10 Great Actors Who Were Wasted In Bad Roles

We’ve all been there at the movies, confused and a little annoyed when an extremely talented actor is wasted in a role that gives them nothing to do beyond being recognizable to the public. There are countless examples of this.

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Actors perform these roles for several reasons; sometimes they’re just in it for the money, sometimes they’re doing someone a favor, and sometimes they’re hoping their brief appearance might lead to a bigger role in a sequel. Sometimes even Oscar winners find themselves playing a very fine character, and Frances McDormand deserves better.

Updated on December 27, 2022 by Hannah Saab:

There are bad movies coming out every year, and 2022 is no exception (with critical flops like Morbius, amsterdam and Blond). Alongside these terrible films, there are unfortunately some of the worst roles played by otherwise renowned actors, who leave an indelible mark on their mostly impressive filmographies.

Frances McDormand – “Transformers: Dark Moon” (2011)

Available for rental on Apple iTunes and Amazon Video.

The third film in the Transformers franchise, Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, is a standout entry in the series for several reasons. First of all, this is the first entry without Megan Fox. Second, it’s Shia LabeoufThe last appearance of Sam Witwicky. But more importantly, it was the movie that kind of brought in two-time Oscar-winning actress Frances McDormand and then gave her nothing to do.

McDormand played Director Mearing, an agent who spent most of his time bickering with the Autobots and belittling his assistant. Worse still, she didn’t even have the screen time to make an impression. It’s safe to say McDormand won’t be returning for the next one Transformers: Rise of the Beastswhich is expected to arrive in June 2023.

Oscar Isaac – ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ (2016)

Available to stream on Disney+, FuboTV, FXNow and DirecTV.

With moon knight becoming a smash hit on Disney+ and capturing the hearts of fans and critics alike, Oscar Isaac can finally leave the memory of the blue-faced Apocalypse under a pyramid in Egypt. Fans were thrilled when Fox first announced Isaac would be taking the place of the iconic and insanely powerful villain, but it quickly became clear that this wasn’t the perfect match we all expected.

Isaac didn’t enjoy the shooting process, spending hours being put in prosthetics and then shooting in the sun in a huge, heavy suit. Apocalypse also had little to do, spending most of the film recruiting other villains and very rarely displaying any of the powers that make him such a formidable villain in the comics.

Natalie Dormer – ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ (2011)

Available to stream on Disney+.

Before rising to fame thanks to her role as Margery Tyrell in the multi-award winning series game of thrones, Nathalie Dormer made a brief appearance in the film which introduced audiences to Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Captain America: The First Avenger.

Dormer played Private Lorraine, a character whose only real purpose in the film is to cause friction between Steve and Peggy (Hayley Atwell). After Steve rescues a battalion of captured soldiers, Private Lorraine kisses Steve in thanks, which Peggy sees and is understandably enraged. After that, Dormer’s character disappears from the film altogether, an absolute waste of an extremely talented actress.

Anthony Hopkins – “Transformers: The Last Knight” (2017)

Available to stream on FuboTV, DirecTV and USA Network.

There’s a bit of a pattern to the Transformers franchise; they cast amazing actors without having anything interesting for them to do. Anthony Hopkins‘ performance as Sir Edmund Burton in Transformers: The Last Knight is certainly no exception to this pattern.

The acclaimed actor made it clear during the press tour that he didn’t fully understand the film, and his performance reflects that. Although he’s no stranger to a blockbuster – he was in the first three Thor movies; after all – he seemed very restrained in his role here. He was limited to delivering exposition and nothing more, making the decision to cast such a legendary actor odd, to say the least.

Ray Fisher – ‘Justice League’ (2017)

Available to stream on HBO Max.

The off-screen turmoil surrounding the theatrical filming of Justice League and the appalling treatment of Ray Fisher on the set of the film led to him being entirely excluded from the next the flash movie.

What’s more, it also meant that Victor Stone had no arc or actual personality in the film. In the theatrical cut, fans couldn’t see the drive or stoic prowess that made the character stand out so well in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. It’s a parody that we’ll never see Fisher play the superhero again, but the actor will soon reunite with Snyder for Netflix’s next sci-fi flick. rebel moon.

Channing Tatum – ‘GI Joe: Retaliation’ (2013)

Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video and Paramount+.

four years later GI Joe: The Rise of the Cobra public disappointed in 2009, GI Joe: Retaliation action heroes recruited Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis to renew the franchise. Channing Tatum was one of the few actors brought back from the first film to ease the transition, but his appearance was shorter than expected.

Just played in gigantic hits magic mike and 21 jump street, Tatum’s stock had never been higher, which made it all the more puzzling that the studio chose to kill off the Duke of Tatum in the first act. It also wasn’t as if Tatum’s absence had significantly improved the quality of the second film. Instead, it made both films feel disjointed and likely contributed to the franchise’s premature end.

David Harbor – ‘Suicide Squad’ (2016)

Available to stream on HBO Max.

stranger things, Black Mass and The press room are just some of the projects David Harbor used to show his huge talent to the public before his casting as Dexter Tolliver in suicide squad. When you consider the range Harbor displays as an actor, it’s hard to believe he was somehow given such a dull and lifeless character to portray.

Tolliver’s sole purpose in the film is to spit exposure and give Viola Davis‘ Amanda Waller someone to argue with. Luckily, Harbor was finally given a superhero role which allowed him to show off his immense talent opposite. Scarlett Johansson and Florence Poug in Black Widow.

JK Simmons – ‘Justice League’ (2017)

Available to stream on HBO Max.

If one thing is clear about JK Simmonstoo brief appearance in Justice Leagueis that the Oscar-winning actor had been promised a lot more screen time in the upcoming Ben Affleck-with Batman movies. Otherwise, why would he have accepted such a small role?

Simmons has neither the time nor the space to put his stamp on the iconic Jim Gordon, and with the exception of Simmons’ exceptional mustache; anyone could have played this role. Although Jeffrey Wright excels in the role of The Batmanit’s a shame that audiences never see what direction Simmons was planning to take the character in. The exceptional performer had to bring something new to the table, making him another casualty of Ben Affleck’s canceled solo film.

Hugh Jackman – ‘Movie 43’ (2013)

Available to stream on DirecTV and Cinemax Amazon Channel.

Movie 43 is a notoriously bad anthology comedy starring an incredible number of big-name celebrities like Kristen Bell, Halle Berry, Chloe Grace Moretz, Chris Pratt, Emma Stone, Uma Thurman and so many others. Any of these award-winning stars could do well to have ridiculously terrible roles in the critical film, which won three awards at the 34th Golden Raspberry Awards (as Worst Picture).

It is Hugh JackmanThe role of in “The Catch” as the most eligible bachelor in town, Davis, who takes the cake, however. He follows Beth (played by Kate Winslet) as she goes on a blind date with the famous Davis, only to find that he has a pair of testicles hanging from his neck. During their dinner, no one else in the restaurant seems bothered by this glaring fact. The entire sequence (like the entire movie) is cringe-worthy, and none of the jokes really land. Much like Beth, viewers just want the nightmare to end, which probably isn’t too far off from what Jackman thought while filming this scene.

Florence Pugh – “Don’t Worry Honey” (2022)

Available to stream on HBO Max.

Fans had high hopes for the director Olivia Wildeit is don’t worry darlingwhich is a psychological thriller set in an eerily perfect 1950s-style corporate town. Here, Alice (Florence Pugh) and Jack Chambers (Harry Styles) do their best to fit in, with Pugh playing the role of the perfect housewife and Styles being a hardworking husband. Soon, cracks begin to reveal darker secrets about the city and its people.

With a disappointing twist, a message that doesn’t quite land, and a lackluster performance, the film understandably received mixed reviews. Pugh actually directed the whole movie with his performance, but his talents are wasted on the bad part of the mundane movie that had a lot of potential.

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10 Great Actors Who Were Wasted In Bad Roles – Deadline