Between the glamorous costumes and exotic film sets, audiences forget that shooting a movie is another day on the job for actors. But like many of our first jobs, actors too can regret the roles they’ve taken on in their careers. From tricky contracts to admittedly poor choices, actors often find themselves lamenting signing onto some of their most popular movie roles. Read on to hear the surprising films that actors consider to be their most hated movie roles.
1. Australia – Nicole Kidman
Oscar-winning leads, a huge multi-million dollar budget, and sweeping panoramic views of the Australian Outback should have made for an epic Hollywood blockbuster. Unfortunately, this was not the case for the film Australia, which under-performed at the box offices and was picked apart by critics.
While Nicole Kidman didn’t say this was her most hated movie role, she revealed to a Sydney radio audience that she physically “squirmed” in her chair while watching the film, and that she “couldn’t look at the movie and be proud of what [she] had done”. Kidman was at least grateful that the film allowed her to reunite with the talented Baz Luhrmann, who had directed her in Moulin Rouge, and afforded her an opportunity to reconnect with her Australian heritage.
2. Titanic – Kate Winslet
Few films carry the weight of Titanic, but for leading actress Kate Winslet, the role almost sunk her acting career. Winslet recalls the difficulty accepting her newfound fame and mass exposure following the film’s success. She also regretted the film’s most notoriously racy scene, in which she poses naked for Jack, played by Leonardo DiCaprio.
When asked about being drawn like Jack’s French women, Winslet said: “I didn’t mean for it to be a photograph that I would end up seeing 17 years later.’” She refers to the scene as one that haunts her. Fortunately, the 1997 film’s explosive success scored her an Oscar nomination, and made her an instant success in Hollywood. The two Oscar-winners even remain friends, so no hard feelings despite an awkward beginning.
3. The Italian Job – Edward Norton
Driving around European cities in expensive cars seems like a dream gig for most actors, but not for Edward Norton. The American History X actor begrudgingly starred against his will in the 2003 remake of the robbery-gone-wrong action film The Italian Job.
At the beginning of his career, Norton had inked a three-picture contract with Paramount Pictures, which legally obligated him to star in a film of their choosing. Faced with a multi-million dollar lawsuit if he didn’t comply, the actor reluctantly put on his driving loafers and joined the cast. Audiences were not impressed; the otherwise talented and driven actor was criticized for his performance, and quickly returned to more substantive and meaty roles.
4. Rock of Ages – Alec Baldwin
The 2012 screen adaptation of the famous musical Rock of Ages hit a sour note for star Alec Baldwin. The film, which featured Baldwin as the owner of a Sunset Strip nightclub, focused on the heavy metal music scene in late 1980s Los Angeles.
As they started filming, Baldwin quickly realized that the film adaption wouldn’t have audiences dancing in their seats. So, he tried to get out of his contract by initially claiming medical reasons. As Baldwin predicted, the film failed to capture the magic of the musical, and did not strike a chord with audiences or critics. Baldwin didn’t mince words, later calling the film “horrible” and “a complete disaster”.
5. Batman & Robin – George Clooney
While some people choose to hang pictures on their wall to remind them of pleasant memories, George Clooney hangs his costume from the film Batman & Robin (nipples and all) as a daily warning to choose his future film projects more wisely.
In the 1997 installment of this comic book superhero series, Clooney suited up as Gotham’s Caped Crusader in an effort to make a name for himself on the big screen. Unfortunately, there was no saving the day in this piece. The film was widely panned, with Clooney later saying, “It was a difficult film to be good in.” Director Joel Schumacher even apologized to fans.
6. G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra – Channing Tatum
Breaking into Hollywood can be difficult, and most up and coming actors cannot afford to be picky. Channing Tatum, excited to be given an amazing opportunity to star in big-budget films, didn’t realize what he was getting himself into when he was signed to a three-picture contract with Paramount Pictures. His first project was an action movie version of the story of G.I. Joe, the popular children’s toy.
While being interviewed by Howard Stern afterwards, Tatum didn’t toy around, saying that not only was it one of his most hated movie roles, but that he “was pushed into doing that movie”. Despite the terrible script, he does admit that the franchise allowed him to take on different roles, including one of his most popular in Magic Mike, making him a household name.
NEXT: These actors made their disapproval public…and faced the consequences.
7. The Bourne Ultimatum – Matt Damon
Secret agents can get out of many sticky situations. However, for Bourne Ultimatum star Matt Damon, walking back his blunt comments about his film was no easy feat. Upon receiving the draft for the third spy film in the Jason Bourne series, Damon publicly roasted screenwriter Tony Gilroy’s script.
Not only did he call the script “unreadable”, but the actor went on to say: “It’s terrible. It’s really embarrassing. He was having a go, basically, and he took his money and left.” After admitting that he had been too harsh, he later apologized to Gilroy, though he did mention that he would soon be replaced by a new, younger international agent.
8. Assassin’s Creed – Michael Fassbender
In a general sense, films based on video games are not the most acclaimed forms of cinema. For the directors of the film Assassin’s Creed, a huge budget and a cast of Oscar-nominated actors still wasn’t enough to stop film critics from saying “game over”.
Critics, as well as lead actor Michael Fassbender, agreed that the film took itself “too seriously” with Fassbender adding: “I think we missed an opportunity there a little bit.” The actor felt that the movie suffered could have been “more entertaining”, and criticized the slow, and confusing pace. Despite the strong cast, including Marione Cottilard and Jeremy Irons, the movie was a disappointment for fans of the video game and critics alike.
9. Grease 2 – Michelle Pfeiffer
The original Grease movie had an unforgettable soundtrack and an unforgettable cast, and its songs remain popular to this day. On the other hand, the sequel Grease 2 was a famous flop. Yet despite its lack of success at the box office, actress Michelle Pfeiffer was projected into fame. Nonetheless, the Hollywood star has mixed feelings about her big break as a Pink Lady.
In an interview on The Late Late Show with James Corden, she claimed that landing the breakout role was “a total fluke”. She explained that she didn’t originally want to be part of the movie as she didn’t feel qualified enough to perform in the film’s and singing and dancing scenes. At the persuasion of her agent, the actress auditioned and got the role. Soon afterward, she landed her iconic role in Scarface, becoming Hollywood royalty.
10. Gulliver’s Travels – Emily Blunt
Being trapped in a binding contract can be anything but a fantasy for a young actress. That was the case with Emily Blunt in the film Gulliver’s Travels, a live-action retelling of the classic early 18th century fantasy novel by Irish satirist Jonathan Swift. Coming off the success of The Devil Wears Prada, Blunt was fast becoming a giant in Hollywood, and was being offered a variety of interesting roles.
However, due to a contractual obligation by Twentieth Century Fox, Blunt had to pass up a role as Black Widow in Iron Man 2 in order to star in the children’s classic (which went on to be a box office flop). But the fairy tale did have a silver lining: Blunt became close with the lead Jason Segel, and the two have since collaborated on several other successful projects.
11. The Help – Viola Davis
Despite the Oscar hype and star-studded cast, The Help, based on the famous novel by Kathryn Stockett, was not without criticism. One of the leading actresses, Academy Award-winner Viola Davis, claimed that she was disappointed with the final version of the film. She stated that the movie, which claimed to capture the intimate lives of black maids working in predominantly white neighborhoods in 1960s Mississippi, ultimately came up short.
Davis felt that the voices of the film’s black characters were sidelined, stating: “It wasn’t the voices of the maids that were heard.” Davis remarked that the failed characterization of her role, and roles of other women, were behind her regrets in starring in the film. Despite this, she recounts the general experience as being positive, and praised her co-stars for their hard work and professionalism.
NEXT: This actor’s movie choice misstep almost cost them their career.
12. Miami Vice – Colin Farrell
Paying homage to the beloved characters of the iconic ’80s television series Miami Vice can be a daunting task for even the most seasoned actor. For Colin Farrell, shooting the action flick version of Miami Vice came replete with many challenges. Farrell admitted that he did not like the film, saying, “ I thought it was style over substance.”
Not only did the film cause Farrell’s career to hit the brakes, but his health suffered as well. Shot on location, the actor overindulged his own vices in the Miami’s fast-paced nightlife, leading him to check into a rehab facility following the film’s release. Thankfully, the actor has since improved his health, and has been gradually signing onto bigger-budget productions.
13. Boogie Nights – Mark Wahlberg
Hollywood can be a magical place where people can truly transform themselves. In the case of Mark Wahlberg, the actor went from a troubled teen and petty criminal to a man of faith, but not before making some questionable film choices. In the notorious film Boogie Nights, he played a young man trying to break into the booming adult film industry in the late 1970s.
Naturally, the film deals with some less than holy subjects, causing the Catholic actor to pray for forgiveness after choosing to star in such a raunchy role. At a conference for members of the Catholic faith, the actor claimed that Boogie Nights was at the top of his list of “poor choices in my past”. He claims that both his faith and role as a father now determine the types of film projects he chooses.
14. Movie 43 – The Whole Cast
Too much of anything can be a bad thing. In the 2013 film Movie 43, director Peter Farrelly proved that no amount of star power could shine a light on this box office bomb. The film, which featured some of Hollywood’s biggest names in rather compromising or gross situations, was such a disaster that the stars themselves had no idea what was going on, and were quick to dissociate themselves from it.
Critics claimed it was the “biggest waste of talent in cinema history” and the “worst film ever”. Entertainment journalists still cannot conceive how Farrelly was able to convince Oscar-winning actors to join the universally-panned movie. Facing a wave of criticism, the starring actors refused to do publicity for the film, instead pretending it never happened.
15. The Last Airbender – Dev Patel
Jumping from an Oscar-winning film to a Razzie-winning film seemingly overnight can have a traumatic effect on a young actor. For Dev Patel, starring in the action film The Last Airbender made him want to shun away from big studio movies for the rest of his career.
The actor found the experience overwhelming, saying it was “hard promoting a film you didn’t enjoy and don’t fully believe in”. He went on to explain that at the time, he felt powerless. While watching himself on the big screen, he saw himself as “a stranger” that “I couldn’t relate to.” After working on one of his most hated movie roles, Patel has since moved onto smaller and independent film projects.
16. Leap Year – Matthew Goode
While tricky legal contracts can rope actors into taking part unwillingly in box office bombs, some actors take a leap of faith on a film, or do it willingly to make an easy paycheck. In the romantic comedy Leap Year, Matthew Goode plays an Irish pub owner who crosses paths with a feisty American on her way to propose to her boyfriend.
Despite the strong leads and beautiful cinematography, the film was panned. The British actor admits that he chose the project due to the set’s proximity to his hometown, and later joked: “A bad job? Yes, it was. But, you know, I had a nice time and I got paid.” Goode must have had the luck of the Irish on his side, as the actor continues to star in more prestigious projects.
NEXT: This actor took their criticism way too far in a controversial interview.
17. Transformers – Megan Fox
While doing publicity for upcoming films, actors walk a fine line between what is a funny soundbite, and what can be grounds for firing. Megan Fox learned this lesson when she stepped over the line in her criticism of Michael Bay and his directing style. The actress claimed that he was “a nightmare to work for”, “a tyrant”, and even went so far as to compare him to none other than Hitler himself.
Her criticism went viral and led to her being fired from the Transformers film series. It also resulted in public backlash for what many considered tasteless and inappropriate comments. Fox later admitted that it was wrong for her to discuss her feelings in public. Both actress and director managed to repair their relationship, even working together in the remake of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles a few years later.
18. Twilight – Rob Pattinson
Sudden fame can really bite, particularly for teenage vampire heartthrob Robert Pattinson. The British actor skyrocketed into the spotlight following the success of the fantasy action film blockbusters that made up the Twilight saga. But how did the actor feel about having to dodge paparazzi and throngs of screaming teenage girls?
In an interview with Vanity Fair, when asked about promoting the films, Pattinson stated that “it is weird being part of that, kind of representing something you don’t particularly like.” Despite his early criticism of the Twilight series, he’s since said he welcomes the new wave of less intense fans and has “very warm memories”. Pattinson seems to have put the final nail in the coffin, as he’s moved on to a new franchise, where he will appear in the next installment of Batman.
19. Catwoman – Halle Berry
Halle Berry’s claws came out when criticizing the movie remake of the famous comic strip. While picking up a Razzie award (an award given to the worst films of the year), the Oscar-winning actress referred to the action film as a “God-awful movie”. Berry recalls being warned against accepting the role, which would set her career back for the next few years.
She muses that despite the criticism, she does not consider the film a complete failure. Not only did she meet many friends in the process, but she also picked up important martial arts skills, which she would later apply to her successful role in the X-Men series as Storm. She also joked that the film rewarded her with a “load of money that changed my life.”
20. James Bond Series – Daniel Craig
There are few movie pop culture characters as iconic as Agent 007, James Bond. However, for actor Daniel Craig, taking on the famous role left him shaken and stirred up. The British actor became frustrated with playing the famously suave M16 secret agent during the film Spectre, and lamented how demanding the role was.
He vowed that he would only be motivated to reprise his role for financial reasons, and went so far as to say he would “rather slash my wrists” than button up that black tuxedo again. Thankfully, despite his frustrations, Craig didn’t relinquish the role, and fans will be able to see the beloved man of mystery in the most recent remake of the Bond series, No Time to Die.
21. Daredevil – Ben Affleck
Lovers of comic books can be an unforgiving crowd when they feel a character they cherish has been tampered with, such as Daredevil. Brought to the big screen by Ben Affleck, the comic book adaptation failed miserably at the box office. Affleck even claimed that the failure of its success stayed with him, inspiring him to try his hand at adapting another beloved comic, perhaps to redeem himself.
Despite it being considered one of the most reviled movie remakes, the comic world was forgiving enough to allow Affleck to take part in the Batman vs. Superman film. As for the actor, the film allowed him to meet his now ex-wife Jennifer Garner, who he credits with pushing him to accomplish many new projects and try his hand at becoming a director.
22. Elektra – Jennifer Garner
There are some movie sets that are rumored to be cursed. Looking at the box office failures of Daredevil and its spin-off Elektra, some could be led to believe the rumors were true. Elektra, based on the name of the sword-wielding fighter introduced in the Daredevil movie, not only bombed upon release, but also put a damper on lead Jennifer Garner’s successful film trail.
While Garner has kept mum on the disastrous film, Rob Bowman, the director wasn’t too shy to admit the film’s failings. He said that Garner’s conflicting film schedule constraints resulted in the movie being shot hastily, resulting in a sub-par action film. But some good did come from the project: Garner, who met Affleck on the set of Daredevil, began to date and were later married.
23. Knocked Up – Katherine Heigl
Never one to shy away from controversy, actress Katherine Heigl’s comments on the film Knocked Up ignited a feud between her and co-star Seth Rogen, as well as the film’s writer-director-producer Judd Apatow, when she criticized the writing of the movie as being “a little sexist”.
The comedy, which tells the story of two strangers embarking on the path of parenthood after a wild night’s affair, was a huge success. Despite its popularity, Heigl said that the film painted women in an unflattering light, while showing the men as being more “lovable”. The actress even claimed “it was hard for me to love the movie”. Heigl never worked with Rogen or Apatow again, and admitted that she hasn’t apologized for her comments.
24. The Cat in the Hat – Mike Myers
Written by much-beloved author Dr. Seuss, The Cat in the Hat is one of the most famous children’s books of all time. While it’s fondly remembered as a light, cheerful, and hilarious story, the live action remake was anything but that. Mike Myers claims he was forced to star in the film adaption, due to a legal cat fight surrounding his refusal to appear in another Universal film.
The famous comic actor therefore only appeared as a result of a compromise he and the studio had come to. As for the film itself, the movie was universally panned, with critics even jokingly referring to it as “kitty litter”. The poorly-made film, and Myers’ reported “diva” antics on set, would leave a lasting impression and negatively affect his film career.
25. The Watcher – Keanu Reeves
It’s not just teachers that have to worry about forged signatures; apparently so do Hollywood movie studios. Apparently, Keanu Reeves was forced into starring in the thriller The Watcher after his signature was forged on a movie contract. With little proof that the signature was a forgery, Reeves had no other option than to admit defeat, and began shooting the film.
Little did he know the forgery was just one of many issues that would make filming a nightmare.While his part had originally been a small role, it was soon turned into a major part of the film with Reeves being promoted as the star. Not only that, but he was also paid far less than his co-stars. Tasked with working with a script he “never found interesting”, the star had to legally wait a year before bad-mouthing the film in public.
26. Harry Potter and the Half – Blood Prince– Daniel Radcliffe
Much to the shock of fans around the world, shooting Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was no magical experience for Daniel Radcliffe. Radcliffe, who played the teen wizard in the Harry Potter films based on the novels by J.K. Rowling, expressed his disappointment with the sixth installment of the series.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, the British actor revealed that of the eight films, he disliked the sixth film the most. He went on to say that his performance was “one-note”, and that he felt “I’m just not very good at it”. Despite his self-criticism, the actor is grateful for the many opportunities that starring in the blockbuster awarded him, but that he was certainly ready to hang up his wizard cloak.
27. Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer – Jessica Alba
In the sequel to the Fantastic Four movie, Jessica Alba proved that there was nothing super in shooting a superhero movie. In fact, the experience was so bad, that the actress actually considered stopping her acting career after its release.
In an interview with Elle magazine, the actress criticized the film’s director for pressuring her to look more attractive during a particularly emotional scene. According to the actress, she was told “cry pretty, Jessica”. The emphasis on her physical appearance, instead of her emotional performance, caused her to lose interest in the movie industry. While Alba has made several appearances in smaller film roles, the actress has moved on to become a successful businesswoman, and devoted mother.
28. Blade Runner – Harrison Ford
Blade Runner holds a special place in the hearts of sci-fi film fans. The now cult-classic film still has the ability to leave viewers curious, even though star Harrison Ford was feuding with director Ridley Scott over the making of the film.
Ford clashed with Scott over the film’s direction, and what he felt were unnecessary inclusions of voice-overs. The actor was so enraged with the voice-over that he referred to them as having been written by “clowns”, and that “I was obliged by my contract to record that narration, which I found awkward and uninspired.”. Thankfully, fans were able to see the continuation of the story (and Ford) in the sequel, Blade Runner 2049.
29. Green Lantern – Ryan Reynolds
Bringing a beloved comic-book hero to life on the big screen is always a tricky endeavor. Ryan Reynolds, who has acted in a variety of films based on comic books, learned just how fickle audiences of superhero films can be, when his movie Green Lantern bombed miserably.
Reynolds explained that the film “fell victim to the process in Hollywood which is like poster first, release date second, script last”. He stressed that the film suffered from a lack of identity, and that the script could have been stronger. Thankfully, Reynolds was able to try his hand again at the superhero genre with the successful films based on the Deadpool character.
30. Lost – Evangeline Lily
Shooting on a tropical island can be paradise for some actors, but for Evangeline Lilly, shooting the series Lost quickly went from tranquil to terror. Lilly revealed that she was pressured into doing scenes in which she had to appear semi-nude. The actress felt so “mortified” that she was even reduced to tears.
Lilly went on to criticize how members of the production team continued to put her character in scenes that the actress felt uncomfortable in. Lilly claimed that she felt powerless, and that she had no choice but to do the scenes. She also grew “irritated” over the change in her character’s values- going from an “icon for strength and autonomy for women” to a woman solely concerned about her romantic life. Safe to say that Lily has no intention of returning to that island.
31. Love Actually – Andrew Lincoln
The film Love Actually has become one of the most popular romantic comedies, with many considering it a holiday tradition to watch the film. One of the most memorable scenes includes Andrew Lincoln holding a series of hand-written signs, which he uses to silently profess his love. While the scene is considered one of the most romantic declarations of love in a movie, Lincoln feels differently.
The British actor cringes at his famous scene, referring to his character as being a “weird stalker guy”. He shares that he was even asked writer, and director, Richard Curtis if they were venturing into “borderline stalker territory” with the story line. Despite his lack of love for the character, the movie continues to bring happiness to fans every holiday season.
32. Terminator Genisys – Emilia Clarke
The 2015 film, Terminator Genisys, had Emilia Clarke promising she wouldn’t be back for a sequel. The British actress was blunt in her reasoning for not wanting to continue playing Sarah Connor in the Terminator series. She told Vanity Fair that production of the film was so awful, that “no one had a good time”.
Despite being part of the successful Terminator series, the film did poorly and critics ripped it apart making it clear that there was no chance for a sequel. Clarke stated that she felt “relieved” that she wouldn’t have to reprise the role, and director Alan Taylor even commented that he wasn’t surprised “she’s more content to carry on with her fantastic projects than re-enter that world”.
33. Your Highness – James Franco
Despite its cast of well-respected comedic actors, the 2011 film Your Highness, failed to live up to its royal expectations. The adventure fantasy film meets stoner comedy did poorly, and was panned by critics. Film critics bashed the juvenile and crude humor, as well as poor special effects.
The disappointment was even shared by lead actor James Franco. The actor, who is no stranger to criticizing his previous films, didn’t hold back. In an interview with GQ magazine, Franco admitted that the “movie sucks,” and that “you can’t get around that’’. Like Franco, most of the stars have had to work their magic to have audiences forget about this fantasy flop.
34. Alfie – Jude Law
For many cinephiles, some films should simply be left untouched. One film that audiences felt should never have been remade, was the remake of the 1966 romantic comedy Alfie. The remake, starring Jude Law, tells the story of a suave chauffeur and his scandalous exploits with a myriad of lovers. Unfortunately, the remake had audiences, and Law, feeling anything but loving.
Law believed that the remake fell “flat” and that the film “didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted it to”. Law also admitted the difficulty of stepping into the shoes of the 1966 version’s lead, Michael Caine. He bemoaned the unfamiliarity of playing a character like Alfie, saying “I don’t know that I did it particularly well”. Critics abhorred the remake of the classic comedy-drama, and audiences consider it one of the worst remakes of all time.
35. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot – Sylvester Stallone
Most actors are reserved when talking about their less-than-stellar movies, most actors aren’t Sylvester Stallone. The Rocky actor did not hold back when criticizing his early film Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. He called the film “maybe one of the worst films in the entire solar system, including alien productions we’ve never seen”.
Stallone even likened the 1992 comedy to torture, saying that it could be used to get criminals to confess rather than watch it. It was rumored that Stallone only signed onto the geriatric crime comedy after he heard that his arch-rival at the time, Arnold Schwarzenegger, had expressed interest in the role as well. The film knocked the lights out of Stallone’s comedic career, and the actor quickly returned to action films.
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