There are some movies that actors loved doing that audiences hated, and movies audiences love that actors wish they could forget. And sometimes there are movies so bad the audience and actor both wish they’d never seen it. Not even a big paycheck can wash away the film of regret from these actors after doing these embarrassing roles.
Can you smell what The Rock is cookin’? Critics sure thought he stunk up the joint with his 2010 fiasco “The Tooth Fairy.” This children’s fantasy film saw former wrestling star Dwayne Johnson play the role of the actual tooth fairy, complete with wings, a magic wand, and a pink tutu. The film was actually a box office success, grossing over $100 million domestically. But at what cost, Dwayne? At what cost? Johnson seems to have realized it’s better to stick to more dignified roles, which is why lately you’ll see him at the movies hanging out with giant albino gorillas and leaping off of skyscrapers.
It’s hard to think the same actress who gave us Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons from HBO’s “Game of Thrones” could have a bad role, but she did. And it wasn’t “Solo: A Star Wars Story” either. It was yet another failed blockbuster, 2015’s “Terminator: Genisys.” Initially, Clarke took the role of young Sarah Connor because she was familiar with director Alan Taylor, who had filmed some of the “Game of Thrones” episodes. In fact, this movie’s reputation while being filmed was so bad that another bad film being made at the same time, the infamous “Fantastic Four” reboot, had crew jackets that read “at least we’re not on Terminator.” There’s not enough aloe in Hollywood to treat a burn that massive.
Best known for “The Social Network” and “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” Rooney Mara was looking like she was on a fast track to stardom when she took what could have been a career-killing role: that of Tiger Lily, the Native American princess in the 2015 live action “Pan” movie. Problematic on so many levels — she’s not Native American, for one thing — the movie faced a backlash before it even came out, and when it flopped hard, Mara had to launch an apology tour for having done it. She’s done a few films since, but nothing nearly as top drawer as her previous work.
The Hollywood joke is that Ben Affleck regretted his role in the colossal bomb “Gigli” so much that he took the role in “Daredevil” to make people forget it, and that he took the role of Batman to make people forget about “Daredevil.” It’s hard to believe that the role that nearly sunk George Clooney went on to save Ben Affleck, but it’s pretty accurate. Also caught in the blast was co-star Jennifer Garner, whose “Daredevil” character Elektra went on to tank her own movie; she hated her “Daredevil” role so much but was contractually obligated to do the “Elektra” film. No one came out of that mess intact.
The first African-American woman to win a Best Actress Oscar in 2001, Halle Berry took her critical acclaim and moved on to more popular fare, comic book movies. After well-received turns as Storm from Marvel’s “X-Men,” she made the mistake of taking the role of a DC character, Catwoman, perhaps wanting to follow in the footsteps of Eartha Kitt. But the film failed in ways never before or since. Berry graciously accepted a Razzie award for worst actress for the role, and dares the Razzies to nominate her again in her next movie, this summer’s “John Wick 3.”
This young actor proved that there are worse fates than dying on film. He went from tragic Cedric Diggory in “Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire” to the brooding Edward Cullen, vampire heartthrob of the “Twilight” series. It’s no secret he regretted taking the role almost from the start, and spent time off camera lambasting the movie series’ many gaping plot holes. But the thing he regrets the most is how it made him an instant celebrity, somehow even worse than Daniel Radcliffe’s experience.
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan
Considering that “50 Shades of Grey” was originally a reworked “Twilight” fanfic, it’s no wonder the stars have the same regret for taking their roles as the “Twilight” leads did. Dakota Johnson has said that the only upside was that the role led to better roles and furthered her career. And Jamie Dornan got more than he asked for when he wanted more exposure, because he certainly got it, but not the kind he wanted.
For years, the movie “Wild Wild West” has topped many lists of worst film flops, but it was also seen as a fluke since Will Smith has consistently headlined blockbusters like “Independence Day” and “Men In Black.” But the role Smith regrets even more than “Wild Wild West” is his turn in “After Earth,” the 2013 dystopian science fiction film that he made with his teen son Jaden— regretted not just because it was bad and flopped badly, but because he “took his son along for the ride.” Reportedly now Smith’s much choosier about taking blockbuster roles, a decision which probably factored into his not appearing in the “Independence Day” sequel.