If Hollywood loves anything more than money, it’s come back stories. Those last years, we experienced goosebumps when Mc Connaughey got a standing ovation at the Oscars, tears when Ben Affleck gave that impressive speech at the Oscars, we felt pretty impressed by RDJ box office numbers and we are still wondering: was that Mickey Rourke at 2008’s Oscars ?
But almost every comeback story needs a long desert journey where mistakes multiply, bad luck encounters, public and attentions fade away: Without Gigli, there would be no Argo, without Ghost of Girlfriend Past, there would be no Dallas Buyers Club.
Here is a list of 10 of the most beloved and well respected actors who, despite the fact that they’ve never given up, lost their places in the sun. Although ,they sure can always count on us to take part in any standing ovation they may have in the future, and that can never come sooner enough..
1. Eddie Murphy
Eddie Murphy (just like many comedians before him, Chevy Chase anyone?) just woke up one day and found himself not relevant enough and far from successful. After the success of both his mid-90’s cult movies: Dr. Dolittle and The Nutty Professor mostly , their sequels failed to impress. And later, he just found himself erring between comedy doomed failures (1000 Words, Pluto Nash, Life, The Haunted House…) even though he was sharing screen with co-stars such as Robert De Niro (Show-Time) or Ben Stiller (Tower Heist).
The only memorable job worth remembering him by for almost two decades is the voice-over for the animated saga Shrek.
How can he rise again: One word: Dreamgirls (The Oscar went to Alan Arkin that night, but it was a sparkle for something else regarding James ‘Thunder’ Early interpret) …. Eddie Murphy should reinvent himself into a new actor, and maybe aim for more artistic choices (Crossing fingers for “Mr. Church” or for Richard Pryor biopic). Though, he may still gamble with both Beverly Hills Cop and Twins sequels (which are both on decks), we never know how those movies will turns out.
2. Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey can be proud of his versatility to play on every board: from the stand-up years, to the more experimental choices (Number 23, I love you Philip Morris, A Series of Unfortunate Events…), being a safe bet in summer blockbusters (Dumb & Dumber, Ace Ventura, Bruce Almighty, Liar Liar..), and his more dramatic roles (Truman Show, Man on the Moon, The Majestic….), There is nothing the star cannot excel at .
Unfortunately, all his last ventures turned out to be flops. Mr Popper Penguin to start with, the sequel to the most cult and beloved Dumb and Dumber and his involvement in Kick-Ass 2, all sounded like the end of an era…. Jim Carrey fails to bring crowds into theaters.
How can he rise again: Hard To predict, Carrey has tried everything during his career and worked essentially on his charisma and energy. Maybe the salvation could come from PG13 comedies (collaborating with original directors such as Judd Apatow , Seth Rogen or Seth Macfarlane), which would be an occasion to stop exploiting his brand name and start setting a whole new different reputation for himself as an actor.
Nevertheless, The Bad Batch presented as a “A dystopian love story in a Texas wasteland and set in a community of cannibals” , co-starring Keanu Reeves and Jason Momoa, could be the trigger for happier days.
3. Renée Zellweger
Once, Renée had it all: A well known and famous character (Bridget Jones), an Oscar and some box-offices hits and well appreciated movies she can be proud of… All of a sudden, some hazardous projects tainted that Hollywood journey: My One and Only, My Own Love Song and …. New in Town? She went through a six years exile, appeared with a complete new face (which made her almost unrecognizable), and came ready to take on new challenges starting with that sequel everyone asked for.
How can she rise again: The third part of Bridget Jones is her ticket to tinsel town again, not surely guaranteed. Albeit, her talent can always grant her roles, after all she was a “funny woman” before the gender swap took over, and she can easily be cast in a female version of a well known movie, say…. Jerry Maguire?
4. Meg Ryan
The undisputed princess of 90’s romantic comedies is less and less seen, and even when it happens, the projects aren’t worthwhile (The Women, Serious Moonlight and My Mom’s New Boyfriend).
Sure, we loved ambitious and original movies like “In the Cut “or “Against the Ropes”, but sadly, Meg Ryan figured out that she needs a more dramatic rebranding way after Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman did, she lost that originality.
How can she rise again: She will soon meet her dear screen partner Tom Hanks in the upcoming movie Ithaca, but how nice would it be if he decided to give her an occasion for a more mature and adult Rom-Com. At this stage of her career, she cannot pretend to be that overnight sensation, but she can always be the next Diane Keaton: working with younger actresses and still looking funny, lovely and appreciated. Age and looks didn’t stop Annie Hall, after all.
5. Bruce Willis
His box-office collections aren’t quite what they used to be back in the 90’s. That’s a fact. Handling a turn-over for the aged action hero is pretty far from good too: Direct-to-videos movies, cameos and supporting roles with no interests and no stakes.
The temperament of the actor isn’t helping feuding with his brother in arm Stallone, poisoning Kevin Smith’s movie and getting fired by Woody Allen. At this point, we wonder how and he and Wes Anderson got along, and how Looper turned out great!
Maybe taking a step back and working on the Broadway adaptation of Misery is the best idea he had for years.
How can he rise again: The answer is so obvious that it makes no originality and almost no debates: Die Hard 6!! Yes, Bruce Willis today cannot make people form lines in front of movie theater unless Yippi Ki Yay is said on a screen. But that cannot be counted for a given result: Die Hard 5 failed in many levels, the sixth opus had to be good: faithful to the spirit of the original, innovative and competitive. Hope Len Wiseman can make us fall in love with John Mcclane again.