10 actors who despised their own movies

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Whether it was an ambitious passion project that went awry, a screenplay that missed the mark, or simply an opportunity for a quick payday, even the most extraordinary and revered actors in Hollywood haven’t been immune to their fair share of cinematic duds.

Yes, we’re talking about those cringe-inducing moments when actors look back at certain roles and think, “What on Earth was I thinking?”

In fact, many of them have actually shared that sentiment publicly, offering glimpses into their candid opinions and refreshing honesty. Here are 10 actors who have openly trashed the movies they were in.

Image Credit: IMDb.

1. Alec Guinness – ‘Star Wars’ (1977)

By the time Sir Alec Guinness donned the Jedi robes of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the groundbreaking 1977 film, “Star Wars: A New Hope,”  he was revered for his performances in cinematic masterpieces such as “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” “Great Expectations,” and “Lawrence of Arabia.” Unsurprisingly, taking up the role of Jedi master in a sci-fi flick was not up to the esteemed British actor’s standards. Guinness was not trying to hide his dislike and regret for the project as well, having famously declared that “Apart from the money, I regret having embarked on the film. I like them well enough, but it’s not an acting job, the dialogue – which is lamentable – keeps being changed and only slightly improved, and I find myself old and out of touch with the young.” Ironically, it is the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi that the actor is primarily associated with.

Image Credit: Imdb.

2. George Clooney – ‘Batman & Robin’ (1997)

George Clooney’s stint as Batman in the infamous 1997 film “Batman & Robin” remains a sore point in his illustrious career, marked by disappointment and regret. The film, directed by Joel Schumacher, is widely regarded as one of the worst superhero movies ever made, and Clooney’s portrayal of the Dark Knight has been a primary target of criticism and ridicule.

Clooney himself has not shied away from acknowledging his shortcomings in the role. Speaking candidly on Howard Stern’s show, the actor admitted, “The truth of the matter is, I was bad in it.” He further placed blame on the screenplay, penned by Akiva Goldsman, and even Goldsman himself concurred that it was a “terrible screenplay.” Clooney, Schumacher, and Goldsman collectively acknowledged that the film missed the mark and failed to resonate with audiences.

Image Credit: IMDb.

3. Katherine Heigl – ‘Knocked Up’ (2007)

Katherine Heigl, known for her role in “Grey’s Anatomy,” has never been one to shy away from expressing her dissatisfaction with certain projects and engaging in off-screen feuds. Among the films she has openly criticized is the 2007 romantic comedy “Knocked Up,” which she labeled as “a little sexist.”

In an interview with Vanity Fair in 2008, Heigl voiced her concerns about the film’s portrayal of women, describing the female characters as “shrews, humorless, and uptight,” while the male characters were depicted as “lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys.” She admitted to struggling with her own character, questioning why she had to play a “b—-” and a “killjoy,” which made it difficult for her to embrace the film and find appreciation for it.

Image Credit: IMDB / Universal Studios.

4. Bill Murray – ‘Garfield: The Movie’ (2004)

For years, Bill Murray’s decision to voice the titular character in the widely panned 2004 film “Garfield” has perplexed his fans. Known for his discerning choices in roles, many wondered why on earth he would agree to be a part of such a universally disliked project. Spoiler allert: He misread the script, that’s why. In an interview with GQ, Murray finally shed light on the matter, revealing a hilarious case of mistaken identity. Murray explains that he took on the role of Garfield because he mistakenly thought the film’s writer, Joel Cohen, was actually Joel Coen of the renowned Coen Brothers. Murray admitted that he believed he would be involved in a half-animated, Breckin Meyer-starring kids’ movie akin to the Coen Brothers’ signature work, such as “Miller’s Crossing.”

“I looked at the script, and it said, ‘So-and-so and Joel Coen.’ And I thought: Christ, well, I love those Coens! They’re funny.” Misguided by this misunderstanding, he took a brief look at the script, found it appealing, and agreed to lend his voice to the character.

Image Credit: Imdb.

5. Sean Connery – ‘Never Say Never Again’ (1983)

Legendary actor Sean Connery was outspoken about his distaste for the 1983 film “Never Say Never Again,” which marked his final portrayal of James Bond. Connery, who had initially departed the Bond franchise after “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971), agreed to return to the role more than a decade later for “Never Say Never Again.” However, it is evident that the film did not meet his expectations.

Image Credit: IMDb.

6. Halle Berry – ‘Catwoman’ (2004)

After the critical and commercial success of “Monster’s Ball,” Berry’s decision to don the catsuit in “Catwoman” was met with curiosity and anticipation. The 2004 superhero flick, which failed to live up to expectations, prompted Berry to openly express her distaste for the project, even accepting a Razzie Award for Worst Actress with a touch of self-deprecating humor. The film received scathing reviews and failed to resonate with audiences and Berry did not shy away from expressing her dissatisfaction, famously referring to the movie as a “piece of sh*t” and a “god-awful movie.”

Image Credit: IMDb.

7. Sylvester Stallone – ‘Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot’ (1992)

Sylvester Stallone doesn’t hold back when discussing his film career, and he doesn’t hesitate to label “Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot” as the worst movie he has ever made. In his own words, he claims, “If you ever want someone to confess to murder, just make him or her sit through that film.”

Image Credit: IMDb.

8. Gwyneth Paltrow – ‘Shallow Hal’ (2001)

Gwyneth Paltrow does not hold back when describing her experience working on the 2001 film “Shallow Hal,” categorizing it as a “disaster.” This assessment will come as no surprise to those who have actually seen the movie. In the film, Jack Black portrays a shallow man who must undergo hypnosis to see past physical appearances and date a woman he perceives as thin, played by Paltrow. “The first day I tried the fat suit on, I was in the Tribeca Grand and I walked through the lobby. It was so sad. It was so disturbing. No one would make eye contact with me because I was obese. I felt humiliated,” the Academy-Award-winning actress revealed in a 2020 interview with The Guardian.

Image Credit: Imdb.

9. Viola Davis – ‘The Help’ (2011)

Viola Davis, renowned for her incredible acting prowess, has been open about her mixed feelings regarding her role in the film ‘The Help.’ While acknowledging the compelling story and the opportunity it provided for her to showcase her talent, Davis expressed concerns about the film’s perspective on racial issues. She believed that the voices of Black maids and their experiences were overshadowed by the white characters’ narratives. “There’s no one who’s not entertained by The Help,” Davis said in an interview with Vanity Fair. “But there’s a part of me that feels like I betrayed myself, and my people, because I was in a movie that wasn’t ready to [tell the whole truth].”

Davis’s nuanced performance garnered critical acclaim, but her reservations about the overall portrayal of race in the film demonstrate her commitment to authentic and inclusive storytelling.

 

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10. Sandra Bullock – ‘Speed 2: Cruise Control’ (1997)

Sandra Bullock isn’t afraid to admit her ongoing embarrassment over her involvement in the 1997 film “Speed 2: Cruise Control.” In a recent interview with TooFab the actress confessed that the sequel to her breakout action hit “Speed” is a project she regrets. “I have one [that] no one came around to and I’m still embarrassed I was in,” Bullock said. “It’s called ‘Speed 2.’ I’ve been very vocal about it. Makes no sense. Slow boat. Slowly going towards an island.”

Bullock starred alongside Jason Patric as a couple attempting to prevent a disaster as a cruise ship heads towards a collision with an oil tanker in the Caribbean. Although the original director, Jan de Bont, returned for the sequel, the absence of Keanu Reeves, the leading man from the first film, was keenly felt.

Methodology 

To create this list we dug deep into the world of IMDb trivia and scoured interviews with actors from various news and entertainment outlets.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

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Image Credit: IMDb.

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