It's the same story, whether you work in office buildings, behind a bar, or on the sets of the most famous films: when you're offered a risky job, it's hard to tell if it'll pan out in your favor. No one knows the future.
Actors have very few clues about how well a project will go before they sign on for the project. These days, when an actor signs on for a film project, they usually have little more to go on than a few pages of the script and a short description for the film, usually akin to the kind of description we get on IMDB. From that, they're expected to sign a contract (for at least one film, sometimes 3-10 films) stating that they will be in the film, regardless of quarrels with changes to the script or even major changes in the plot. Sometimes actors are released from their contracts, but that can be just as damaging to their careers and reputations as a movie that ends up getting bad reviews.
The actors on this list probably thought they were making clever career choices by walking away from certain projects or signing on for others. How were they supposed to know that these movies and tv shows and even casual conversations would change the shape of their entire careers? Unfortunately, these actors have made a few mistakes along the way and these mistakes have certainly cost them dearly. Here they are: the 15 worst career missteps in Hollywood.
14 Molly Ringwald Turned Down the Lead in Pretty Woman
13 John Travolta Turned Down Forrest Gump
We know: John Travolta as Forrest Gump? That could have been terrible. Nevertheless, the role was not offered first to Tom Hanks. In fact, it was offered to Travolta as well as Bill Murray and Chevy Chase; it seems that directors were prepared to take Forrest Gump in a more comedic direction, which certainly would have changed the tone of the iconic film. Travolta later admitted that turning the role down was a career mistake. While Tom Hanks' career took off after the film, Travolta hasn't reached levels of success beyond those of his 1978 film, Grease, or the 1994 film, Pulp Fiction, which some speculate he rejected the role of Forrest Gump in favor of. However, his mistake was clear when both films were nominated the following year for best actor at the Oscars and Tom Hanks took the stage while John Travolta sat remorsefully in the audience.
12 Matthew Broderick Turned Down Walter White in Breaking Bad
11 Hugh Jackman Turned Down James Bond in Casino Royale
10 Tom Selleck Turned Down Indiana Jones
9 Nicolas Cage Declaring Bankruptcy
8 Chris O'Donnell Turned Down Jack in Titanic
7 Lindsay Lohan And Her Many Drug/Alcohol Abuses
6 Mel Gibson and His Racist Remarks
5 Michael Richards and His Racist Remarks
4 Brian Dunkleman Walked Away From American Idol
3 Paul Reubens and Public Self-Pleasure
2 Ashlee Simpson Lip Syncing on Saturday Night Live
1 Eddie Murphy Going for the Pay Day
Eddie Murphy was once known as one of the most raunchy and hilarious comedians out there. Some of his most popular movies when he first rose to fame and hit the film scene were Beverly Hills Cop, Coming to America, and The Nutty Professor. He became so famous that studios would beg him to take roles. For a while, he was selective and picky about the roles he took. Even when they weren't gut-busting and hilarious, they were still enjoyable, like Shrek, Dr. Dolittle, and Mulan. Then he realized that, if he were taking all of these roles, he'd be making a lot more money! He started starring in some terrible films, like all the sequels to Shrek and Dr. Dolittle as well as The Adventures of Pluto Nash, The Haunted Mansion, and Norbit. Sure, he may be wildly wealthy, but the roles he's elected to take have damaged his career a dangerous amount.
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