When 14 great actors completely phoned in their performances

  • When 14 great actors completely phoned in their performances

There's no doubt that this list is full of some of the finest acting talent that Hollywood has ever had on offer, but sometimes their hearts aren't in the films they're starring in.

Whether they're just doing it for the big fat wage packet, some behind-the-scenes executive meddling or they're heart isn't in the acting game anymore.

Here are some Hollywood greats just plain couldn't be bothered...

14. Marion Cotillard in The Dark Knight Rises

It's debatable whether this is a case of phoning it in, or Marion Cotillard's inability to act out an authentic and non-hilarious death scene.

If Christopher Nolan, renowned for his attention-to-detail, had given up on this performance, it's probably her acting that's at fault.

13. Jeremy Renner in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Renner has been criticised for not giving his Avengers character Hawkeye a personality, but it would seem that he also can't give witch hunter Hansel one either.

12. January Jones in X-Men: First Class

Another case of an either an actress who doesn't care about the role, or an actress who's just plain bad.

11. Will Smith in Winter's Tale

Smith's cameo as Lucifer in Winter's Tale is marred by his seeming indifference to the story. 

It's like Will has just wandered in, avoiding the wardrobe department and reading the lines of a card.

10. Ralph Fiennes in Wrath of the Titans

Apparently Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson had a lot of fun on the set of Wrath of the Titans.

Perhaps during filming Fiennes couldn't be bothered with acting and would rather much about with his buddy Liam Neeson instead, because it looks like it.

9. Bruce Willis in Cop Out

Apart from the odd couple, it seems like Bruce hasn't cared about his acting roles in the last ten years or so.

He doesn't even seem to care when he's promoting the films that he doesn't care about acting in, as this bum-clenchingly awkward interview illustrates.

8. Michael Caine in Jaws: The Revenge

Michael Caine had mixed feelings concerning the production and the final cut of Jaws: The Revenge.

In an interview, Caine once said about it: "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."

7. Michael Madsen in Sin City

Madsen's indifference to putting in the effort with his performances has resulted in his close collaborators Quentin Tarrantino and Robert Rodriguez avoiding casting him in their films.

Sin City is a perfect example of Madsen turning up, reading his lines and then leaving to cash in his pay cheque.

6. Natalie Portman in Thor: The Dark World

Natalie Portman was publicly upset that director Patty Jenkins left due to "creative differences".

Some sources claim she threatened not to take part in the film with another director, but couldn't get out of her contract, so she just phoned in her performance as Jane Foster.

5. Robert De Niro in Killing Season

Seemingly another actor who just doesn't seem to be bothered about the films he's involved in.

Bobby De Niro hasn't half-heartedly phoned in in a large amount of his recent roles, including Meet the Fockers, Righteous Kill, Little Fockers, Red Lights... we could go on.

4. George Clooney in Batman & Robin

There is so much wrong with Batman & Robin, Clooney's wooden and uninspired delivery as the caped crusader is just another item on the list.

When filming was over, George Clooney quipped, "I think we just killed the franchise".

3. Edward Norton in The Italian Job

Edward Norton made it clear that his participation is a result of contractual obligation, not choice.

He signed a three movie deal with Paramount, just to get Fight Club made.

He kept dismissing scripts for the other two, until Paramount coerced him into accepting a role in The Italian Job.

2. Wesley Snipes in Blade: Trinity

Snipes' Blade: Trinity co-star Patton Oswalt revealed that Snipes spent most of the duration of filming in his trailer getting stoned and refusing to come out.

On one occasion that Snipes managed to leave his trailer, he told the film's director David Goyer to quit. When Goyer replied that it should be Snipes who should quit as they could use stand-ins to finish the film, Snipes tried to strangle the director.

Goyer hired some bikers to pose as his security team to scare Snipes, and it worked, after that the actor only communicated with his director with post-it notes signed "from Blade".

1. Marlon Brando in The Island of Doctor Moreau

Marlon Brando, renowned for his massive ego and unwillingness to follow directors' requests excelled himself on the set of The Island of Dr. Moreau.

For one scene, he put an ice bucket on his head and refused to take it off, so the scene had to be shot with him wearing an ice bucket.

He also wore an earpiece to feed his lines, rather than having to learn them. According to co-star David Thewlis, the earpiece would sometimes get interference from police frequencies, so Brando would end up acting out lines like "There's a robbery at Woolworths!"

As well as that, he demanded a little person that he'd befriended during production appeared in all of his scenes, and provided the inspiration for Mini Me in Austin Powers.


Have we missed any dreadful performances that deserve naming and shaming? Let us know in the comments below...

Tell us what you think...

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.