There’s no shortage of Hollywood stars who deserve the personal and professional criticism they receive. However, some actors are disliked because of outdated opinions about their talent, or personal scandals that it’s time for the public to move on from.
Here is a list of some actors who receive more than their fair share of hate and may deserve a second chance.
14. Jaden Smith
Who he is: Son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, star of “The Karate Kid,” “The Pursuit of Happyness,” and “After Earth,” Twitter poet.
Why he’s hated: Did you catch where I said “Twitter poet”? From his bizarre tweets to his sub-par performances, Jaden Smith has been the target of public eye-rolling since before he hit puberty.
Why he deserves a chance: It can’t be easy growing up as the child of two Hollywood actors – one of whom has been almost universally beloved since the beginning of his career. From the start, Smith has been acting in the shadow of his father Will, first in the critically acclaimed “The Pursuit of Happyness” (where he did stellar work, especially considering he was 8) and then in the major flop “After Earth.”
That being said, Jaden has done an impressive job in recent years of setting himself apart from his superstar dad. From his bold, gender-defying fashion choices to his strange Twitter prose, no one can argue that he isn’t trying to strike out in his own unique way. Plus, he’s shown some impressive acting chops in recent projects, namely Baz Luhrmann “The Get Down.” The bottom line is: he’s interesting, he’s trying something different, and he’s only 18. Let’s give him a chance.
13. Vanessa Hudgens
Who she is: Former Disney star best known for her work in the “High School Musical” franchise.
Why she’s hated: Hudgens has received a lot of hate over the years for her performances in the schmaltzy “High School Musical” films and her relationship with fellow former Disney star Zac Efron.
Why she deserves a chance: While Zac Efron has managed to put his “High School Musical” past behind him to become a beloved comedy star, the public doesn’t seem as eager to give Hudgens the same opportunity.
This is despite the fact that since branching out from the Disney family she has tackled some tough roles from a homeless, pregnant teenager in “Gimmie Shelter” to her fabulous work as a bored college student turned crime lord in “Spring Breakers.” She also experienced a triumphant return to the musical genre last year when was arguably the only standout performer in an otherwise boring “Grease! Live” on NBC.
No one seems to mind that Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake, and Kerri Russell began their acting careers under the Disney channel umbrella, it’s time to give Hudgens a chance too.
12. Ashton Kutcher
Who he is: Former model and “That 70’s Show” star, known for films such as “The Butterfly Effect,” “Dude, Where’s My Car?” and “Jobs.”
Why he’s hated: Aside from being a sub-par actor, Kutcher received public criticism during his very public marriage and divorce to fellow star Demi Moore.
Why he deserves a chance: Even though his efforts often seem to fall flat, Kutcher sure does try when he’s given the opportunity. To prepare to play Steve Jobs in the 2013 biopic “Jobs,” Kutcher obsessively studied the man for three months, listening to and watching any recordings of Jobs he could find, speaking to people who knew him and even adopting parts of his strict and controversial diet.
While the end result was still considered a flop, the effort he exerted suggests that he’s willing to work hard to be taken seriously. He spent years delivering solid performances in “That 70’s Show” and despite baffling plot lines both “Dude, Where’s My Car?” and “The Butterfly Effect” have developed their own cult followings. If given the chance, it’s possible that Kutcher’s drive and energy could be channeled into the right project, with positive results.
11. Hayden Christensen
Who he is: Actor best known for starring as Anakin Skywalker (AKA Darth Vader) in the controversial Star Wars prequels.
Why he’s hated: Many pointed to Christensen’s awkward acting as one of the be biggest flaws of the Star Wars prequels and blamed him for “ruining” the franchise.
Why he deserves a chance: Though Christensen’s performances in “Attack of the Clones” and “Return of the Sith” certainly left a lot to be desired, it’s unfair to blame their on his work alone. From Jar Jar Binks to poor use of CGI there were a number of issues that made up the disappointing prequels.
Also, what actor would have turned down such an amazing opportunity? If Christensen wasn’t able to handle the iconic role it’s the casting directors who should be blamed for choosing him out the likely thousands of actors who would have loved a chance at the part, not him for taking it.
Outside of the Star Wars universe, Christensen delivered a truly great performance as disgraced New Republic journalist Stephen Glass in the the film “Shattered Glass,” and it would be interesting to see him get another chance to tackle a dramatic, non-action role.
10. Katherine Heigl
Who she is: Actress known for her roles in “Knocked Up” and the television show “Grey’s Anatomy”
Why she’s hated: Rumors have swirled for years about Heigl being difficult to work with, and she has received criticism for speaking out against the roles that made her famous.
Why she deserves a chance: While both “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Knocked Up” fans have long railed against Heigl for speaking out against her characters’ storylines, in both cases she had a point. Her “Grey’s” character’s arch went from bad to worse as she was transformed from a kind friend and doctor to a husband-stealing cancer patient, with entire episodes dedicated to her having sex with the ghost of her dead boyfriend.
While the plot issues in “Knocked Up” are far easier to forgive, Heigl was quoted in Vanity Fair in 2008 as saying that the film portrays female characters as “humorless shrews,” a criticism that deserves some consideration when you think about that fact that both she and Leslie Mann’s characters spend the entire film as killjoys who are constantly telling men to grow up and ruining their fun. Maybe it’s possible that Heigl isn’t a snob, she’s just not afraid to call out ridiculous plotlines when she sees them.
9. Jennifer Lopez
Who she is: Singer and actress best known for “The Wedding Planner,” “Maid in Manhattan” and “Gigli”.
Why she’s hated: Lopez’s penchant for chick flicks paired with her work in the notorious flop “Gigli” have caused some audiences to avoid her films and mock her acting abilities.
Why she deserves a chance: Lopez appears on a surprising number of “Most Hated Celebrity” lists, especially for someone who has caused fairly little controversy since the end of her relationship with Ben Affleck. The attitude toward her is an important reminder that the public never forgets, as the most common example given for why she’s a bad actress is her performance in “Gigli,” an admittedly horrible film she co-starred in with Affleck.
However, Lopez alone wasn’t to blame for Gigli, and although her romantic comedies may not appeal to all audiences, “The Wedding Planner” and “Maid in Manhattan” have held up over the years as strong examples of the genre.
Chick flicks aside, she was fabulous in 1998’s “Out of Sight,” and 1997’s “Selena,” and over the years has held her own alongside the likes of George Clooney, Jane Fonda, and Richard Gere. Affleck’s acting career seems to have recovered fairly unscathed by the memory of Gigli, it’s time for Lopez’s to as well.
Who she is: Singer and occasional actress known for her work in “Evita” and “A League of Their Own.”
Why she’s hated: While some dislike Madonna for her strong political views, more seem to poke fun at her for continuing to perform and dress provocatively when she’s pushing 60.
Why she deserves a chance: Madonna is a trailblazer who has spent decades weathering condemnation from politicians and religious leaders alike for asserting her belief that women should be able to dress and perform however they want. Now that she’s older, she wants to continue to express the style she fought so hard for, and if anyone has won that right, it’s her.