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"I Never Thought They Were Going to Kill and Rape": 12 Instances of Actors Admitting Their Biggest Career Mistakes

By Josh Kurp | Seriously Random Lists | September 20, 2012 | Comments ()


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Last week, when speaking to New York magazine, Homeland star Mandy Patinkin was asked about CBS' "Criminal Minds," which he abruptly left after two seasons. His reason: "The biggest public mistake I ever made was that I chose to do 'Criminal Minds' in the first place," he says. "I thought it was something very different. I never thought they were going to kill and rape all these women every night, every day, week after week, year after year. It was very destructive to my soul and my personality. After that, I didn't think I would get to work in television again." Well, you did, and now you're on one of the best shows on TV. Good job, Mandy! His candidness got me thinking about other actors and actresses who have publicly denounced their work. Here are 12 such examples.

Bob Hoskins and Super Mario Bros.

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What is the worst job you've done? "Super Mario Brothers."

What has been your biggest disappointment? "Super Mario Brothers."

If you could edit your past, what would you change? "I wouldn't do Super Mario Brothers." (Via)

George Clooney and Batman & Robin

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Batman & Robin was a disaster, rife with homoeroticism, camp, and those infamous Bat-nipples. Clooney once joked that he helped to kill the franchise. "Joel Schumacher told me we never made another Batman film because Batman was gay." The actor also called the movie "a waste of money." (Via)

Mark Wahlberg and The Happening

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"I was such a huge fan of [Amy Adams]. We'd 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. I don't want to tell you what movie...alright, The Happening with M. Night Shyamalan. It is was it is. F*cking trees, man, the plants. F*ck it. You can't blame me for wanting to try to play a science teacher, you know? I wasn't playing a cop or a crook." (Via)

Shia LaBeouf and Transformers 2

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On the second movie, "we got lost. We tried to get bigger. It's what happens to sequels. It's like, how do you top the first one? You've got to go bigger," LaBeouf said. "Mike [Bay] went so big that it became too big, and I think you lost the anchor of the movie. You lost a bit of the relationships. Unless you have those relationships, then the movie doesn't matter. Then it's just a bunch of robots fighting each other." (Via)

Orson Welles and Transformers: the Movie

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Welles hated working on Transformers: The Movie, where he voiced Unicron. When asked about the film, he not only couldn't remember the name of his character, but he described the film as "I play a big toy who attacks a bunch of smaller toys." (Via)

Alec Guinness and Star Wars

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In his autobiography, Guinness mentions a small child coming up to him and saying that he'd seen Star Wars 100 times. Guinness replied that he'd give the kid an autograph if he promised to never watch the movie again and the boy burst into tears. He called the movies "banal" and "mumbo-jumbo," and would throw out Star Wars-related fan mail unopened. Guinness also claimed that it was his idea to get Obi-Wan killed off because he wanted a smaller part. (Via)

Sylvester Stallone and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot

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The worst film I've ever made by far...maybe one of the worst films in the entire solar system, including alien productions we've never seen...a flatworm could write a better script then STOP! OR MY MOM WILL SHOOT. In some countries - China, I believe - running STOP! OR MY MOM WILL SHOOT once a week on government television has lowered the birth rate to zero. If they ran it twice a week, I believe in twenty years China would be extinct. (Via)

Gwyneth Paltrow and View from the Top

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In an interview with the U.K.'s The Guardian, Paltrow called this movie "terrible" and put it in a not-so-flattering category with another film she'd like to erase from her resume: Shallow Hal. (Via)

Chevy Chase and Caddyshack II

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At one point, Chase murmured to the film's director Allan Arkush during post-production, "Call me when you've dubbed the laugh-track," before walking away in disgust. (Via)

John Cusack and Better Off Dead

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[Director Steve] Holland received a shock when he screened Better Off Dead prior to the film's release for the cast and crew of One Crazy Summer -- also starring John Cusack -- just before production was about to get under way on location in Cape Cod. Twenty minutes into the screening, Cusack walked out and never returned. "The next morning," said Holland, "[Cusack] basically walked up to me and was like, 'You know, you tricked me. Better Off Dead was the worst thing I have ever seen. I will never trust you as a director ever again, so don't speak to me'...He was just really upset. And I said, 'What happened?! What's wrong?!' And he just said that I sucked, and it was the worst thing he had ever seen, and that I had used him, and made a fool out of him, and all this other stuff...It was so out of left field that it just floored me." Cusack finished One Crazy Summer since he was contractually obligated, but he never worked with Holland again. (Via)

Groucho Marx and The Cocoanuts

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Referring to directors Robert Florey and Joseph Santley, Groucho Marx remarked, "One of them didn't understand English and the other didn't understand Harpo." When the Marx Brothers were shown the final cut of the film, they were so appalled they tried to buy the negative back and prevent its release. Paramount wisely resisted -- the movie turned out to be a big hit and earned close to two million dollars. (Via)

Bill Cosby and Leonard Part 6

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Even Bill Cosby would agree with me on this one; when the film was released, he encouraged everyone in America not to see the film. In fact, so ashamed was Cosby by this theatrical misfire that he purchased the television rights to ensure that it would never appear on the small screen. (Via)






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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Geeze, sorry I blew up your mom Ricky.

  • AnonPedant

    Candidness? What, candour isn't a word anymore? Someone yanked its Official Word Card?

  • Aw, I loved Better Off Dead :(

  • BlackRabbit

    Everyone's entitled to their opinions. Sadly I've seen too many of these flicks.

    Clooney: I thought he was a great Bruce Wayne. Terrible Batman, though.
    LaBeouf: I'm sorry, who the hell are you?
    Cusack and most of the rest of these: Ooo, I'm crippled forever. Boo hoo on me to be a whiny git and the final authority of good taste.

    I'm wondering if actors usually read scripts they're offered, or if their agents really do bamboozle them into crappy roles.

  • PDamian

    Don't know that anyone will read this, but ... there's a terrific interview with Damien Lewis (Homeland) in the NYT today that's pretty apropos:

    "I’d just had this big success with “Band of Brothers” and the expectation was that you go to L.A. and try to step up into studio movies. Buy some muscles from somewhere and a fake tan — by the way, I would need a lot of fake tan — and go be Hollywood guy. I found a project called "Dreamcatcher" — I was a big fan of Larry Kasdan and the other people who were involved were sort of A-list. “Dreamcatcher” then tanked horribly. It didn’t work out and I was slightly scared away by that experience. I determined that I would go and do stuff where I could earn my stripes as an actor rather than try to be a star."

  • no one

    Man I love Mandy Patinkin. Every since you know when I’ve been rooting for him to be in good stuff. If you haven’t seen ‘Dead Like Me’ you should.

  • Zuffle

    Yup, Leonard Part Six deserves to be expunged from your resumé, Bill, but Ghost Dad? There's a fucking masterpiece for the ages.
    Also, did Cusack watch 2012? Because if you're going to tell a director they've humiliated and disrespected you for making a bad movie, you might as well choose the worst movie you've ever made. If it weren't for Woody Harrelson, that shit would have been irredeemable.

  • oilybohunk7

    Minus the hamburgers-coming-to-life scene Better Off Dead is gold. GOLD!
    "Gee, I'm real sorry your mom blew up, Ricky."
    "Now that's a real shame when folks be throwin' away a perfectly good white boy like that."
    GOLD I TELL YOU!

  • Kip Hackman

    You know, I love Star Wars as a franchise, and I really enjoy the Original Trilogy, but I can totally see where Guinness is coming from.

  • BobBX542

    I used to complain about Patankin leaving Dead like me, but I liked him on Criminal Minds, and now that I know why he left, I feel even worse that he left Dead Like Me. But in a different way. As for the rest, I've heard Chevy is a bit of a dick, so this doesn't surprise me really. Cusack hating Better off dead Surprises me, because I love that movie. I thought it was pitch perfect. Oh well, Just shows to go you, you never know what life brings.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Alec Guinness, that fucking hypocrite. Making small children cry, but getting rich off of the Star Wars royalties. What a dick.

  • Very few things in the world please me as much as Mark Wahlberg angry.

  • no one

    They killed his dog

  • special snowflake

    Mandy Patinkin can suck my dick, and anyone else's he thinks might believe in his "artistic integrity" bullshit. Didn't he trash another show where he was 'duped' into doing work he considered beneath his craft while wiping his ass on the money he made from it?
    Oh yeaahh, playing the love interest of a bi-polar woman young enough to be his granddaughter is real 'quality' material for an ahhkk-taah of his limitless genius??
    Give me a fuckin break, you nutless Broadway Bitch Without A Memory- goddamned Streisand was a more convincing male in 'Yentl' than your sadly overrated ass, and Inigo Montoya himself would have cut the fuckin' rope rather than bother gutting a pussy like you.
    Jeezus fuck, even I knew what a piece of shit 'Criminal Minds' was before I even saw the goddamned show..
    HELLO, Mandy?!? You lived all these years alongside the rest of human civilization without knowing what a joke CBS has been since, what, 'The Beverly Hillbillies'?
    Aw hell, just sue 'em for "rape of the soul" or whatever damage your precious "reputation" suffered...
    Do it before they sue YOU for being an ignorant, arrogant loudmouth who waits until he's comfortably employed again before shit-talking his past job, you ungrateful prick.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Not that I really think it'll make much of a difference, but Mandy Patinkin was in the original cast, so he didn't have previous episodes to judge. And the show's creator didn't have any previous projects to judge. And a show is more than just the network it's on.

    It's an interesting concept, so I think that would grab an actor, but I think the exploitative nature of the show could bring someone down. (My roommate loves the show, after sitting through a few episodes I now leave the room when it's on).

  • Ben

    No Bill Murray? I heard murray only did it cause he saw Joel Cohen on the script and thought it was Joel Coen.

  • BierceAmbrose

    Also, sounds like a comment diversion. Biggest career mistake?

    And bad mistakes

    I've made a few

    I've had my share of sand kicked in my face -

    But I've come through

  • BierceAmbrose

    I feel like this SRL should be much longer.

  • Pookie

    Motherfucker you’re Orson Welles! What the fuck are you doing anywhere near the “Transformers?” It’s almost like you and Bobcat Goldthwait have the same agent and somehow the both of you ended up with the other’s job.

  • I can't believe Stallone said that about "Stop!...". Not because he's wrong, but because I've read his novel and I can't believe he's able to string together a single coherent thought, let alone several witty statements.

  • Uncle Mikey

    Amen on the Cusack thrashing. That movie was awesome.

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    And how old was this 14-karat sootikin when he mouthed off like that to his director like that? Humans shouldn't be able to screech that way to people who aren't in graduate school. Some apples rot before they've even fallen off the tree. And Must Live Dogs was a tit-licking masterpiece, hm?

    Montoya: Just read the fucking script next time, or was there some ordinance passed that bars actors from learning the premise of a show and a cop procedural, at that any earlier than season six? He has to perpetually nurture his soul, how else will he be able to portray a gruff authority figure with a paternal warm marmalade centre? 'Oh, my craft, y'all are brutalizing me!'

    Hey, I love Mr. Show and Arrested Development, but early in the spring I heard yet another shit-fit about the Chipmunks film pop up on my iPod. I decided to yank the ear buds out as the dental surgeries I having were less irritating.

  • special snowflake

    Yo, Jo, wish I had read your comment before posting mine.
    What can I say, I got a Patinkin trigger-finger.
    Fuckin asshole.

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    I loved him in The Princess Bride, but then, I loved Cary Elwes in it, too.

    You just can't pull a Red Foxx abandonment move out on people with whom you're working.

  • Pookie

    Fuck Mandy Patinkin, I bet his ass wasn’t so upset that he turned down the scratch he was making. The motherfucker worked for the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, what did he expect he would be doing? Chasing down people with overdue library books? Wasn’t this guy on a medical show a few years back, and didn’t people die on that show? My biggest mistake was reading this article.

  • special snowflake

    Pooks, I didn't scroll down far enough to see your earlier comment, either; I withdraw my inferior submission, please disregard.

  • Jo 'Mjama' Besser

    Wrong thread, my mistake. I mean, I agree with you, but that comment should've ended up somewhere else. Sorry.

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    Are you sure that you're not actually in Moscow?

  • googergieger

    What about Mitt Romney denouncing Obamacare. Wait, what? That wasn't a movie and he isn't an actor? Well then what's wrong with him? And I need to stop getting all my news from those Korean cartoons where there is always a Panda or bear of some sort in them. Well that or at least learn the language.

  • APOCooter

    Orson Welles can go fuck himself. Transformers: the Movie was awesome. It got me through many a lazy summer afternoon, and to this day I still love the soundtrack.

    Alec Guinness, however, was right on the money. Just 20 years to soon.

  • Andrew

    Yes, Alec, time to get back to more serious roles. Roles like an Englishman pretending to be Russian. Or an Arab.

    So much better.

  • Some Guy

    Really? You're going to give one of the most respected actors of his generation shit because he played characters with different ethnicities and cultures than his own during a time where the Hollywood system never/rarely hired foreign actors to play foreign leads? A man who won a best actor oscar and was knighted?

    Star Wars may be more popular, but it was light years from his best role.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Not only that, but from an actor point of view we jump at the chance to play "other" - even though it may not be PC, it's fun.

  • Nieve 'The Threadkiller Queen'

    I love Criminal Minds and I dont care who knows it.

  • Blake

    “I play a big
    toy who attacks a bunch of smaller toys.” That is brilliant!

  • Snath

    I heard Mandy is a dick in real life, but because of Inigo, he'll get a free pass from me forever. Plus, Homeland is awesome, and Saul is a giant teddybear of a intelligence operative.

    I'm actually kind of sad that Orson Welles hated Transformers. That movie is a staple of my younger, fledgling nerd self.

    YOU'VE GOT THE TOUCH!

  • mm

    wow, who's that girl beside Shia in your screencap of Transformers 2?! wowzers!

  • ERM

    Megan Fox

  • ERM

    Why do I get downvoted for answering someone's question? You people are assholes.

  • LibraryChick

    I think the downvoting was more to express folks' feelings about the actress than to criticize you, ERM.

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    Ha, ha! The Season Of The Disqus will bury us all.

  • Jim

    Mandy, seriously? What did you think they were gonna do each week: solve the mystery of who put the Proust volumes back in the wrong order?

    And Clooney, the homo-eroticism was the only thing that movie had going for it. There are probably people out there STILL writing Clooney-BatMan and Whats-his-name-Robin slash fiction to this very day. (What the hell was his name anyway? Chris something? To the IMDB-Mobile!!!)

  • Aisha

    It seems like he was more upset that the victims were mostly women being horribly murdered. Maybe he thought the show would be about different types of crime and victims.

  • DenG

    It seems to me that the show focuses on serial killers which restricts them factually to crimes against women. The majority of serial killers, with exceptions like Gacy, Dahmer, do target females. Can't figure out why Mandy didn't realize this.

  • ERM

    I think that's understandable. I'm sure investigating gang violence or robberies is very different than investigating rape. I'm sure acting like you are investigating those different types of crimes would be different as well.

  • Snath

    Chris O'Donnell.

  • valerie

    Boo! I love Shallow Hal! Serves me right for thinking Paltrow had a sense of humor about herself.

  • $27019454

    Gwyneth dissed Shallow Hal? What a tool. That is one of the best things she has EVER done.

  • no one

    Agree. And one of the few times I could stand watching whats-his-face.

  • Moving to China would be the best thing she's ever done. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

  • Kailan_Sunshine

    No! We don't want her over here!

  • Hawkeye Fierce

    While I can understand Mandy's reaction to the violence and gore on Criminal Minds (seriously, how is this show on prime time?), I was still bummed to see him leave. We did get beautiful Joe Mantegna in exchange. And Hotch was verily pleased. And all was good.

    As far as John Cusack's long standing, well known hatred of a wonderful film, let me paraphrase how it makes me feel towards the actor:

    "Well, somebody threw away a perfectly bitchy white boy."

  • kirbyjay

    I'm actually surprised that anyone has even hired Patinkin after dumping not one but two shows. He bailed on Chicago Hope after one season. As for Criminal Minds, I love Joe Rossi, he seems human, whereas Gideon seemed like a crime solving machine with no sense of humor. Also loved Prentiss ( and I will miss her so) more than Elle Greenway, who I found to be stiff and robotic. Maybe Elle and Gideon ran off together to Robotland to charge their batteries. Anyway, money on how long Patinkin stays with Homeland? He seems to bore easily.

  • Natallica

    Agreed, I LURVE Rossi. That episode when, in the end, he teaches all the team to cook pasta made me want to actually be there with them too. Adorable

  • Alyson McManus

    wait are you a hotch/rossi shipper like me?

  • Hawkeye Fierce

    Heh. If I was shipping, it would be more like me/entire freaking cast.

    It's more like Hotch is a secret master of the universe and well known BAMF. If Hotch ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

    All of which reminds me that I need to catch up on my DVR Criminal Minds and Mentalist for the new season.

    When did I get old enough to be the CBS demographic? So sad.

  • Wembley

    OK Cusack! TWO DOLLARS!!!

    I want my money back.

  • BWeaves

    There's a big difference between hating being in a movie that really is bad, and hating being in a movie that's a hit just because you feel people aren't going to remember your other "superior" work.

    Frankly, I think it's unprofessional to disparage a movie you worked on. That's the critics job. Take the high road, and don't bite the hand that feeds you.

  • damnitjanet

    Better Off Dead is fantastic.I know Cusack hates it, but given his choices of late, including his uber-bizarre Twitter rant a couple weeks ago, I have a lot more confidence in MY taste than his.

    Also, Marx Brothers? Automatic awesome

  • randomhookup

    The Marx Brothers? Absolutely awesome. Their movies? Some great material cobbled together with a semblance of a plot and an excuse for someone to sing. But I still watch them whenever I can.

  • seanfast

    And to think, the writer of Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot is the author of one of the most popular books on screenwriting out there...

  • mike d

    Missing -> Bill Murray: Garfield. His dying wish in Zombieland was to have never done it.

    Also, Better Off Dead was one of my favorite movies growing up. What the fuck?

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    That's it, my mancrush on Cusack is officially done. It's one thing to be a shitty tweeter, and to have made pretty mediocre movies since the 80s, but you DO NOT hate on Better Off Dead. Not even the parts that are legitimately hate-on-able.

  • Pumpkin

    Agreed. Cusack went on to do the trite, not even remotely interesting, One Crazy Summer. And yet he says Better Off Dead is his biggest mistake? I want my two dollars, Cusack.

  • deadlysinner

    So, you want to try reading the article again? He only did One Crazy Summer because he was contractually obligated to.

  • MG

    This just proves yet again that as much as I love John Cusack's onscreen personae, in real life he's a complete dickweed. Better Off Dead is genius and he needs to shut his whore mouth.

  • Guest

    Ha ha, Alec Guinness! And WTG you, too, Sly.

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