Watching actors deliver breath-taking performances leaves many moviegoers with the impression that acting is an easy and glamorous job. It sure can look that way right? I mean what’s so hard about showing up on a movie set every day and getting paid vast amounts of cash to dress up and play make-believe?
But what most of us don’t see is the tremendous hard work and dedication that it took for the actor or actress to get to that point in their career. The reality is that it isn’t an easy career - if it was then everyone would be doing it. It takes a certain amount of talent and determination for most actors to make a name for themselves. You’ll notice that I said “most” actors because not all actors get to be successful purely based on their ability to act.
Overrated actors can be spotted pretty easily if you know what to look for. One trait of a truly talented actor is their ability to take on roles that are challenging so that they can surprise the audience with their performance. A perfect example of an actor with incredible range was Heath Ledger, who was equally amazing as both a shy homosexual cowboy in Brokeback Mountain and a psychotic criminal in The Dark Knight.
The overrated actors on this list have all achieved some kind of commercial success, but it had very little to do with their acting skills.
15 Megan Fox
If you sit down and really concentrate on Megan Fox’s movies you’ll honestly struggle to find anything more than lackluster performances. Sure, her name on the movie poster helps to sell tickets but let’s be honest, people aren’t watching her movies to see her act. Megan’s lack of acting ability is glossed over largely due to the fact that she is a serious piece of eye-candy. But a serious actress? Nope, we’re not buying that one.
The bad news for Megan is that as she ages new fresh hotties will arrive on the scene to push her to the side and when that happens no-one is going to let her get away with bland performances. She'd better enjoy the limelight while it lasts because in Hollywood nothing is forever.
14 Ashton Kutcher
Can Ashton Kutcher make us laugh? Definitely – the guy has a knack for delivering comedic lines. But does he deserve all the acting praise that he receives? If you look carefully at his work, then the answer is no.
Although Kutcher, a former model, has surprised us with convincing dramatic roles in films like The Butterfly Effect and Jobs, we are yet to see him take on roles that really showcase his abilities as a serious actor. This lack of range hasn’t affected his popularity in the slightest. He was lucky enough to land his role on Two and A Half Men because let’s face it, the show was a hit long before he came along. He’s charming for sure and can deliver a cheesy line but we are yet to see his best work.
13 Miley Cyrus
There are plenty of reasons why Miley Cyrus has had the eyes of the world glued to her, but her skill as an actress is not one of them. We all love watching a train wreck and back in her twerking days that’s exactly what kept us all entertained. She went on an absolute landslide, from being a wholesome teen idol to an overt over-sexualized nymph, and as much as we wanted to we couldn’t look away.
She might have earned as much as $360 million during her career, but there’s one thing that money can’t buy her and that’s acting credibility. There’s no denying that she is massively popular, but considering her limited skill set she is easily one of the most overrated celebs in Hollywood.
12 Nicolas Cage
Cage has managed to get himself into a very bad situation both professionally and financially. The problem was that he went through his money a little too quickly when his career was on the incline which left him in quite a lot of trouble with the taxman. In order to try and rectify the situation, he had to start accepting whatever roles were offered to him and this sent his credibility straight down the river with no paddle in sight.
Make no mistake, Cage has seen more than his fair share of box office hits, but his career is in such a bad way right now that there is little hope of a comeback. In this actor's case, it’s probably not a lack of talent that’s making him overrated, but the lack of faith Hollywood has in him.
11 Adam Sandler
There were times when Adam Sandler was a hot commodity in Hollywood, but those times have come and gone. Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy, and The Wedding Singer were great but you can only recycle the same characters and jokes so many times before people stopping laughing and start getting bored. But Adam Sandler just seemed to keep going long after we'd all had more than enough.
The man can act, but only as one character. Think about his movies, his characters are so interchangeable that you could swap them around and not even notice the difference.
Lately, every movie he touches seems to bomb and his reputation has been in steady decline. I can only speculate, but maybe this is because people have finally noticed that while he’s funny he’s really not a very impressive or evolving actor.
10 Jessica Biel
There’s a reason that Jessica Biel has never been chosen to open a movie and it’s not what she seems to think it is. A few years back Jessica said that she felt her career had stalled because she was “too pretty” and although being voted the sexiest woman in the world can detract from your credibility as a serious actress we don’t think this is the real reason she keeps missing out on career-changing roles.
Just look at her contemporaries; the women she is up against for roles, ladies like Scarlett Johansson and Anne Hathaway, and you’ll start to see why her career has been on a steady decline. Her looks and marriage to Justin Timberlake kept her relevant for slightly longer, but her career never took off because her acting is just not on par.
9 Seth Rogen
There seem to be two distinct groups of people, those who love his work and can’t get enough, and those who just can’t stand him at all. There is very little middle ground when it comes to the work of Seth Rogen. He can make you laugh and every now and again his scripts also hit the mark, but it’s doubtful that anyone will ever be able to take him seriously in Hollywood. He co-wrote the laugh-free screenplay Drillbit Taylor – need we say more?
He's had his moments but they have been far and few between and that’s why we don’t think he deserves all the attention and hype that he gets. Just because someone is churning out work doesn’t mean that they are interested in the quality of that work.
8 Ben Affleck
When it was announced that Ben Affleck would be the next Batman, fans went crazy – and not in a good way. Dave Itzkoff of The New York Times said that was "a somewhat bewildering choice” and many fans threatened to boycott the film altogether. But why? It seems a little strange because it’s not as though Affleck has disappointed us with his performances in every single movie but he seems to be very inconsistent. He gave great performances in movies like The Town and Argo but then again, he also chose to appear in flops like Gigli and Jersey Girl. That’s why fans were hesitant to see what he would do as the new Batman.
Although Affleck has won two Academy Awards neither of them were for acting so maybe his new role as a director/producer will work out better.
7 Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie isn’t a bad actress, she’s played one or two decent characters since her breakout role as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, but she is overrated in a number of areas. Many people consider her looks and her acting ability to be over-rated and considering that it’s been 17 years since she won her one and only Academy Award for Girl, Interrupted, it’s hardly surprising. It’s not that she’s not talented, but she isn’t the incredible actress that she’s made out to be either. Put her next to actresses like Judi Dench and you’ll soon see that her range is mediocre at best. It seems that her personal life and humanitarian work are what keeps her in the spotlight, not the quality of her acting.
6 Zac Efron
It isn’t easy to make the transition from young heartthrob to respected Hollywood actor, many have tried in the past and failed. There are a few success stories of course; Brad Pitt was able to move into the ranks of serious actors after taking off his shirt, but it took a lot of work and challenging roles to get there.
Zac Efron is one of the actors struggling with this transition and while his work has improved since his High School Musical days, he’s still not seen as a truly credible actor. So while his looks and hyped-up image are still selling seats in theaters he’s not making a name for himself as an actor. He’ll need to study actors like Brad Pitt and Matthew McConaughey if he’s serious about improving his chances of staying in the spotlight.
5 Kristen Stewart
Many Stephenie Meyer fans wept into their pillows after the release of Twilight and it had nothing to do with the movie adaptation. They just couldn’t believe that a wooden, emotionless actress like Kristen Stewart was cast to play Bella. This actress seems to have zero ability to effectively show emotion, blankly staring with the same expression, whether she’s watching someone die or getting married to the love of her life.
Any reasonable actress would have been able to use a role in a movie series like Twilight to launch off their career, but not Kristen and it’s safe to say that her career has pretty much stalled now that the Twilight hype has died down. Kristen is a prime example of how an overhyped movie role can fool thousands of people into believing that an actor is talented when the truth is that they are anything but.
4 Beyoncé Knowles
Is it just me or is Beyonce starting to become more famous for being famous than famous for being a singer? Just this week she almost broke the internet when she finally revealed her month-old twins, but I can’t remember when last there was this much hype over her music?
Speaking of music, that’s what Beyonce should have stuck to. That’s what she is good at. Her attempts to get the world to take her seriously as an actress have largely failed due to the fact that we’ve never seen her in a challenging role. She’s never taken on a role that requires too much in the acting department because acting is not her forte but she’s just one of many talented singers (think Madonna) who will insist on doing movies even though no one wants them to.
3 Lindsay Lohan
A couple of years ago the ever humble (not) Lindsay Lohan compared herself to Marilyn Monroe adding "Marilyn never wanted to be just a celebrity. Neither do I." We strongly disagree Lindsay. Firstly you don’t and will never have a touch on Marilyn, who actually managed to be desirable and in demand. Secondly, you did want to be famous. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have chosen a career which throws you into the spotlight, you would have been a librarian if you wanted to hide away from the world.
The truth is that Lindsay (and her family) love attention and unfortunately the more attention they get, the more Lindsay seems to think that she actually has some acting ability. Her range as an actress is limited to only the least challenging roles and we don’t even think she’s being offered those roles anymore.
2 Robert Pattinson
Okay so here’s the thing about Robert Pattinson: he really can’t act. In almost every single one of the movie roles he’s chosen he plays the same interchangeable character, one that matches his personality and requires very little effort on his part. Robert has two saving graces that keep him in the Hollywood loop; firstly, he’s a good-looking guy, and secondly, he was lucky enough to land a starring role in a movie series that was highly anticipated.
He only continues to be popular because love crazed Twilight fans think that he’s the sullen Edward Cullen, but the grown-ups among us know that his acting leaves a lot to be desired.
The only reason people didn’t initially realize just how poor his acting was in Twilight was because he was paired alongside the equally terrible Kristen Stewart.
1 Jaden Smith
Jaden Smith has been nominated for various awards, mainly Teen Choice Awards and Kids Choice Awards, for his roles in movies like The Pursuit of Happyness and The Karate Kid. But getting nominations doesn’t mean that you are an accomplished actor.
For his latest movie After Earth, he was nominated for two awards, but they weren’t the kind of awards an actor is after. He was awarded the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor and shared the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screen Combo with his father, Will Smith, for this movie fail, which most people agreed was well deserved.
Jaden will need to learn that while acting might be in his genes it’s still something that he will need to work on. He’ll only be able to ride his dad’s coattails for so long.