One has to think seeing yourself on the big screen has got to be a surreal experience in many ways. You are the most critical of yourself, the way you act, the way you move, the way you speak. Since actors make a living based a lot on their appearance and performance they would be their harshest critic.
Actor Johnny Depp has admitted: “I hate watching myself on screen. I can’t stand it.”
Playing the same role over and over actors also have to live in fear of being typecast. Anthony Hopkins recently revealed he regrets reprising his infamous role of Hannibal Lecter in “Hannibal” and “Red Dragon” saying they were a “mistake”. He called “Silence of the Lambs” a “good film.”
Leonard Nimoy had gone back and forth over the years regarding playing Mr. Spock initially glad when the series was cancelled, not wanting to appear in a television reboot of the series and even insisting his character die in the “Star Trek” feature films. He had written books in his lifetime called “I am Not Spock” and later “I Am Spock”.
There could be a lot of reasons why actors did not their specific films or roles. They did not like their performance, they did not enjoy the experience of making a particular film or did not like the finished product.
It is unusual, however, for an actor to dislike a movie generally liked by critics and audiences. Even if they don’t have a high opinion they usually keep it to themselves not wanting to disparage their work or the work of others. After all, many people are involved in the making of a film.
(In no particular order)
1. Kate Winslet for Titanic
For Winslet, the experience of making the iceberg-bound ocean liner epic has got to be a surreal one. Winslet has always been known in her career for making smaller, arty-type roles and shying away from the big-budget blockbuster type. She has also been criticized for her figure over the years.
For her performance in “Titanic”, she says “Every single scene, I’m like ‘Really, really? You did it like that? Oh my God! Even my American accent, I can’t listen to it. It’s awful. Hopefully it’s so much better now. It sounds terribly self-indulgent but actors do tend to be very self-critical. I have a hard time watching any of my performances, but watching Titanic I was just like, ‘Oh God, I want to do that again.’”
Winslet has also said many people give her a hard time when they see her now travelling by sea and ask her if they should be worried? Surely that gets old for her quickly. She also has said the sound of the Celine Dion song “My Heart Will Go On” makes her “feel like throwing up”. Who could blame her?
2. Marlon Brando for A Streetcar Named Desire
Marlon Brando was one weird guy. On one hand one of the greatest actors of all time, on the other hand a very eccentric, outlandish, recluse in his later life who said he only did a lot of roles in the latter part of his career for money and not for the work.
For his role of Stanley Kowalski in “Streetcar”, Brando refused his usual “method acting” approach of portraying his character, and played the character based on people he knew. The real thing he did not like about the character was how he became a sex symbol. His performance was heralded as intense genius, but sexy, intense genius and he didn’t feel this was justified. He thought he was not an outlaw as he was just a bad buy. He said “He had the kind of brutal aggressiveness that I hate.”
Maybe this is one of the reasons Brando let himself go later in life so he would not have been thought of as such.
He also expressed disappointment in the film, “The Freshman”, which he called “lousy”, but didn’t say much about the mega-awful” The Island of Dr. Moreau” which he made right after.
3. Edward Norton for The Italian Job
If you had to make a list of “10 actors everyone hates making a movie with”, Edward Norton would always be on this list. Having a notorious, horrible reputation of being difficult to work with, having a huge ego, having creative differences with everyone and always telling everyone what to do have been only a few qualities which have been said about him over his career.
After a shining performance in “Primal Fear”, Norton had a three-picture contract with Paramount Picture he had to fulfill. After facing a lawsuit from Paramount and waiting eight years without making another film for them, he reluctantly appeared in the crime drama film, but refused to do any promotion for it.
He even said “My real fans should give this (film) a miss”.
In 2008, a nearly identical situation occurred when he became unhappy with the direction of “The Incredible Hulk” and did little to promote the film. This is most likely the reason he was replaced by Mark Ruffalo for “The Avengers”. Probably a good move.
4. Christopher Plummer for The Sound of Music
This is kind of a strange entry. It is hard to believe anyone could dislike the 1965 Best Picture winner, especially one of its stars; however, that is the case with Plummer.
He told the Hollywood Reporter: “Because it was so awful and sentimental and gooey,” he explained with a laugh. “You had to work terribly hard to try and infuse some miniscule bit of humor into it.”
He thought the part was extraordinary boring to play saying it did not have much range even saying his character “sucked massive, sweaty donkey balls”. He often refers to “The Sound of Music” as “The Sound of Mucus” and “S&M.”
5. John Cusack for Better Off Dead
First of all, it’s hard to believe John Cusack ever said anything bad about anyone. He seems like the type of guy you’d love to have as a best friends. He usually plays such lovable characters.
After watching “Better Off Dead” for the first time, he told director Steve Holland the film was “the worst thing I have ever seen” and he would “never trust you as a director again.”
He recently explained he thought the film was going to be a much darker comedy than the finished product ended up being. He was also 17 at the time and just starting his career.
“It was one of those things where I made it, and I didn’t really have a feel for it. But it was fine. It was good. But what happens is that you have to go [to your press tour] and they’d want to talk to you about The Sure Thing or that movie instead of what you were there to talk about. So, it wasn’t that I hated the movie or hated anything. I just didn’t want to keep talking about it.”