For the rest of us though, it's strangely comforting to know that even the most seemingly polished of individuals also spend their weeknights obsessing over their grand mistakes. It just makes them a bit more (for lack of a more original term) human. And if we’re being honest, the fact that at least our grand mistakes have been largely kept out of the public eye makes us feel slightly more like winners. Well, at least I do anyway.
Whether it’s a case of poor production, financial issues, perceived mediocrity, or just plain dislike, here are 13 actors who regret their legendary roles.
13 Matt Damon - The Bourne Ultimatum
12 Shia LaBeouf - Transformers
11 Penn Badgley - Gossip Girl
10 Jessica Alba - Fantastic Four 2
2007's Fantastic Four 2 was the only film that made Jessica Alba question her career altogether. She attributes this to director Tim Story and his attempts to “dehumanise” her performance by telling her to “be prettier when she cried” and to make her face look flat during emotional scenes because they could “CGI the tears in.” Alba was so frustrated that she began to doubt her own abilities and the ethics of the film business:
9 Marlon Brando - A Streetcar Named Desire
Marlon Brando became one of the most well respected actors of his generation thanks to Stanley Kowalski, the brooding salesman from the Tennessee William's play A Streetcar Named Desire. Despite earning an Oscar nomination for his performance in 1951, Brando couldn’t identify with Kowalski at all and was disgusted that he became a "sexy outlaw" character despite his aggressive and egocentric nature:
8 Christopher Plummer - The Sound Of Music
7 Sean Connery - James Bond
6 Katherine Heigl - Knocked Up
Knocked Up may have put Katherine Heigl on the A-list, but she nevertheless found the portrayal of her character, journalist Alison Scott, one dimensional and "a little sexist":
5 Kate Winslet - Titanic
Kate Winslet also weeps every time she watches Titanic, but perhaps not for the same reasons we do. During the film's re-release in 3D in 2012, she stated that she can't bear to watch what she perceives as an under-developed performance by her younger self:
4 Michelle Pfeiffer - Grease 2
Although almost everyone with a pulse remembers Grease, its 1982 sequel came nowhere near the success of its predecessor. Even though the film gave the then unknown Michelle Pfeiffer her first lead role and consequently put her one step closer to the A-list, she revealed in 2007 that she is deeply embarrassed by her performance and blames it on her youthful naivety:
3 George Clooney - Batman & Robin
2 Joseph Gordon Levitt - 500 Days Of Summer
The 2012 rom-com 500 Days of Summer gave Joseph Gordon Levitt widespread fame and teenage infatuation. Although he does like the film, Gordon Levitt still cautions against looking to his character, Tom, as a romantic role model as he believes him to be embroiled in unhealthy fantasy projection:
1 Jake Lloyd - Anakin Skywalker
1999 should have been the start of a fruitful career for Jake Lloyd. At just eight years old, he was cast as Anakin Skywalker in George Lucas's Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. However, Lloyd describes the experience as “a living hell", largely because he was forced to give up to 60 interviews a day without being properly prepared for the excess media attention. He was also bullied by other children who made lightsaber noises whenever they saw him, which became unbearable. Upon the film's completion, he promptly destroyed all his Star Wars memorabilia and gave up acting for good.
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