Most actors and actresses love what they do. They realize that they have been blessed with a talent, and have put their all into entertaining audiences. Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned, and even the biggest names in the business have been unhappy with their performances. Sometimes films don’t do as well as those involved had hoped, and sometimes they’re just doomed from the start. Some stars have even been critical of themselves in films that have done exceptionally well. However, with every poor performance, these stars seemed to have learned a lesson that has helped them moving forward. Here are 20 actors who hated their own movies.
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Woody Allen – Manhattan
The 1979 film, Manhattan, has become a classic. At the time of its release, it received praise from critics and fans, and has since had its script performed in front of live audiences. However, one of the film’s writers and directors, Woody Allen, was not such a huge fan of the film. Although he was also an actor, he didn’t actually appear in the film. According to Allen: “When I saw it, I was not crazy about it. To this day, I have memories of it as being disappointing to me. I’m not saying it wasn’t beautifully filmed – it was (cinematographer) Gordon Willis, shot in black in white – and the people were good. But the writing was too preachy, too self-righteous.”
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Bill Murray – Garfield
Almost everyone loves Garfield. After all, what’s not to love about a talking cat that loves lasagna? Well unfortunately, after appearing in the film, Bill Murray isn’t a fan. In fact, he claims that he only even agreed to appear in the film by accident. Murry stated: I had a hilarious experience with Garfield. I only read a few pages of it, and I kind of wanted to do a cartoon movie, because I had looked at the screenplay and it said “Joel Cohen” on it. And I wasn’t thinking clearly, but it was spelled Cohen, not Coen. I love the Coen brothers movies. I think that Joel Coen is a wonderful comedic mind. So I didn’t really bother to finish the script, I thought “he’s great, I’ll do it.” However, after arriving to shoot the movie, Murray’s description of the experience leaves little to be desired.
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James Franco – Tristan & Isolde
The 2006 film Tristan & Isolde was based on the medieval legend based on characters of the same name. Although many people expected the film to be epic, it ended up being somewhat of a flop. Even James Franco, who starred in the film, wasn’t happy with how things turned out. According to Franco: “I learned a lot from doing the film Tristan & Isolde. It was a big mistake. I was an overzealous young actor and wanted to make great movies.” However, despite making a mistake, Franco says that the film was a great learning experience early on his career.
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Jamie Lee Curtis – Virus
If you’ve never seen or heard of the 1999 film, Virus, Jamie Lee Curtis would probably be very happy. Curtis, who starred in Virus, was very critical of the film. She has stated: “It’s an unbelievably bad movie; just bad from the bottom.” Yikes!
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Matthew Goode – Leap Year
Many had hoped that the 2010 romantic comedy film, Leap Year, would be a hit – but not actor Matthew Goode. He actually knew it would probably be a flop, but decided to take on the role anyway. In 2010, Goode shared how he really felt about the film, stating “[The location] was the main reason I took it — so that I could come home at the weekends. It wasn’t because of the script, trust me. Do I feel I let myself down? No. Was it a bad job? Yes, it was. But, you know, I had a nice time and I got paid.”
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Sylvester Stallone – Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot
Best-known for his role as the title character in the Rocky films, Sylvester Stallone will go down in history as a legend. However, he has had a few missteps along the way, including the 1992 film, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Almost everyone hated the film, including Stallone, who stated “I made some truly awful movies. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot was the worst. 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.”
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Alec Guinness – Star Wars
Star Wars is one of the most popular film franchises of all times. However, despite the films’ success, everyone doesn’t share the same opinion, including one of the films original stars, Alec Guinness aka Obi-Wan Kenobi. In 1975 while shooting the film, Guinness stated: “Can’t say I’m enjoying the film. … new rubbish dialogue reaches me every other day on wadges of pink paper—and none of it makes my character clear or even bearable.”
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Charlize Theron – Reindeer Games
Reindeer Games was one of those movies that just never really stood a chance, and no one knows that better than Charlize Theron. During an interview, Theron stated: “That was a bad, bad, bad movie. But I got to work with John Frankenheimer. I wasn’t lying to myself–that’s why I did it.” Hey, at least she knew what she was getting herself into.
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Ben Affleck – Gigli and Daredevil
2003 just wasn’t a good year for Ben Affleck. The film, Gigli, was almost a career-ender for stars Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. At the time of the film, Affleck and Lopez were a couple – and they were probably hoping that their real life chemistry would translate on-screen. The 2003 film, Daredevil also failed to live up to expectations. Affleck has since spoken out on both films stating: “Daredevil’ I didn’t [like] at all. Some movies should have worked and didn’t. At a certain point, it’s just up to the movie gods. …People bring up 2003, and I get it. Jennifer Lopez, and ‘Gigli,’ and all this…just kind of blew up.”
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Hugh Grant – Nine Months
Hugh Grant has had some pretty big hits over the years, but unfortunately, even the most talented stars can’t be successful all of the time. Although Hugh Grant’s 1995 film, Nine Months, wasn’t a huge success, he has since admitted to regretting the film, but not for the reason you may think. Grant says that he regrets the film because he was unaware of certain information pertaining to the owner of Fox studios, Rupert Murdoch, who was involved in a phone hacking scandal in 2011.
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Shia LaBeouf – Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Sequels are tough to pull off, and most actors learn this the hard way. Shia LaBeouf learned this in 2009 after starring in the second installment in the Transformers franchise. According to LaBeouf: “When I saw the second movie, I wasn’t impressed with what we did … We got lost. We tried to get bigger. “Mike [Bay] went so big that it became too big, and I think you lost the anchor of the movie. … You lost a bit of the relationships. Unless you have those relationships, then the movie doesn’t matter. Then it’s just a bunch of robots fighting each other.”
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Colin Farrell – Miami Vice
Turning a classic TV series into a film comes with a lot of challenges, and unfortunately, what may have been a hit on the small screen doesn’t always find success on the big screen. The film Miami Vice was a prime example of this. Although the TV series was a big hit during the 80s, the film just didn’t seem to connect as well with viewers. Colin Farrell, who starred in the film alongside Jamie Foxx, has stated: “Miami Vice? I didn’t like it so much…I understood that we were trying to paint a relationship with Tubbs and Crockett that was so grounded and familiar that there was no need for them to incessantly talk to each other – or look at each other – over two and a half hours.”
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Marlon Brando – The Freshman
Marlon Brando AKA The Godfather, has gone down in history as one of the most talented and memorable actors of his generation. However, even with a career full of noteworthy films, Brando wasn’t always pleased with his work. Although the 1990 film, The Freshman, received a lot of positive feedback, Brando did not feel confident that it would do well. Before The Freshman was released, Brando actually said that he believed it would flop and referred to the film as “lousy.”
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Michelle Pfeiffer – Grease 2
Yeah, sequels are tough, but especially when they don’t include any of the most popular original cast members – which is exactly what happened with Grease 2. Although Michelle Pfeiffer went on to have a successful career after the film, things could have easily gone the other way. Pfeiffer has since expressed her opinion on the film, stating: “I hated that film with a vengeance and could not believe how bad it was. At the time I was young and didn’t know any better.”
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Jamie Foxx – Stealth
Jamie Foxx has been fortunate to find a career as a comedian, an actor, and a singer. So of course, with so much success it’s on natural that he’s also had a few failures. Foxx’s 2005 film, Stealth, became one of those failures. Foxx has since admitted that he knew the film was bad, but before its release he had to promote it.
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Daniel Radcliffe – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Daniel Radcliffe may be the star of one of the most popular film franchises ever, but he also knows when he hasn’t done his best. According to Radcliffe: “…it’s hard to watch a film like Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Because I’m just not very good in it. I hate it. My acting is very one-note and I can see I got complacent and what I was trying to do just didn’t come across. My best film is the fifth one because I can see a progression.”
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Mark Wahlberg – The Happening
Mark Wahlberg has no problem admitting that the 2008 film, The Happening was downright horrible. In 2010, Wahlberg shared some very choice words about the film, making it clear that he’s aware of the flop.
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Katherine Heigl – Knocked Up
The 2007 film, Knocked Up, was a hit. Everyone seemed to love it except one of the film’s stars, Katherine Heigl who surprised fans when she made some pretty interesting comments about the film. According to Heigl, the film was “a little sexist. It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys. … I had a hard time with it, on some days.”
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George Clooney – Batman & Robin
George Clooney’s role as Batman is one of the most well-known flops in recent film history. Clooney has stated that the film was “a waste of money,” and might have killed the franchise” Although Clooney has gotten a lot of flack about the film, he’s maintained a great sense of humor about the whole situation.
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Kate Winslet – Titanic
If you thought everyone loved Titanic, think again. Kate Winslet, the film’s leading lady, gained mainstream success because of the film, but has since shared that she’s not pleased with her performance. According to Winslet: “Every single scene, I’m like ‘Really, really? You did it like that? Oh my God. Even my American accent, I can’t listen to it. It’s awful. Hopefully it’s so much better now. It sounds terribly self indulgent but actors do tend to be very self-critical. I have a hard time watching any of my performances, but watching Titanic I was just like, ‘Oh God, I want to do that again.’”