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Famous Actors And Actresses Who Regretted Certain Classic Film Roles

Hizkiail October 13, 2021

When reading a script, it can be hard to know if it will translate into a critically acclaimed masterpiece or a complete box office flop. For some actors and actresses, they thought they were starring in Hollywood gold until the films hit the big screen, and the reviews started rolling in. Some of these films are cult classics, which shot these stars into the spotlight, while others are just plain bad, to the disappointment of those who made them. So do these actors and actresses regret making your favorite film? Read on to find out.

As soon as the novel, ‘The Help’ written by author Kathryn Stockett hit bookstores, it became a sensation. It was only a matter of time before a film studio decided to turn it into a film, and when Walt Disney Studios finally did, they cast actress Viola Davis in the role of Aibileen Clark. This role got Davis an Oscar nod, which culminated in a nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Viola Davis On Her Role In The Film 'The Help'

However, Davis did not feel that the voice of the maid Aibileen was really heard in the film, and how she felt working for a white family. Certain elements which were critical to the book were glossed over.

Megan Fox has been acting for decades now, but one of her earliest roles was in the ‘Transformers’ franchise which was produced and directed by Michael Bay. Over the years, Fox has been vocal about her working relationship with Bay, and how she felt about starring in the franchise. Instead of being proud of her work in the films which made her a household name, she actually regrets her involvement.

Megan Fox's Performance In The Michael Bay Produced 'Transformers' Franchise

In a soundbite captured by Entertainment Weekly, Fox mentioned that Bay tends to be difficult to work with, and ‘Transformers’ is less about good acting and more about action sequences.

Director Judd Apatow is known for his romcoms which always result in laughter and moments where audiences can really commiserate with the characters. While ‘Knocked Up’ remains one of his classics, actress Katherine Heigl does not feel as warmly towards the films. Instead, she mentioned in an interview with Vanity Fair, that the male characters were always created to be loved, while the female characters were meant to be “humorless and uptight.”

Katherine Heigl On Her Work In Judd Apatow's 'Knocked Up'
Universal Pictures

She then went on to say that being on set and having to say some of the lines written for her character were hard to say, as they were more exaggerated than they should have been.

‘The Wire’ remains one of HBO’s finest shows, and it starred many young actors in their breakout roles. This included a very young Idris Elba, who played the character Russell “Stringer” Bell. The character of Stringer was known for his dealings in the underworld of Baltimore, which was largely glorified by the show according to Elba. He didn’t like that someone who dealt various substances was seen as a hero by fans of the show.

Idris Elba On His Acting Start In HBO's 'The Wire'

One of the reasons the character was idolized was because of how intelligent he was, but Elba told James O’Brien on his podcast, that that isn’t a good reason to like a character.

For many actors, they need to resonate with the character they are playing. Throughout the filming of director Ridley Scott’s classic film ‘Blade Runner,’ the main actor Harrison Ford, who played Detective Deckard, had a lot of trouble connecting with the character. This was largely due to the fact that the detective didn’t seem to be doing a whole lot of detecting according to Ford. Throughout filming, Ford did not understand why his character did the majority of the stuff in the script.

Harrison Ford In Ridley Scott's Science Fiction Masterpiece 'Blade Runner'
Warner Bros

Ultimately, this led to Ford not liking the Director’s Cut or any of the other seven cuts that were filmed. He only mentioned this in 2017, prior to ‘Blade Runner 2049’s release.

Some franchises will never end, and the ‘James Bond’ franchise appears to be one of them. British actor Daniel Craig has been the titular character since 2005, and everyone thought he was done with the role until very recently. After the 24th Bond film hit the big screen, Craig reportedly told Time Out, “I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on.” He made one final Bond movie though.

Daniel Craig And His Attachment To The 'James Bond' Franchise

Craig returned as Bond for one more film, titled ‘No Time To Die’ which was released recently. The jury is still out on who will replace him for the 26th film.

American actor Channing Tatum grew up playing with the popular G.I. Joe toy soldiers and watching the associated television program. When the chance to bring the character to life in a live-action role came around, Tatum was on the fence about starring in the film. For one, he noted that the script wasn’t as good as it could have been, and secondly, he worried that he couldn’t do the character justice.

Channing Tatum On Being Pushed To Star In 'G.I. Joe'

Ultimately, the film was not received very well by the critics but did gross a total of $302 million worldwide. It continues to be a film Tatum wishes he hadn’t starred in.

As far as franchises go, ‘Twilight’ continues to be one of the most beloved of all time. British actor, Robert Pattinson brought the vampire character Edward Cullen to life on the big screen and made his fans swoon. However, this role continues to be one that he is less than positive about. Before the final film hit the big screen, Pattinson said, “It’s weird kind of representing something you don’t particularly like.”

Robert Pattinson On His Stint As Edward Cullen In 'Twilight'
Summit Entertainment

Since starring in ‘Twilight’ Pattinson has continued to look back on his role in a slightly negative light. Luckily for him, he has been able to take on more dramatic roles, such as his turn in Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet.’

Superhero movies are considered to be pieces of cinematic genius, but when the superhero craze first started, some movies were not as critically acclaimed as the ones now. 2005’s ‘Fantastic Four’ saw actress Jessica Alba star as the Invisible Woman also known as Sue Storm. Speaking with Elle magazine, she shared some tidbits from filming, primarily that she was expected to always look pretty. This included scenes that were supposed to be full of emotion.

Jessica Alba In The 2005 Version OfThe 'Fantastic Four' Franchise

Even in the scenes where something sad was happening, she was told that she should try and cry prettily, rather than naturally. This led to her not particularly enjoying the filming experience.

Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds is known for his particular brand of humor, which shines through in the ‘Deadpool’ franchise. However, before Reynolds was the spicy Deadpool, he was the Green Lantern. The film itself was not exactly loved by critics, and the actor maintains that it was not his finest work. In fact, to drive this point home, he even had the character featured in one of the ‘Deadpool’ films.

Ryan Reynolds On His Acting In Film 'The Green Lantern'
Warner Bros

It was not a positive portrayal and consisted of Deadpool taking the life of Reynolds for deciding to star in the film at all. Not every role can be a winner.

As far as romances go, James Cameron’s ‘Titanic’ continues to be one of the finest ever filmed. Kate Winslet stars opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, as young Rose, a woman caught up in a whirlwind romance against the backdrop of impending disaster. While the film continues to be a critical success, Winslet was less than thrilled with her performance in the film and is quite self-critical of her acting skills and accent.

Kate Winslet And Her Role As Rose In The 'Titanic'
20th Century Fox

Instead of being happy with her role, which everyone loved, she reportedly mentioned to the Telegraph that she is not overly fond of her American accent in the movie and hopes that it has improved.

Some movies don’t need sequels, and some do. After the success of ‘Grease’, the studio decided to try and capitalize on its fame through a sequel. Michelle Pfeiffer was cast in the role of Stephanie Zinone, who was the leader of the group known as the Pink Ladies. Instead of capturing the magic of the first film, Pfeiffer reported that it fell short. There was one reason that Pfeiffer opted to be in the film.

Michelle Pfeiffer And Her Portrayal In The Sequel To Grease
Paramount Pictures

Pfeiffer says that she was young, and at the time, didn’t really know the difference between a good script and a bad script. She definitely knows the difference now, with films like ‘Scarface’ under her belt.

Over the years there have been many actresses that have played Catwoman, but Halle Berry’s portrayal of the antagonistic Catwoman is well remembered. Her ‘Catwoman’ film was considered to be a major flop and got her both a Golden Raspberry nomination, and a win. Berry was a good sport about it though, and actually went up on stage and received her award, which many actors refuse to do, and gave an acceptance speech.

And The Golden Raspberry Goes To Halle Berry For 'Catwoman'
Warner Bros

During her acceptance speech, she gave her thanks to her manager for helping make the poor decision for her to star in the film.

Whenever the holiday season rolls around, ‘The Sound of Music’ can be seen playing on almost every channel. This classic film would not have been the classic it is, without actor Christopher Plummer in the role of Captain Von Trapp. While Plummer plays the role to perfection, the actor himself had a few choice words to say about his role in the film, and not all of them are kind.

Christopher Plummer And His Sentimental Role In 'The Sound Of Music'
20th Century Fox

Speaking to the Hollywood Report, he had this to say about the film, “Because it was so awful and sentimental and gooey. You had to work terribly hard to try and infuse some minuscule bit of humor into it.”

The early superhero films were not like the Marvel franchise masterpieces that are now popular. Back when ‘Daredevil’ was filmed less thought was put into the scripts and less budget was used for special effects. Ben Affleck, who played Daredevil, admits that it was not one of his better films, and that was largely due to some of the choices made by the production team. Namely, the focus on the red costume, and not on the plot.

Ben Affleck And His Less Than Enthusiastic Portrayal In 'Daredevil'
20th Century Fox

When interviewed by Entertainment Weekly, Affleck discussed his role, and said that superhero movies were more about cashing a cheque than flexing acting chops.

Sylvester Stallone is largely recognized for his roles in the ‘Rambo’ and ‘Rocky’ franchises, but there is one little-known film that he is not exactly proud of. In 1992, ‘Stop, of Mom Will Shoot’ hit theaters, and his portrayal of a cop named Sgt. Joe Bomowski was not exactly critically acclaimed. After watching the film, and ruminating on his performance, Stallone has admitted that it was not his finest acting hour.

Sylvester Stallone In Buddy-Cop Comedy 'Stop, Or Mom Will Shoot'
Universal Pictures

The film did not do very well at the box office, only grossing $70.6 million, and Stallone maintains that it was in no way considered a good movie that audiences should enjoy.

It is inevitable that at some point in a star’s career, that a film is released which is not necessarily up to their lofty standards. For actor Paul Newman, the 1954 film, ‘The Silver Chalice’ was one film that he did not want people to watch. While most actors would accept that their films were going to be viewed, Newman decided to actively try and stop people from screening it. How exactly did he do this?

Paul Newman And The Case Of 1954's 'The Silver Chalice'
Everett Collection

In true 1950s fashion, he took out advertisements in different newspapers urging people to not view the film. He considered it to be his worst film during his career.

Everyone needs to eat, and that goes for actors as well. Colin Farrell decided to star alongside Jamie Foxx in the reboot of ‘Miami Vice’ in 2006. The film was popular for its pastel costuming, and stylistic shots of the two actors. However, Farrell maintains that the style over substance aspect of the film is ultimately what made him regret starring in it. He has further elaborated on this during interviews.

Colin Farrell And The Style Over Substance Film 'Miami Vice'
Universal Pictures

While style over substance does happen, he also accepts some responsibility for this as he was an actor in the film and did have some say in how his character would be portrayed.

For Hollywood golden boy Brad Pitt, it seemed like every film he starred in would be a smash hit. This was not true for the film, ‘The Devil’s Own.’ Instead of becoming something worthy of an Oscar, it flopped and Pitt had a few choice words to say about the film in 1997. Speaking to Newsweek, he discussed the film and what went wrong. Specifically, focusing on the fact that it was a “disaster.”

Brad Pitt On His Decision To Star In 'The Devil's Own'
Columbia Pictures

Pitt has since followed up that film with many Oscar winners and even had a few Oscar nods himself. One film is not a career-ender, it is a learning experience.

Canadian comedic actor Jim Carey has been making audiences laugh since he starred in ‘Ace Ventura: Pet Detective’ and ‘The Mask,’ However, after starring in the film ‘Kick-Ass 2’ he took to Twitter to share his feelings about why he regretted that current choice. The film had been shot one month prior to the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and he did not feel that it was right to be in a film that featured a lot of violence.

Jim Carey And His Feelings About Starring In 'Kick-Ass 2'
Universal Pictures

Carey has not starred in a similar film since and has maintained his non-violence stance in the movies he has signed on to act in.

Disney’s ‘High School Musical’ franchise is definitely one of its most popular if you leave out Marvel and Star Wars. Zac Efron’s portrayal of high schooler and basketball aficionado Troy Bolton is one of the reasons it was as popular as it is. While Efron was undeniably adorable in the films, the actor himself found Bolton’s antics a little bit less than desirable. Efron spoke to Men’s Fitness about the role.

Zac Efron As Troy Bolton In Disney's 'High School Musical'

Troy Bolton made Efron a star, but nowadays Efron prefers to be known for his healthy lifestyle choices and travels rather than as a basketball-playing and singing high school athlete.

The Indiana Jones franchise is beloved, especially the originals with Harrison Ford. Steven Spielberg tried to recreate the magic of the originals in 2008 with ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.’ Shia LeBeouf was cast as Mutt Williams, Indiana’s son. While the film was not as well-received as the studio would have liked, LeBeouf himself took a large part of the blame for it which he discussed.

Shia LeBeouf In 'Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull'
Paramount Pictures

During an interview with the LA Times, LeBeouf mentioned that it is the actor’s job to bring the character to life, and that is something that he failed to do.

Some films seem like they might become cinematic darlings, but for Charlize Theron, she says ‘Reindeer Games’ was not one of hers. The film had her starring alongside a young Ben Affleck, and gave her the opportunity to work with John Frankenheimer. That kind of exposure as a young actress is important, and Theron is now known as one of the best actors on the planet, with films like ‘Monster’ under her belt.

Charlize Theron And Her Role In The Movie 'Reindeer Games'

When asked about ‘Reindeer Games’ by Esquire, Theron said the main reason she chose to star in the film was to work with Frankenheimer, and the rest is now history.

There have been many iterations of Spider-Man over the decades, and in 2012, Sally Field, the Oscar-winning actress, took her spot as Aunt May in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man.’ Starring in a film like that generates a big paycheck which is why a lot of actors and actresses choose to sign up, even if the screenplay isn’t exactly the best. Field would later speak about the role with radio host Howard Stern.

Sally Field And Her Turn As Aunt May In 'Spider-Man'

Her interview focused on the character of Aunt May, and how she was rather two-dimensional rather than three-dimensional the way Field prefers. She just wasn’t a fan of her character development.

Making a Batman movie isn’t easy. It is a character with a lot of lore behind it and making fans of the comic books happy can be tough. George Clooney’s portrayal of the masked vigilante didn’t go exactly as planned. His costume compared to other Batman’s was rather more anatomically correct than most, and Clooney thought that this role would shoot him into superstar territory. It didn’t get rave reviews, like he hoped.

George Clooney's Portrayal Of Batman In 1997's 'Batman & Robin'
Warner Bros

Looking back on the film, Clooney is happy that Christopher Nolan was able to breathe life back into the franchise. Robert Pattinson is set to star as the latest Batman in the franchise.

Daniel Radcliffe started shooting the Harry Potter franchise at the tender age of 11. He would go on to dedicate a substantial portion of his young life to the films, and once he got to ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ he was pretty worn out. He has since spoken about acting in the films and has mentioned that his acting was complacent after starring in so many of the Harry Potter films by that point.

Daniel Radcliffe And The 'Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince' Film
Warner Bros

In his personal opinion, his best Harry Potter movie was, ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ which is considered to be an excellent one by critics.

Not all movies need to be loved by the critics to be hits, but they do need to be loved by audiences. When Josh Brolin signed on to star in ‘Jonah Hex’ as the lead, he was ready to bring the character to life. The film had issues from the start, as it had trouble finding the right director for the film until Jimmy Hayward came forward. The lofty aspirations for the film did not translate to the big screen according to Brolin.

Josh Brolin And His Feelings About His Performance In 'Jonah Hex'
Warner Bros

The film may not have been a success, but Brolin himself learned a valuable lesson. He says should he ever have the capital to reboot the franchise, he will.

Funnyman James Franco knows how to make a comedy. When Seth Rogen and he decided to star in ‘Pineapply Express’ they thought they had found the perfect comedic balance. In a second attempt to make a comedic hit, they decided to go forward with ‘Your Highness’ a parody loosely based on a fantastical world like that found in ‘The Princess Bride.’ The chemistry which had made ‘Pineapple Express’ a hit did not translate to ‘Your Highness.’

James Franco And The Lofty Aspirations For 2011's 'Your Highness'
Universal Pictures

In an interview with GQ magazine, all Franco had to say about the film was this, “Your Highness? Oh that movie sucks. You can’t get around it.”

The Bourne trilogy of films which features Matt Damon as Jason Bourne a spy set on figuring out his past is one of the best espionage trilogies of all time. The first two films were critically acclaimed, but the studio decided to produce the third film to try and capitalize on everyone’s love of the character. Damon signed on to reprise his role, and Tony Gilroy was tasked with writing the script for the third installment.

Matt Damon's Reprisal Of Jason Bourn In The Third Film
Universal Pictures

Damon doesn’t regret his reprisal of the role, but in an interview with GQ, he was critical of Gilroy’s work. The script for the ‘Bourne Ultimatum’ was not considered to be of the same caliber as the previous two.

Every actor or actress stars in a film that may not be an Oscar winner, that is a part of life. For bodybuilder turned actor turned politician, Arnold Schwarzenegger has said that ‘Red Sonja’ is his worst film to date. While he is supposed to be a hero in a fantasy land, it just didn’t manage to win over audiences. Schwarzenegger has since used the film to educate his children on proper behavior.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's Fantastical Take In The1985 Film 'Red Sonja'
MGM/UA Entertainment Company

Schwarzenegger said in an interview that “When my kids get out of line, they’re sent to their rooms and forced to watch Red Sonja 10 times. I never had too much trouble with them.”

While many actors and actresses have come out and said what they really feel about their films, Sarah Jessica Parker has not expressed regret towards the Sex and the City films for the acting or plot. Instead, she always chooses to focus on one important aspect of the films: the money they made. She has spoken about how the films didn’t live up to the television series, but the box office earnings speak to how many people still want to know what happens next.

Sarah Jessica Parker And The Ongoing Success Of The SATC
Warner Bros

The first Sex and the City film grossed $418.8 million and the second made a respectable $294 million. There will be a reboot of the series, set to come out sometime in 2022.

Alec Baldwin has been making people laugh since he first started on ‘Saturday Night Live’ and in ’30 Rock.’ He has since had a pretty illustrious film career, but one film he has rethought through the years is the musical ‘Rock of Ages.’ When reflecting on the film with The Wrap, he had this to say, “It was a complete disaster. A week in you go, ‘Oh God, what have I done?’ The film may not have been that successful but it did have an all-star cast.

Alec Baldwin Reflecting On His Role In 'Rock Of Ages'
New Line Cinema

Audiences did not love the film, but the musical sequences were still enjoyable and people did flock to the theaters to watch the entire film.

Science fiction films are hard to get wrong. Space operas and colonization of other planets make for some pretty fascinating film work, which is what Will and Jaden Smith hoped for with ‘After Earth.’ M. Night Shyamalan is no stranger to critics, and ‘After Earth’ was not considered to be a hit by any means. Smith had looked forward to doing a film with his son, and this presented a good opportunity.

Will And Jaden Smith's Not So Finest Hour In 'After Earth'
Columbia Pictures

After reflecting on the film, and the fact that it was not a good one, Smith shared with Esquire magazine that he wishes his son had not been in the film, as they had to share the failure.

Misunderstanding occurs, and for Billy Murray, a major one happened. He had signed on as the voice of Garfield the cat in the move of the same name, as he thought that Joel Coen of the Coen Brothers fame was writing the script. In reality, it was a different Joel Cohen which led to a less than amazing film. Murray didn’t realize what exactly he had signed up for until he saw the entire animated feature.

Billy Murray As The Voice Of Garfield The Cat In The Film
20th Century Fox

After watching the film, Murray knew he had made an error by not asking about who exactly was working on the film, and checking out the spelling of the writer’s last name.

Bringing a video game to life is tough, and bringing ‘Super Marios Brothers’ to life is even tougher. Bob Hoskins tried when he signed on to star in the film, but it didn’t quite achieve critical acclaim. Bob Hoskins has starred in films like ‘Mermaids’ and ‘Vanity Fair.’ His role as Mario was a bit of a strange one, and he even agreed in an interview with The Guardian that it was not his best career move.

Bob Hoskins In The Live Action Reboot 'Super Mario Brothers'
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

The movie may have been a dud, but Hoskins continued to have an illustrious acting career right up until his passing in April of 2014

Many of the actors and actresses on this list have starred in franchises, which means multiple films playing the same character. For Sean Connery, he too got tired of playing the suave spy, James Bond. He played the character in six films, and by the final one, ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ he was finished. Initially, his salary per film had been quite low by industry standards, but that picked up in subsequent films.

Sean Connery On Getting Tired Of Playing Spy James Bond

Connery no longer wanted to play Bond though, and reportedly gave away much of the proceeds from the films to various charities of his choice.

The film ‘Shallow Hal’ is one of the more controversial rom-coms that has been made over the years. It starred Gwyneth Paltrow as an overweight woman, who magically looks thin to co-star Jack Black who begins to fall in love with her. The film was panned, largely for its insensitive weight jokes. As Paltrow has moved away from acting and into the wellness sphere, this is a film she does not like to highlight.

Gwyneth Paltrow's View On Starring In The Movie 'Shallow Hal'
20th Century Fox

Both Black and Paltrow have expressed misgiving about filming the movie and the content. It is simply one of those films that will go down quietly in movie history.

The Star Wars franchise is one of the most beloved sci-fi franchises of all time. The worlds created by George Lucas are unparalleled. Actress Carrie Fisher was just starting out when she was cast as Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker’s twin sister. The films made the entire cast famous almost overnight, which for most actors is exactly what they want to happen. For Fisher, it was not ideal and she would regret taking the role.

Carrie Fisher And Her Skyrocket Into Fame With 'Star Wars'

Young Fisher did not love the limelight and becoming famous overnight was very hard personally. Fame comes with paparazzi and Fisher did not enjoy that.

Another ‘Star Wars’ alumni, Sir Alec Guinness was not as fond of the franchise as its fans. It had taken some convincing by George Lucas to star in the film, and the clincher was the 2.5 percent of the gross earnings of the first film. This would make him some serious cash, but it was the subject matter of the films themselves which Guinness objected to. He was not fond of the fantastical worlds and plots dreamed up by Lucas.

Sir Alec Guinness And His Role As Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi
20th Century Fox

Guinness preferred real life more than the make-believe land of science fiction. He even went so far as to say the world was full of “childish banalities” in his autobiography.

The third Chipmunks franchise film, ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked’ largely takes place aboard a cruise boat owned by Carnival Cruise Lines. David Cross was cast as a pelican costume-wearing character and he was less than enthused with the artistic process. The reason he did not love the film, was because he felt product placement and brand awareness were more important than the actual film itself, which led to resentment.

David Cross And The Film 'Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked'
Fox 2000 Pictures

Cross also did not enjoy having to be on a cruise for a week, without any breaks on land. He explained to television host Conan O’Brien that nobody should see the film in 2012.