Hollywood is hardly running short on talent. All over the world, aspiring actors and actresses have their courses set on La La Land, trying their hand at whatever small-time gigs might help elevate them into the spotlight. And every day, success and failure continues to be the bread and butter of the entertainment industry.
In fact, it’s such a notoriously soul-sucking industry at times that the most deserving talents will often fail, while men and women whose talent leaves much to be desired find success without nearly the same level of effort. It’s unfair, but such is the frustration of Tinseltown.
Most of the success that arguably undeserving actresses come by happens on account of one unquestionable fact (whether you think it’s fair admitting to or not): their beauty. Though not exactly the most politically correct angle, it’s the truth all the same. So, if you want to see for yourself how strongly fame relies on looks, keep reading to check out 15 Gorgeous Actresses Who Can’t Act At All.
15. Dakota Johnson
Fame may be hereditary for some people, but talent is a different story. For proof, look no further than Dakota Johnson. Her parents are Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson — two connections that hardly made the climb into the Hollywood limelight difficult — but open doors and natural talent are two very different things. Which Johnson has proved in spades ever since her cinematic debut in 50 Shades of Grey.
Though she is by no means an untalented train wreck, she leaves much to be desired. Her performances are often vague and vacant, and it’s hard to root for someone who got to where they are with little more than strong family connections.
14. Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba had her run in Hollywood. For a while — like so many other fresh ingénues in the industry — she was in demand. From action blockbusters like The Fantastic Four to romantic comedies like Good Luck Chuck, Alba was the go-to girl. However, once audiences and studios alike came around to the fact that there was little to her talents beneath her superficial qualities, the demand dwindled. Before long, Alba suffered the wrath of obsoleteness.
It’s not as though many of her roles ever really called for a serious amount of depth, but an audience can only sit through so many mediocre performances before they have to check out. Which is exactly what they did — proving that people want more to their characters than something to look at.
13. Tara Reid
When Tara Reid made her moderate claim to fame in American Pie, she did a passable job. The movie was hardly resting on her shoulders, so it didn’t really matter whether she was the next Meryl Streep or not. She had to play a teenager. Audiences weren’t really expecting much.
That said, every role that’s followed has proved that Reid may have fared more successful in another career entirely. These days, she’s making a living off the Sharknado series (to each their own), and that should pretty much speak for itself. She’s capitalizing on a made-for-TV film series that goes out of its way to hire mediocre actors. And while it’s not fair to tear someone down on account of their talents (or lack thereof), nobody forced her into the role. She’s battled flying sharks in four films (and counting) out of her own free will.
12. Miley Cyrus
Even when she’s playing two characters in one (as she did on Disney’s Hannah Montana), Miley Cyrus still can’t seem to pull off a solid performance. Even the characters that she’s been trying to perfect in her musical career aren’t convincing. One minute she’s a social justice stoner, and the next, she’s your classic American girl next door. But nobody’s buying it, and the reason why is obvious: Miley Cyrus can’t act.
Though she may have herself convinced, Cyrus is really little more than a product of Disney, and exactly who they wanted her to be: just another branded character to make them money.
11. Hilary Duff
When Hilary Duff was playing Lizzie McGuire, she was just your average teenager. And in the context of any other kid-centric TV series, she did a fine job. However, as Duff’s career grew, her inability to really hold her own in a performance started becoming more and more obvious.
Now, it’s unfair to attack an actor’s talents when they started their career at such a young age, but the truth isn’t always an easy pill to swallow. Duff started out as the “cute kid” within the Disney empire, but as she grew into a woman, she became a bona fide beauty. Unfortunately, that maturity had little effect on her acting talents, and these days, her fans support her out of nostalgia more than anything else.
10. Jenny McCarthy
To be an MTV emcee in the ’90s, certain talents were required. You had to be loud, you had to be energetic, and you had to beautiful. Or, in other words, you had to be Jenny McCarthy.
She was very much a product of MTV in the ’90s, and at the time, it worked. But when she started branching off into other roles — roles that didn’t require her to play herself — things got messy. It started to become more and more obvious that, while McCarthy may have made a solid host, the same couldn’t be said for her acting. Even her most notable starring roles (Santa Baby, Dirty Love) came in movies that you’ve likely never even seen, which should speak for itself.
9. Ashley Tisdale
Back when it was released, High School Musical was a hit. But it was a hit among children. Give them a colorful cast of characters, song-and-dance numbers, and young love, and the job is done. Zac Efron may have crafted a solid acting career after retiring his on-screen jersey, but the same can’t really be said for the rest of High School Musical‘s cast. Especially for Ashley Tisdale.
Though she may have had a sizable career in acting, that’s not to say it’s a considerably good one. It may not seem fair to accuse someone of only getting work because of their looks, but that’s the entertainment industry for you. And at the end of the day, making a living is making a living, and if her niche is in mediocre made-for-TV movies and mind-numbing shows like Young & Hungry, then so be it – all the power to her.
8. Katherine Heigl
It all started with Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up.
After starring in the stoner-pregnancy comedy back in 2007, Katherine Heigl had taken some issue with the way her role was written. Though plenty would disagree with her opinion, she proceeded to bash her role in Grey’s Anatomy, as well, which made her two-for-two in attacking roles that elevated her fame. This is when audiences started to change their perspective on the actress. This is when the word “diva” started to give people a bad taste in their mouths.
In fact, this is also when people started to notice how Heigl wasn’t quite as talented as they may have originally believed — a fact that might have been overlooked had she not been quite as malicious towards an industry that had thrust her into the mainstream.
7. Jennifer Love Hewitt
In a bygone era that is the ’90s, Jennifer Love Hewitt couldn’t have fit in more perfectly. Though not necessarily a time dedicated to mediocre acting, Hewitt’s youth and beauty certainly added to her charm. This is exactly why she’s remembered fondly for shows like Party of Five and movies like I Know What You Did Last Summer. It’s the nostalgia effect.
However, wistfulness aside, the brutal truth is that Hewitt simply isn’t as great an actor as her diehard IKWYDLS fans would like to believe. Though she’s definitely not a sight for sore eyes, Hewitt’s current career is proof that her acting talents are unfortunately limited. And for anyone who hasn’t entirely come around to the fact that she isn’t quite as talented an actress as they’ve always believed, we’ll revisit one of her more classic scenes by screaming into the air and asking, “What are you waiting for?!”
6. Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez has this unique career split pretty evenly down the middle. On one hand, she’s rocking a solid career in the musical arts, even going so far as to judge other musicians on shows like American Idol and World of Dance. On the other hand, she’s continuing to do her best convincing audiences that she can act.
One of these career paths has come more naturally to her than the other.
Her performances in Shades of Blue, The Boy Next Door, and The Back-Up Plan (just to name a few) prove that she’s at least trying her best, but valiant attempts can only take someone so far. Especially when that someone is trying to make claim to acting royalty. Jennifer Lopez may be putting in the effort, but “effort” doesn’t exactly translate into a convincing performance on screen — no matter how sympathetic it may be.
5. Mary Kate/Ashley Olsen
Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen were thrust into stardom without any say in the matter. The true stars of Full House, the Olsen Twins were far too young to understand the weight of fame, so by the time they even got the chance to really grow into themselves as young women — let alone young actresses — they were already cemented into a sort of B-level Hollywood royalty. So, with that said, it’s not really fair to judge their acting chops.
But for the sake of this article, in all of its casual levity, there’s really no harm in pointing out the obvious: the Olsen Twins may have grown into two beautiful women, but their level of acting has remained to be sorely lacking in the talent department. Their apparent retirement is…for the best.
4. Megan Fox
If Megan Fox wasn’t notorious for being difficult to work with, then maybe her noticeable lack of acting talent would get a pass. Alas, that isn’t the case, so… cue the criticism.
Bolstered by the success of Transformers, Fox took a fairly easy road towards fame. In a movie dedicated to eye candy, Fox was one of the biggest contributing elements, so her fanbase pretty much exploded overnight. However, that’s not to say her actual acting had anything to do with her success. Michael Bay is known for highlighting the female stars in his movies, whether or not they can necessarily act, and he does this because — for the most part, at least — he knows his audience.
Fox has tried to elevate her career beyond “throwaway Michael Bay hottie,” but has hit some considerable hurdles along the way. In part because of the aforementioned difficulty, but also due to the fact that acting just isn’t the calling she might’ve thought/hoped it was.
3. Lindsay Lohan
Once upon a time, Lindsay Lohan was the ideal “girl next door.” She was young, innocent, and beautiful, and she genuinely seemed like a breath of fresh air in a sea of blonde bombshells. These are stereotypical trappings, sure, but for a short period, Lohan was the sort of “it” girl that most audiences were happy to rally behind.
But then came the downfall. Once fame started to take precedence over actual talent, it became more than a little obvious that Lohan wasn’t the next big thing that audiences and studios alike had her pegged as. In fact, going back to the roles that made her famous (The Parent Trap, Mean Girls), this was all too obvious.
For further proof of her unmistakeable lack of talent, feel free to check out her more recent work in flicks like I Know Who Killed Me, Georgia Rule, and Liz and Dick. You know, if you dare.
2. Selena Gomez
It’s not really fair to throw shade at a made-for-TV movie actress’ talent. They exist in a very niche market, and the sort of acting that wins awards isn’t the sort of acting that certain audiences are looking for — especially when that audience is mostly made up of children.
However, Selena Gomez didn’t stick to her roots for long. Once fame got the better of her, she targeted roles that required a significantly different style of performance; the kind of acting that most former child stars can’t quite manage to pull off.
In short, it was only a matter of time before this career shift happened, which means it was only a matter of time before she’d have to face the unfortunate realization that acting may not be the strongest long term goal after all.
1. Elizabeth Berkley
Most great actors have their shining moment on screen. It’s the moment that audiences always remember; the moment that proves the depth of their abilities in transforming words in a script into something alive and tangible. For Elizabeth Berkley, that moment is from Saved by the Bell, during the infamous “I’m so excited” scene.
OK, so maybe she’s not a great actor, but she’s definitely proven herself to be memorable. Which is really more than most actors can say for themselves.
Berkley is beautiful, but her inability to act naturally on screen is hardly a secret. In fact, when she shows up in a supporting role in The First Wives Club, she’s playing an aspiring actress who just so happens to be horrendously talentless. Was she cast in the role by pure coincidence, or did the Casting Director know exactly what they were doing? It’s anyone’s guess, but the latter definitely seems likely.
Do you think there are some actresses here who don’t belong? Let us know in the comments!
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