It’s no secret that sometimes actors and actresses take roles to ensure their bank accounts remain as stacked as possible. It’s also no secret that sometimes performers sign up for a job and find themselves in positions they never saw coming. No matter how you shake it, chances are solid that your favorite thespian has popped up in at least one stinker. It’s just not always common practice to see lead performers openly trash those films, or even flat out refuse to promote them. The following six performers showed no concern with sprinkling their stinkers with insults and general neglect.
Rooney Mara, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
Once a Rooney Mara fan, the woman broke my heart in the wake of the A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (for the record I don’t love the film, but I believe that with some inspired performances it certainly would have improved the picture, even if only by a hair) release. Mara, who clearly phoned her performance in, did so for a reason.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly back in 2011, Mara made note that she contemplated walking away from the business after shooting the picture. She didn’t hesitate to elaborate. “I didn’t want to act anymore.” She added, “I was like, this isn’t what I signed up for. If this is what my opportunities are going to be like, then I’m not that interested in acting. So I was very discouraged and disheartened.”
It’s one thing to be discouraged, it’s another thing to be completely disrespectful to the fans, whether intentional or not.
“You kind of learn to self-sabotage with things you don’t want to get,” she shared. “Sometimes you don’t want to get something, but you do a really good job and you get in anyway. That’s kind of [what happened] with ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ – I didn’t even really want it. And then I went in [to audition], and I was like, ‘Fuck. I definitely got that.'”
Here’s an idea, Ms. Mara, don’t audition for a film you have no interest in.
Sam Worthington, CLASH OF THE TITANS
The universal voice would likely agree that CLASH OF THE TITANS lacked the spark fans had hoped for. It’s also pretty obvious that the dialog often bordered on nauseating and more than a single computer enhanced image left audiences cringing.
Those things apparently left Worthington cringing, as well. But unlike Rooney Mara, Worthington dissed the flick with a little respect for those involved with the project and those who saw the film.
Speaking with Moviefone, Worthington gave his negative, but respectful assessment of the film. “I think the first one, we kind of let down some people. I think I can act fucking better, to be honest.”
Rather than blaming the material, Worthington was critical of himself, which is an admirable quality. The fact that he returned for a sequel determined to make improvements speaks testament to his character. He’s a fighter, not a quitter.
“What we’re setting out to do with this one — the writers and the director and myself — is improve. Just take all the notes from people that I have been reading about on the ‘net and give them a movie they fucking want. This one I want to kind of try to satisfy a lot more people.”
Thank you, Sam, that’s an honorable approach if ever there was one.
Daniel Craig & Rachel Weisz, DREAM HOUSE
DREAM HOUSE is actually a very interesting addition to this list, because neither Daniel Craig nor co-star/soon-to-be-wife, Rachel Weisz went out of their way to vocally shit on the film. Instead, they opted to completely shun the film, essentially pretending it had never been made. They made no promotional rounds for the pic, they shut interviewers down when the topic arose. They treated DREAM HOUSE like an unwanted, overweight stepchild who raids the refrigerator and shits on the floor every evening.
It can probably be agreed upon that the picture has some legitimate problems (many of which look like they came to be during post-production) working against it. For one, the focal trailer for the movie quickly gives away one of the film’s big twists. But there’s a second twist we get in the final moments of the final act, and while it isn’t pulled off without hitch, it works fairly well, and definitely takes strides in easing the ache induced by the first two acts.
No matter what you ultimately think of DREAM HOUSE, it’s more than apparent that Craig and Weisz aren’t the biggest of fans. You’d think they’d seem a little more grateful for the film, seeing as how it led to their romantic relationship and subsequent marriage.
Jamie Lee Curtis, VIRUS
Yep, even the Queen of Scream Queens, Jamie Lee Curtis has her moments of mild indignation In Curtis’ case, the nastiness hit the fan and was sprayed right back in the direction of John Bruno’s so-bad-it’s-good sci-fi/horror mash-up, VIRUS. But for a film that, while technically looks subpar on every level, provides legitimate brainless fun, Curtis sure went in like a savage lion to a wounded gazelle.
Speaking English media Curtis had the following to say: “That’s a piece of shit movie. It’s an unbelievably bad movie; just bad from the bottom.
“There’s a scene where I’m running away from this alien and I actually hide under the stairs. I come down some stairs and then duck up underneath them and I’m quivering and this big thing comes down the stairs and I’m freaking hiding under the stairs! This is something that can open walls of steel and I’m hiding under stairs!
“It was maybe the only time I’ve known something was just bad and there was nothing I could do about it. I just do the best I can and there have been bad movies that have been wildly successful and great movies that have tanked, so you never know. It was an independent precursor to all of these Marvel comics movies. I thought maybe that fan base would show up for it, but no.”
Nope, not many showed up at all. VIRUS grossed just $30 million worldwide, and that was against a $75 million budget. The film also suffered a lengthy delay in making the transition to big screen to VHS (yeah, these were pre-DVD/Blu-ray days), which may have damaged home video sales to boot.
Maybe Jamie was right to shit on this one.
Mark Wahlberg, THE HAPPENING
Is there any point in highlighting Mark Wahlberg’s thoughts on M. Night Shyamalan’s career low-point, THE HAPPENING? It seems the world as a whole was pretty disappointed with the performances and the… threat (those damn leaves are dangerous!) presented in the film. While Shyamalan has gone on record in stating that he’d hoped to create a contemporary film that leaned on the techniques of vintage film (IE the wooden acting), you know it wasn’t a success when your respected male lead has the following to say at a press conference for THE FIGHTER:
“We had actually had the luxury of having lunch before to talk about another movie and it was a bad movie that I did. She dodged the bullet. And then I was still able to … I don’t want to tell you what movie … alright “The Happening.” Fuck it. It is what it is. Fucking trees, man. The plants. Fuck it. You can’t blame me for not wanting to try to play a science teacher. At least I wasn’t playing a cop or a crook.”
Now that is an epic quote.