It’s become part-and-parcel for actors to throw blind praise towards their own work, even when it’s blatantly obvious they’re swerving from the truth. Actors love to talk about their movies and obviously, the vast majority of the time is spent praising the director or their co-stars or generally hyping up the plot.
Then again, there’s the other side of the coin. Those times when actors have openly distanced themselves from their own movies, falling out with the director in the process. It makes for good press, admittedly, because it’s far juicier than just saying something mindlessly like “I really enjoyed the experience.”
Let’s get cracking with 25 actors who pretty much admitted hating their own work.
1. Megan Fox
Reason: Fox actually took the bold step to poopoo her own performance in the movie, saying she was ‘terrible.’ She didn’t stop there though, having a dig at director Michael Bay in the process.
“I’m terrible in it,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “It’s my first real movie, and it’s not honest and not realistic. The movie wasn’t bad, I just wasn’t proud about what I did… But unless you’re a seasoned veteran, working with Michael Bay is not about an acting experience.” Ouch. Then again, Bay hasn’t exactly built himself a reputation as a perfectionist actor’s director.
Fallout: His response? “Nobody in the world knew about Megan Fox until I found her and put her in Transformers.” Fox then went on to star in the sequel, Revenge of the Fallen, but criticised it too: “I’m in the movie, and I read the script, and I watched the movie, and I still didn’t know what was happening. If you haven’t read the script and you go and understand it, you may be a genius.”
Oh yeah, she also compared Bay to Hitler: “He’s like Napoleon and he wants to create this insane, infamous madman reputation. He wants to be like Hitler on his sets, and he is.” Wow.
2. Charlize Theron
Movie: Reindeer Games
Reason: Because it was a terrible movie, basically. Brainless, implausible and utterly silly, it was one of the worst entries in Ben Affleck’s career – and that’s saying something. It was also one of Theron’s worst, who three years later won an Oscar for her performance as real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster. ‘That was a bad, bad, bad movie,’ she said.
Fallout: Not much. Nobody kicked up much fuss – probably because it was a poor, poor movie.
3. Mark Wahlberg
Movie: The Happening
Reason: Wahlberg acknowledged M. Night Shyamalan’s Razzie-nominated turkey by describing it unfavourably during a press conference, saying Amy Adams “dodged a bullet” by not appearing in the film.
“Fuck it. It is what it is. Fucking trees, man. The plants. Fuck it. You can’t blame me for wanting to try to play a science teacher. At least I wasn’t playing a cop or a crook.”
Fallout: Wahlberg was actually praised by some outlets for his refreshing honesty.
4. Sam Worthington
Movie: Terminator Salvation
Reason: He told Hitfix: “We just have try and do the best character we can do at that time. And I can nitpick with the best of them, man, and go down the list of things I saw on IMDB where they found holes in it and go, ‘You are f***ing right. If there was a big ten-ton robot coming outside that gas station, surely we would f***ing hear it!’ And I missed that! So I go, ‘I gotta be a bit better when I’m looking through my scripts!’ So that kind of raises my games a bit, cause I feel like an idiot for not saying it to McG.”
Fallout: Again, not much was said on the contrary, which sounds about right because this was an awful movie. He hasn’t worked with McG since, unsurprisingly, but it was ironic that he was promoting the equally horrendous Clash of the Titans (or Clash of the Dyslexic Screenwriters if we’re being honest here) at the time he made those comments.
Did Worthington criticise that film? Of course he did. In an interview with XFINITY Entertainment, he said: “I’m the lead of that film and I don’t really like what I did in it. I believe I should have pulled my socks up a bit better and done a bit better and created a character, rather than just being a conduit for the action.
“I think… we kind of let down some people. I think I can act fucking better, to be honest.”
5. Colin Farrell
Movie: Miami Vice
Reason: The film’s failure to capitalise on the acting talent of Jamie Foxx and Farrell as Tubbs and Crockett. Speaking to Total Film, Farrell said: “Miami Vice? I didn’t like it so much. I understood that we were trying to paint a relationship with Tubbs and Crockett that was so grounded and familiar that there was no need for them to incessantly talk to each other — or look at each other — over two and a half hours.”
Fallout: The director, Michael Mann, hasn’t said anything, so it seems as though Farrell has got away with it.
6. Mickey Rourke
Movie: Passion Play
Reason: “Terrible. Another terrible movie,” Rourke told NY Magazine about the movie, which co-starred Bill Murray and Megan Fox. When told that the film was getting a limited release, Rourke quipped, “That’s because it’s not very good.” Rourke has never been one to mince his words, of course.
Fallout: There may have been some response, but Mickey Rourke is the kind of guy who simply won’t care.
7. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Movie: Red Sonja
Reason: Released just as Arnie was experiencing his post-Terminator superstar status, Red Sonja was a laughably bad film which can basically be summed up as two hours of sword and sorcery nonsense. Arnie said: “It’s the worst film I have ever made. Now, when my kids get out of line, they’re sent to their room and forced to watch Red Sonja 10 times. I never have too much trouble with them.”
Fallout: It hardly affected his career, did it?
8. Brad Pitt
Movie: The Devil’s Own
Reason: Brad Pitt has a wonderfully diverse filmography but one of his weakest efforts was The Devil’s Own, which co-starred another huge star in Harrison Ford. This is what Pitt thinks of it: “It’s the most irresponsible bit of filmmaking – if you can even call it that – that I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t believe it.”
Fallout: He married Angelina Jolie and made a string of excellent films, including Inglourious Basterds and Fight Club. I’d say he won this one.
9. Burt Reynolds
Movie: Boogie Nights
Reason: After seeing a rough cut of Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1997 hit, Reynolds was reportedly furious, sacked his agent and turned down a role in the director’s next project, Magnolia. Reynolds recently revealed in an interview with GQ why he hated working with Anderson:
“He was young and full of himself. Every shot we did, it was like the first time [that shot had ever been done]. I remember the first shot we did in Boogie Nights, where I drive the car to Grauman’s Theater. After he said, ‘Isn’t that amazing?’ And I named five pictures that had the same kind of shot. It wasn’t original. But if you have to steal, steal from the best.”
Fallout: There doesn’t seem to be a public response from Anderson, but Reynolds’ initial disgruntlement didn’t stop him from earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
10. Sean Connery
Movie: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Reason: “It was a nightmare,” said Connery in an interview with The Times. “The experience had a great influence on me, it made me think about showbiz. I get fed up dealing with idiots.” Notorious for being a troubled shoot, Connery didn’t get on with his director, Stephen Norrington. “On the first day I realized he was insane,” said Connery. It marked the end of Connery’s career as an actor.
Fallout: Despite ending Connery’s career, Fox are planning a reboot. Who are they going to choose as their next victim?
11. Marlon Brando
Movie: The Freshman
Reason: Before its release, the actor said that he thought the film would go on to become one of cinema’s biggest flops of all time, calling the film “lousy”. Simply put, his words were prophetic, but he seemed to doom the movie to failure so it never really stood a chance.
Fallout: Nobody was actually going to pick a fight with Marlon Brando….
12. Edward Norton
Movie: The Incredible Hulk
Reason: Norton admitted that taking on the role was an experiment that went wrong. He didn’t necessarily hate the film, but made clear her wouldn’t be reprising his stint as Bruce Banner in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which greatly benefitted Mark Ruffalo.
“My feeling was that I experimented and experienced what I wanted to. I really, really enjoyed it. And yet, I looked at the balance of time in life that one spends not only making those sorts of films but then especially putting them out, and the obligations that rightly come with that … I think you can sort of do anything once, but if you do it too many times, it can become a suit that’s hard to take off, in other people’s eyes.”
Fallout: Norton didn’t wish to fulfill his multi-film contract and Marvel obliged, handing the role to Ruffalo, as previously said.
13. Christopher Plummer
Movie: The Sound of Music
Reason: Plummer didn’t want anything to do with the film, referring to it as “The Sound of Mucus,” and allegedly needed to have some drinks before going on set so he could cope. Oh dear. Plummer seemed to soften in his old age though, as he took part in the film’s 50th anniversary last year.
Fallout: Plummer initially refused to turn up for cast reunions, until finally burying the hatchet for the 45th anniversary in 2010.
14. Bruce Willis
Movie: A Good Day to Die Hard
Reason: Jet-lag apparently. Willis appeared on BBC One’s The One Show and inexplicably went on a mini-rant about the film’s title.
“Let me ask you guys, what about the title? Are you confused by it? I don’t understand it. It’s a good day to die hard? No, I’m still working on it. It’s a difficult title. A good day to die hard? It’s like, have a sandwich and let’s go shopping – then die hard.”
Fallout: Willis moved quickly to prevent a backlash, telling XFM: “I didn’t get very many compliments about it. They said it was a little stale. But I was so jet-lagged. I’m very sorry.”
For your added enjoyment, here’s a low-res version of the interview. To be fair, he does seem genuinely exhausted from beginning to end:
15. Alec Guinness
Movie: Star Wars
Reason: “New rubbish dialogue reaches me every other day… and none of it makes my character clear or even bearable,” is what Guinness wrote in posthumously published letters. He also said he “just couldn’t go on speaking those bloody awful, banal lines. I’d had enough of the mumbo jumbo.”
Fallout: George Lucas has always seemed to compliment Guinness, crediting him for inspiring the other actors on set and contributing significantly to getting the movie finished.
16. Sylvester Stallone
Movie: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot
Reason: “I made some truly awful movies. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot was the worst,” he said. “If you ever want someone to confess to murder, just make him or her sit through that film. They will confess to anything after 15 minutes,” Stallone said in a brilliantly candid interview in 2010.
Fallout: The film was so forgotten, nobody really cared much.
17. George Clooney
Movie: Batman & Robin
Reason: “Batman & Robin was a difficult film to be good in. With hindsight it’s easy to look back at this and go, ‘Woah, that was really s*** and I was really bad in it’.”
He also said this in 2015: “I thought at the time this was going to be a very good career move. Um, it wasn’t.” We accept your apology, George. We probably wouldn’t had it not been for Christopher Nolan breathing new life into the franchise.
Fallout: Everyone thought better of Clooney. It would be interesting to hear what director Joel Schumacher thought about his honest assessment, mind.
18. Bob Hoskins
Movie: Super Mario Brothers
Reason: He hated the experience of making the film, especially under the guidance of husband-wife directorial duo Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel. Hoskins had an expletive-riddled reflection on the movie: “It was a fuckin’ nightmare.” The directors were a “husband-and-wife team,” Hoskins explained, and “their own agent told them to get off the set! Fuckin’ nightmare,” he added. “Fuckin’ idiots.”
Fallout: Nobody would dare argue with Hoskins, especially not when he’s trashing his own turkey of a film.
19. Kate Winslet
Reason: Despite launching a career that has seen her scoop a Best Actress Oscar, Winslet wincing at the very mention of Titanic. She told MTV: “I do feel like throwing up. I wish I could say ‘Oh listen, everybody! It’s the Celine Dion song!’ But I don’t. I just have to sit there, you know, kind of straight-faced with a massive internal eye roll.
“Honestly, I actually now get onto boats and say, ‘No jokes, OK? No jokes. Can we just move on from that? And if you have any jokes, let’s just get them out of the way right now. Thank you. Anyone? Jokes, jokes? OK, moving on.’ And then they still tell jokes.”
Fallout: James Cameron can’t hear you, Kate, he’s locked himself away in a box somewhere until Avatar 2 finally gets made.
20. Halle Berry
Reason: Because it was an utter catastrophe., to be quite frank. A film of staggering ineptitude, Berry has openly distanced herself from it ever since. She even showed up to accept her Worst Actress Razzie award in person, so she could make her feelings clear:
“First of all, I want to thank Warner Brothers. Thank you for putting me in this… god-awful movie. It was just what my career needed.” We applaud you, Halle.
Fallout: That speech was much better received than when she won the Oscar for Best Actress. There was nothing wrong with that one, we should say, but just showing up to the Razzies in such a manner was hilarious.
21. Hugo Weaving
Movie: The Transformers series
Reason: He simply didn’t care about anything Transformers-related. The actor told Collider: “I didn’t care about it, I didn’t think about it. I don’t regret doing it, but I very rarely do something if it’s meaningless. It was meaningless to me, honestly…
“I never read the script. I just have my lines, and I don’t know what they mean. That sounds absolutely pathetic! I’ve never done anything like that, in my life. It’s hard to say any more about it than that, really.”
Fallout: Michael Bay, presumably tired of all his actors dissing his movies, called for “all the whiners” to donate their salaries to charity.
22. Ben Affleck
Reason: Often ridiculed for having an absolute abomination of a year in 2003, Affleck told Details magazine about his “annus horribilis”: “I liked Sum of All Fears. Daredevil I didn’t at all. Some movies should have worked and didn’t. At a certain point, it’s just up to the movie gods. People bring up 2003, and I get it. Jennifer Lopez, and Gigli, and all this shit just kind of blew up.”
Fallout: A post-Daredevil renaissance. He won an Oscar for directing Argo, was brilliant in Gone Girl and the man’s frickin’ Batman now. He is officially redeemed.
23. Jessica Alba
Movie: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Reason: She seemed to start hating her job and herself. She revealed during an interview with US Elite: “And then it all got me thinking: Am I not good enough? Are my instincts and my emotions not good enough?… And so I just said, ‘F**k it. I don’t care about this business anymore. Good actors never use the script unless it’s amazing writing. All the good actors I’ve worked with, they all say whatever they want to say.”
Fallout: Unfortunately, Alba’s career has hit the snags, starring in stinkers like Little Fockers, Machete Kills and that Sin City sequel that took far to long to arrive.
24. Danny Dyer
Movie: 10 movies, according to Dyer’s calculations
Reason: Dyer, noted for having a remarkably big mouth, called a quarter of his films ‘shit’ in an interview with Digital Spy. “I’ve had a good run. I’ve made over 40 films. I’d say a quarter of them are s**t, another quarter are all right and I’d say half of them have got something to say.”
Fallout: Well he’s right.
25. Michael Caine
Movie: Jaws: The Revenge
Reason: Caine thought it was terrible. “I have never seen the film, but by all accounts it was terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific,” he hilariously quipped. Bravo, Michael.
Fallout: Everyone loves Michael Caine, even more after reading that quote!
Which ones have we missed? Make sure to let us know on Facebook of any other famous examples!