Once an actor finishes work on a movie, they essentially become salespeople. They do press tours, conventions, and premieres, all the while telling anyone who will listen how amazing their film is. Sometimes if a film is successful enough, they may continue to receive questions about it even years after. Generally, actors only have good things to say about their films. They have after all studied their craft, researched their characters and put their heart and soul into their performances.
Sometimes though, for whatever reason, actors grow to dislike their own films. They are human after all, and therefore have opinions just like everyone else. While for the most part they will dismiss critics, there is the rare occasion where they are forced to agree with them.
Other times, they’ll take a film only because a particular name is attached to it, regardless of what the script looks like. In these instances, even if successful names are working on the project, the film can turn out to not be as good they had hoped.
These are the cases where, in rare moments of honesty, actors badmouth their own films. Here is a list of 20 Stars Who Trash Talked Their Own Movies.
20. Jeremy Irons – Batman V Superman
Some people swear by Zack Snyder’s films, others wish he’d stop making them. Arguably, none of his films were more divisive than his superhero brawl movie Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. The film starred, among other big names, Jeremy Irons as Bruce Wayne’s longtime employee and friend Alfred.
Irons has never been one to hide his feelings. Just after the release of the film, the Oscar-winner spoke with the Daily Mail. In that interview, he said that the criticism the film received was wholly deserved and that the film was “sort of overstuffed” and “very muddled.”
19. Sir Alec Guinness – Star Wars
That’s right, Obi-Wan Kenobi himself was not a fan of the first Star Wars film. At the time, nobody though that the film would be a success. It was only because Guinness liked George Lucas’ work on American Graffiti that he even read the script to begin with.
Obviously the film went on to be one of the biggest films of all time, due in no small part to Guinness’ involvement. Guinness, a stage actor, has stated in multiple interviews that he thought the dialogue was silly.
In a series of letters to a friend he wrote that the film was “fairy tale” rubbish. In the next letter, he couldn’t even remember poor Harrison Ford’s name. He calls him Tennyson and Ellison, although he does also state that Ford was probably intelligent and amusing.
18. Shia Labeouf – Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Shia LaBeouf once appeared to be on the blockbuster fast track. Starting as a Disney Channel darling and then blowing up in films like Transformers, the young star was everywhere. Nowadays, he’s far more well known just for being Shia LaBeouf than for anything else.
His controversies have included plagiarism, bizarre performance art, and of course, his very public feud with Steven Spielberg. He’s been vocal about not liking any of the films he made with the pop culture giant, but the fourth Indiana Jones film has received much of the shade.
He’s criticized himself in the film, as well as the company Spielberg has become and the way film studios operate. As of this writing, his exclusion from the next Indiana Jones film has been confirmed.
17. Halle Berry – Catwoman
Sometimes a film comes along that is so bad that even those involved have to laugh at it. The debate still rages about whether Catwoman was meant to be a superhero film or a soft-core bondage flick.
While two years prior she had won an Oscar for her performance in Monster Ball, 2004 brought Halle Berry a different sort of recognition. That year, Catwoman was nominated for no less than seven Golden Raspberry awards. It won four of them.
While stars don’t often show up to actually accept their Razzie wins, Halle Berry took hers with glee. In her speech, she thanked Warner Bros for putting her in such “a piece of s**t, god awful movie.” But as she also said, at least she got to keep the award because her name was etched into it.
16. Mark Wahlberg – The Happening
To Mark Wahlberg’s credit, he had a pretty good reason for starring in The Happening. He was tired of starring in the same type of action film he has often been typecast for. This was an opportunity to play a science teacher, which was outside his usual scope.
Of course, that film was at the beginning of what is now considered to be M. Night Shyamalan’s slump, and it was very poorly received. During a press conference promoting his film The Fighter, Wahlberg made his feelings about the film known.
During an anecdote about him telling fellow actress Amy Adams that she had dodged a bullet by not appearing in the film, he almost didn’t name it. In the end, he couldn’t help himself. He said “I don’t want to tell you what movie… alright ‘The Happening.’ F**k it. It is what it is. F**king trees, man.”
15. Sam Worthington – Clash of the Titans
Though it was a financial hit, critics were not kind to Clash of the Titans. It was nominated for two Golden Raspberry awards and remains a stain on the otherwise impressive resumes of both Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes. But it did make money, so a sequel was inevitable.
Before the sequel was released, the film’s star, Sam Worthington, spoke to Moviefone and largely apologized for the first one. He said it had “kind of let people down.” He also said that he could “f**king act better,” and that all anyone involved with the project wanted to do was improve.
Of course, Wrath of the Titans came and went largely unnoticed in 2013. It was such a certifiable flop that a the third film Revenge of the Titans, which had already been green lit, was almost immediately canceled.
14. Charlize Theron – Reindeer Games
Not every actor’s resume can be perfect. Case in point: Charlize Theron has been nominated or and won so many awards in her young life that they require a separate (and extensive) Wikipedia page to be listed. Yet she can’t erase having appeared in the 2000 box office failure Reindeer Games.
The film was the last to be directed by famed director John Frankenheimer, who was responsible for classics like Birdman of Alcatraz and The Manchurian Candidate.
Theron was very clear on her feelings about the film and why she appeared in it. “That was a bad, bad, bad movie, But even though the movie might suck, I got to work with [director] John Frankenheimer. I wasn’t lying to myself – that’s why I did it.”
13. Bill Murray – Garfield
You could say that Bill Murray got suckered into playing Garfield, but he really had only himself to blame. When he got the script, he initially believed it to have been written by Joel Coen of the Coen brothers. He discovered too late that it had actually be written by Joel Cohen, one of the people responsible for Cheaper by the Dozen.
It was only when he was in the recording studio, drenched in sweat after a full day of trying to fix ten minutes of the movie, that he asked the question “Who wrote this stuff?”
Unfortunately, in his moment of misplaced faith, Murray had signed on to do not just the first film but the sequel as well. Murray was even less kind to Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties which he refers to as “that second miscarriage.”
12. Crispen Glover – Back to the Future
You may or may not have noticed that Crispen Glover did not reprise his role as George McFly in Back to the Future Part II. Instead he was replaced by Jeffrey Weissman. Through the use of a face mold and prosthetics, Weissman’s face was transformed to resemble Glover’s. The reason for this may vary depending on who you ask.
What isn’t up for dispute is the fact that Glover tried to sue Universal Pictures over the move. While he’s obviously held contempt for the studio in the time since, it turns out he’s also not a fan of the first film’s ending.
As he tells it, he “thought it was not a good idea for our characters to have a monetary reward because it basically makes the moral of the film that ‘money equals happiness.'” According to him, these disagreements with the script spawned the unpleasantness that followed.
11. Jude Law – Alfie
On paper, the idea of Jude Law starring in a remake of a Michael Caine film is perfect. Both men are highly respected actors. Both men have been nominated for and won numerous awards, and both have proven themselves capable of tackling a wide selection of genres.
Unfortunately, they also both have stinkers on their resumes. While Michael Caine’s 1966 starring role as Alfie Elkins was highly influential on the entire film industry, Jude Law’s remake was universally panned.
Speaking about the film, he said “When I was approached to work on the new version of Alfie, it seemed like a brilliant idea because the original was so successful. From my point of view, it didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted it to. But part of the reason you embark on a creative journey is to sometimes fall flat.”
10. Colin Farrell – Miami Vice
The challenge of a remake is to stay true to the original material while creating something that is unique enough to stand on its own two feet, while at the same time justifying its need to exist. For Miami Vice, having Michael Mann at the helm seemed like a good sign. After all, Mann was one of the writers and producers of the original series.
While the film was a financial success and was modestly well received by critics, it continues to be a largely forgettable action film. Farrell had this to say about it: “I didn’t like it so much. I understood that we were trying to paint a relationship with Tubbs and Crockett that was so grounded and familiar that there was no need for them to incessantly talk to each other – or look at each other – over two and a half hours.”
9. Michelle Pfeiffer – Grease 2
Many people may not even be aware that Grease had a sequel. While the original is an undeniable classic, the sequel continues to garner a collective “meh” from audiences everywhere. It featured very few of the original cast members, and was basically the same plot.
Even the stars of the film don’t have great things to say about it. Michelle Pfeiffer in particular views it as a black spot on her resume. When asked by Jonathan Ross if she would watch a clip of it, she was visibly disgusted. She has said “I hated that film with a vengeance and could not believe how bad it was.”
8. Ben Affleck – Armageddon
Ben Affleck may hold the title as one of the first people to ever call Micheal Bay out on his lazy storytelling. Armageddon was one of Bay’s first films and boasted an impressive cast. Alongside Affleck were names like Bruce Willis, Liv Tyler, and Steve Buscemi. This was also before Bay had earned his title as the king of explosions and not much else.
Affleck had a problem with the film’s story right from the beginning though. On the film’s DVD commentary, he said that he “asked Michael why it was easier to train oil drillers to become astronauts than it was to train astronauts to become oil drillers and he told me to shut the f**k up.”
7. Robert Pattinson – The Entire Twilight Saga
Many people love every Twilight movie. Robert Pattinson is not one of them. From the beginning, the man famous for bringing Edward Cullen to life has had problems with the vampire-themed universe. Even before the first film was released, he was having trouble bringing what the filmmakers wanted to the character. The disagreements went so far that he was almost fired.
Since then, he has gone on to criticize Stephenie Meyers’ books, saying: “when I read it, it seemed like it was a book that wasn’t supposed to be published.” He has criticized almost every aspect of the films’ universe, from the fact that a century-plus-old vampire should probably not be in high school to the fact that the vampires use Google to research things.
6. George Clooney – Batman & Robin
You knew this one was coming. If you are unfamiliar with what Batman & Robin did to the Dark Knight, allow us to briefly remind you. It turned a supergenius villain into a grunting brute. It gave the Bat Suit bat nipples, and it gave Dynamic Duo bat credit cards for reasons that can only be described as invalid.
Poor George Clooney, who is otherwise an extremely well-respected actor, has spent much of his time since apologizing for the film. Clooney, who plays Bruce Wayne in the film, has described it as a “disaster.”
While talking about his numerous appearances at comic book conventions, he said that he thought at the time that playing Batman would be a good career move. He has also said that after the film was released, he was certain they had killed the franchise.
5. Patton Oswalt – Blade: Trinity
Even Patton Oswalt had to admit that the first two Blade films were awesome. While on The Pete Holmes Show, he said he would have loved to have been in those two films. Unfortunately, he was in Blady: Trinity. When the audience began to cheer at that declaration, Oswalt quickly silenced them.
He said: “if you just sit and watch Blade: Trinity, it’s a D-. It just doesn’t work. But if you know what they went through to get that movie made, it is an A+.”
The story of the movie’s troubles, particularly with lead actor Wesley Snipes, are well documented and very public. Snipes and series writer David S. Goyer have not spoken since that film’s completion. While Snipes maintains that another Blade film is a very real possibility, Goyer will understandably not be involved.
4. James Franco – Your Highness
James Franco is yet another talented, award-winning actor who has not been able to escape the depths to which Hollywood films can sometimes fall. He was unfortunate enough to play a very silly role in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, and was understandably lukewarm about another one of his earlier films, Tristan and Isolde.
The stoner comedy Your Highness probably seemed like a good idea before it was made. It had a capable director in David Gordon Green, and some genuinely funny stars in Danny McBride and Zooey Deschanel alongside Franco. But the film bombed and critics hated it, and even Franco himself is not a fan.
3. Sally Field – The Amazing Spider-Man 2
What is it with Spider-Man films and too many villains? Is it because his rogues gallery is so well known that film executives only see dollar signs when they look at it? Has no one at Sony made the connection that over-stuffing a film almost always means the story will suffer?
About Sony’s previous attempt at launching a Spider-Man universe, Sally Field – who played May Parker in the film – did not have kind things to say about it. She very briefly stated “it’s really hard to find a three-dimensional character in it, and you work it as much as you can, but you can’t put ten pounds of s**t in a five-pound bag.”
2. Channing Tatum – G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
To say that nobody asked for a G.I. Joe movie would not be an entirely accurate statement. The toy franchise-turned-action cartoon series is, after all, not without its share of source material. The franchise has definitely been a box office success, with a third film on the way. But don’t expect Channing Tatum to be involved.
Tatum only agreed to do the film because at the time, a three-picture deal with with Paramount Pictures seemed like a very attractive proposal. His honest words about the project have not been kind: “The script wasn’t any good,” he told Howard Stern.
Tatum was also not thrilled with the doors the film opened. For one, he was stuck doing the sequel. He said that it did bring more phone calls, just “maybe not from the people you really want calling.”
1. T.J. Miller – The Emoji Movie
T.J. Miller has taken plenty of licks in the past year. Not only did he leave his role on the popular HBO series Silicon Valley in a decidedly negative way and accusations of assault have come out against him, his latest film The Emoji Movie may go down as one of the worst of all time.
For a while, Miller defended it. He told interviewers that he wanted to make films for kids as well as for adults, and that his ultimate goal was to make everybody laugh. The criticism became so harsh that it led to him making a series of suicidal tweets. He later proclaimed that they were jokes, but many still aren’t sure.
Recently, while speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Miller had this concession to make about the film: “Instead of dying, like everybody in my family would love, I go and make ‘The Emoji Movie.’ It’s worse for American culture.”
Can you think of any other stars who badmouthed their own films? Let us know in the comments!
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