We all tend to have this idea that once you make it big in Hollywood, life is easy from there on out. Work will just magically appear and life will be sweet. But the truth is that it doesn’t work that way at all.
Sure, some actors enjoy long and fruitful careers, but for most, their time in the spotlight is actually quite limited. They may be popular and in demand for a while, especially if they manage to land an important role or two, but because new talent arrives on the scene all the time, there’s always the chance they will be upstaged. There are so many things that can go wrong in Hollywood that it’s hard to make a long-term career really work. You might end up with a bad reputation like Lindsay Lohan; no one wants to hire an actor or actress who is going to be full of drama, or you might get typecast and only get offered certain types of roles.
It’s hard to predict who is going to make it in a place as fickle and ever-changing as Hollywood. And no one knows that better than these once-popular stars that movie execs just refuse to cast anymore.
15. Katherine Heigl Is Too Difficult To Work With
There’s no mystery as to why no one wants to hire Katherine Heigl anymore. According to Hollywood insiders, Katherine, who rose to prominence as Izzie on Grey’s Anatomy (a role which earned her an Emmy in 2007) is notoriously difficult to work with and to make matters worse, she also doesn’t seem to know when to keep her mouth shut. When she was nominated for a second Emmy in 2008 for her role as Izzie, she withdrew, saying she felt the writing for the character had not been up to par. The producers took great offense to this and subsequently wrote her out of the show. She was lucky enough to land her role in Knocked Up after Anne Hathaway walked out on the movie, but after the film’s release she publicly criticized it as being “sexist”. Do you think she’ll ever learn or is her career well and truly over?
14. Tobey Maguire Now Works Behind The Scenes
Actors and actresses who enjoy long Hollywood careers know that you constantly need to reinvent yourself in order to stay current. You can’t get typecast and you just can’t stay the same forever because audiences get bored pretty quickly. Nowhere is this more evident than with the case of Tobey Maguire. His boyish good-looks and puppy dog eyes might have served him well in his early career when he made his bones with films like Wonder Boys, Sea Biscuit, and The Cider House Rules, and they might have gotten him into that famous Spidey suit but now that he’s a man in his 40s Hollywood just doesn’t seem to have a place for him anymore. These days, Tobey is working more behind the scenes with narration roles like Boss Baby, than in front of the camera.
13. Seann William Scott’s Party Guy Persona Got Old Real Fast
Seann William Scott made a name for himself as American Pie’s Stifler; the rude, beer-guzzling young guy with the smoking hot mom. After the success of this movie he went on to star in a number of profitable films like Final Destination, The Dukes of Hazzard and Dude, Where’s My Car? and joined up for every American Pie sequel, but he could never seem to break out of the party guy persona and casting directors were not quite sure what to do with him next. He voiced Crash in the Ice Age franchise, but his on-screen career took a further nosedive when he signed on to do Goon 2, which was a massive disappointment for fans who had enjoyed him in Goon. Is a revival on the cards for this aging party guy? We think not.
12. Hugh Grant’s Charm Has Worn Thin
Has Hugh Grant‘s charm finally worn off? Hugh started working as an actor in the early 80’s and by the mid 90s he was one of Hollywood’s hottest commodities with leading roles in films like Four Weddings and Funeral, Nine Months, and Sense and Sensibility. But then he was caught cheating on Liz Hurly with a prostitute and his career took a turn for the worst. But he managed to overcome the scandal and started pumping out the hits again with movies like Bridget Jones’ Diary, Notting Hill, Love, Actually, and About a Boy and it seemed for a while that his fans had forgiven his indiscretion. Then, from around 2009, his career fell apart again when Did You Hear About the Morgans? bombed spectacularly at the box office and he’s been struggling to land a decent role ever since.
11. What Happened To Eva Mendes?
Until Eva landed her role in the blockbuster crime flick Training Day, she was stuck in the B-list circuit. She started acting in the 90’s with movies like Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror and Urban Legends: Final Cut but it was only after Training Day that people realized that she had some real ability and was not just a pretty face. She landed a few choicer roles following this performance; most notably in films like All About the Benjamins, 2 Fast 2 Furious, We Own the Night, Stuck on You, and Hitch, but then she just seemed to drop off the map. Her last film, Lost River (which was written by her husband Ryan Gosling) was met with dismal reviews from critics and it seems like Hollywood has all but given up her.
10. Josh Hartnett Turned Down Multiple Superhero Roles
After having developed a solid acting resume with successful films like Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, The Faculty, Black Hawk Down, Virgin Suicides, and Pearl Harbor, casting directors were lining up to hire Josh Hartnett. But he seemed to have very set ideas about what type of projects he wanted to work on and refused to get sucked into commercial or typecast roles. He was approached several times to play the role of Clark Kent/Superman but he turned it down over and over again as he did not want to commit to a predicted ten-year role. When asked about this decision, he said, “It just wasn’t the kind of movie I wanted to do. I turned down other superhero roles as well.” Is it just us or do you also feel that Josh never reached his full potential?
9. Jessica Biel Thinks She Is Too Hot For Leading Roles
There was a time when everyone thought that Jessica Biel, the actress who got her start with the hit TV show 7th Heaven, was going to be Hollywood’s next leading lady. She seemed to have everything an iconic actress needed to make it big – beauty and talent. But Jessica’s career just seemed to suffer one blow after another. She started out well with roles in films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Elizabethtown but then she chose to do I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, which earned her a pair of Razzie nominations and did nothing for her image. Then she lost out on two major roles in The Dark Knight Rises and Les Miserables which both went to Anne Hathaway instead. According to Jessica, she thinks that her good looks are to blame for her lack of leading roles, but we’re not convinced.
8. Freddie Prinze Jr. Couldn’t Prove He Had Range
Prinze hit the big time in the late 1990s and early 2000s with successful films such as I Know What You Did Last Summer, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, She’s All That, and Scooby-Doo, but after that, his popularity seemed to drop off dramatically. He was no longer the young heartthrob and by the time his semi-autobiographical sitcom Freddie hit the screens fans were losing patience with him. He followed up with a series of box office flops including Delgo which broke box office records for the lowest earning on an animated film. Without any meaty roles to prove his range Freddie just seemed to quietly fade into obscurity. He made his last film almost ten years ago.
7. Pierce Brosnan Couldn’t Top Bond
After proving his acting abilities in films like The Fourth Protocol and Mrs. Doubtfire, Pierce Brosnan landed the role of James Bond. But was playing the world’s most famous spy really such a good career move? After pumping out four Bond films in seven years (GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day) Brosnan’s career seemed to stall, at a time when it should have been taking off. He had a few hit and miss movies along the way; the disaster movie Dante’s Peak was, well a disaster, but he seemed to redeem himself with Mamma Mia! But from 2006 to 2013 he barely had any work at all. Is there any place left in Hollywood for this aging Bond?
6. Cameron Diaz Tarnished Herself With Bad Teacher
Could Cameron Diaz be one of the most underused resources in Hollywood? We think so! In the late 1990s actresses didn’t get much hotter than Diaz and she had the acting ability and drive to go with her good looks. It seemed she had everything she needed to be successful and while she gained recognition for comedies like My Best Friend’s Wedding, Charlie’s Angels and There’s Something About Mary, she was also able to show off her range in films like Being John Malkovich and Vanilla Sky. In fact, everything seemed to be going well until she made Bad Teacher in 2011 which severely tarnished her reputation and her next films Sex Tape, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and Annie did very little to repair that.
5. Taylor Lautner’s Ego Got In The Way
Everyone thought that Taylor Lautner, who most of us only remember as Jacob from Twilight, was going to be the next big thing. And we were all wrong. So where did it go wrong for him? Well for starters the film, Abduction, which was meant to help him break away from his persona as Jacob bombed at the box office. Secondly, it seems as though the success of Twilight over-inflated his ego to the point where he was demanding astronomical amounts to appear in films. According to the rumor mill, he demanded $7 million to star in Stretch Armstrong and a whopping $10 million to star in David and Goliath – and was turned down for both roles. Maybe he wasn’t as talented as we thought?
4. Ryan Phillippe Just Fizzled Out
What in the world happened to Ryan Phillippe? In the 90’s he was an up and coming star who couldn’t seem to miss when it came to roles. Hits like I Know What You Did Last Summer, Cruel Intentions, and 54 made him a household name and his boyish good looks won him millions of fans. It looked like Ryan was set to take the world by storm, but then surprising he just seemed to fizzle out. Although he proved himself with dramatic roles in films like Breach and Flags of our Fathers, a few of his films bombed in quick succession and when he split from Reese Witherspoon his professional career took a dive it’s never quite recovered from. But who knows, maybe in the future Ryan will enjoy a comeback.
3. Kristen Steward Failed To Wow Anyone
Kristen Steward’s post Twilight career has not been as glittering as some might have expected. Her performance in Snow White and the Huntsman didn’t really leave fans wanting to see more and when it emerged that she was cheating on then-boyfriend, Robert Pattinson, with her married director, she lost quite a bit of her shine. People perceived her as being cold and unrelatable and her perpetually grumpy face didn’t help at all. As you can image casting directors weren’t lining up outside her door and she’s been trying to work her way back into their good graces ever since. Her latest performances in movies like Personal Shopper and Café Society were well received by audiences so perhaps, if she learns how to smile, there’s hope for her yet.
2. Michael Cera’s First Leading Role Was The Beginning Of The End
Most of us remember Michael Cera from his role as George Michael on Arrested Development. His popularity on this show helped him land movie roles like Juno and Superbad and people loved his awkward, shy guy demeanor so much that they overlooked just how hapless his characters really were. But having Michael Cera in a movie and having him star in a movie are two very different things. While most actors enjoy success after landing a starring role the same could not for said for Cera. His leading role in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was the beginning of the end for him. The film did extremely well in the box office but brought his career to a grinding halt. He pops up in movies every now and again, but it’s doubtful he’ll ever have a leading role again.
1. Cuba Gooding Jr. Made One Too Many Bad Choices
Now don’t get us wrong – we’re not saying Cuba Gooding Jr. is not a talented actor, but it seems like he’s made one too many bad choices when it comes to movie roles and now he’s struggling to find decent work. Gooding’s breakout role was in Boyz in the Hood and just five short years later he earned an Oscar for his role in the blockbuster hit Jerry Maguire. Hollywood certainly showed him the money and he followed up with a string of successful releases, including Men of Honor and Pearl Harbor. But after that, his career took a turn and he soon found himself in the realm of lowbrow comedies – not a good sign for any serious actor. He recently enjoyed a role in American Horror Story, but even that seems to have failed to restart his flailing career.
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