The A-list is a magical place where actors can enjoy the fruits of their labor, including all the best roles, interviews with high-profile publications, invites to the greatest parties on the planet, and the world at their feet. Once you've made it into this elite club, your bank account will thank you for it.
On the flip side of the coin, actors need to prove themselves worthy of A-list status. They need to show star power and immense pull at the box office.
No matter how beautiful or talented they are, their name on a movie poster needs to fill the seats of a cinema. In this instance, the holy trinity of talent, star power, and money are necessary to unlock the door to this exclusive club.
That said, once you're part of Hollywood's inner circle, it doesn't mean that it's forever. Poor performing movies, controversies, and bad choices can all strip an actor of his/her status.
In some cases, there are actors who experience monumental falls from grace and their careers never recover from it, leaving a spot for the new breed to swoop in and claim their places.
Here are the 8 Actors Who Were Kicked Off The A-List (And 8 Who Should Take Their Spot).
16 Kicked Off: Kevin Spacey
At the beginning of 2017, Oscar and Golden Globe winner Kevin Spacey was on top of the world. He had a catalog of fantastic performances and his tour de force as Frank Underwood on House of Cards was on course to become the stuff of TV legend.
Then, Weinstein-gate broke and Spacey was named and shamed too.
Actor Anthony Rapp lifted the lid on Spacey's alleged inappropriate conduct when he was just 14 years old, prompting others to come forward and tell their stories as well.
Spacey's rep released a statement, stating that he'd seek "evaluation and treatment.”
However, the writing was already on the wall for him. Ridley Scott cut his scenes in All the Money in the World and replaced him with Christopher Plummer. Netflix also removed him from House of Cards, while his publicist and talent agency dropped him as a client.
Spacey's House of Cards co-star Michael Kelly spoke to Variety about the whole ordeal.
"I don't even know how to put it into words because you know one thing for so long and then all of a sudden it's a completely different world you're living in. There's obviously a million emotions that I went through, that I processed during this whole thing. I don't want to talk too much about it because it was heartbreaking in so many ways,” he stated.
15 Replacement: Ron Cephas Jones
Ron Cephas Jones is no rookie in Hollywood. He’s been around since 1994, but he's never quite hit the pinnacle that he deserves. While he's been on the periphery and appeared on some high-profile TV shows, his shot at the A-list hasn't arrived – until now.
His sensational and heart-wrenching performance as William Hill on This is Us earned him all the accolades that he warranted, including an Emmy nomination. Suddenly, the world knew his name, and the coveted part of Shazam the Wizard in Shazam! came his way as a result.
Jones is still a few steps shy of joining the exclusive inner circle, but his recent performances indicate that even bigger things are in his future.
He remains modest, though, and refuses to get ahead of himself too much. Speaking to Deadline, Jones said, "[The This is Us] gig is probably the best I've ever had in film and television, and I'm starting at a very high bar.”
He continued: “So, where do you go from here, as far as television is concerned? I don't know if it gets any better than this. I'm just enjoying it and staying in the now, and trying not to think too far ahead of myself."
14 Kicked Off: T.J. Miller
What happened to T.J. Miller? A few years ago, he experienced a meteoric rise to fame. His success on Silicon Valley and his stand-up gigs secured him major roles in Deadpool, Office Christmas Party, The Emoji Movie, and Ready Player One.
Then, the scandals came knocking at his door.
In December 2016, he was arrested for allegedly beating up an Uber driver after a disagreement about Donald Trump.
The following year, he was hit with two double whammies as his exit from Silicon Valley attracted attention because of his reported behavior on set and an assault scandal from his past surfaced. The final straw, though, seemed to be his arrest in April 2018, which was due to him making a fake bomb threat on a train.
Ryan Reynolds has already confirmed that Miller will not play a part of the forthcoming X-Force movie, so his roles have definitely dried up recently.
Chatting to The Hollywood Reporter, Silicon Valley co-creator Mike Judge was candid in his assessment of Miller.
"There are a lot of different ways you can find out somebody doesn't want to do the show anymore. And it's not fun to work with someone who doesn't want to be there, [especially when] they're one of the main people,” he said.
13 Replacement: John Cena
Gone are the days when wrestlers were only good enough for C-grade action movies and lame TV shows.
Dwayne Johnson has paved the way and shown that there's a spot in Hollywood for talented performers – and we all know that the WWE has some of the wildest characters around.
One superstar who's making the transition from the squared circle to the big screen is John Cena.
While he did well for himself in WWE Studios' various movies, his transition to comedy in Trainwreck, Sisters, and Blockers has shown a different side of him. Maybe Cena wasn't meant to be the next big action star, but a comedian instead?
His performances have been praised and we've seen significantly less of him in the ring in recent years as a result.
As a multiple-time world champion and the number-one guy in the WWE for over a decade, Cena has achieved all there is to achieve in the wrestling business. There's really nowhere else for him to go, and he's in the perfect position to secure a lucrative part-time contract with the company.
The movie business is less grueling in comparison to getting your head kicked in on a weekly basis, and we wouldn't be surprised if Cena reaches the same level of Hollywood stardom as The Rock down the line.
12 Kicked Off: Shia LaBeouf
This one has been a long time coming. It's almost as if Shia LaBeouf has baited Hollywood for the past decade. His behavior gets more and more eccentric and outrageous, and he really does the silliest things for attention.
LaBeouf has fought with co-stars, been arrested several times, and even plagiarized someone else's work. While he has blamed some of his issues on alcoholism, he never seems able to shake off the controversy.
The tipping point for him was in July 2017, when he was arrested for public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, and obstruction in Savannah, Georgia.
Body-cam footage was released of LaBeouf's verbal tirade against the officers, and he was fined $1,000 and given 12 months probation.
In an interview with Dazed, LaBeouf owned up to his behavior.
"I'm mortified by what happened in Georgia. It is such a wild display of arrogance and white privilege that I've really had to come to terms with myself for a while, and I'm still dealing with it,” LaBoeuf stated. “It's a wildly ugly thing that happened and I can't run from it. So I've been leaning into it, trying to figure it out."
We hope that he means what he said, because he's got a long way to go to make amends.
11 Replacement: Garrett Hedlund
Garrett Hedlund has had a start-stop relationship with Hollywood. Just when you think he's about to break out as the latest big star, his movie flops – but not by his fault, mind you.
You only need to look at Tron: Legacy and Pan as two high-profile examples. Both movies had the word "hit" written all over them.
Yet, neither of them struck a chord with the critics or fired up the box office the way the studios envisioned.
Hedlund has also turned down some major parts, which could've radically changed things for him, as he reportedly said no to the roles of Finnick in The Hunger Games and Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey.
Nonetheless, it doesn't appear like Hollywood has given up on him just yet, as he continues to be presented with chances to prove himself again.
A turning point for him could be the upcoming Triple Frontier, which also stars Ben Affleck, Charlie Hunnam, and Oscar Isaac. If successful, it could open the doors for even bigger roles in the future.
One part that does keep being mooted for Hedlund is that of Dick Grayson in the Nightwing movie. He's many fans' pick for the part; however, with news about the production going cold, it doesn't seem like a certainty anymore.
10 Kicked Off: Katherine Heigl
Katherine Heigl's spectacular fall from grace can be attributed to her opening her mouth at the wrong times. Too often in the past has she openly bemoaned the productions that she was working on, becoming public enemy number one as a result.
As we've all learned in our own careers, don't bite the hand that feeds you.
After Heigl criticized Knocked Up as discriminatory against women, director Judd Apatow responded to her in an interview years later, saying "I feel sad that she hasn't learned the lesson of her journey yet. You'd think at some point I'll get a call saying 'Sorry, I was tired…,’ but then the call never comes."
Grey's Anatomy mastermind Shonda Rhimes didn't pull back the punches about Heigl in a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, when she said that she employs a "no a**holes policy" now.
If you've forgotten, Heigl infamously announced that she was withdrawing her name from awards consideration because she hadn't received any material "to warrant an Emmy nomination."
"I don't put up with [expletive] or nasty people. I don't have time for it. There are no Heigls in this situation," Rhimes added.
Speaking about her comments to Vanity Fair, Heigl admitted that she regrets her comments. "I shouldn't have said anything publicly. But at the time, I didn't think anyone would notice."
9 Replacement: Alexandra Breckenridge
Alexandra Breckenridge is becoming one of those actresses whose name you recognize in the credits, but who you don’t always recognize in the flesh.
This isn't a fault of hers, though, as she morphs into her roles and is often unrecognizable from series to series.
While she'd built up a solid career in TV for years, her sultry performance as the young Moira O'Hara in American Horror Story: Murder House was the one that brought her to mainstream attention. As expected, she was recycled for another season of the anthology series, appearing as Kaylee in Coven.
Afterwards, she received a massive gig on The Walking Dead as Rick Grimes' new love interest, Jessie Anderson.
Fans were happy to see Rick find love again after the passing of his wife, Lori. However, the showrunners proved to be ruthless, tearing this relationship apart, as she ended up in the zombies' bellies.
More recently, we've seen her as Kevin Pearson's ex-wife, Sophie, in the dramedy This is Us. It was a nuanced part that really displays Breckenridge's diverse range as an actress.
After such widespread and mainstream appearances, it's only a matter of time before she gets a golden opportunity to star in a major movie. Frankly, we wouldn't put it past her to knock it out of the park.
8 Kicked Off: Bruce Willis
In the early '90s, Bruce Willis was one of the top action stars in the world. You knew that if his name was on something, the crowds would come. His star power, though, began to wane towards the turn of the century.
At the same time, he developed a reputation of being incredibly difficult to work with. Chatting about the experience of working with Willis on Cop Out, director Kevin Smith revealed all to Marc Maron on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast.
"It was difficult. I've never been involved in a situation like that where one component is not in the box at all. It was [expletive] soul crushing," he said.
Sylvester Stallone also didn't hold back on his overall assessment of Willis, when he sub-tweeted him and suggested that he was "greedy and lazy" as well as a "failure."
Additionally, Willis has been openly hostile towards interviewers and has refused to participate at times.
This has led to him being branded a "diva," and no one jumps at the chance to sit down and have a chat with him anymore.
As a consequence of his behavior, the big roles have dried up for Willis. He's now relegated to doing mostly straight-to-DVD movies, as no major production wants a troublemaker on set.
7 Replacement: Scott Adkins
If Scott Adkins had been an actor in the late '80s, there's no doubt that he'd be mentioned in the same breath as Van Damme and Schwarzenegger now. He's a bona-fide action star and his martial arts ability is second to none.
Unfortunately, the action genre isn't as big as it what it used to be, so Adkins has featured in mostly straight-to-DVD or VOD movies. This hasn't stopped him from carving out a niche in these markets, though.
His performances and hard work have caught the eye of Hollywood, and he's appeared in bigger releases, such as The Expendables 2, Doctor Strange, and The Bourne Ultimatum, in supporting roles.
He's certainly not short of work, and fans have long suggested that he's one of the only actors who possesses the natural martial arts skills to portray Batman on the big screen.
In fact, he auditioned for the part in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which ultimately went to Ben Affleck.
Regardless, Adkins has proven that if you put in the work, you'll get noticed.
If he continues on the same trajectory as before, his big-time break will come. Pretty soon, he might become as big an action star as the likes of Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson.
6 Kicked Off: Wesley Snipes
Much like Bruce Willis, Wesley Snipes was one of the most recognizable faces in the '90s. When he secured the role of Blade, it opened him up to the wider comic-book audience too, and he received accolades for his portrayal of the Daywalker in the Blade movies.
However, Snipes' problems started back on the Blade: Trinity set. He reportedly fought with director David S. Goyer every step of the way and became impossible to work with.
According to co-star Patton Oswalt, Snipes "was just [expletive] crazy in a hilarious way. He wouldn’t come out of his trailer, and he would smoke [the devil’s lettuce] all day.” He added that Snipes lost his temper several times on set and even tried to strangle Goyer one day.
Snipes' issues didn't stop there, though, as he was sentenced to three years in prison for willful failure to file federal income tax returns in 2008. He entered prison in 2010 but was released in 2013.
His career didn't exactly improve after his release from prison, either, with his most notable appearance being in The Expendables 3.
That said, he does seem to have mellowed over the years and perhaps there could be a comeback on the cards for him. Will he ever achieve the A-list status again, though?
5 Replacement: Lewis Tan
When Iron Fist was released, it got taken to task for several reasons. One of the chief complaints was that Finn Jones didn't look convincing as a martial artist or Danny Rand.
On the other hand, Lewis Tan, who's in supreme shape and is an expert martial artist, was cast as the throwaway villain Zhou Cheng of one episode.
No one could quite understand why Tan wasn't picked for the titular role instead.
As it turns out, Tan had auditioned for the part of Rand. Speaking to Vulture, he revealed how close he was to getting the gig.
"I read for Danny and they liked me a lot. I read again and again and again, and it was a long process, and it got to the point where they were talking about my availability and my dates,” Tan stated. “That's always a good sign, you know? And then they went with Finn and they had me read for a villain part maybe two weeks later."
Fortunately, Tan's performances haven't gone unnoticed and he secured the coveted part of Shatterstar in Deadpool 2.
With rumors of X-Force in the pipeline, it looks like this might be the start of Tan's love affair with a big cinematic franchise.
4 Kicked Off: Val Kilmer
Val Kilmer is a complicated character. Make no mistake about it, he's a phenomenal actor, but when he's off camera, he seems to rub people up the wrong way. Consequently, his reputation has ensured that many directors avoid casting him in their projects.
He notoriously feuded with The Island of Dr. Moreau co-star Marlon Brando and Heat co-star Tom Sizemore.
Batman Forever director Joel Schumacher also didn't have the best experience with him either, dubbing Kilmer as "childish and impossible."
Last year, in a candid Reddit AMA, Kilmer admitted to his mistakes and provided some context.
"I didn't do enough hand holding and flattering and reassuring to the financiers. I only cared about the acting and that didn't translate to caring about the film or all that money," he said.
Kilmer added that he enjoyed taking risks, which were seen as financially irresponsible by those financing the movies. In retrospect, he sees that it "was foolish" of him.
"I understand that now. And sometimes when you are the head of a project and the lead actor is usually the reason a film is being made, unless it's a superstar director, then it's only fair to make people feel good and happy they are at work. I was often unhappy trying to make pictures better," he explained.
3 Replacement: Ben Barnes
Right now, Ben Barnes stars in two of the hottest shows around— Westworld and The Punisher. It's his performance as Billy Russo in the latter, however, which has really caught the attention of the wider audience.
Interestingly, Barnes' career started out strong with the major role of Prince Caspian in The Chronicles of Narnia movie series and he gradually moved to TV.
This doesn't mean that he can't jump back to the big screen, but considering how TV has almost eclipsed cinema in recent years, some have stated that he made the right choice at the right time.
In fact, Barnes shows how smart he is about the business in most interviews.
As he told DA MAN, "I think trends and momentum can influence certain casting choices, but in general I like to hope – or maybe pretend – that the best man or woman will prevail and get the job. But, there is disappointment and elation whatever level you're at."
When asked about what's next on the agenda, Barnes added, "I don't really see milestones, career-wise. I would love to continue to find interesting projects to devote myself to."
Personally, we hope that the next step is back to the big screen in a big-budget blockbuster. Barnes has the acting chops— he just needs a bit of luck now.
2 Kicked Off: Sharon Stone
Sharon Stone had a meteoric rise to fame. At one stage, she was the most in-demand actress in the business, with an abundance of offers flooding her agent's office.
With fame came insane requests, and Stone became known for diva-like behavior and ridiculous requests. While she was on top of the mountain, she got away with it even if she developed a reputation of being hard to work with.
However, when stinkers like 2004's Catwoman crept into her filmography, suddenly her fame wasn't enough to sustain her anymore.
It also didn't help that Stone made some controversial comments about the 2008 Sichuan earthquake on the red carpet of the 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival.
"I'm not happy about the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans because I don't think anyone should be unkind to anyone else," Stone said. "And then this earthquake and all this stuff happened, and then I thought, is that karma? When you're not nice that the bad things happen to you?"
There was immense backlash for her comments, as she was banned from Chinese movie festivals and Christian Dior pulled all ads featuring her from China.
Since then, Stone's career hasn't recovered, and she's never asserted herself back into the A-list.
1 Replacement: Janet Montgomery
You only need to watch Salem to see the sheer brilliance of Janet Montgomery. The young English actress has achieved a lot in the past decade, starring in the likes of Black Swan, The Space Between Us, Black Mirror, and This is Us.
Yet, it seems like her career yo-yos between highs and lows, without any sustained momentum to elevate her into A-list territory.
Just when you think she's about to break through to the mainstream, she gets pulled back down into another production that does nothing for her profile.
If you look at her filmography, she's been busy for the last 10 years, sharing her time between TV and movies. Still, you can't help but wonder if she couldn't have been busier and accepted more roles in this period. Perhaps she's a bit on the fussy side?
There's no denying her talent, however, so it's only a matter of time before she achieves the necessary momentum to get a few home runs in a row.
At the young age of 32, time is certainly on her side and we should be seeing even more of her in the near future. Hopefully, it'll be in headlining roles. The only question is: when?
Are there any other actors who were kicked off of the A-list? Which other actors should replacement them? Let us know in the comments section!
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