Sometimes it just takes one film to launch or relaunch someone’s career. But on some other days, it literally takes just one movie or one role in a show to ruin your days. It sometimes doesn’t even matter if your movie or show did well.
1. Topher Grace – Spider-Man 3
Grace was still shaking off the success of That 70’s Show when he landed the role of Venom for the final movie of the Spider-Man trilogy. Venom is a widely popular Spider-Man villain and should have worked but the lack of a good story and too many character arcs ruined the film and people really hated Topher Grace’s portrayal of the anti-hero. It definitely pushed his career back a few years.
2. Hayden Christensen – Star Wars Episodes II & III
Being cast as Darth Vader should have been the best thing to have happened to Christensen’s career. And it sort of was, while it lasted. The movies made a ton of money but were universally hated. Christensen’s portrayal of Anakin Skywalker truly pissed off the nerds. And the actor hasn’t been the same ever since.
3. Taylor Lautner – Abduction
You would think Twilight would have done it but despite everything, it set him on a path to stardom. And while his co-stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart went to show their acting chops in great movies, Lautner was left behind. Still, the Twilight stardom led to him acting in this action-adventure film, which tanked badly at the box office and took his career with it.
4. Terrence Howard – Iron Man
Iron Man kickstarted the MCU and refuelled Robert Downey Jr.’s career but it did the exact opposite for actor Terrence Howard. After being offered far fewer for the 2nd movie of the instalment than his contract stated, the actor was replaced by Don Cheadle. Tensions between him and Jon Favreau did not do his careers any favour and the actor himself has gone on record saying that the film killed his career.
5. Orlando Bloom – Elizabethtown
Bloom became a heartthrob after portraying Legolas in the LoTR trilogy and then as Will Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. Then Elizabethtown happened. The movie and his performance were so dull that they were hated by critics and audiences alike. The failure of this film instantly undermined his rise as an A-Lister.
6. Lindsay Lohan – I Know Who Killed Me
There are a plethora of other reasons why Lindsay Lohan’s career has gone the way it has gone but the failure of this film was definitely the final nail in that coffin. Before this film, she was a Hollywood starlet, on the rise with films like The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, and Mean Girls She had even starred alongside Meryl Streep in A Prairie Home Companion and Jane Fonda in Georgia Rule.
But the failure of this movie to even get the audience going sent a clear message that people were more interested in her personal life and in her films. And so, unfortunately for Lohan, that was it.
7. David Schwimmer – FRIENDS
FRIENDS made him a multi-millionaire but it also made sure that nobody would see him as anything else as Ross Geller. The fame Schwimmer got for the hit show made him wanna crawl under a rock and never act again.
The effect of celebrity … made me want to hide under a baseball cap and not be seen. I realised that after a while I was no longer watching people; I was trying to hide. I was trying to figure out: How do I be an actor in this new world, in this new situation? How do I do my job? That was tricky.
8. Ben Affleck – Gigli
Ben Affleck is a smart man. He is a good writer, director, actor and he’s got two Oscars to his name. So it is quite hard to digest that there was a time between those two Oscars where everyone rightfully thought his career was done for. And Gigli played a huge role in it. The film was so terrible that it made Affleck take a break from film making. He then returned to direct Argo in 2013 and won an Oscar for it. But it was a really close call for a bit there after Gigli.
9. Colin Farrell – Alexander
In 2003, Farrell was in four blockbuster movies which fastened his rise to the top of the film industry. But all that changed when he was cast as the titular character of Alexander in 2004. Audiences just weren’t interested in the film and critics hated the film so much due to its historical liberties that it earned only $155 million compared to its $167 million budget. This tanked Farell’s career for quite a bit. And while he still holds star power after coming back with some great films but it’s unlikely that he’ll ever be able to replicate the level of stardom he had before Alexander.
10. Nicolas Cage – The Wicker Man
Cage is the great mystery of our times. How one actor can achieve such extraordinary highs and such devastating lows in the span of one little career will be written about for years to come. In 2006, Cage teamed up with writer-director Neil LaBute for a remake of 1973 British horror classic The Wicker Man. For a horror movie, the movie still haunts anyone who has watched it. This was the film that made people feel that Cage had finally trespassed that fine line between genius and weird.
To be honest, some of them are actually terrific actors. It’s just sad what one show or movie can do to you.