Being an actress or an actor is something that many people aspire to. So many people want to do it, so it's hugely competitive. And if you want to stay relevant in this competitive industry, you have to be willing to do some pretty questionable things on tape. Whether it's a sex scene, losing a bunch of weight, or just acting in a movie that you know is terrible, sometimes actors just have to bite the bullet and get on with it. After all, acting is a career, and although these stars might be getting big paychecks for one movie, they have to keep their income flowing. Because as an actor, you have no idea when your next role will come.
Sometimes in order to get the roles you need and ensure that you'll get more roles in the future, you have to go against the wishes of your family. This is never an easy thing to do, but actors and actresses must do it in certain cases if they want to be successful. There's no getting around it. As ashamed and disappointed as their parents might be of seeing their kids in certain roles, they must understand that this is just part of the business. That doesn't change how painful it must be to them, though. These 15 actors and actresses took roles that must have surely caused their parents some pretty serious discomfort - if they managed to work up the courage to even watch the film, that is.
15 Heather Graham - Boogie Nights
Heather Graham is one of the most successful female actors, and has starred in all kinds of amazing films. She is best known for her work in the Austin Powers series, but she's also appeared in countless other movies. You may not know this about Heather Graham, but she actually had very religious parents. Her upbringing was a very strict one, and was dictated largely by her parent's devout belief in Catholicism. This may come as a surprise considering the type of roles Heather Graham often finds herself in.
Rumor has it that her parents were incredibly ashamed by her very first breakout role, which was Boogie Nights. If you're not familiar with the film, it's about the porn industry in the 1970s. Heather Graham plays a central role, and as you might expect, there are many sexual scenes involving her. The rumor was that her parents completely stopped talking to her after that. But in a later interview, those same parents said that it was all a story made up by the media, and they were proud of their daughter.
14 Jennifer Lawrence - Passengers
Jennifer Lawrence is another actress that needs no introduction. She's risen to the very top of the acting world, and is now one of the best-paid actresses in the world. Her credits are really building up, from her breakout role in Hunger Games to the X-Men franchise and many others. Not many people know that her parents actually encouraged her not to go into acting when she was young. She revealed, "My mom always says she…wanted me to fail so that I could come home, because not failing meant me being in New York. She lost a daughter, really, at 14. I mean, she’s very proud of me. She got on board when she saw how happy it made me."
Certain roles of hers might also make her parents regret her ever going into acting. She revealed that she actually had to get herself drunk before she could face doing a sex scene with Chris Pratt in the film Passengers. She was also famously hacked with the mass leak of celebs' iCloud pictures, which featured nudes. I imagine her parents weren't too happy about that either.
13 Dakota Johnson - 50 Shades of Grey
Dakota Johnson is another female actress who you might recognize. She is of course the leading lady in the massively popular and somewhat controversial movie series, 50 Shades Of Grey. This movie broke all kinds of records, and had everyone talking for years after it came out. It also followed up with a sequel, 50 Shades Darker, which was almost as popular as the first movie. For those who don't know, the movie has strong sexual themes and explores fetishism and all kinds of kinks.
Her parents reportedly still haven't watched the movie. Can you blame them? That's their daughter after all! But the fact that they still haven't seen it means that they're probably not too happy about this role. You also have to consider the fact that this was her first big role, and now everyone knows her as the "50 Shades of Grey girl." Is that really the reputation you want for your daughter? Her parents were reportedly "very protective of her" when she said she wanted to do this movie, which is another way of saying that they really did not want her to be in it.
12 Christian Bale - The Machinist
Christian Bale is another extremely well-known actor. He's been in all kinds of different movies, and he always brings something totally unique to his work. Today, he's celebrated as one of the most talented actors of our time. He's probably going to continue acting well into his old age, and will go down in history as one of the all-time greats. He's famous for his roles in the Batman franchise, and science fiction movies like Equilibrium. But he's also well-known for involving himself in more low-key, nuanced films like The Big Short. What you should be taking away from all this is that this actor has incredible range.
For Christian Bale, he's supplemented his amazing range with an uncanny ability to transform his roles for movies. He famously lost an insane amount of weight for his role in The Machinist. Soon after, he gained all that weight back in order to play more traditional roles once again. this can't be good for his body, and I'm sure his parents were incredibly concerned for his health. His parents and family have also spoken out about Christian Bale's explosive temper, and it can be said that they're a little wary about what his acting career is doing to him.
11 Jaden Smith - After Earth
Jaden Smith, unlike many of the other actors on this list, is still very much at the beginning of his career. As many of you know, he's the son of the incredibly successful actor, Will Smith. He's got some pretty big shoes to fill if he wants to reach the level of his father, but the young actor is admittedly making some pretty good progress. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have someone like Will Smith as your father, a man who probably has all kinds of connections in Hollywood to make sure his son succeeds.
But one move that probably wasn't great for his son's career was putting him in a movie called After Earth. This was actually the second movie Will and Jaden had done together, after The Pursuit Of Happiness, but unlike the first movie, After Earth was considered a failure. Speaking about the film, Will Smith revealed:
"Don’t let success go to your head and failure go to your heart. That was a valuable lesson for me a few years ago with After Earth,” Smith said. “That was the most painful failure in my career.” He also revealed that it was especially painful because it involved his son: “Wild Wild West was less painful than After Earth because my son was involved in After Earth, and I led him into it. That was excruciating."
So this is one role Will Smith disapproved of his son being in, but it's strange because he himself organized for his son to be in the movie!
10 Michael Fassbender - Shame
Michael Fassbender is one actor who seems to be taking Hollywood by storm. Since his bit part in 300, he's appeared in countless films. From appearing as Magneto in the X-Men franchise to being a freaky android in Alien: Covenant, this very talented actor has done it all. He's also appeared in movies like 12 Years A Slave. A little-known fact is that Michael Fassbender's first on screen role was in Steven Spielberg's miniseries, Band Of Brothers.
One of his most controversial roles was as the lead in a film called Shame. He plays a man in his 30s struggling with sexual addiction, and there are many nude and sex scenes, including a frontal nude scene from Fassbender himself. He also played a similar role in the movie Fish Tank, in which he seduces his girlfriend's teenage daughter. I think it's safe to say that his parents would've been less than comfortable watching these movies. If not for the nudity, then for the strange and kinky subject matter!
9 Sylvester Stallone - Low-Budget Soft-Core Film
Sylvester Stallone is another actor who needs no introduction. He's been a huge name in Hollywood and continues to be a major force even today. His early career was marred with constant rejection, but he rose to fame after he made the genius to decision to start writing his own movies. Rocky was written by Stallone after he sat down for 20 hours straight, writing. He cast himself in the lead role, and just like that, he was a major star. He later followed it up with another script he wrote, called Rambo. He has written many movies and starred in countless films since then.
But in his early years, he was by his own accounts "At the end of his rope." After being evicted from his apartment, he chose to star in a low-budget adult film, for which he was paid $200 for two days work. This is something his parents would have no doubt been ashamed of. But they were probably also ashamed of Stallon's biggest flop ever, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot! Stallone himself admitted he absolutely hated shooting this dreadful film.
8 Charlize Theron - Reindeer Games
Charlize Theron is another actress who has risen to the very top of the movie world. This amazingly talented and beautiful star is actually from South Africa, and she moved to America when she was in her twenties. She still has dual citizenship, and her first language was Afrikaans, not English. She's famous for many roles, but more recently she got a lot of people talking when she appeared in Mad Max: Fury Road as the female lead, Furiosa. She's also appeared in many other roles, and is sure to keep wowing us with her performances for many years to come.
But the truth is that there are one or two of her roles that she would probably like to forget. Right at the top of the list is the ill-fated film Reindeer Games, which also starred Ben Affleck. The film has received some pretty terrible reviews, and Charlize Theron getting topless was one of its only excitements. Her father is actually deceased but her mother probably wouldn't have been too happy about her getting topless in such a terrible movie. She might have been more understanding if the movie was more "artsy" or at least got good reviews.
7 Katherine Heigl - Knocked Up
Katherine Heigl is another blonde bombshell who's been blowing up the Hollywood scene for years now. In her earlier days, she was best known for her role on the hit show Grey's Anatomy, but nowadays she's branching out into the world of feature films. She's appeared in movies like Knocked Up, 27 Dresses, and Life As We Know It. She's also established herself as a cover model, appearing in publications like Maxim and Cosmopolitan.
When she was a young girl, her older brother died in a tragic car accident. The event traumatized the entire family, and her parents decided to convert to the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints, otherwise known as Mormonism. As such, Katherine Heigl was raised in this environment that was strictly religious and devout in their beliefs. Some of the church's beliefs involve a strict prohibition on pre-marital sex. So I think it's safe to say that her parents would have frowned upon a movie like Knocked Up, which is pretty much all about pre-marital sex and having kids out of wedlock! Not to mention the fact that she engages in a few sex scenes both in this movie and in other projects.
6 John Travolta - Battlefield Earth
John Travolta is another actor that needs no introduction. He's another actor that has been involved in some very... unique religious beliefs, as he has been a member of the church of Scientology for years. Like Tom Cruise and many other well-known celebs, he is considered a "poster boy" for the religion, and is considered a valuable recruiting tool for new people who want to join the controversial religion. He has appeared in many films, ranging from his early days in movies like Grease to his later work in films like Swordfish.
But perhaps one of his most well-known films was the massive flop, Battlefield Earth. This movie was actually heavily influenced by Travolta's Scientologist beliefs, and it's a well-known fact that he made the film as kind of a "homage" to the religion itself. The film is widely considered to be one of the worst films of all time. When the reviews started to roll in, Travolta probably felt glad that his parents would never get to see this movie (they're deceased), because they would have been incredibly disappointed at this disaster, and the fact that their son had become the laughing stock of the entire world.
5 Cameron Diaz - She's No Angel (S&M Tape)
A face like Cameron Diaz's is not one easily forgotten. She's definitely been one of the most successful actresses of our generation, and has appeared in a huge range of films. She's perhaps most famous for her roles in films like Charlie's Angels, The Mask, and There's Something About Mary. She also famously voiced the character of Fiona in the animated film, Shrek. She grew up in California, where she went to high school in Long Beach with Snoop Dogg.
In her early days, Cameron Diaz started off as model, beginning at the tender age of 16. When she was 19, just two years before the release of The Mask, Cameron Diaz posed topless for a S&M lingerie shoot which was also filmed. The subsequent tape was called She's No Angel. The owner of the tape attempted to blackmail Diaz, threatening to release it if she did not pay him $3.5 million dollars. She refused, and successfully sued him instead. The tape was actually released in Thailand, and is still on the Internet to this day. Her parents must have very disappointed in their daughter when they found out about all of this.
4 Tobey Maguire - Spider-Man 3
Tobey Maguire has appeared in all kinds of movies over the years, and always impresses with his performances. He's best known for his roles in films like Sea Biscuit and the Spider-Man franchise, but he has tons of other impressive credits to his name. In recent years, he gained a lot of attention for The Great Gatsby. As a present to the cast, each member was given a new Mercedes. However, Maguire rejected the car because it had leather seats and he is a staunch vegan.
Probably one of his least successful films is Spider-Man 3. This movie featured Maguire in a very different acting role than the previous entries in the Spider-Man series. He is infected at one point by the antagonist known as Venom, and it changes his behavior drastically. Toby Maguire then starts showing us his "evil Parker," which was in my opinion completely and utterly cringe-worthy. It was hard to watch, and was embarrassing just to see Maguire try to be "edgy." If it was embarrassing for me to watch, it must have been excruciating for Maguire himself, and unwatchable for his parents.
3 Vanessa Hudgens - Spring Breakers
Vanessa Hudgens rose to fame with her role in High School Musical, and has gone on to star in many productions created by the Disney Channel. She's also explored a successful music career, and is a certified triple threat, after appearing on Broadway.
For someone who starred in a lot of Disney projects and other projects aimed at kids, it was probably a pretty big surprise that she was going to appear in a movie like Spring Breakers. The film has strong sexual themes, and followed three girls in their life of crime and promiscuity. It was probably part of the appeal that the three main actresses were all seemingly "innocent" stars before the movie, as this added to the theme of lost innocence. Perhaps the most risqué part of the movie was the threesome scene. Speaking about this Hudgens admits: "The thing I was most scared of was the sex scene and the nudity issue behind all of it. Because I was not down to show this [gestures to chest]." I think it's safe to say that Hudgens' mother (her father is deceased) was a little uncomfortable about the whole thing, to say the least.
2 Sayoko Yamaguchi - Les Fruits De La Passion
Sayoko Yamaguchi was a very successful model and actress. She was one of the first Asian women to be featured in the world's top fashion shows and magazines. Other than that, she pursued many roles in film and television. She is sadly no longer with us, as she passed away in 2007 from acute pneumonia. She was born and raised in Japan, and is one of the country's greatest celebrities that ever lived.
Les Fruits De La Passion was one movie that she got a lot of people talking about. It did not get very good reviews, but it did have scenes with an extremely sexual nature. Yamaguchi plays a young girl in a Chinese brothel, who is being "trained" to pleasure men. One particular scene involves completely unsimulated oral sex by Yamaguchi on a man, one of the most shocking sex scenes in film history. The controversial nature of this scene is compounded by the fact that Yamaguchi is from Japan, a society and culture that places enormous emphasis on honor and respect. I think it's safe to say that her parents were not pleased about this role.
1 Lloyd Nolan - Numerous Violent Gangster Movies
Lloyd Nolan is another actor whose parents had a thing to say about his career. They never said that they were ashamed of their son, but one can infer that they disapproved right from the start of his career. His family actually ran a successful shoe business that his father desperately wanted him to be a part of. To his father's dismay, Lloyd Nolan turned to acting instead. It's unclear whether his parents ever got over this disappointment, but one can assume that this left a scar on his relationship with his family.
Later on, Lloyd Nolan became well known for starring in incredibly violent gangster movies (for the time). Back in those days, violence in movies was much more frowned upon than it is today. So it can also be assumed that his parents would have frowned on his choice of career even more at this point.