No matter how carefully an actor or performer tries to plan their career, very few of them can actually choose what they become famous for. They might try to pick the best roles they can or use a publicist to manage their reputation but most of the time, this has little effect. It’s like a playing with a Wheel of Fortune, they can never be sure which performance is going to put them on the map, and which role people are always going to remember them for.
Once a performer gets known for playing a certain role it can pigeonhole them, for example; if they enjoy a breakout role as a villain they might have a hard time ever being chosen to play the hero. They also run the risk of picking up personas that they might struggle to cast off again – meaning that no matter what other work they do, people will always associate them with that character or performance.
Becoming famous is one thing, but it’s usually what comes afterward that people struggle with. Here are 15 celebrities who hated what they became famous for and the reasons why they loathed being associated with their own work…
15. Kate Winslet Had A Hard Time Watching Herself In Titanic
James Cameron’s 1997 film Titanic is the second-biggest blockbuster of all time. Outdone only by Avatar in 2009, Titanic raked in over $2 billion dollars worldwide. Kate Winslet’s performance, in particular, wowed fans and critics alike and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. But there was one person who thought her performance was less than stellar – and that was Kate herself.
This is what she had to say about her performance: “Every single scene, I’m like ‘Really, really? You did it like that? Oh my God… Even my American accent, I can’t listen to it. It’s awful. Hopefully, it’s so much better now. It sounds terribly self-indulgent but actors do tend to be very self-critical. I have a hard time watching any of my performances, but watching Titanic I was just like, ‘Oh God, I want to do that again.’”
14. Robert Pattinson The Twilight Saga Was Creepy
You would think that an actor like Robert Pattinson would be grateful to an author like Stephenie Meyer for writing the book which ultimately made him a star, but you’d be wrong.
Here’s what he had to say about Meyer and her work, “When I read it, I was convinced that Stephenie was convinced that she was Bella. It was like it was a book that wasn’t supposed to be published, like reading her – her sort of sexual fantasy. Especially when she says that it was based on a dream, and it’s like, ‘Oh, then I had a dream about this really sexy guy’ and she just writes this book about it, and there’s some things about Edward that are just so specific that… I was just convinced that this woman is mad, she’s completely mad and she’s in love with her own fictional creation.”
13. Megan Fox Said The Transformers Movies Weren’t About Acting
The Transformers movie franchise served as a breakout role for Megan Fox but there was no love lost between her and director Michael Bay. While many actors might not get along with their directors, it was the fact that Megan couldn’t shut up about it that eventually got her booted from the series. She claimed that he was demeaning to her and during one interview she even compared him with Hitler.
When asked whether she would return for the third film she replied, “Sure. I mean, I can’t sh** on this movie because it did give me a career and open all these doors for me. But I don’t want to blow smoke up people’s ass. People are well aware that this is not a movie about acting. And once you realize that, it becomes almost fun because you can be in the moment and go, ‘All right, I know that when he calls Action! I’m either going to be running or screaming or both.’”
12. Miley Cyrus Despised Her Hannah Montana Alter Ego
You’d have to look hard to find a celebrity who hated their break-out persona more than Miley Cyrus. Although Hannah Montana made Miley famous all over the globe, she despised the effect that the role had on her childhood.
“From the time I was 11, it was, ‘You’re a pop star! That means you have to be blonde, and you have to have long hair, and you have to put on some glittery tight thing.’ Meanwhile, I’m this fragile little girl playing a 16-year-old in a wig and a ton of makeup. It was like Toddlers & Tiaras,” she said.
11. Angus T. Jones Begged People Not To Watch Two And A Half Men
In 2010 Angus T. Jones (then 17), became the highest paid child star in television when his renewed contract with Two and a Half Men guaranteed him $7.8 million over the next two seasons, amounting to a whopping $300,000 for each of the 26 episodes.
During the show’s ninth season his character, Jake, was given more adult storylines. He was shown to be a heavy pot smoker and sexually active. He was uncomfortable with the new plots and later said that it was very awkward to do the “adult thing” while he was not an adult.
Shortly afterward Jones had a spiritual epiphany and joined the Seventh-day Adventists, and started denouncing Two and a Half Men. He made a video imploring people not to watch the show, and calling TV in general “bad news”.
10. Shailene Woodley Felt That The Secret Life Of The American Teenager Sent The Wrong Message
Shailene Woodley used the recognition she gained from playing Amy Juergens on the ABC TV show The Secret Life of the American Teenager to help launch a film career. You’ll also remember her from her roles in films like The Descendants, The Fault in Our Stars, and The Divergent Series.
She didn’t like the character Amy, and she felt that the shows’ storylines and her own personal beliefs were far from aligned.
“Towards the end, morally, the things that we were preaching on that show weren’t really aligned with my own integrity,” she said. “So that was a bit hard to show up to work every day knowing that we were going to project all of these themes to thousands – millions – of young adults across the country, when in fact they weren’t what I would like to be sending out.”
9. It Took Christian Bale Years To Get Over This Role
Christian Bale has played loads of questionable characters, and he’s good at it but which of these do you think he disliked the most? Do you think he secretly felt bad about his over the top portrayal of Patrick Bateman? Or do you think he felt silly wearing the Batman suit? Well, it’s neither of these.
The movie Bale is most ashamed of is the musical Newsies. In the movie, he plays a struggling, turn of the century New York newspaper hawker who dreams of escaping to New Mexico. The film was a box office bomb, however, it later gained a cult following. But the initial failure devastated Bale, who was 17 at the time.
8. Blake Lively Wanted People To Know That She Wasn’t Anything Like Serena
Her role as Serena van der Woodsen on Gossip Girl put Blake Lively on the map and helped her to launch a diverse movie career, but she wasn’t happy about the message that her character sent to younger viewers of the show. And she wanted people to know that she was very different to the character she played.
“People loved it, but it always felt a little personally compromising—you want to be putting a better message out there,” she said, speaking about the show and her desire to distance herself from Serena. “The lines become blurred. I would not be proud to be the person who gave someone the cocaine that made them overdose and then shot someone and slept with someone else’s boyfriend.”
7. Carrie Fisher Felt Her Part In The Star Wars Films Was Too Focused On Her Body
You can’t think about Carrie Fisher without thinking about Star Wars but she wasn’t mad about the way that she was portrayed. For starters, she felt that the metal bikini she had to wear in Return of the Jedi over-sexualized her and she wasn’t mad about the fact that merchandise with her face on it – everything from dolls to shampoo – was everywhere she looked.
In her memoir Wishful Drinking, Carrie wrote about her role as Princess Leia stating, “George Lucas ruined my life. And I mean that in the nicest possible way… George is a visionary. He has transported audiences the world over, and he’s provided Mark [Hamill] and Harrison [Ford] and myself with enough fan mail – and even a small merry band of stalkers – to keep us entertained for the rest of our unnatural lives.”
6. Jake Lloyd Said Star Wars Turned His Childhood Into A Living Hell
When he was eight years old Jake Lloyd managed to land the role of a lifetime. He was chosen from among hundreds of hopeful young actors to be Anakin Skywalker in George Lucas’s much anticipated Star Wars prequel, Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
But although the movie was a huge hit, fans were less than impressed with his performance and he found himself being nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor.
According to Lloyd fame turned his life upside down. “When you have something like that there’s a lot of expectations for it to meet the standards of the public and I don’t think George did that. Other children were really mean to me,” he said. “They would make the sound of the lightsaber every time they saw me. It was totally mad… My entire school life was really a living hell – and I had to do up to 60 interviews a day.”
5. Crispin Glover Hated The Ending Of Back To The Future
Everyone loved Crispin Glover in his role as Marty McFly’s nerdy father, George, in Back to the Future, but Crispin wasn’t pleased about the way that the film ended. And even though he was only 20 years old at the time he voiced his displeasure to director Robert Zemeckis. Crispin felt that the alternate future depicted at the end of the movie, where the McFly family is rich and Marty has a new truck sent the wrong the message and suggested it should be changed.
To say that Zemeckis was not thrilled with the young actors’ idea is an understatement. He was livid. When he realized that he wasn’t going to get his way Glover refused to return for the second film, but the producers simply used another actor done up with prosthetic make-up to look him instead.
4. Mark Wahlberg Feels He’ll Never Be Able To Live Down Marky Mark
When Mark Wahlberg’s brother Donnie made it big in the band New Kids on the Block, he decided to create his own music group too. It was called Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. The band enjoyed some success; their song “Good Vibrations” was a big hit, but after two years as a pop star Mark Wahlberg decided that he wanted to pursue an acting career instead.
Since then he’s been working hard to break away from his Marky Mark persona and while he’s proven that he has solid acting skills his friends still tease him about his time as a singer.
“I remember seeing this thing on VH1, some Sexy People of the ’90s show,” he said. “My brother Paul was watching with me and my assistant – they were just killing themselves with laughter. To top it off, I was number one! So for ages after whenever they’d call, they’d be, ‘Can we speak to the Sexiest Man of the ’90s please?’ They keep killing me.”
3. Kirk Cameron Felt The Storylines For Growing Pains Weren’t Wholesome Enough
You haven’t heard the name Kirk Cameron for a while, have you? Well, that’s because this actor has been blacklisted by Hollywood because of his controversial religious views, which include statements about homosexuality being unnatural and destructive. As such, very few mainstream executives will work with him.
Everyone got to know Kirk from his role as Mike on the 80s sitcom Growing Pains. During his teens, he had a spiritual awakening and became a Christian. His new-found religion caused him to question the message the show was sending out and he soon started to insist that all the storylines be wholesome. This caused major tension on the set and it wasn’t long before the show was canceled.
2. Thomas F. Wilson Hated Fans Asking Him The Same Questions Over And Over Again
If you’re too young to remember Thomas F. Wilson, he was the actor who played the role of Biff Tannen in the Back to the Future films. These days he’s more active with voice-over work but Back to the Future was the movie that he’ll always be remembered for.
Wilson didn’t hate the character he played, and he loved the movies, but what annoyed him about fame was the fans, and more specifically their questions. He got so tired of people approaching him with the same questions over and over again that he designed pre-printed FAQ cards which he presented to his fans to discourage these types of conversations. He even wrote a song about it titled “Biff’s Question Song” which he often performs in his stand-up comedy routines.
1. Alec Guinness Deeply Regretted His Star Wars Role
After serving with the Royal Naval Reserve, Alec Guinness made the transition from Shakespearean theatre to blockbuster films as soon as WWII was over. He starred in films like Lawrence of Arabia, Great Expectations, Doctor Zhivago and The Bridge on the River Kwai but the role he would ultimately be remembered for was Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars.
As a classically trained actor, he almost immediately regretted taking the role of Kenobi because he felt that the film’s dialogue was poorly written and wooden at best.
In his autobiography, A Positively Final Appearance: A Journal, he told a story about a young boy who once approached him looking for an autograph. The boy told Guinness that he was a huge fan and had watched Episode IV: A New Hope over 100 times. Guinness gave him an autograph, but only after he made the child promise to never watch the movie again.
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