These stars have admitted they hated their own iconic characters, and while there’s a few that somehow make sense, we can’t believe some of these actors regret their most iconic characters. At the end of the day there will always be instances where the final result is just too far from the film they’d imagined, and others times…it’s just for the money. So which of your favorite actors simply wasn’t feeling their most iconic role? Read on to find out.
1. Allison Williams – “Marnie” in Girls
To be fair, a lot of the characters in HBO’s Girls are famous for being pretty unlikeable, but that was what made the show so compulsively watchable. Viewers kept tuning in to see just how the girls of Girls could blithely humiliate themselves further, and Allison Williams, for one, was well aware of how cringe-y her character Marnie could be.
Williams admitted in an interview that “Marnie would drive me crazy if we were friends in real life.” Indeed, Marnie was often at odds with even her closest friends on Girls, but through it all, including her dislike of the character, Williams was always on her side — she’s loyal like that.
2. Robert Pattinson – “Edward Cullen” in Twilight
While it wasn’t technically his first recognizable role, Robert Pattinson is most readily associated with playing Edward Cullen, the immortal heartthrob in the enormously popular teen vampire franchise Twilight. Edward Cullen, is awfully sullen throughout the films, and apparently there wasn’t all that much acting involved.
Everyone (especially teen girls) couldn’t get enough of Cullen, or Pattinson for that matter. Pattinson however, felt differently, saying “He’s the most ridiculous person…the more I read the script, the more I hated this guy.” The four Twilight films launched the actor onto the A-list, but just leave it to a vampire to bite the hand that feeds.
3. Blake Lively – “Serena van der Woodsen” in Gossip Girl
“Hey Upper East Siders, Gossip Girl here,” starts the voice over, as we meet our troubled and terrifically privileged teen protagonists. Almost immediately, everyone wanted to be It Girl/socialite Serena van der Woodsen, well, everyone except for the actress who played her, Blake Lively.
The show let us in on the secret lives of Manhattan’s upper echelon, and as Gossip Girl would have us believe, it’s all very salacious. Lively has stated that she disliked comparisons between herself and Serena, saying that she wasn’t a good role model. Does she regret playing Serena? To quote the show, “that’s one secret I’ll never tell. XOXO, Gossip Girl.”
4. Megan Fox – “Mikaela Banes” in Transformers
Never one to mince words, Megan Fox will happily tell you how she really feels about her role as Mikaela in the first two Transformers movies. It starts off well enough when Fox was asked if she’d star in another Transformer film, saying, “Sure…it did give me a career and open all these doors,” but she doesn’t stop there.
Fox explained that she has no misconception as to the meaning of the movies, or her part in them, “People are well aware that this is not a movie about acting.” Fox would later roll back her previous openness to a third film, calling the entire experience a “nightmare.” Ouch.
5. Kate Winslet – “Rose” in Titanic
Before everyone starts proclaiming love’s dead because Kate Winslet has some opinions on Titanic, calm down. Kate hasn’t said anything in any way unflattering about the film itself — it’s her performance she’s less than enthralled by. In fact, if she could do it all over again, she would, only very differently.
“Every single scene, I’m like ‘Really, really? You did it like that?’…It’s awful.” While Winslet might wish her acting chops were a little more refined, we’re pretty sure we speak for everyone when we say our hearts will go on for Kate, Leo and Titanic, exactly as it is.
6. Katherine Heigl – “Alison Scott” in Knocked Up
Over ten years since the release of Knocked Up it seems as though the backlash over comments made by Katherine Heigl about the comedy film have finally been cleared up and the case is closed – she didn’t dislike the experience of making Knocked Up, she disliked her acting.
When Knocked Up first hit theaters, Heigl commented on the overall product, calling it “a little sexist,” adding that, “Ninety-eight percent of the time it was an amazing experience, but it was hard for me to love the movie.” Since then, Heigl clarified that her portrayal of Alison was the issue, while the film, and director Judd Apatow are not to blame.
7. Shia LeBeouf – “Mutt Williams” in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
More known for his off-screen antics as of late, Shia LeBeouf, who has starred almost exclusively in indie films for the last few years, was initially set to be a big-budget blockbuster headlining actor. Perhaps seeing himself in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull led him away from major box office slam dunks?
LeBeouf felt personally responsible for “dropping the ball on the legacy that people loved and cherished.” True, many critics and fans alike would call the fifth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise their least favorite, and according to LeBeouf, “that’s my fault.” At least now we know who to blame.
8. Zac Efron – “Troy Bolton” in High School Musical
To be fair, no one would call High School Musical highbrow cinema, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun for what it was: A made-for-TV movie about high schoolers putting on a musical (the title really gets to the point). But while he may still be beloved for the role of male lead Troy Bolton, Efron is not a fan.
By the time the third film in the franchise was released on the Disney Channel, Efron was in his late teens and eager to dive into some less family-friendly films. Looking back on the earnest Troy Bolton, Efron told reporters, “…I still want to kick that guy’s a** sometimes.”
9. George Clooney – “Batman/Bruce Wayne” in Batman and Robin
We really appreciate George Clooney’s honesty over some of his more questionable acting roles earlier in his career. Apparently, “As an actor, all bets are off if you need money.” So that explains his turn in Return of the Killer Tomatoes, but what about his role in Batman & Robin?
Clooney went into the film thinking it would be a calculated step forward in his career, only…it wasn’t. Yes, the batsuit was overly and unnecessarily anatomically accurate (a major point of online mockery), but that’s on top of an already lackluster production all around, and for that Clooney says, “I always apologize for Batman & Robin.” So, at least he’s sorry.
10. Daniel Radcliffe – “Harry Potter” in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Eight movies over the course of a decade is a lot of time to be inhabiting one character, and Daniel Radcliffe is the first to admit that by the time he got to the sixth in the series, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, the magic had faded.
That’s not to say he hated any of the films, he just felt that his “acting is very one-note and I can see I got complacent and what I was trying to do just didn’t come across.” While many Harry Potter fans would probably disagree, one apparently poor performance out of eight isn’t so beastly.
11. Ben Affleck – “Gigli” in Gigli
If you haven’t seen the famously cringe-worthy Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck crime rom-com (a film genre crossover that’s as weird as it sounds) Gigli, you might be asking yourself, is it really as bad as everyone makes it out to be? Well, let’s just say there’s a reason it has a 6% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Affleck isn’t alone in hating on Gigli, in fact, one would be hard-pressed to find anyone who enjoyed the box-office bomb. Affleck admits that he “got fairly maligned,” for his part in the movie, but still believes that director Martin Brest was “one of the best directors I ever worked with,” so at least there’s that?
12. Matt Damon – “Jason Bourne” in The Bourne Ultimatum
Everyone pretty much agrees that the Bourne franchise starring Matt Damon is made of objectively good action movies, but Damon feels surprisingly differently about the third film in the franchise, The Bourne Ultimatum. This time it’s not the acting he’s so against, Damon believes the blame lies elsewhere, and he’s not afraid to say as such.
According to the Academy Award-winner, screenwriter Tony Gilroy is responsible for what he believes was “a career-ender.” Damon confessed “I don’t blame Tony for taking a boatload of money and handing in what he handed in. It’s just unreadable. It’s terrible.” With a review like that we’re surprised he came back for a fourth film!
13. Sean Connery – “James Bond” (All Seven Starring Connery)
Though they may take their martinis the same way — shaken, not stirred — the similarities between Sean Connery and James Bond end there according to the star. In fact, the famous super spy isn’t “my kind of chap at all,” according to Connery, and that was only after appearing in three Bond films.
By the time Connery’s tenure as 007 came to a close, he wasn’t all that kind when commenting on the character. “Do you want to know once and for all what I think of that pest? He’s made life impossible for me. I wish they’d kill him.” Harsh.
14. Harrison Ford – “Rick Deckard” in Blade Runner and “Han Solo” in Star Wars
That gruff, cantankerous attitude so many of Harrison Ford’s characters seem to exude might not be much of an act. Of all the iconic characters Ford has embodied, the only one he really enjoys is Indiana Jones, which, if you’ve done the math, means those other guys, like Han Solo and Rick Deckard? Yeah, he’s not a fan.
It’s Star Wars lore that Ford had long-lobbied for Han Solo to be killed off, and was pretty happy to finally be freed from the franchise. And despite appearing in the 2017 sequel of Blade Runner, “I didn’t like the movie one way or the other,” admits Ford of the original.
15. Cher – “Tess” in Burlesque
To be honest, Cher isn’t alone in her disappointment over the outcome of the 2013 musical Burlesque. Everyone had high hopes for the award-winning icon’s return to film following a string of critical cinematic successes in the 80s and 90s, only to be very, very let down.
Burlesque was pretty unanimously panned upon its release, but in Cher’s defense, she really did try to make it a better movie, but her input wasn’t put into practice by director Steve Antin. “It could have been a much better film…I remember Antin saying to me, I don’t care about what you say, I just want to shoot the dance numbers.”
16. Sally Field – “Aunt May” in The Amazing Spider-Man
When we think of Spider-Man movies, there’s the Tobey Maguire fronted franchise, and the current Tom Holland blockbuster darlings, and oh right, remember Andrew Garfield and The Amazing Spider-Man? After taking a critical and commercial hit in theaters, the 2012/2014 reboot faded, hoping to be forgotten – and Sally Field would like to forget the films too.
Field only agreed to play Aunt May as a favor to her producing partner Laura Ziskin, who passed away the year before the film’s release. Field took issue with the way Aunt May was written, saying she did what she could, but the character felt flat, and so she phoned it in.
17. Carrie Fisher – “Princess Leia” in Star Wars
We don’t want to crush your childhood completely, so let’s say that Carrie Fisher had a complicated relationship with Princess Leia. From the famous gold bikini to all the fame that came with the part, Fisher has a lot of feelings about Princess Leia.
Fisher once recalled the slave bikini as “what supermodels will eventually wear in the seventh ring of Hell.” And as a woman who’s openly admitted to struggling with mental health, Fisher said she never would’ve signed on to Star Wars if she’d known what a mega-hit it would be. Still, at the end of the day, Fisher is proud to have played “a superhero.”
18. Halle Berry – “Catwoman” in Catwoman
Yes, Halle Berry absolutely hated the final result of the standalone Catwoman film, but she definitely deserves a whole lot of respect for taking it on the chin. Owning up to how terribly the movie tanked, Berry actually showed up to collect her Worst Actress Razzie award and her acceptance speech said it all.
Berry thanked everyone involved in Catwoman, including her agent, director, castmates, lawyers, acting coach, truly everyone. No one was exempt from taking responsibility for the “awful movie.” We’re not sure if earning a Razzie is really a win, but Berry was no sore loser. Now that’s what you call being a good sport.
19. Charlize Theron – “Ashley” in Reindeer Games
The ingredients were good, take Ben Affleck (before box-office bombs Gigli and Daredevil), Gary Sinise (post-perfect portrayal of Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump), director John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate) and add the ever-rising superstar Charlize Theron, and the recipe for Reindeer Games should have worked…but it didn’t.
Upon its release, Reindeer Games garnered a whole lot of bad reviews, but the most damning of them all might have come from Charlize Theron herself. Credit goes to the A-list actress for at least being succinct in her summation of Reindeer Games, which she simply described as, “a bad, bad, bad movie.” And there you have it.
20. Alec Guinness – “Obi Wan Kenobi” in Star Wars: A New Hope
Alright, Alec Guinness is yet another actor to come out as disliking his character in Star Wars — is there something the legions of fans are missing? Maybe it’s just subjective, because while so many people love the sci-fi fantasy films, jedi master Alec Guinness really really hated his time as Obi Wan Kenobi.
Guinness, who had already appeared in cinematic classics Bridge Over the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia, admitted that he only took the role for the money and referred to the script as “rubbish.” But as his own character said, “The truth is often what we make of it,” so do with this truth what you will Star Wars fans.
21. Sylvester Stallone – “Sgt. Joe Bomowski” in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot
Very few actors have perfectly pristine resumes, and Sylvester Stallone pulls no punches when he looks back on his career, admitting that there are definitely some duds in there, like the bizarre buddy cop comedy co-starring Estelle Getty (a national treasure for Golden Girls alone), Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot.
Despite citing Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot as the worst of some “truly awful movies” he’s taken part in, Stallone has an idea of how the flop can be used for good. “If you ever want someone to confess to murder, just make him or her sit through that film. They will confess to anything after 15 minutes.”
22. Michael Caine – “Hoagie Newcombe” in Jaws: The Revenge
Lately, it seems like everyone is lamenting the proliferation of sequels that keep coming out, but if you look back at Hollywood history, that’s always been true. Take for example, Jaws. Jaws was and still is, an important piece of filmmaking, the sequels however? Less so.
Getting progressively worse, by the time the fourth sequel was released, Jaws: The Revenge, it was, at least according to film star Michael Caine, unwatchable. Despite never having even seen the movie, Caine maintains he doesn’t have to, to know that it’s terrible. But he couldn’t care less, because “I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.”
23. Christopher Plummer – “Captain Von Trapp” in The Sound of Music
Forget how to solve a problem like Maria, how do you reconcile the fact that Christopher Plummer called The Sound of Music “not my cup of tea”? Striking a chord in the hearts of many, Christopher Plummer did not care for Captain Von Trapp, his seven singing children, or any of it for that matter.
Plummer has at various times referred to The Sound of Music as “The Sound of Mucus” at his harshest, and simply “that movie,” when he’s trying to be kind. The hills may be alive with the sound of music, but Christopher Plummer would actually prefer the sound of silence.
24. Michelle Pfeiffer – “Stephanie Zinone” in Grease 2
While a little gender reversal when revisiting a beloved film can go over gangbusters, the musical high school story of clean-cut “Michael Carrington” and Pink Lady leader “Stephanie Zinone” in Grease 2 really struck a sour note. And it wasn’t just the critics that couldn’t stand it, film star Michelle Pfeiffer has strong words for the ill-advised sequel.
Despite often being cited as the still unknown starlet’s breakout role, Pfeiffer says her youth and inexperience is to blame for signing on to star as Stephanie. Learning a tough lesson early on, Pfeiffer says, “I hated that film with a vengeance and could not believe how bad it was.”
25. Leslie Howard – “Ashley Wilkes” in Gone with the Wind
It’s been decades since Gone with the Wind was released, and we still aren’t over that ending, but how could Scarlett and Rhett not end up together?! That dang Ashley Wilkes, getting in the way of true love, and even the actor who played him, Leslie Howard, hated him too.
In a letter to his daughter during filming Howard detailed his dislike of Ashley Wilkes, saying “I hate the damn part.” We’re actually unsure if any actor has hated a character more, seeing as Howard fled Hollywood after finishing the film, and moved to England to help in the World War II effort.
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