Every person alive has had an off day at some point or another. That extends from paper boys to world leaders. No one is perfect 100% of the time. And just because the world has helped transform movie stars into some of the most famous people on the planet, that doesn’t exclude them from fallibility. A number of actors have looked back on some of their past work with a mixture of hilarity, shame, and sheer anger. These are the roles that boil their blood and still stick out in their heads when they think of the worst moments. The stuff that their anxieties are made out of. If anything, it makes them worse. Imagine if your worst day at work ended up on the screen of roughly a million people around the world.
But the thing is that some of these roles ended up being important for their careers. These stars won’t ever be able to shake these roles. Sometimes it’s an early role that helped them achieve future parts, and other times it’s a starring role in a massive blockbuster that becomes synonymous with that performer. But that doesn’t make the regret any less real. If anything, these actors and actresses are just angrier that these are some of their biggest roles. It becomes the the error that they can never truly escape, and honestly, that does sound pretty terrible. These are fifteen movie stars who hate some of their biggest roles.
15. Jessica Alba – Fantastic Four
Jessica Alba had a solid stretch of years where she was appearing in some of the biggest movies in the world. She managed to mix hotness with a nice touch of a relatable girl. But some of her roles managed to make her reconsider her entire career choice as an actress. Fantastic Four was an early 2000s attempt to bring more Marvel superheroes to the big screen. But the problem is that, unlike future Marvel movies, the films about a superhero family within a superhero universe just wasn’t any good. The experience of making the movies – where Alba starred as Invisible Woman – proved to be horrible for Alba, who came close to retiring right then and there as a result of the experience. She’s been having far more luck outside acting anyways, even being named “America’s Richest Self-Made Woman” by Forbes in 2015.
14. George Clooney – Batman And Robin
Batman and Robin is, for most movie fans, a waste of a film. And for comic fans, it was a serious punch to the face. Six-year-olds who owned everything Batman were forced to reevaluate their passions. It’s a neon wreck of a movie that tries to emulate the 60s Batman show but fails to bring any of the authentic fun and energy that made the ridiculous nature of the West series work. And no one knows that better than George Clooney, who played Batman in the film. He apparently keeps a large picture of himself in the rubber Batman suit around his house to remind himself what happens if you ever lose track of your ego. He’s even given money to people on the street if they tell him that they bought a ticket to one of the biggest blockbusters he ever starred in.
13. Harrison Ford – Star Wars
Harrison Ford famously worked as a carpenter before being asked to read dialogue from Star Wars as Han Solo against actresses auditioning for Princess Leia. After a few read-throughs, George Lucas was won over and offered Ford the role that would change his life. But even as the film opened the door to other big name roles and helped make him one of the biggest movie stars in the world, Ford never had any love for the franchise. He complained about the technobabble and dialogue constantly, and thought that Han Solo was a one-note character. He tried to convince them to let Solo die multiple times throughout the series, but he was turned down until his brief return in The Force Awakens allowed the character to go out in a heroic fashion. Ford has never liked Star Wars, and seems to have more fun poking fun at his own hatred for the franchise than he ever did actually making it.
12. Sarah Michelle Geller – Scooby-Doo
Sarah Michelle Geller made her name doing ridiculous television, but she loved doing it. Buffy the Vampire Slayer should have just been another cheesy sci-fi/fantasy show of the 90s, but grew into something strangely authentic and real. And Geller was at the center of it, making the audience care about all the crazy she had to deal with. But that level of commitment couldn’t continue over to her next comedy/horror franchise, Scooby Doo. Geller played Daphne Blake in the live action version of the series, and absolutely hated it. Even getting to work with her husband Freddie Prince Jr. wasn’t enough to make up for the cheesy effects, lackluster script, and the go-go boots. Seriously, Geller apparently had to wear the same uncomfortable and unwieldy boots for the entire film, and then run in them. It’s no surprise she hated the experience, even if it did bring her some of her biggest spotlight.
11. Channing Tatum – GI Joe: Rise Of Cobra
Channing Tatum has gone down on record as being a huge fan of the G.I. Joe cartoon that premiered in the 80s. It was a big show for him, and it’s probably why he signed on to the feature film adaptation from 2009, G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra. But he didn’t exactly get what he was expecting from the film. The movie was horrible and failed to even make good on what promise that franchise should have. And no one was more disappointed than Tatum, who has given interviews where he shared his hatred for the flick and blames his participation on being young and excited to be signed onto multiple films at once. It didn’t work out for him, and he has since learned better. He was contractually forced to appear in the sequel, but his character was promptly and quickly killed off early in the story. And you have to imagine Tatum was cheering the entire way.
10. Tom Hardy – Star Trek: Nemesis
Tom Hardy is one of the biggest stars in the world right now, managing the difficult task of appearing in low budget indies alongside A-list blockbusters, playing the stoic hero and the flashy villain with equal verve. He’s an incredibly talented actor, but none of that was able to help out the problems with what was supposed to be his big break, Star Trek: Nemesis. Hardy was one of the main villains in the film, a clone of Jean Luc Picard (a.k.a. Patrick Stewart) who was being used to target and attack the heroic Federation. The movie was such a wreck, and the filming process itself such a strain, that Hardy ended up falling back into drugs and almost risked his life. That’s how bad this movie is, and how much Hardy hates it.
9. Rooney Mara – Pan
Rooney Mara has been quickly becoming a serious contender for the coveted “Hot damn, she’s so good for being so young” actress award. She’s delivered powerhouse performances in films like Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Carol. But no one can be perfect in everything, and even she’s had her (very) rough patches. Most notable is her role as Princess Tiger Lilly in Pan. For those at home who don’t know, Tiger Lilly is one of the characters that Peter Pan ends up befriending during his time in Neverland. But here’s the thing – she’s a Native American Princess, which Rooney Mara is most certainly not. In a day and age where Hollywood is being held accountable for their mistakes when it comes to casting white people in roles meant for people of color, Mara’s stood out as a particularly bad one. She has since come out and apologized for her role in the film, and called the movie offensive.
8. Matthew McConaughey– Texas Chainsaw Massacre
After a rough patch following his early success, Matthew McConaughey has dragged himself to the top of the A-list. His performances are surprisingly strong in recent years, and he’s revealed a depth that no one thought he had possible during his early years – especially if you saw one of his first roles. One of his first major movie roles was as one of the crazy villains in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. He’s nuts in the mostly pretty terrible movie, proving to be one of the few bright spots by virtue of his sheer lunacy. But as his star continued to rise he (alongside Renee Zellweger, who also starred in this movie somehow) tried to keep the movie from actively promoting his appearance in the movie. This is one of the films that helped him get his start in Hollywood, and he put a lot of time and effort in keeping it from ever being seen by the public.
7. Natalie Portman – Star Wars
Star Wars has a bad habit of being utterly horrible for some people. Some actors love being in the films and really appreciate the experience. Others come out of the movies, disappointed with the experience. And then there are some who barely make it out of the movies at all. Natalie Portman has always been a great actress, but not even she could elevate the completely lackluster Star Wars prequels beyond themselves. The movies almost killed her career, which is something she hasn’t forgotten. She’s even said in interviews that she fears the day her children see those movies and ask her why her performance is so bad in them. She tried, but sometimes a movie just proves to be too bad to even allow talented actors to redeem it.
6. Ryan Reynolds – Green Lantern
Ryan Reynolds loves superheroes. He’s been a self-proclaimed superhero geek for almost his entire career. It’s why he was willing to work with X-Men Origins: Wolverine and why he put so much of his own blood, sweat, and tears into bringing Deadpool to the big screens. But before those, he had another failed attempt to be a superhero, in the form of Green Lantern. The CGI garbage-fest that somehow took a character who can make anything from his imagination into reality and made it all too boring for anyone to care, Green Lantern was supposed to be the DC answer to Iron Man. But the movie, which already looks painfully dated less than ten years later in a way that none of the Marvel movies had, wasn’t a favorite of Reynold’s. He’s often complained about the script and the executive notes, and fled DC and Warner Bros. after this fiasco. At least he got to take a couple potshots at it during Deadpool.
5. Bill Murray – Garfield
Bill Murray is a comedy icon. He’s been that way for decades, becoming the funny Grandpa that we all wished that we had. And in that career, he’s become incredibly picky and selective with his work. It’s a famous quality of his, to not take as many calls as anyone else expects and to only appear in films that he can appreciate. And he got a nice reminder of what could happen otherwise when it came to Garfield. The CGI/live action hybrid starred Murray in the main role as Garfield, in a very predictable and boring film adaption of the lazy orange cat that likes lasagna. Murray only took the role because he mistook the writer for one of the famous Coen Brothers, and ended up in a movie that was so bad that it was used as his one regret during a scene in Zombieland.
4. David Cross – Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
Comedien David Cross has appeared in a lot of shows and movies, with some of his best and biggest being a major role in Arrested Development. But to film audiences, especially younger ones, he’s probably most known for his time in the Alvin and the Chipmunks films. It took three movies for Cross to reach his breaking point as the main villain in the series, but he has since come out and claimed that the third film, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, is probably the least favorite moment of his career. Considering this is a guy who’s done some lackluster films, that’s saying something. He’s called it a terribly unpleasant experience, and has even done stand-up sets about how much he hated it. That’s probably why he didn’t appear in the fourth movie.
3. Michael Caine – Jaws: The Revenge
Michael Caine has been dropping iconic film appearances for over fifty years. Even some of his worst movies end up feeling better just by his sheer presence. He can make anything increasingly dramatic and real, even when he’s talking to a guy in a bat suit or singing Christmas carols alongside Muppets. But even his skills weren’t enough to salvage Jaws: The Revenge. The fourth (and final) Jaws films is an unmitigated disaster of a film. Caine was one of the stars, and stuck filming this monstrosity instead of being able to be in Los Angeles and accept his Academy Award. He’s reportedly never actually watched the film the whole way through, but has commented that the house he was able to buy for starring in it is quite lovely.
2. Chevy Chase – Caddyshack 2
Caddyshack is a great sports comedy, and a springboard that helped get Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, and Harold Ramis on the map. It was a massive success, to the point that Warner Bros. immediately set about filming a sequel. The problem is that the sequel was terrible, and everyone knew it. No one was happy to be involved, with much of the cast backing out and literally being threatened with legal recourse if they didn’t participate. While some members of the cast stuck to their guns and stayed out of it, Chevy Chase ended up going through with it and hating the experience with all of his body. While he was supposed to be promoting the film on David Letterman, Chase famously blew off questions about the movie and openly complained about it. This attitude lasted with him, eventually becoming his default setting and making him something of a pariah in Hollywood.
1. Christian Bale – Newsies
Christian Bale has enjoyed an incredibly varied and multifaceted career. From his earlier days in Empire of the Sun to the blockbuster heights of the Dark Knight trilogy, Bale has embodied a number of different roles for unique films. And there’s one that, while it helped him get noticed early in his career, he can’t look back on with ease. Newsies was released in 1992 and directed by Kenny Ortega, who would later go on to make High School Musical. Newsies is about a group of young paper boys trying to get by. It’s become a cult favorite, but at the time of release it was actually the lowest grossing Disney movie of all time. When Bale heard this during a later interview with EW.com, he laughed and remarked that they at least have a record. The movie became a musical only after Bale had signed onto the film, and he’s had difficulty looking back at it ever since.
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