Every actor wants to be on the A list but once you’re there its even more of a problem trying to stay on it. Some come and go but few stay on it and we can only think of Tom Cruise as having remained at the top of his game for so long.
So just for fun we thought we’d have a look at some films that have effectively put an immediate end to the stars A list careers.
- Eddie Murphy in ‘The Adventures of Pluto Nash’ & ‘Norbit’
Eddie Murphy had a stellar career in the Eighties with hits such as Beverly Hills Cop, 48hrs, Trading Places and Coming to America all of which made a ton of cash and ensured his A list status. However in the nineties things went downhill with forgettable bombs like Boomerang, Metro & Holy Man. It was only the remakes of child friendly The Nutty Professor and obviously Shrek where he was reduced to lending his vocal talents rather than his visible presence. But in 2002 The Adventures of Pluto Nash was foisted on the public. A $100m comedy sci fi dud that, worldwide, grossed a plop poor £7m. It reduced him to making rubbish like Daddy Day Care and The Haunted Mansion though temporarily regaining some credible kudos with his turn in DreamGirls before ruining it with ‘Norbit’ which, albeit a success at the box office, was widely regarded as on of the worst films of 2007 since when his career has never really recovered with only the hope of dredging up another Beverly Hills Cop sequel as a career reviving hope.
2. Brandon Routh – Superman Returns
As an actor Routh had made a career in TV before he was picked as the Man of Steel in the 2006 remake which didn’t perform as well as hoped though it still turned a tidy profit it was not enough and like many others he was struck down by the curse of Superman never really making anything of note afterwards and has since returned to TV
3. Pauly Shore – Bio Dome, In the Army Now
If nothing else Pauly Shore should be prosecuted under the trade description act for calling himself a comedian. A truly awful on screen persona who made a string of low rent slacker comedies which thankfully came to a grinding halt with Bio-Dome and In the Army Now – if only the military had used him for target practice – now that would have been a sure fire hit
4. Haley Joel Osmont –A.I.
Having found huge success with ‘The Sixth Sense’ in 1999 he was the ‘go-to’ child for all Hollywood films needing a decent child actor but it all came to a pretty swift end with 2001’s, ‘ A.I’, a dream project directed by Steven Spielberg from a Stanley Kubrick script. Despite it being a hit his career never really took off afterwards and he ended up doing voice over work for such quality productions as The Hunchback of Notre Dame 2, The Jungle Book 2 and Kingdom Hearts 2 – (there’s a theme running through these titles we think!). Recent photos seem to suggest he’s been eating his own body weight in doughnuts and had a decent enough role in the big screen version of ‘Entourage’ and seems to have found favour with Kevin Smith in his Canadian horror trilogy.
5. Roberto Begnini – Pinochio
Having made an arse of himself at the Oscars when he won a best actor award for ‘Life is Beautiful’ he decided to write, direct and star in a live action version of Pinocchio a film that no one was crying out for as demonstrated by its paltry worldwide box office returns of $41m. From thereon Begnini has, to date, only acted in 4 films.
6. J-Lo – Gigli
Before the balloon bummed antics of Kim Krapdashian, Jennifer Lopez was very much the curvy Latino on everyone’s lips with a decent pop career and had secured a decent reputation with the great Elmore Leonard novel to film adaptation, ‘Out of Sight’ in 1998 with a swooney George Clooney. There then followed a few rom-coms which culminated in the career stalling ‘Gigli’ with Ben Affleck who was her beau at the time. With some cringingly awful dialogue including the now infamous, ‘gobble-gobble’, love scene the $54m budget film drew a laughable $7m box office around the world. Since then her movies have all been forgettable and like many others on this list has only found success with voice overs which, for her, has been the Ice Age franchise.
7. John Travolta – Battlefield Earth.
With Tarantino having salvaged Travolta’s career from detritus like the Look Who’s Talking films having cast him in an oscar nominated role in Pulp Fiction the star had new found star power status and was back in demand making decent and respected films like The Thin Red Line for Terence Malick as well as crowd pleasers like Get Shorty & Face Off until he decided to make the thinly disguised Scientology cack-fest that was Battlefield Earth appearing as a 7 foot alien with a cornish pastie glued to his forehead. Drawing unintended laughs the $73m film made back only $29m worldwide. Since then he has made such memorable films as Wild Hogs, Old Dogs & Life on the Line (no, us neither) and is finding himself doing better work on TV in the recent ‘The People vs OJ Simpson.
8. Linsey Lohan – I know who killed me
A classic case of blowing it all. Having started her career with decent enough family fodder with The Parent Trap and Freaky Friday remakes her career really started to take off with Mean Girls. And there began her downfall as tabloid fodder with her drink and drug addled behaviour meaning studios were wary of her. In 2007 she made ‘I know who killed me’ where her legal problems caused problems with the schedule when it was not known if she would even turn up on set with the director having to use body doubles and digitally superimpose her face in some scenes. Making it even more risible was that she played a stripper yet had a no nudity clause in her contract. Filming was further delayed by her going into rehab. It held an unenviable record for winning the most Razzie awards in a year including the worst film of 2007.
9. Demi Moore, Burt Reynolds – Striptease,
By the time Striptease was released Demi Moore was the most highly paid actress in Hollywood, was one half of an ‘A’ list power couple being married to Bruce Willis and her pregnant photo for Vanity Fair is still one of the most famous magazine covers ever shot. Her star was on the ascent having made Ghost, A Few Good Men and Disclosure – all box office hits but Striptease, possibly due to its subject matter, was perhaps too much for audiences. It was hardly a great date movie as Moore paraded her gym-tastic, near naked body on screen and Burt Reynolds having regained his acting kudos in the yet to be released Boogie Nights would have it ruined by his embarrassing turn in this. It didn’t help the slightly queasy factor with Moore’s own daughter, Rumer, playing her on screen daughter. The films subject matter was bound to generate a backlash despite Moore arguing that it was about female empowerment when in reality it was little more than an unexpurgated adult breast fest
10.Sean Connery, Steven Norrington – The League of Extraordinary Gentleman
Connery was a long established star with an oscar to his name (as a scottish accented, irish cop in The Untouchables) and had little to prove when he made this with a director renowned for his perfectionism. And it was the director’s perfectionism that drove the actor (as well as films producer) nuts and relations between director and star on set got so bad that they would not talk to each other with Connery being highly vocal in his criticism of Norrington when it came to doing the PR junkets for the film. Connery hated every moment of the films production and vowed never to make a film again. Even Spielberg’s rumoured wooing of the star to return for the fourth Indiana Jones film went unheeded. It seems that this 2003 film is likely to be his last screen performance. For Norrington too it would be the last film he would ever direct with studios perhaps wary of hiring someone who had unintentionally forced an A list star to retire.