Not every film can be an instant classic. In fact, many will struggle to break even. It doesn’t seem to matter how great the script is, or how talented the actors are — some movies just don’t have “it.” These kinds of duds are every actor’s worst nightmare, and many will go to great lengths to ensure that they’re picking the right projects.
But they can’t get it right every time, and once in a while, they’ll end up pouring time and effort into a project that winds up being a total flop. Here are 17 actors who hated their own movies, and were very vocal about it.
17. Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness was an English actor with an incredible resume. He won an Oscar for his role in The Bridge on the River Kwai, had a major role in the classic Dr. Zhivago, and brought several of Charles Dickens’s characters to life on the big screen. But there was one role that he wasn’t at all proud of, and regretted taking on: Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars franchise. He felt that the role required nothing of him, that it didn’t even count as an acting job, and that the only good thing that came from the situation was the money. Harsh talk for such a classic characters!
16. Matthew Goode
Leap Year is pretty good as far as rom-coms go. It stars Amy Adams, has a pretty solid plot, and is set in one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland. Watching it definitely wouldn’t be a waste of time. Matthew Goode, who starred alongside Amy, might disagree with you though. He’s not a fan of the movie, saying that he only took the project because it allowed him to go home on the weekends. After the film was released he really held nothing back, telling a reporter: “Was it a bad job? Yes, it was. But, you know, I had a nice time and I got paid.”
15. Katherine Heigl
After her exit from Grey’s Anatomy, Katherine Heigl had a reputation of being difficult to work with and demanding. After turning down an Emmy nomination for her role on Grey’s because she felt like the show’s material wasn’t deserving, she really found her career in the tanker. So, in an attempt to revive it, she accepted the role of Alison in Knocked Up. Fans loved the movie, and it definitely made her a more bankable film star, but Heigl wasn’t totally thrilled with the result. She had some harsh criticisms for the film, saying that it was sexist, painted females in a really negative light, and that “it was really hard for her to love it.” She did kind of have a point about the sexist thing…
14. Christopher Plummer
The Sound of Music is a classic. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone that had never seen the musical, and most of us probably watched it dozens of times throughout our childhoods. Julie Andrews is literally perfect in it. But the movie’s other major star, Christopher Plummer, doesn’t feel the same way about the iconic film. At all. In fact, he’s been really vocal about how much he hated his role in it, calling it “awful and sentimental and gooey,” and even going so far as to rename in The Sound of Mucus. Time and distance hasn’t changed his tune either when the cast reunited in 2005, Plummer declined to participate.
13. Matt Damon
Matt Damon really made a name for himself as Jason Bourne in the Bourne trilogy. The first two movies were big hits, but the final installment, The Bourne Ultimatum was panned by critics and audiences alike. It was so bad that even Matt regretted his involvement. He went on the record saying, “I don’t blame Tony for taking a boatload of money and handing in what he handed in. It was just unreadable. This is a career ender… It’s terrible. It’s really embarrassing. He was having a go, basically, and he took his money and left.” Ouch! We’d bet that these two will never work together again.
12. Daniel Radcliffe
This one pains us. We love, love, love Harry Potter, and for the most part, all of the actors involved in the films have done nothing but sing their praises. But Harry himself (Daniel Radcliffe) doesn’t always look back on the experience and his work with fondness. He told the Daily Mail that “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.” Thankfully, he doesn’t seem to feel that way about the entire series (or we’d definitely be broken hearted). He has had lots of great things to say about all of the others, and particularly Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in the press.
11. Halle Berry
Sometimes things seem like a good idea in theory, but then in execution, they don’t exactly pan out. Catwoman was one of those things. When the movie premiered in 2004, it got a slew of negative reviews and earned its lead actress the “worst actor” statue at the 25th annual Razzie Awards. When she was collecting her trophy, Halle Berry really let her true feelings about the movie show. Her acceptance speech began, “I want to thank Warner Bros. for casting me in this piece of sh*t, god-awful movie,” and she went on to tear apart her own “really bad” performance. What can we say? She wasn’t wrong.
10. Mark Wahlberg
M. Night Shyamalan is one of those directors people either love or love to hate. Usually, the people who choose to work with him love him. Usually, but not always. Mark Wahlberg is one of those few actors who have worked with Shyamalan and regretted it. Mark starred in the 2008 horror-thriller The Happening as a science teacher who has to run for his life from a freak natural disaster. In an interview several years later, he admitted that The Happening was a “really bad movie” and revealed that the only reason he took the role was because he “wanted to try and play a science teacher.” We’re sure M. Night Shyamalan wasn’t thrilled to hear that!
9. Colin Farrell
Miami Vice, the TV show, has a huge cult following, and has been called one of the top 50 TV shows of all time by many publications. So a movie adaptation of it seemed like it would make perfect sense — why not bring some of that small-screen magic to the big screen? An attempt was made in 2006, and it saw Colin Farrell starring alongside Jamie Foxx as Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs. The movie suffered through all sorts of issues during production, and by the time it was released, the magic of the TV show had definitely been lost. Even Colin Farrell thought so, admitting that he “didn’t like it so much” and that “a good bit of responsibility” for the movie’s lack of success was his own fault.
8. Alec Baldwin
Rock of Ages was a highly successful Broadway play before it was turned into a movie starring Alec Baldwin. Alec plays a 1980s nightclub owner who doesn’t realize he’s gay, and his portrayal of Dennis Dupree was hated by both critics and fans. In typical Baldwin form, Alec didn’t mince his words when asked for his thoughts on the film: “It was a complete disaster. A week in you go, ‘Oh god, what have I done?’” He told the same journalist that he’d only taken the movie because he wanted a chance to work with Tom Cruise and Russell Brand, but that the final result of their combined efforts was still “a horrible movie.”
7. Charlize Theron
Reindeer Games sounds like it’s a cheesy Hallmark Christmas movie, but it’s actually a thriller about an ex-con who assumes his dead cellmate’s identity in order to get with his girlfriend and then finds himself a participant in a casino heist. It had all of the makings of a good action flick: Ben Affleck and Charlize Theron, massive explosions, and plenty of face-off scenes. But in the end, it just didn’t quite come together and was missing that special something that would have made it a success. Obviously, reviewers were harsh on it, but it was the films own stars who had the most brutal reviews. Charlize was quoted as saying, simply, “it was not a good movie.”
6. Shia LaBeouf
After Even Stevens ended, it took Shia LaBeouf a while to find his footing as a respected actor. One major project that helped to establish Shia as a serious leading man was his turn as Sam Witwicky in Transformers. And while he owes a large part of his career to the series, he’s not very proud of the second installment, Transformers: Dark of the Moon. He confessed that the sequel tried to do too much and really ruined the good thing it had going. “I wasn’t impressed with what we did… Mike went so big that it became too big and I think you lose the anchor of the movie… You lost a little bit of the heart.” It sounds like Shia would agree that too much of a good thing is just… too much.
5. Bill Murray
Sometimes even actors who have had really successful and prolific careers make missteps. Take Bill Murray for example. The guy has had a part in some of the most iconic movies of all time, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, and Space Jam, but even he has projects that he regrets. In 2004 he stared as Garfield in Garfield, reportedly because he thought the director Joel Cohen was actually one-half of the Academy Award winning duo the Coen brothers. He quickly realized his mistake, but stayed true to his contract and went through with the film. But that doesn’t mean that he liked it — he’s often talked about how the film is one of the worst he ever made.
4. Sam Worthington
”Release the Kraken!” is the only good moment of 2010’s Clash of the Titans. There was a lot of hype around the movie before it was released, but it ended up being one of those action flicks where all of the good bits are in the trailer. The movie was a total disappointment for most would-be fans, and even for some of the actors. Sam Worthington played Perseus (a demigod who is the son of Zeus) and confessed that he was pretty unimpressed with the film, saying, “I think… we kind of let down some people. I think I can act f*cking better to be honest.”
3. George Clooney
One of George Clooney’s most classic roles was as Batman in Batman & Robin. It’s classic, but maybe not for all of the right reasons. The 1997 movie was a disaster for most of the superhero’s most devoted fans, who often identify it as the worst adaptation of the caped crusader. George has never denied how bad the film was. He’s gone so far as to say, “I always apologize for Batman & Robin. Let me just say that I’d actually thought I’d actually destroyed the franchise…” He defended his decision to try the role, saying that he thought it could be a really good move for his career, but that in the end “it wasn’t.” We all have regrets.
2. Robert Pattinson
Twilight definitely had it’s moment. At one point in time, every tween and teen girl had read the books, attended midnight premieres of the movies, and even dabbled in the copious amounts of fan fiction that exists based on the series. But once the moment was over, it was over. These days Twilightis regarded as an awful example of storytelling and the movies have been relegated to the “cheesiest” list. Even stars that owe their entire careers to the movies (hey, Robert Pattinson) don’t have anything good to say about them. He once said that Twilight “seems like a book that wasn’t supposed to be published” and that the entire series “doesn’t make any sense.” It seems safe to say he definitely hated his role.
1. Channing Tatum
Channing Tatum has had some gems in his career (She’s the Man was an instant teen classic) and some real bombs (like G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra). Channing went on Howard Stern’s radio show to talk about that bomb of a film and admitted that he totally hated it. “I’ll be honest. I f*cking hate that movie. I was pushed into doing it.” Oof! We’re not really sure why he went on to do another G.I. Joe movie, but thankfully for him the first one is often forgotten about, buried under other projects like Magic Mike and 21 Jump Street.