For most actors, getting cast in a career-making role or opportunity is nothing short of a dream come true. Every day, people flock to Hollywood in the hopes of getting picked out of a crowd and given that one breakout role that’s going to skyrocket them to stardom.
But the truth is, stardom isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be, and when an actor finally makes it in this business, they aren’t always happy with the end result. The following is a list of actors, actresses, and multi-hyphenate personalities who hate the roles or gigs that made them famous…
Angus T. Jones
You know who made $350,000 for a week’s worth of work on a 22-minute show? Angus T. Jones. He’s the guy who played Jake on CBS’s Two and a Half Men.
Near the height of the show’s popularity, he had a religious epiphany and decided to renounce the television show that has made him rich and famous. He said of working on the show, “I’m on Two and a Half Men, and I don’t want to be on it.” Going beyond saying he doesn’t want to be a part of the show, he implores people to “stop watching it. Please stop filling your head with filth. Please.”
He said all this in a video released by Forerunner Christian Church, remarking that television in general, not just his own show, “is bad news.” He refers to the medium as “deceptive,” calling it “the enemy.”
When it comes to her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars, Carrie Fisher puts it frankly in her memoir/one-woman show Wishful Drinking, saying, “George Lucas ruined my life. And I mean that in the nicest possible way… George is a visionary. He has transported audiences the world over, and he’s provided Mark [Hamill] and Harrison [Ford] and myself with enough fanmail – and even a small merry band of stalkers – to keep us entertained for the rest of our unnatural lives.”
Fisher hated the fact that Lucas sold merchandise with her face on it – from dolls to shampoo to Pez dispensers – and effectively turned her into a sex symbol. She hated the instantly recognizable Leia braids, which she felt made her face look too round. But most of all, Fisher hated the metal bikini from Return of the Jedi, which she felt over-sexualized her: “When I laid down, the metal bikini stayed up… So Boba Fett could see all the way to Florida.”
Having made over $2 billion worldwide (and over $650 million domestic), James Cameron’s 1997 film Titanic is the second-biggest blockbuster of all time (behind only Avatar). So why does the film’s star, Kate Winslet, hate having portrayed Rose?
When the film was rereleased in 3D, Winslet had this to say about her performance: “Every single scene, I’m like ‘Really, really? You did it like that? Oh my God… Even my American accent, I can’t listen to it. It’s awful. Hopefully it’s so much better now. It sounds terribly self indulgent but actors do tend to be very self-critical. I have a hard time watching any of my performances, but watching Titanic I was just like, ‘Oh God, I want to do that again.’”
But Winslet’s performance wasn’t the only thing she hated about the project. She once revealed that the film’s theme song, Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On,” is a constant source of annoyance for her that haunts her wherever she goes. “I did a talk show recently in Italy and they actually had a live pianist who started gently playing the theme song,” she says. “I was not even gently, rather severely, urged to go and sing it as though I had in fact sung it myself in the first place. It was like, ‘No! I’m not going to do that.’ They’re like, ‘Oh no, come on it will be funny.’ No, it won’t be funny. At all. And I’m not going to.”
While Alec Guinness’s career was in no way made by his portrayal of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars (he previously starred in many other major films including Lawrence of Arabia, Great Expectations, Doctor Zhivago and The Bridge on the River Kwai), Obi-Wan was nonetheless a role that re-popularized Guinness to a new generation of film-goers.
As the story goes, the classically-trained Guinness immediately regretted taking the role of Kenobi because he felt that the film’s dialogue was stilted and poorly written. In fact, he hated the character so much that he was the first in line to kill off Kenobi.
As Star Wars grew more and more successful, Guinness’s animosity towards the project also grew exponentially. In his autobiography, A Positively Final Appearance: A Journal, Guinness tells an anecdote about one time when a young boy approached him for an autograph. The kid told Guinness that he was a huge fan of Star Wars and had watched Episode IV: A New Hope over 100 times. Guinness agreed to give him an autograph, but only under the condition that he never watch the film again.
No, no… Christian Bale doesn’t hate his portrayal of the chainsaw-wielding, embossed business-card distributing mass murderer, Patrick Bateman, in American Psycho. Nor is he displeased with his performance in Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman trilogy (although George Clooney wasn’t too happy with his nipple-enhanced iteration of the Dark Knight in 1997’s Batman and Robin).
But Bale has openly spoken out about his distaste for participating in the much beloved 1992 cult-hit musical Newsies.
So why did Bale hate playing Jack “Cowboy” Kelly so much? As the actor tells it, his youthful desire for respect led to years of distaste for the film and the role. “At 17, you want to be taken very seriously,” he explained. “You don’t want to be doing a musical. Time healed those wounds. But it took a while.”
The Transformers franchise served as a breakthrough for actress Megan Fox, but she absolutely hated working with director Michael Bay, and the two feuded during production of the first two films.
Asked whether she would return for the third film, Dark of the Moon, Fox answered, “Sure. I mean, I can’t sh*t on this movie because it did give me a career and open all these doors for me. But I don’t want to blow smoke up people’s ass. People are well aware that this is not a movie about acting. And once you realize that, it becomes almost fun because you can be in the moment and go, ‘All right, I know that when he calls Action! I’m either going to be running or screaming, or both.’”
In subsequent interviews, Fox told reporters that Bay’s treatment of her was demeaning and misogynistic. She claimed that part of her audition for the role involved being filmed while washing his Ferrari. Fox hated working with Bay so much that she even went so far as to liken him to Adolf Hitler. Fox said that Bay tried to “create this insane, infamous mad-man reputation. He wants to be like Hitler on his sets, and he is. So he’s a nightmare to work for.”After those comments, Fox was unceremoniously booted from the series. She and Bay buried the hatchet, however, and she ended up playing April O’Neil in the live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies produced by her former director.
Long before he was Dirk Diggler, actor Mark Wahlberg went by another alliterative name… Marky Mark.
Feeling overshadowed by his brother Donnie’s success in the band New Kids on the Block, the younger Wahlberg created his own musical group, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, which burst onto the scene in 1991 with their debut album Music for the People, which included the hit single “Good Vibrations.”
The band lasted for two years and Wahlberg enjoyed some time as the face (and abs) of Calvin Klein. He dissolved the Funky Bunch in 1993 in to pursue an acting career. And looking back, he’s incredibly embarrassed about his days as a pop star. “I thought I was so cool back then, but when I see the footage, I was such an ass,” he said.
Although he actively worked to shed his image as Marky Mark, Wahlberg says that his friends will never let him live it down. “I remember seeing this thing on VH1, some Sexy People of the ’90s show,” he said. “My brother Paul was watching with me and my assistant – they were just killing themselves with laughter. To top it off, I was number one! So for ages after whenever they’d call, they’d be, ‘Can we speak to the Sexiest Man of the ’90s please?’ They keep killing me.”
Although Marty McFly’s nerdy father, George, in Back to the Future trilogy is loved by many, it is evidently not loved by the actor who portrayed him, Crispin Glover.
Apparently, Glover was not happy with the first film’s ending, which depicted an alternate future where the McFly family is rich and Marty is rewarded with a brand new truck, and he aired his displeasure with the director “I had a conversation with Robert Zemeckis about it,” he explained. “And I said, ‘I think if the characters have money, if our characters are rich, it’s a bad message. That reward should not be in there.’ People love the movie, and of course who am I to say—I was 20 years old, though. And again, I was stepping into it from a time period of questioning. But Robert Zemeckis got really angry. Essentially, he did not like that idea. He was pissed.”
Glover went on to say, “It’s not that I dislike the entire film. There are things about the structure that are very solid, and there’s good writing behind it. But I still would argue all the things that people love about the film would still be there, and I think there would be a better message if, instead of the son character pumping his fist in the air or whatever, jumping up in the air because he has a new truck [in the new timeline], if instead the reward was that the mother and father characters are in love with each other. And that there’s the potential that money comes in. I think [equating their new riches with moral success] is a bad message. And this is aligned to those things in film that I’m saying serve the interests of a corporate element.”
Glover did not return to reprise his role in Back to the Future II, and when producers instead opted to use another actor (made up to look like Glover with prosthetic make-up) in conjunction with cutting-room footage from the first film, Glover became incensed. He filed a lawsuit against Universal and the film’s producer Bob Gale, and eventually settled out of court.
It’s not necessarily fair to say that Thomas F. Wilson, the actor who played Biff Tannen in the Back to the Future films, actually hated his role in the series, but one thing’s for sure, he did get approached by many many fans asking him the same inane questions over and over again. To save time and discourage these types of conversations, Wilson now presents anyone who approaches him with pre-printed FAQ cards to answer all their boring questions. Check out the full text here. It’s actually very informative, though just imaging the annoyance it would take to create such a thing is headache-inducing.
It would be hard to find a celebrity who hates their “breakout” persona more than Miley Cyrus hates Hannah Montana, or at least what Hannah Montana did to her childhood. She has described in detail the troubling effects the role had on her at such a young age, saying, “From the time I was 11, it was, ‘You’re a pop star! That means you have to be blonde, and you have to have long hair, and you have to put on some glittery tight thing.’ Meanwhile, I’m this fragile little girl playing a 16-year-old in a wig and a ton of makeup. It was like Toddlers & Tiaras. I had f**king flippers.”
While hosting Saturday Night Live, she updated everyone on Hannah Montana’s current status, delcaring, “She’s been murdered.” Needless to say, Cyrus is fine leaving the best of both worlds behind in exchange for a bong, some belly shirts, and equal pay.
Pattinson has never tried too hard to hide his disdain for the part of Edward Cullen. Between his sarcastic quips on Ellen to his own take on the original script, one doesn’t need to look to far to see his true feelings find the light. In one particular interview, however, he did not hold back his opinions on author Stephenie Meyer at all.
“When I read it, I was convinced that Stephenie was convinced that she was Bella. It was like it was a book that wasn’t supposed to be published, like reading her – her sort of sexual fantasy,” he confessed.
“Especially when she says that it was based on a dream, and it’s like, ‘Oh, then I had a dream about this really sexy guy’ and she just writes this book about it, and there’s some things about Edward that are just so specific that… I was just convinced that this woman is mad, she’s completely mad,” he continued, “and she’s in love with her own fictional creation.”
Shailene Woodley has never been quiet about her moral obligations. An outspoken environmental advocate, she has used her public platform to speak out on matters from clean energy to the personal health of your hoo-ha.
So, it comes as no surprise that Woodley began hating her role on The Secret Life of the American Teenager as the storylines became less and less aligned with her personal beliefs.
Woodley publicly stated that the show set off her moral alarm bells. “Towards the end, morally, the things that we were preaching on that show weren’t really aligned with my own integrity,” she said. “So that was a bit hard to show up to work every day knowing that we were going to project all of these themes to thousands – millions – of young adults across the country, when in fact they weren’t what I would like to be sending out.”
This Gossip Girl strutted onto the scene as Serena van der Woodsen on the cult classic TV series. Although the show launched Lively into a longer, more diverse career, she has said she had a moral dilemma with the message her character sent out to young viewers.
“People loved it, but it always felt a little personally compromising—you want to be putting a better message out there,” she said.
“The lines become blurred.” She goes on to describe her desire to distance herself from Serena’s persona. “I would not be proud to be the person who gave someone the cocaine that made them overdose and then shot someone and slept with someone else’s boyfriend.”
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
In what their father would call, “an absolute fluke,” photos of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were selected by the casting director for Full House, and the rest is history.Well, for the twins anyway. The nation watched these girls grow up on television under one credit (Mary-Kate Ashley Olsen) years after everyone could tell them apart. By the time they turned 17, they owned and managed everything they did. That’s about the moment when their true feelings and desires took center stage, and the girls booked it. They run a fashion empire and hide from the public beneath massive collars and scarves and hats at any cost.
Their desire to put Full House behind them was made quite clear when they were the only principal actors to decline to reprise their role on Fuller House, the sitcom’s Netflix revival.
At eight years old, actor Jake Lloyd bagged the role of a lifetime as Anakin Skywalker in George Lucas’s much anticipated Star Wars prequel, Episode I: The Phantom Menace. At this point, it’s safe to say, Star Wars fans weren’t the only ones who were disappointed by the way things turned out…
In a rare interview, the reclusive Lloyd reflected on the disappointment of Episode I, saying, “When you have something like that there’s a lot of expectations for it to meet the standards of the public and I don’t think George did that.” He went on to say that the role resulted in almost immediate mockery. “Other children were really mean to me,” he said. “They would make the sound of the lightsaber every time they saw me. It was totally mad… My entire school life was really a living hell – and I had to do up to 60 interviews a day.”
Ultimately, the exposure he gained portraying Skywalker became too overwhelming for Lloyd, and he decided to quit acting altogether.