30 Actors Who Regret Their Past Roles

Maybe the script looked good, maybe the paycheck was better, or maybe these actors thought that it was the role that would have shot them to fame. Nevertheless, the following roles are deeply regretted by the actors who played them. You’ll be surprised by #22, #15, #10 and #3!

#30. Keanu Reeves in “The Watcher”

Photo: Courtesy of Looper.com

The story of how he got to be the main character of The Watcher is one of the most interesting stories ever. After his role as Neo in Matrix, his good friend (at that time) Charbanic, allegedly forged his signature in a contract to appear in The Watcher, directed by Charbanic himself. Reeves decided to be the biggest man and, instead of starting a legal battle, he played the role that he had been assigned. Although he did not promote the movie, he could not mention this issue until 12 months after the movie had been released, and so he did; he also added “I never found the script interesting.”

#29. Zac Efron in “High School Musical”

Photo: Courtesy of YouTube

Despite that for many of us High School Musical was one film we watched in our teen years which provided us with some delightful karaoke tracks, for Zac Efron it isn’t something to be proud of. In his words “He (Troy Bolton) has done some kind of cool things with some cool people, but he is still that annoying kid from High School Musical.

#28. Megan Fox in “Transformers”

Photo: Courtesy of filmreviewonline.com

For many of us, Transformers was the film in which we first saw Megan Fox as an actress, and she is grateful to the film because it opened several opportunities for her. Despite this, she stated that Transformers is not a movie about acting, but a movie about running and screaming. You’ll never guess which actor hated the vampire movie that made him famous.

#27. Robert Pattinson in “Twilight”

Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia

In the Twilight film series, Robert Pattinson portrayed Edward Cullen, the vampire, impeccably. Nonetheless, he is not happy about his role in the film. He has expressed that he disliked his character.

#26. Jennifer Garner in “Elektra”

Photo: Courtesy of Looper.com

Garner is a fan of Frank Miller comics and in the past she got a part as Elektra on Daredevil. When rumors about her starring a movie focused on her character, fans just lost it! However, when the sequel Elektra was released in 2005, it was quite a disappointment for the audience. Garner had no choice, since she had agreed by contract to do it, but Michael Vartan, her ex-boyfriend, told in an interview with US Weekly that she thought the movie was “awful”. 

#25. Mike Myers in “The Cat in the Hat”

Photo: Courtesy of Looper.com

Universal Studios chose Mike Myers to play the role of the “Dieter” from Saturday Night Live , in a comedy based on such character.  However, there were certain issues with the screenplay, which was allegedly written by Myers, who decided not to be a part of it. This was only the beginning of a series of lawsuits and legal battles between Myers and the studio.  Both parties reached an agreement forcing the actor to play the main character in The Cat in the Hat. However, his co-star, Amy Hil, complained about his “hermit” and “diva” attitude. After the movie was released, Audrey Geisel, Dr. Seuss’ widow, told that she would never again allow Hollywood to make another live-action adaptation of any of his works again.

#24. The Entire Cast of “Movie 43”

Photo: Courtesy of Looper.com

The story behind this movie is quite interesting- to say the least. The cast includes Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Emma Stone, Richard Gere, Halle Berry, Gerard Butler and Naomi Watts, who were all kind of tricked by producer Charles Wessler (also producer of Shallow Hal and There’s Something About Mary). He signed Winslet and Jackman and filmed their parts in 2009, it was then easier for him to obtain financing for the movie. Anyway, his project was rejected by many people, George Clooney among them, but he finally managed to finish it. The movie was supposed to be a series of short, funny vignettes and actors were told a year after that a movie was being released, according to Liev Schreiber “I was like Uh- oh… But, you know, you do these things. We’ll see. It was a goof”. 

#23. Jennifer Lawrence in “Mother!”

Photo: Courtesy of Awards Daily

We all know Jennifer Lawrence from the film series The Hunger Games. After starring the film Mother! together with Javier Bardem, her first reaction was that they took it too far. Jennifer has later said that their performance in the movie represented exactly what they were supposed to do. Up next, an actor who also hated everything in the movie that sparked her career.

#22. Edward Norton in “The Italian Job”

Photo: Courtesy of Looper.com

When Norton signed for Primal Fear, he agreed to do three more pictures with Paramount, but after the movie was released in 1996, he had many offers and had to postpone this commitment. However, Paramount got him to fulfill his part of the agreement; Norton had to negotiate a new contract to be a part of 1999’s Fight Club. In said contract, Norton was bound to participate in one more movie after he had finished filming Fight Club. In 2002 the actor hadn’t yet decided on a movie, so Paramount offered him The Italian Job, but he declined and the studio sent him a letter in which it was stated that he could not decline this role. Norton consulted a lawyer but he finally agreed to this film.

#21. Roy Schneider in “Jaws 2”

Photo: Courtesy of Looper.com

Roy Schneider’s way to stardom started with his role as Police Chief Martin Brody in the 1975 movie Jaws, but he was never thrilled with his appearence in the movie. He, as many actors did, was forced to work on the movie for legal reasons. He was originally casted for The Deer Hunter, but as he did not find the script interesting, he dropped out and was then replaced by Robert De Niro. However, the contractual obligation remained in force and Universal required him to play again the role of Chief Brody in Jaws 2.

#20. Marlon Brando in “Desiree”

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The great star Marlon Brando was also involved in a legal dispute for a role he didn’t want to play.  He was sued by Darryl Zanuck, producer of Desiree, the movie in which Brando finally had to appear as Napoleon.
Upset for the court’s decision, he kept forgetting his lines and when he didn’t, he recited them with a sort of British intonation. He also played on set with a football and squirted extras with a fire hose. In spite of Marlon efforts to sabotage the film, Desiree was nominated for two Oscars, but of course, none of them were for Brando himself.

#19. Kate Winslet in “Titanic”










Photo: Courtesy of Wetpaint

In an interview with the CNN, the actress expressed that she disliked every single scene of the movie, her portrayal, and her American accent. She can’t stand it!

#18. Whoopi Goldberg in “Theodore Rex”

Photo: Courtesy of Looper.com

Whoopi Goldberg was another actress who had to play a role to avoid any legal inconvenient. After Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Whoopi was approached by the producers of Theodore Rex and even though at the moment she said yes, she changed her mind two years later; however she could not get out of it due to a court precedent. The movie was not even on cinemas since it did awfully on the test run. However, and surprisingly, it was nominated to a Razzie.

#17. Will Smith in “After Earth”

Photo: Courtesy of Townsquare

Considered one of the most painful failures in Will Smith’s career, the film After Earth, was thought by Will to be a very positive milestone, that is, acting together with his son, Jaden Smith. People were shocked to find out the film Bill Murray hates having starred in.

#16. Bill Murray in “Garfield: The Movie”

Photo: Courtesy of Looper.com

How Bill Murray ended up voicing Garfield is probably funnier than the film itself.  Murray had been wanting to do a cartoon movie for a while, so when he received the script and as soon as he read Coen in it, he accepted, thinking that it had been written by the legendary Joel Coen of the Coen brothers; however, it turned out to be Joel Coen, writer of Monster Mash: The Movie and Cheaper By The Dozen. Murray still put all his efforts on saving Garfield and the sequel A Tale of Two Kitties.

#15. Daniel Craig in “Skyfall” and “Spectre”

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Daniel Craig, better known for his role in Skyfall and Spectre as James Bond, was maybe too sincere when, after the release of Skyfall  in 2012, he admitted that he tried to get out of it from the very moment he got into it, “but they won’t let me go, and I’ve agreed to do a couple more.” In 2015, when asked by Esquire about the prospect of appearing in more sequels, his actual words were:

“At this moment, no. I have a life and I’ve got to get on with it” which wouldn’t have been so strong if he hadn’t declared also that he’d “rather break this glass and slash my wrists.”

#14. Matt Damon in “The Bourne Ultimatum”

Photo: Courtesy of Variety

In an interview with GQ, Matt Damon stated that The Bourne Ultimatum could have ended his entire career. He explained that the script was “unreadable” and that he regrets shooting the movie. Although we love the next movie, we have to agree with the main star in that it actually is a little sexist…

#13. Katherine Heigl in “Knocked Up”

Photo: Courtesy of Us Weekly

Katherine Heigl considers that Knocked Up is a movie which misrepresents women as a class and is a “little sexist”. The film portrays women as “humorless” and “uptight”, while portraying men as “lovable” and “fun-loving guys”.

#12. Val Kilmer in “Top Gun”

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Val Kilmer, who ironically became very well known after Top Gun, did not want to appear in the movie at the beginning. However, he was bound to since he had entered into a three movie contract with Paramount, and he had already appeared on the first two films, Top Secret! and Real Genius. According to Kilmer, he went to a meeting with Tony Scott, the director, and after the meeting “I heard this swooshin round the corner. The doors opened and Tony jumped in front of the lift and wouldn’t let me leave.” He finally agreed to do the movie, and a few years later worked again with Scott on True Romance. 

#11. Halle Berry in “Catwoman”

Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia

After receiving a Razzie Award for worst actress in the 2004 film Catwoman film by Warner Bros., she strongly criticized the film, saying that it was “god-awful“.

#10. Nicole Kidman in “Australia”









Photo: Courtesy of Thecia

Nicole Kidman is very critic about her portrayal in the film Australia. In an interview with a Sydney radio station, she said that she couldn’t stand watching the movie and that she is unable to connect emotionally with it.

#9. James Franco in “Your Highness”

Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia

After very bad reviews of the film Your Highness, James Franco totally agrees. He expressed that the movie is very bad and that is impossible to watch. Up next, Jessica Alba hated this film to the point that made her consider quitting acting for good.

#8. Jessica Alba in “Fantastic Four”








Photo: Courtesy of Syfy

For Jessica Alba, after shooting the film Fantastic Four – Rise of the Silver Surfer, she just wanted to stop acting. One of the scenes she remembers the most is when she was dying and the director told her to “cry pretty” as the tears could be inserted with CGI.

#7. Emilia Clarke in “Terminator Genisys”

Photo: Courtesy of Indiehoy

Best known for her role in Game of Thrones, Emilia Clarke revealed to Vanity Fair that on the set of Terminator Genisys nobody had a good time. Apparently, the next actor had had enough of this big role.

#6. Daniel Radcliffe in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Part of everybody’s childhood includes watching any of the Harry Potter films. Daniel Radcliffe stated in an interview that his acting in the sixth part of the film series is very bad and that he can’t stand watching it.

#5. Ryan Reynolds in “Green Lantern”









Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia

After portraying one of DC’s most famous heroes in the big screen, Green Lantern, Ryan Reynolds considers that his film was “the death of the superhero”, as he considers that the script was very poorly written and had no soul.

#4. Natalie Portman in “Hotel Chevalier”

Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia

One of the most talented actresses of our time, Natalie Portman starred in several highly acclaimed movies like V for Vendetta. Although she regrets having participated in the film Hotel Chevalier as the majority of the reviews focused about her nudity in the film. The next actor firmly believes he is to blame for the failure of one Indiana Jones movie.

#3. Shia LaBeouf in “Indiana Jones”

Photo: Courtesy of IGN.com

Shia LaBeouf admitted to LA Times that he was disappointed with his performance in the film Indiana Jones because he wasn’t able to make the film “come alive and make it work.” He considers that it was his fault that the film wasn’t a success.

#2. Channing Tatum in “G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra”

Photo: Courtesy of Fanpop

Channing Tatum clearly regrets having participated in the film G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra. In an interview on the Howard Stern’s Radio Show, he told the host that he “strongly dislikes the film” and that he “was pushed into doing it“. He had been a fan of G.I. Joe since he was a kid and is disappointed of the film.

 #1. Ben Affleck in “Daredevil”

Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia

Almost all of Ben Affleck’s films are highly acclaimed movies, but this is not the case of the film Daredevil. During an interview with TimesTalk he stated that he wanted to do a good superhero film, but that he dislikes Daredevil very much.

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    Luke H.

    Certified Translator recently graduated at the Universidad de Buenos Aires.
    Gamer. Bookworm.

    What we do in life echoes in eternity.

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