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20 Miscast Movie Roles That Ruined Movies

14 December 2013 | Features, Other Lists | by David Zou

miscast movie roles

Sometimes actors get movie roles and you just can’t figure out why. We’re not talking action stars, where all you need to helm a movie is biceps and remedial English. I’m talking actual actor actors, people who get shoehorned into parts that they’re totally not suited for. Maybe it’s back-room casting couch shenanigans, maybe it’s a money thing, or maybe Hollywood is just crazy. Here are our picks of the most miscast roles in film history.

 

20. Angelina Jolie as Margaret Russell

Angelina Jolie as Margaret Russell

The Movie: The Good Shepherd

The Role: Long-suffering stay at home wife of fictional CIA pioneer Edward Wilson.

The Miscasting: Leaving aside the incongruous pairing of Jolie and Matt Damon – she’d eat him alive, surely? – she’s impossible to buy as a passive domestic. Her indoors while he’s gallivanting across Europe? Not a chance.

Should have cast: The restrained dignity of Kate Winslett would’ve been a better fit.

 

19. Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi

The Movie: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

The Role: Younger version of the Jedi master made legend by Alec Guinness.

The Miscasting: Post-Trainspotting McGregor had an edge born of Scottish rogueishness and heroin chic, an edge blunted permanently by dull pseudo-Shakespearean space jabber and an impression of poor old Alec Guinness that wasn’t even that good.

Should have cast: Ken Branagh – it takes a classical actor not to look awful in Lucas’ movies.

 

18. Keanu Reeves as John Constantine

Keanu Reeves as John Constantine

The Movie: Constantine

The Role: Cynical hardboiled supernatural detective.

The Miscasting: Comic book Constantine is a wry Liverpudlian with a chancey Thatcher’s Britain attitude to making enemies and amoral decisions. Reeves is a blank plank of American vacancy battling demons but not looking that bothered about it.

Should have cast: The character was based visually on Sting, but that’s madness. Hugh Laurie is our brave choice.

 

17. Halle Berry as Catwoman

Halle Berry as Catwoman

The Movie: Catwoman

The Role: Shy would-be artist murdered and resurrected by a magic cat. Really.

The Miscasting: The big mistake was getting a game, talented actress and giving her a backwards void of a character to work with. The script might as well have said ‘Meow meow meow meow meow’ over 80 pages.

Should have cast: They didn’t need Halle, they needed Jessica Simpson, or a cat in human makeup.

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  • MattySucks

    What fanboy writes this s$%t? Simpson as catwoman? Bruce Campbell as batman, good thing you are not a casting agent. Keep writing garbage fanboy.

  • mrsatyre

    I’m always happy to see Alanis Morissette in anything at all. Her adorable face, killer smile and big boobs are a perfect combo.

  • Van Chandler

    Please remove Christian Bale’s balls from your throat before writing another article. Sheesh.

  • Adam02

    Pathetic. The author jumps on the SW prequels hate bandwagon just to get views for this article (since we know there are thousands of them constantly looking for anti-prequels stuff on the internet to agree with). Hayden portrayed Anakin perfectly well. If you can’t see it you simply don’t understand the character. And complaining about Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan? Really? I mean REALLY? Oh, you have a problem with Bale as John Connor… come on. Who is this guy???

    • snaxmaster

      Hayden was a horrible, horrible, horrible actor in episode 2 and 3. Horrible. And that opinion has nothing to do with “knowing” the character and everything to do with his acting skills. Jar jar was more enjoyable to watch.

  • Adam02

    Pathetic. The author jumps on the SW prequels hate bandwagon just to get views for this article (since we know there are thousands of PT haters constantly looking for anti-prequels stuff on the internet to agree with and claim as facts). Hayden portrayed Anakin perfectly well. If you can’t see it you simply don’t understand the character. And complaining about Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan? Really? I mean REALLY? And you have a problem with Bale as John Connor… come on. Who wrote this crap???

  • wat

    Wow, the author of this needs to get off Christian Bale’s dick.

  • John Erlandsson

    I thought Ewan was perfect as a young Obi-Wan!!!

  • david k

    This is the most arbitrary list you’v ever made with no rhyme or real reason why you’ve picked these characters actors or films. Some of these I agree are miscast others are fine. There are other movies with bad casting it seems silly picking on these.

  • Raivis Rakstiņš

    Hayden Christensen wasnt in the Phantom Menace.

    • eternalozzie

      Exactly … That was Attack Of The Clones … I would like to remind everyone if your script is crap your movie will be no matter who you cast.

  • César Lima

    whaaat the fuuuck!??!?!? stupid article

  • Pronk

    Most of the proper suggested actors would have been too young or were unknowns at the time the original movie came out

  • 277Volt

    Constantine should have absolutely been Guy Pierce!

  • Mo Reno

    Some spell-checking wouldn’t hurt.

  • Anthony Poirier

    I agree with almost every actor on this list, with a few exceptions, Matt Damon and Heath Ledger in Brothers Grimm. I thought they did a splendid job myself. I disagree vehemently with the view that Natalie Portman was horrible as Evey in V. She was incredible, and didn’t have to fake the british accent (right Keanu? You did know John Constantine was a British character too, right?)
    And, for as much as I think Ben Affleck is a lazy, mono-styled, best as an stand-in type actor. I was actually surprised by how well he portrayed Daredevil. For such an mediocre film, he was the lone stand out. Although I cringe about how badly he’s going to screw up the Batman franchise.

  • Patrick

    This article doesn’t make any sense. A lot of the Should Have Cast choices include actors that were undiscovered when the film was shot. Really lazy writing.

  • Guest

    Hey David Zou, you got a little Christian Bale spunk on your chin.

  • Stacey A. Ward

    You are suggesting George Clooney, who made a vile and reprehensible “joke” about Chuck Heston’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s after Heston’s 2002 announcement as the guy who should have played the Heston role in the remake? Give me a break! Alpha male? Clueless Clooney? Wahlberg may not have been great casting, but he did a serviceable job, and he’s a damned site more Alpha male than Clooney, who as I understand it, did not even apologize for his remarks about Heston after getting called-out for his bad-taste and poorer manners… I’m a liberal politically but you could not pay me to watch a Clooney movie after that real-life “performance” revealed just what a nothing he is… I have infinitely more respect for Chuck Heston as an actor, a humanitarian who headed-up aid missions to many of the same places Clooney is trumpeted for visiting, and certainly as much more of an epitome of both a gentleman and an Alpha male than Clooney could ever dream of being… And Mark Wahlberg treated Heston with respect. Kudos also to the new re-boot of Planet of the Apes for many respectful nods toward the original Taylor. And you all, respectfully, should seriously re-think that casting critique above.

    • snaxmaster

      The Wahlberg version is the only reboot of Planet of the Apes. The new ones are prequels to the Heston Originals.

      • S.A. Ward

        It re-booted interest in the series, and has been frequently called a re-boot in the Entertainment media. You are arguing semantics, as opposed to the substance of my criticism. Not the most cogent of replies.

        • snaxmaster

          It’s not semantics. Episode 1 “rebooted” interest in Star Wars but I would never call it a reboot. I was just correcting you, not bashing you. Either way, didn’t intend an argument over it.

          • snaxmaster

            Ok, so I’m wrong. You’re right. It’s a reboot. I looked it up.

          • S.A. Ward

            Thank you. That was gracious and I appreciate it. I took the initial correction as snark, something I should not have rushed to do. This issue aside, while I see your point about casting a more classically robust actor than Wahlberg, I hope you can also realize that for those of us who love Charlton Heston as a person and an actor, George Clooney will forever be an inappropriate individual to step into a remake of a Heston movie. Clooney took political disagreement to an ugly and unacceptable level, when he mocked Heston’s announcement of his diagnosis with what is still a horrible, ultimately fatal disease, one we now know from the latest findings announced in the Journal Neurology claims 500,000 lives a year and not the previously suspected 88,000. Heston did charitable works all of his professional life and left a legacy as a beloved figure across many continents, with a remarkable body of professional work, and a family who adored him. I strongly doubt Clooney will accomplish a tenth of that.

          • snaxmaster

            If you’re talking to me, I didn’t say anything about Heston.

          • S.A. Ward

            I know that. I was referring to the suggested casting of George Clooney instead of Mark Wahlberg as George Taylor in Planet of the Apes.

  • vincent

    of the movies ive seen, which is like maybe half on this list, i respectfully disagree with all your opinions

  • Matthew Mahoney

    This writer is terrible on so many levels that writing a response for him would be pointless since they are probably stuck in their ways. Its like a litte boys wet dream casting, yea jessica simpson in black cat suit is enough said.

    • snaxmaster

      I think, I HOPE, that was meant to compare her acting to the movie quality. Like bad movie deserves bad actor type of thing. At least I sincerely hope so.