For all the charisma and wit that movie stars showcase onscreen; they’re people, just like us. They carry mistakes, opinions and, most importantly for the sake of this list, regret. Not the everyday stuff, either, like leaving a small tip or forgetting someone’s birthday – more the kind that will follow them for the rest of their documented careers. Such bad decisions have ruined stardom for some, while others have worked long and hard to overcome their embarrassment by forging award-winning resumes or outright bad-mouthing the final product.
Even with this self-inflicted distance, however, affiliations continue to live on through Wikipedia pages and dollar DVD bins across the globe. Critical bashing or performance shortcomings are typically the cause, though it’s impossible to identify which ones an actor will hate over the infinite others. Case in point: Christopher Plummer’s dislike of The Sound of Music (1965), which had the Oscar winner dubbing it “The Sound of Mucus” through decades of miffed interviews. Luckily, for the sanity of the free world, he’s lightened up in recent years and joined the rest of society’s glowering praise. As for those who’ve remained steadfast in their regret, that’s who this list is all about.
Here are Screen Rant’s 15 Actors Who Hate Their Own Movies.
15. George Clooney – Batman & Robin (1997)
At this point in time, berating Batman & Robin has become a fanboy rite of passage. It’s so laughably bad and riddled with crater-sized plot holes that director Joel Schumacher has spent the last twenty years apologizing for its very existence. That kind of regret isn’t common in Hollywood, though it’s gone on to inspire the film’s equally guilt-ridden star, George Clooney, as a result. Still new to the whole leading man scene in 1997, the future Academy Award winner dispensed with the niceties by stating: “I think we might have killed the franchise.”
This fear was eventually bailed out in 2005 courtesy of Christian Bale, but the lamented opinion behind it has never left Clooney’s cleft-chinned concern. “It was a difficult movie to be good in,” reflects the part-time producer, a trait that most anyone with the gift of sight could’ve confirmed in his place. At least he’s a good enough sport to get in on the mockery.
14. Bill Murray – Garfield: The Movie (2004)
What a difference a letter makes. Bill Murray took a meeting with Joel Cohen thinking he was the Joel Coen – as in one-half of the duo that made Miller’s Crossing (1990) and Fargo (1996). Instead, in a mix-up worthy of a movie script, Murray took on a project written by the guy who wrote Cheaper by the Dozen (2003). Not exactly a fair tradeoff. Murray has since recounted the bamboozled circumstances that led to his involvement, and none of it has even approached positivity. Garfield: The Movie does view about as fresh as month old kitty litter, so, at least in that regard, he’s spot on.
In fact, listening to the actor’s GQ article provides way more entertainment than the unfunny final product ever will. Quoted as asking “who the hell cut this?” when finally shown an edit, Murray’s dislike of the picture has since been immortalized in Zombieland (2009), where Garfield is name-dropped as the sole regret of a dying self-parody. As for why Bill came back for A Tale of Two Kitties (2006), we might never know the answer.
13. Michelle Pfeiffer – Grease 2 (1982)
When one of the worst sequels of all time can still be considered a breakout role, you know you’re doing something right. Such is the case for Michelle Pfeiffer, who swivelled her way into easily being the best part behind god awful sequel Grease 2. As the love interest opposite disappearing act Maxwell Caulfield, her hard-biting delivery added character depth to a flat surface – eventually snagging herself a role in Brian De Palma’s Scarface the following year. Still, Pfeiffer doesn’t have many kind words for the part of Stephanie Zinone, claiming she was “young and didn’t know any better” at the time of the film’s release.
Three decades and three Academy Award nominations later, the actress has yet to wash the terrible taste of Grease 2 from her palette. “I hated the film with a vengeance and could not believe how bad it was,” says Pfeiffer. Doesn’t look like anyone is going to contradict that opinion.
12. Shia LaBeouf – Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Even with all it’s flaws, the first Transformers (2007) was a bright blockbuster backed by Shia LaBeouf’s unique charisma. Through shaky protagonist Sam Witwicky, the former Disney star hit the big time, embodying what many still consider to be his signature role. Taking this into account, LaBeouf must’ve been staggeringly disappointed with Revenge of the Fallen, the 2009 sequel that compelled the star to admit his franchise’s own creative shortcomings. In a few short words, he “wasn’t impressed at all with what we did,” a sentiment echoed by fans and critics alike.
LaBeouf would then go on to pinpoint what made Fallen such a disaster, by insisting “there was no heart in it,” and that it was “just a bunch of fighting robots” filling the screen with hollow CGI – all statements that rang very true. He clearly understood fan perspective, but that didn’t stop the young actor from reprising his role in Dark Side of the Moon (2011). At the end of the day, it seems money (and Michael Bay) still talks.
11. Charlize Theron – Reindeer Games (2000)
Poor John Frankenheimer. The guy made classics like The Manchurian Candidate (1962) and Seconds (1966), so going out on a note as sour as Reindeer Games just seems unfair. The sentiment was clearly shared by the film’s star, Charlize Theron, who achieves the opposite of excellence in one of her worst performances. The only sense of suspense conjured up was by the dueling mediocrity of both her and Ben Affleck’s lackluster love interest – but we’ll save him for later in the list.
As for Theron, the former model’s only reason for agreeing to the film was because she “loved John Frankenheimer,” and relished an opportunity to work with him. Regardless, the love hasn’t spilled over into a shred of fondness for this box-office dud. Theron has proven ruthless towards both her acting and the project as a whole, laying down the law on several occasions with a simple “Reindeer Games is not a good movie.” No further questions, Furiosa.
10. Ben Affleck – Daredevil (2003)
When it comes to Ben Affleck embarrassments, it’s a toss-up between this and the laughably bad Gigli of the same year. But, in honor of the recently released Batman v Superman, it seems only right to focus on his other critically curb-stopped superhero movie. Directed by Mark Steven Johnson with a supporting cast of Jennifer Garner and Colin Farrell, Daredevil seemed to have all the quintessential elements for success. What wasn’t accounted for, however, was how stodgy and awkward the film would turn out; leaving fans of the Marvel hero calling for Affleck’s be-speckled head.
A second life as an Academy Award winning director has redeemed Affleck in the public eye, but his intolerance for the film remains a professionally acknowledged misfire. “Daredevil I didn’t like at all,” the actor has since said, “some movies should have worked and didn’t.” Fans have eased off with the success of the current Netflix show, yet a recent spotting of Sad Affleck has brought back many an unpleasant memory – maybe Ben and superheroes just don’t mix.
9. Jessica Alba – Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
No one here is saying Jessica Alba’s a stellar actress, but even serviceable performers can regret one of their works like a drunken escapade. In the case of Alba, her moment of regret arrived through Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer – a sequel that single-handedly caused the actress to stop caring about the quality of her work (yikes). In her defence, it’s easy to see why, as the film takes all the crap stuffed into the first one and expands them to unbearable clusters of corniness. The pace, acting, and visual effects all take a back seat to a critical beat down of otherworldly proportions.
Making matters worse, director Tim Story reportedly told Alba that they’d simply CGI tears in because her crying “wasn’t pretty enough.” This proved the last straw for the actress, who responded in fine form with a “f-ck it.” Hopefully her morale has rebounded by now, or animators might have to CGI that in too.
8. Channing Tatum – G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)
Yes, The Rise of Cobra is a subpar action movie. It’s overloaded with poor CGI, pointless characters, and a plethora of halting dialogue. Critics, per usual, laid this thing to rest, while it made a pretty penny at the box office nonetheless. As it turns out, the least supportive G.I. Joe fan was its lead performer, a pre-stardom Channing Tatum, who wanted nothing to do with the film after it’s release. Choosing an interview on Howard Stern’s radio show to make his views known, the former dancer laid into Cobra with both fists by boldly proclaiming: “I’ll be honest. I f**king hate that movie.”
The uppercuts didn’t stop there, as Tatum went on to express how he “was pushed into doing it,” and that “the script wasn’t any good,” moving into production, resulting in a project that was sloppily put together and pressed out for mass consumption. It was no conflict of schedules that kept Tatum from a larger part in 2013 sequel Retaliation. Actually, with hatred like that, it was a miracle he even showed up at all.
7. Halle Berry – Catwoman (2004)
Both a missed opportunity and a terrible film, Catwoman was originally conceived by Tim Burton in 1993; with Michelle Pfeiffer set to reprise her role from Batman Returns (1992). Once Burton was booted off the backlot, however, the film was shelved for a decade of gross gestation. The result: this 2004 stinker with a slew of Golden Raspberry nominations, wasn’t worth its weight in black leather. Halle Berry’s nine lives were slain by the critics that summer, opening up the floodgates for guys like Bill Muller to go as far as to suggest she be penalized by returning her 2001 Oscar.
To Berry’s credit, she completely owned the criticism. Attending the Raspberries to accept her scathing award, the actress played along by thanking Warner Bros. for casting her in “this piece of sh*t, god awful movie.” She also added, “to give a really bad performance like mine, you need to have really bad actors.” That’s only way to silence the haters – be your own worst critic.
6. Robert Pattinson – Twilight (2008)
Forever associated with the twinkly vampire that made him a star, Robert Pattinson seemed pretty relieved when the Twilight saga came to a close in 2012. The films, huge moneymakers in their own critically scorned right, never made much sense to the British actor; who had no issues outright mocking the teenage romance. “When I read it, it seems like a book that wasn’t supposed to be published,” he once said of Stephanie Meyer’s source material, going a step further in affirming to all the haters that the story “doesn’t make any sense.”
Twi-hards have derided Pattinson for his caustic attitude towards the character of Edward, but he’s the one who got the last laugh during an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live. When asked if the ending of the franchise was bittersweet, the actor shrugged and motioned to the audience while quipping “for them.” It’s no wonder Pattinson went out and worked with a guy like David Cronenberg afterward – he had to wash all that glitter off somehow.
5. Katherine Heigl – Knocked Up (2007)
Who doesn’t love Knocked Up? The answer, as it turns out, is the film’s female star Katherine Heigl. Despite a killer supporting cast and a heart-warming slacker-turned-supporter message, the actress voiced many a fault with her portrayal in a Vanity Fair interview. “Knocked Up is a little sexist,” Heigl would explain, “it paints women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys.” The complaints wouldn’t stop there, either, as she would go on to highlight her character’s “b**chy” nature and the repercussions it had on female representation in film.
While there’s definite merit to Heigl’s pointed remarks, the fact that Knocked Up has become a bona-fide classic of sorts leaves many confused by the actress’ outlook. As one of the few cases in which a film is scorned by it’s star and adored by the public, fans couldn’t be less in agreement with Heigl when she claimed “It was hard for [her] to love the movie.”
4. Daniel Craig – Spectre (2015)
Counting Casino Royale (2006) and Skyfall (2013), Daniel Craig has been unanimously praised as the best James Bond since Sean Connery. Ironically, the similarities run deeper than their physique and penchant for shaken martinis – they also hold high disdain for the character that made them famous. Connery, never one to hide annoyance behind his Scottish brogue, was quoted as saying he’d “like to kill” 007, a sentiment echoed when Craig said he’d “rather slit his wrists than play James Bond again.”
The venomous commentary didn’t stop there for the British actor, who also labeled the super spy a “misogynist” and claimed he had nothing to teach society regarding morality or heroism. The interview in question, conducted by The Red Bulletin to promote 2015’s Spectre, is a sordid display of an actor hating the hell out of his onscreen alter ego. Kudos to Craig for at least approaching the whole “promotion” cycle in unique fashion.
3. Josh Brolin – Jonah Hex (2010)
“Oh, Jonah Hex, hated it. Hated it.” That’s how Josh Brolin feels about this atrociously rushed misfire. Initially set to have Crank (2006) duo Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor write and direct, Jonah Hex ended up swapping hands and storylines so often that the end product couldn’t help but be a jumbled mess of bits and pieces – to the point where 66 pages were reshot in 12 days by Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence. Brolin, starring as the titular DC hero, knew only too well this box office bomb would be a personal low.
“The experience of making it – that would have been a better movie based on what we did,” the actor commented on the Nerdist podcast, “you’re trying to save their [the studio’s] money, and it becomes a financial thing” – an attempt that definitely went south on Warner Bros, who made back $10 million on a $40 million budget. No good, no good at all. Brolin is having much better luck with Marvel these days, appearing as Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and Age of Ultron (2015).
2. Mark Wahlberg – The Happening (2008)
The Happening sucked. It basically embodied every great idea M. Night Shyamalan had in his first three (and a half) films and removed any and all interest or coherence. So it makes perfect sense why Mark Wahlberg is bummed with his lead performance. Coming off of another crappy ‘08 role, Max Payne, Wahlberg’s generic do-gooder is the actor at his least compelling, and he received the Golden Raspberry nomination to prove it (one of four for the film).
When asked what he thought of the film in recent years, the former rapper’s response was freaking fantastic: “The Happening. F**k it. It is what it is. F**king trees, man. You can’t blame me for not wanting to try to play a science teacher. At least I wasn’t playing a cop or a crook.” Aside from the odd tangents towards the latter half, his unhinged reaction perfectly captures the frustration viewers felt worldwide. Too bad some of that passion didn’t rub off on the film.
1. Alec Guinness – Star Wars (1977)
The mack daddy of self-loathing parts, Sir Alec Guinness’ iconic turn as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars is the stuff of pop culture legend. The British thespian had already won an Oscar and hosted many a memorable role for the better part of four decades, so it’s really no surprise that he found George Lucas’ space dialogue “rubbish” while noting “none of [it] makes my character clear or even bearable.” Quite literally, Guinness was in it for the money, and would grow to loath Kenobi as his signature role.
The fact that the actor negotiated a contract that netted him millions until his death in 2000 did little to quell this annoyance. One story goes that a fan approached Guinness for an autograph and informed him that he had seen Star Wars over a hundred times. Horrified at such a feat, the performer signed under one strict rule: that he never see the film again. Obi-Wan clearly wasn’t feeling all that “force” jazz like we thought he was.