that perception go.
That isn’t the only reason to feel like striking him though, as his outspoken political views has made him easily comparable to the much maligned Bono from U2. Someone who once interviewed the drug kingpin “El Chapo”, the resulting footage was decried by many corners, including a White House spokesperson who called it “maddening”. Then there was his green card joke about Academy Award winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu, and his praise of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who he calls a friend and many others call a dictator. Anyone who has looked into his life or grown tired of his political views would likely agree with his place here and hand out the punch in question.
4 Mel Gibson
First, there is the good side of Mel, an acclaimed actor and director, he was heavily involved in many classic movies. The Mad Max and Lethal Weapon franchises, Braveheart, Ransom, Payback, Chicken Run, and the underrated indie film The Beaver, are all among his best acting roles. Then there are the movies he’s directed, the aforementioned Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto, all made a large impact on many movie goers. However, a lot of people understandably think of the recent controversies in his life first and foremost. Alleged to be anti-Semite, homophobe and misogynist, his comments to police and on recordings in the past have eclipsed most of the world’s perception of him. If those perceptions hold true, you can count us among the group that would enjoy seeing him taken down a peg more.
3 Shia LaBeouf
There was a time in which Shia seemed primed to become the next big Hollywood star. Earning respect for his acting chops with films like A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, while proving he could be a part of successful popcorn films, like in the first Transformers, which was actually good, he had it all. Boy, are those days long gone. Now considered by many to be among the biggest douchebags in Hollywood, and pop culture as a whole, his antics do nothing but make him more of a punch in the face target. Getting into fights in bars and clubs, plagiarizing people left and right, and walking red carpets with his head in a bag are some of the many actions that have earned him a place here.
2 Bruce Willis
There was a time in which including Bruce on a list like this would have seemed like sacrilege. The star of one of the most beloved films ever, Die Hard, his filmography also includes movies like Pulp Fiction, 12 Monkeys, The Fifth Element, The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Sin City and Looper. Now, he seems like a total sellout, who doesn’t give a crap about the movies he is in because of flicks like A Good Day to Die Hard, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and Red 2, to name just a few. Throw onto the ever deteriorating public perception of him, the fact that he can be a massive jerk in interviews and Sylvester Stallone and Kevin Smith, who seem to love everyone, have also smack-talked him. Seems like he could be the face that inspired a million punches now, doesn’t it?
1 Christian Bale
A lot of filmgoers would definitely include Christian Bale among the best living actors. An Academy Award Winner for his work in The Fighter, he has also been in many other films that have huge fan followings. Empire of the Sun, Newsies, Velvet Goldmine, American Psycho, Reign of Fire, Equilibrium, The Machinist, The Prestige, American Hustle and The Dark Knight Trilogy all include him in major roles. That probably plays a large part in the fact that he seems to carry himself in a very self-important manner that many everyday folks may resent, considering he pretty much plays pretend for a living. Throw in the highly controversial recording of him dressing down a member of the Terminator Salvation crew during an expletive-laden tirade. Is there any question as to why he tops this list?