Movie scenes that actors regret doing

By Jake Schroeder

A movie is only as good as those who work on it. Good chemistry between cast members is just as important as telling a good story. These are some actors and actresses that regretted taking their roles for one reason or another. For some, it wasn't a good script. Others, they realized that they were going to be typecast for the rest of their career.

Christopher Plummer in The Sound of Music

Christopher Plummer called the 1965 classic film The Sound of Music “awful and sentimental and gooey” in a roundtable interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Christopher Plummer in The Sound of Music

He told The Boston Globe that “although we worked hard to make him [Plummer’s character] interesting, it was a bit like flogging a dead horse.”

Halle Berry in Catwoman

Halle Berry’s role in the 2004 movie Catwoman landed her a Razzie award for Worst Actress.

Halle Berry in Catwoman

During her acceptance speech, she said, “I want to thank Warner Bros. for casting me in this piece of sh*t, god-awful movie. It was just what my career needed.”

Kate Winslet in Titanic

The 1997 disaster film Titanic is one of the most iconic movies of all time. However, Kate Winslet criticized her “American accent,” saying it was “awful” in “every single scene.”

Kate Winslet in Titanic

She also regrets her “draw me like one of your friend girls” nude scene saying, “I wish I hadn’t shown so much flesh, but I was young, and I knew I had things to prove.”

Carrie Fisher in the Star Wars Series

Carrie Fisher has always been candid about her role as Princess Leia and how the infamous metal bikini turned her into a sex symbol. She told Today that if she knew how popular the Star Wars franchise was going to be, she would have turned it down.

Carrie Fisher in the Star Wars Series
Carrie Fisher in the Star Wars Series

Fisher warned her predecessor Daisy Ridley to not “be a slave like I was” and “keep fighting against that slave outfit.”

Sting in Dune

Sting admitted that the only reason he agreed to star in the 1984 fantasy film Dune was because of “[director David Lynch] and no other reason.”

Sting in Dune

In an interview with Rolling Stone, he said, “I didn’t really want to do the movie because I didn’t think it was wise for me to be in an enormous movie.”

Jessica Alba in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Even though Jessica Alba enjoyed filming the first movie, the 2007 Rise of the Silver Surfer sequel left a bad taste in her mouth. She said the director was rude and wanted her to just focus on looking pretty, which insulted her as an actress.

Jessica Alba in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Alba considered giving up acting after the terrible experience, but luckily she didn’t. 

Burt Reynolds in Boogie Nights

The 1997 drama film Boogie Nights earned Burt Reynolds his only Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He reportedly turned down the role seven times and told Conan O’Brien that Boogie Nights “just wasn’t my kind of film.”

Burt Reynolds in Boogie Nights

He also criticized director Paul Thomas Anderson’s work as not “original.”

Sylvester Stallone in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot

Sylvester Stallone’s role in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot earned him a Golden Razzie Award for Worst Actor.

Sylvester Stallone in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot
Sylvester Stallone in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot

He told Ain't it Cool News that the film is “maybe one of the worst films in the entire solar system, including alien productions we’ve never seen and in some countries -- China, I believe -- running [the movie] once a week on government television has lowered the birth rate to zero.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Red Sonja

Red Sonja released in 1985 and received a 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Arnold Schwarzenegger has joked about it being “the worst film I have ever made."

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Red Sonja
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Red Sonja

"When my kids get out of line, they’re sent to their rooms and forced to watch Red Sonja 10 times. I never have too much trouble with them.”

Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire

Marlon Brando’s role in the 1951 film A Streetcar Named Desire catapulted him into Hollywood stardom. He earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor but told Time he “detested the character.”

Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire

Katherine Heigl in Knocked Up

Katherine Heigl is known to voice her opinion on the projects she takes on, and the 2007 film Knocked Up was one of her biggest regrets.

Katherine Heigl in Knocked Up

Her biggest complaint was that the movie made women seem “humorless and uptight while making men look goofy and fun-loving.” 

Harrison Ford in the Star Wars

Harrison Ford didn’t hate his role as Han Solo in the Star Wars franchise, but he thought his character should have died at the end of Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

Harrison Ford in the Star Wars
Harrison Ford in the Star Wars

Ford eventually asked director George Lucas to kill off his character and was “glad to see that costume for the last time.”

Sean Connery in Dr. No and the James Bond

The first James Bond film, Dr. No, was released in 1962. Following its success, Sean Connery starred as James Bond for seven movies in total.

Sean Connery in Dr. No and the James Bond

Connery eventually became “fed up to here with the whole Bond bit.” He told The Observer that he had “always hated that damned James Bond.”

Michelle Pfeiffer in Grease 2

Attempting to ride on the success of the first film, Grease 2 was considered a cinematic flop when it released in 1982.

Michelle Pfeiffer in Grease 2
Michelle Pfeiffer in Grease 2

Even Michelle Pfeiffer, the new leader of the Pink Ladies reportedly said, “I hated that film with a vengeance and could not believe how bad it was. At the time I was young and didn’t know any better.”

Alec Guinness in the Star Wars

Alec Guinness wrote about his time in the Star Wars franchise. He called it “fairytale rubbish” and that he “just couldn’t go on speaking those bloody awful lines.”

Alec Guinness in the Star Wars

He eventually tossed out unopened mail from Star Wars fans because he was tired of being only being known as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Harrison Ford in Blade Runner

Harrison Ford called being in the 1982 neo-noir science fiction film as “tough.” He and director Ridley Scott butted heads on set.

Harrison Ford in Blade Runner

Ford was particularly taken aback by the voice narration, saying he was “very, very unhappy with their choices and with the quality of the material.”

Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club

Molly Ringwald wrote an article in 2018 about sexual assault for The New Yorker after reflecting on her films. Her young daughter asked to watch her 1985 film The Breakfast Club, and Ringwald was hesitant because of its sexual content.

Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club
Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club

Ringwald said that she feels the need to “examine the roles that these movies have played in our cultural lives...and what they might mean now.”

George Reeves in Superman

The original Superman, George Reeves, felt that his role as the fictional superhero was “beneath his dignity.”

George Reeves in Superman

He thought that being cast in the 1950s TV show Adventures of Superman would be a waste of his time since he believed TV was “unimportant” and “few would see his work.”

Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct

The infamous interrogation scene in the 1992 film Basic Instinct angered Sharon Stone, who was told it would be an innuendo. She watched her scene on the big screen and realized she was exposed and filmed without her knowledge and consent.

Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct

After the showing was over, Stone went into the booth and slapped the director, who had pushed her to shoot the scene as it appears in the movie.

John Cusack in Better Off Dead

Better Off Dead starring John Cusack was released in 1985 and was poorly received by Cusack himself. He reportedly walked out of the screening and confronted the director saying it “was the worst thing I have ever seen. I will never trust you as a director ever again, so don’t speak to me.”

John Cusack in Better Off Dead

Woody Allen in Manhattan

Even though the 1979 film Manhattan was well-received, Woody Allen told Associated Press that his script was “too preachy” and “too self-righteous.”

Woody Allen in Manhattan

He went on further to say, “When I saw it, I was not crazy about it. To this day, I have memories of it being as disappointing to me.” If given a chance to redo it, Allen would choose to rewrite the screenplay.

Emilia Clarke in Terminator Genisys

You might know Emilia Clarke from her iconic role as Daenerys in Game of Thrones. Clarke has been in a variety of movies and TV shows and doesn’t regret any of them—except for one.

Emilia Clarke in Terminator Genisys

The 2015 film Terminator Genisys is her biggest regret because of the bad directing. Clarke said that the mood on set was always tense, making this role one of her most difficult and unpleasant.

George Clooney in Batman & Robin

With a 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s no wonder that George Clooney regrets his role in the 1997 film Batman & Robin. He told Total Film Magazine in 2011 “...that [Batman & Robin] was really sh*t and I was really bad in it. It was a difficult film to be good in.”

George Clooney in Batman & Robin

Alec Baldwin in Rock of Ages

Alec Baldwin took on a role in the 2012 musical comedy Rock of Ages—and deeply regretted it. After about a week into filming the movie, Baldwin realized he made a mistake when he accepted the part.

Alec Baldwin in Rock of Ages

In interviews, he called it “a complete disaster," and now Baldwin tries to forget he was ever in the film.

Dev Patel in The Last Airbender

Critics and fans both hated the 2010 film adaptation of The Last Airbender —and so did Dev Patel, the actor who played Prince Zuko. Patel felt like his voice wasn’t being heard throughout the filming process, and, as a result, Patel said that he “saw a stranger on the screen that I couldn’t relate to.”

Dev Patel in The Last Airbender

The bad experience caused Patel to lose his faith in big-budget movies.

Bill Murray in Garfield

Bill Murray is no stranger to children’s comedy movies, and he took the starring role in the 2004 version of Garfield. Murray said that he only took the role because he thought it was written by Joel Coen, an accomplished filmmaker responsible for films like Fargo. Garfield was actually written by Joel Cohen, who has had a hand in many family movies such as Cheaper by the Dozen.

Bill Murray in Garfield

Murray even referenced this experience in the film Zombieland when he said he regretted doing Garfield. 

Matt Damon in The Bourne Ultimatum

Matt Damon starred in The Bourne trilogy and enjoyed the first two movies, but he absolutely hated the 2007 film The Bourne Ultimatum.

Matt Damon in The Bourne Ultimatum

His biggest complaint was the script, which he called “really embarrassing.” It was so bad that Damon was worried the movie would be a career-ender for him. 

Edward Norton in The Italian Job

Edward Norton played Steve Frazelli in the 2003 remake of The Italian Job alongside other A-list actors. He never even wanted to take the role, but he had a five-year contract with Paramount Pictures and risked being sued if he turned down the part.

Edward Norton in The Italian Job

He ended up delivering a great performance despite hating the entire process.

Ben Affleck in Daredevil

Many people hated the 2003 Daredevil movie, including Ben Affleck. Affleck played the title character but hated every second of it, stating that the film is his only career regret.

Ben Affleck in Daredevil

There’s a silver lining, though: the terrible role motivated him to audition for his iconic role as Batman.

Nicole Kidman in Australia

Nicole Kidman starred in the 2008 film Australia alongside fellow Aussie Hugh Jackman. She isn’t proud of her work, though, and openly admits that her performance was lacking.

Nicole Kidman in Australia

Kidman wishes she had never auditioned for this role, saying that “it’s just impossible for me to connect to it emotionally at all.”