Truly making it big in the cutthroat Hollywood industry as an actress means you have to have it all — talent, good looks, humility and a certain charisma to attract and lure fans and audiences. Surprisingly, some of the biggest Hollywood actors and actresses have little to show when it comes to actual acting ability, and have gone by with their looks, connections or pure dumb luck. One is considered lucky if he or she is born to a family of actors and actresses or directors and producers, or anyone who works in the industry. For some of these actresses, they have managed to create and keep an acting career by pulling some strings (some, not very ideal nor appropriate). Other actresses with so-so acting abilities choose to work with the same directors and producers who let their incompetence pass. And the rest, who started out as models, would understandably be not so great in acting compared to their peers who have actually gone to universities and acting schools to study the art.
But talented or not, many Hollywood stars have remained in the industry, with some actually managing to become A-listers at some point in their lives. But these 15 actresses on this list keep people wondering why and how they keep landing acting gigs despite their lack of talent and their problematic attitude. Maybe the people who hire them can’t see how bad their acting is, or maybe, like previously mentioned, they just are always able to pull some strings.
15 Jennifer Aniston
There's only so many times we could stand to watch Jennifer Aniston in incredibly repetitive roles. Sure, she made a name for herself and is best known as Rachel Green in the sitcom Friends (for which she won an Emmy Award), but beyond that, she never really truly ventured out in terms of character. Aniston specialized in romantic comedies and rehashed characters almost every year in the 2000s with painfully similar roles in We're the Millers (2013) with Jason Sudeikis and three other films in which she starred with Adam Sandler, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. While the films did great at the box office, audiences are still hoping for a bigger, better Aniston in her next roles, something she may have considered in Cake. Aniston looks like she has a lot of potential — she just needs to fully realize this potential. Once she does, maybe she’ll be best actress material.
14 Katherine Heigl
Grey's Anatomy actress Katherine Heigl seems like a person who dislikes herself a lot. Controversy first began when co-stars and co-workers commented that she was difficult to work with. She's also known to listlessly comment on her TV and film projects negatively, causing co-workers to fire back at her with their own opinions of her and her work. The actress has done a lot of backpedaling on her previous statements over the last few years, and it's not surprising that her TV series are usually canceled after a season or two (State of Affairs, Doubt). It begs the question, is Heigl really a horrible person on set who lacks talent? The actress seems to think so herself after she refused to submit her work for Emmy consideration. Well, if she knows she lacks the talent, she should probably get rid of her supposed horrible personality if she wants to stay in the industry.
13 Megan Fox
Dark-haired bombshell Megan Fox earned a name for herself when she appeared as Shia LaBeouf's love interest in Michael Bay's Transformers movies, but her acting abilities didn't quite match how good she looked. Beyond the surface, there's not much acting talent there and she even admitted it, blaming the script in 2015 for having "nothing for me to do." But critics and audiences alike saw her for what she really was and were quick to criticize her inability to act and her overall attitude. The actress proudly defended herself, telling ET that "established comedians and Quentin Tarantino" praised her for her performance in Jennifer's Body, which flopped. Unfortunately, these aren't the only people she needs to please if she wants to further her career in acting. She also needs to please the audiences — the people who actually matter. Because if a film doesn’t have enough audiences, it won’t make enough money.
12 Bryce Dallas Howard
It's no surprise that Bryce Dallas Howard is in the Hollywood business, given that her father is Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard. But that doesn't mean she inherited all of her father's talents. In fact, she's already been confused with several other natural redheads in the industry like Isla Fisher and Amy Adams. Howard began her acting career in the mid-2000s, appearing in As You Like It, which role earned her a Golden Globe nom. She became more mainstream when she played the forgettable Victoria in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse in 2010. As luck would have it, Howard landed the massively successful Jurassic World franchise, in which she starred alongside Chris Pratt, who was just beginning to establish himself as a hot new bankable leading man.
11 January Jones
January Jones may be a blonde bombshell but it looks like that's the only thing she's got going for her. She skyrocketed to fame with her role as Betty Draper in the critically acclaimed Mad Men, which earned her a couple of Golden Globe nominations and an Emmy nom, but her success dwindles down from there, and for good cause. The actress' other major acting gig was as Emma Frost in Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class, in which both audiences and critics noticed her lack of acting ability. In fact, First Class director Damon Lindelof tweeted in 2011, "Emma Frost’s THREE mutant powers: Telepathy, Transformation to Solid Diamond and last but not least, Sucking at Acting." That must've really hurt, seeing as the tweet came from a director she actually worked with. But if an actress doesn’t have talent, she doesn’t deserve acting roles, right? Maybe she needs to go to acting school.
10 Jennifer Love Hewitt
Jennifer Love Hewitt is one of the most recognizable actresses in Hollywood, as her career took her from acting to singing and back. Hewitt first earned a household name with I Know What You Did Last Summer back in the late 1990s and even delved into pop music during the early 2000s by launching her lukewarm singing career. Most recently, she's remembered for her TV roles in Ghost Whisperer and Criminal Minds, but Hewitt surprisingly turns out to be one of the most negatively reviewed actresses by Metacritic. In fact, she takes the top spot from four other actresses on the list. While the actress seems to keep landing jobs, audiences are left to wonder if she'll ever pick one that would actually not suck. But this is Jennifer Love Hewitt we’re talking about here. She’s probably going to keep getting acting jobs, and she’s probably going to keep sucking at it.
9 Kristen Stewart
It is one thing to be a bad actress, and a whole other thing to be a bad actress who actually admits it. When it comes to Kristen Stewart, it's the latter. The actress achieved worldwide fame thanks to her Twilight franchise performances, all of which were horrible or worse than the last iteration. Interestingly, Stewart told Vanity Fair in 2014 that it was because of bad acting partners that she appeared emotionless in the films. She admitted, "If I’m working with someone who I’m not vibing with, or who I have to fake anything with, then it’s sad for me and it’s bad acting." That definitely sounds like a burn for her ex-boyfriend, Robert Pattinson, with whom she starred in the Twilight series. Perhaps it was their bad chemistry that affected her acting? Regardless of the reason, we can all agree that they don’t belong together, whether on screen or off screen.
8 Dakota Johnson
As the daughter of Golden Globe-winning actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, Dakota Johnson should be somewhat of a great actress. However, her obvious lack of acting talent forces her to take on roles such as Anastasia Steele in the Fifty Shades franchise, because fanatics of the novel will most likely gloss over her acting and focus more on her on-screen partner, Jamie Dornan's good looks. Reports revealed that their poor chemistry on screen forced production to reshoot several intimate scenes. And apparently, Johnson wasn't "coming off sexy enough" in the film. To make matters worse, the actress could not seem to pull off Anastasia's innocence, and that she needed to "be naive, not a dish-rag." Unfortunately for moviegoers, Johnson is reprising her role a third time in Fifty Shades Freed. Well, it probably doesn’t really matter. Most moviegoers probably aren’t going to watch the show for her acting, but rather, the other steamy things that will be happening in it.
7 Jessica Alba
In the early 2000s, Jessica Alba was hailed as one of the steamiest actresses on screen. Her mixed heritage gave her the looks of an angel and unfortunately, the acting chops of a potato. Her badly acted out roles in Fantastic Four and The Eye earned her the second worst-reviewed actress title behind Jennifer Love Hewitt. She's also Complex's fifth Hottest Bad Actress of All Time, which they described as the kindergarten student who would earn little gold stars "for simply trying." The Eye director told Daily Mail that it was difficult for him to give her feedback on her acting and that he was ultimately left out of the editing process of the film, to the point that he regretted having his name on it. Her acting must’ve been really bad then, for a director to feel like that.
6 Cara Delevingne
A lot of Hollywood actors and actresses begin their careers as models and later transition into acting. That's exactly the route Cara Delevingne took, landing her roles in films such as Paper Towns, Suic*de Squad, and Luc Besson's Valerian. The problem with Delevingne is that she probably hasn't attended enough acting classes to further hone her acting talents. In fact, she even had to defend her mediocre acting to the general public while promoting Paper Towns in 2015. She admitted that there were a lot of critics and audiences who doubted her acting skills, but she said that she wanted to follow in the footsteps of Charlize Theron, who also started out in the industry as a model. If she indeed wants to follow in her footsteps, she has a very long way to go. Maybe she should start by practicing her acting, or by going to an acting school?
5 Kirsten Dunst
Kirsten Dunst began her career in Hollywood as a child actress, so it's safe to assume that she would only get better through the years. Unfortunately, that's not the case, as she's hailed as one of the actresses Hollywood should refrain from casting anymore. Her role in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man film series will forever be remembered by everyone, as she played Mary Jane Watson, Tobey McGuire's on-screen love interest. But her acting in the films and their on-screen chemistry were both so bad that their supposed love story wasn't believable at all. Dunst blamed the "blue-screen stuff" (CGI) for the "bad acting." She reasoned, "Those things are hard to do. I had no idea what was going to be in the film and some of those lines are hard to pull off." Excuses, excuses. Don’t blame your lack of talent on CGI — if you had it then it would’ve shown.
4 Amanda Seyfried
Amanda Seyfried was one of the most promising actresses of the mid-2000s, which is why we are scratching our heads and are confused as to why she hasn't earned global superstardom status just yet. Seyfried is an extremely talented vocalist, but it's her film choices that make us question why she even bothers. The actress first launched into mainstream success with Mean Girls in 2004 and was also in the widely successful 2008 film Mamma Mia!, the sequel of which is set to be released in 2018. In addition, she starred in several more films in the late 2000s, most if not all of which didn't really make a great impact. Seyfried was also in four very below-the-radar films in 2017, in which she starred alongside actors Clive Owen, Ethan Hawke and Ed Helms. Needless to say, she doesn’t really deserve to be cast in anything anymore, but it looks like she’s gonna keep getting acting jobs. We wonder why.
3 Denise Richards
Denise Richards has definitely earned a household name for being a model turned actress and one of the most recognizable faces in America. But despite this, she's actually a pretty bad actress whose roles are not really memorable or difficult to play. Back in 2008, she was named Worst Bond Girl Ever by fans of the James Bond franchise, for her role as, questionably, Dr. Christmas Jones in 1999's The World Is Not Enough. Dr. Jones was a nuclear physicist who often wore tank tops and tight-fitting pants. Richards has also been ranked as one of the worst-reviewed actresses by Metacritic, right behind Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jessica Alba and Katherine Heigl. Richards still does land some jobs here and there, making us wonder why she still does. Just what kind of magic does she do to keep landing these jobs? We need to know.
2 Keira Knightley
Keira Knightley is undeniably stunning and it's a good thing that she has that going for her, as her acting talent isn’t as stellar as her physical appearance. The actress doesn't seem to have enough facial expressions and emotions to convey the story of her on-screen character, as evident in her numerous film projects. Begin Again director John Carney wasn't very happy with Knightley for her entourage and for "[hiding] who [she is].” “I don’t think you can be an actor and do that," the director mused. He also shared that it was difficult for Knightley to pull off being a singer and guitar-player on screen, as she wasn't one in real life. Because of Knightley, Carney swore off working with supermodels again in the future. It sucks that he’s no longer going to work with supermodels, as there’s always a chance one can be a great actress, but it’s for the better, we guess.
1 Alicia Silverstone
Former teen star Alicia Silverstone is best known for three things — being a music video model for Aerosmith's "Cryin'" in 1993, starring as Cher in 1995's Clueless and playing Batgirl in 1997's Batman & Robin. While she regularly had acting jobs almost every year, she never really had a role that gave her as much prominence as Clueless did. This is because of her lack of acting talent and her bad film choices. She's ranked as the fifth worst reviewed actress by Metacritic and was named as the 17th Worst Actress of All Time by IMDB. Lately, Silverstone has been relegated to working outside the acting sphere, releasing her vegan nutrition guide The Kind Diet in 2009, as well as a GOOP-like website, The Kind Life.