Eight Great Actors Who Should Have Said No

Even the best actors star in the worst films. Whether they do it for the money, an opportunity to work with an acclaimed director or in the misguided belief that their star power will bolster the flimsiest plot, we will never know. All we do know is that some of Hollywood’s greatest names will forever be associated with these cinematic turkeys.

Robert DeNiro – Little Fockers

Little Fockers

Any movie that relies on its title to deliver 98% of its laughs is going to be bad. The fact that Robert De Niro decided to reprise his character is even badder. And as for you, Dustin Hoffman…

Meryl Streep – Mamma Mia

Mamma Mia

Unlike her co-star Pierce Brosnan, Meryl can actually sing. But hanging a whole lot of catchy songs onto a super-skinny plot is like hanging 20 wet towels onto a length of dental floss. Something has to give. In this case it was Streep’s reputation, albeit temporarily. Brosnan’s humiliation may take longer to live down.

Russell Crowe – A Good Year

A Good Year

Not even Russell’s wife would consider the Gladiator and Robin Hood star the right choice for a romantic comedy. But the Antipodean tough-guy gave it a shot and looked as awkward as Friar Tuck dancing with the Olsen twins. Crowe proved that lightweight roles requiring more than a modicum of charm are best left to fellow Aussie Hugh Jackman.

Liza Minnelli – Sex and the City 2

Sex and the City 2

Ms Minnelli is the only child of two Oscar winners to win an Oscar herself, which is much more interesting and noteworthy than this appalling sequel. Liza won her Academy Award for her star turn in Cabaret, and even though that movie is nearly 40 years old it is still much fresher than the double-entendres and flaccid one liners contained in this turgid effort. Liza’s millions of fans will tell you she can do anything, so it is sad to report there is one thing she CAN’T do – sniff out a dog of a script that stinks from a million miles away.

Michael Caine – Austin Powers:  Goldmember



Michael Caine is one of the least discerning actors of all time, a man who believes in making hay while the sun shines. Michael has never met a pay cheque he didn’t like. But even he should have said he’d ‘think about it’ when presented with the script for Austin Powers: Goldmember. Austin Powers was funny the first time around and produced more than its fair share of giggles in the sequel. But by the time Goldmember rolled round, Austin’s mojo had been well and truly sat on by Fat Bastard and had all the life squeezed out of it. As Austin’s swinging father, Michael tries hard but even he can’t resuscitate this dead horse. At least he got to hang out with Beyonce for a few weeks. Yeah baby!

Paul Giamatti – Lady in the Water

Lady in the Water

Giamatti was on a real roll when he collided head first with this turkey. American SplendorPrivate PartsCinderella Man and the wonderful Sideways made up just a fraction of his recent filmography when he decided to star in this  highly illogical fantasy from M.Night Shyamalan. Mr Giamatti must have been too busy making really good films to read the script for this one – or he must have forgotten that Shyamalan’s career peaked right at the start with The Sixth Sense and has been going downhill faster than a barrel of bad merlot.

Jack Nicholson – Anger Management

In which the Oscar winning Hollywood legend shares top billing with Adam Sandler. Enough said.

Martin Sheen – Apocalypse Now

Apocalypse Now

OK, this isn’t a bad film by any stretch of the imagination and the line “I do love the smell of napalm in the morning” probably has a Facebook page all its own. But Martin Sheen should have really said NO to this one. Mr Sheen originally said YES because he wanted to work with Francis Ford Coppola. If his life’s desire had been to work with Penny Marshall, life would have been much easier for Martin. He had a bad time of it while filming the Vietnam epic in the Philippines. The demands of a hot and humid location, the odd psychotic episode or two, rat infested sets, excessive smoking and drinking and having to share his lunch with Marlon Brando was too much for Sheen, who suffered a near-fatal heart attack. Thankfully he survived and went on to mold his young son Charlie into the model citizen he is today.

Dani Bellamy is a professional writer, who loves good (and so bad they’re good) movies. She is currently exploring the fascinating world of collectable Japanese erasers and Kids Pencil cases at this uber Cool Pencil Case site www.coolpencilcase.com.


Posted by on May 7, 2011. Filed under Movies, The List. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.