Every few years, the corporate Hollywood “they” busts their collective ass to make someone HAPPEN. Sometimes this works and that is how stars are created. Sometimes it doesn’t and we have human “Where Are They Now?” billboards wandering around. And, at times, this is fairly tragic, particularly since it happens predominately to females. Not that actors are immune to the fame machine (sorry about how life’s turned out, Paul Walker) but they don’t usually get the hard push followed by the harder drop of the hands that force fed you running for the next blonde on the block.
To these ladies who’ve been chewed up and spit out and then left on the sidewalk to become one with the pavement, I salute you.
5. Leelee Sobieski
Things looked big for Leelz. Then, somewhere after The Glass House and Max, and amidst rumors she was dating John Cusack, things just kind of stopped. I think what went wrong with Leelee was Julia Stiles. Then we didn’t want her either.
4. Moira Kelly
Every few years or so, studios release a large-casted prestige piece that is sure to launch the careers of all involved. In 1992, that film was Chaplin and it failed at this. While a decent enough movie, RDJ, as is his wont, owned it too hard and everyone else was largely ignored. Luckily for the other actresses involved, Milla Jovovich, Diane Lane and Marisa Tomei, fame would follow eventually. But arguably the top female lead in the movie only got a few more years of a film career in before she was ultimately relegated to television. Some good television, some CW television, but certainly not the movie actressin’ career she was projected to attain.
3. Amy Smart
Amy Smart’s case seems to be that of middling choices. With the exception of Crank and Varsity Blues, she’s spent most of her career appearing in movies people either liked or didn’t see, and in the ones people did see, she’s not what they remember. They tend to remember The Statham, Van Der Beek, R-squared in a fat suit or Tom Green and what a terrible rip-off of Overnight Delivery that movie was. I still hold out hope for Smart. She’s not an exceptional talent, but certainly likeable, and she was pretty decent in The Butterfly Effect, which, full disclosure, is not that bad.
2. Gretchen Mol
I’ve already spoken of Gretchen Mol as not merely a castoff of Hollywood, but of Harvey Weinstein specifically. Famously proclaimed the “it girl of the ’90s” Mol didn’t so much fail to live up to that as fantastically fizzled into nothingness within mere weeks of that cover. She faded largely in indie obscurity and as the most commonly guessed subject of lurid blind items before earning a new touted title—Jimmy’s creepy ass mom on “Boardwalk Empire.”
1. Shannyn Sossamon
What went wrong, Shannyn? Was it your mnemonically challenging name? Two years of interesting, if not spectacular, film choices, and then … yeah. Even a brief appearance in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang couldn’t save you. You were bland but exotic. People are supposed to like that. But, for you, there is nothing but child naming infamy, and, for that, I offer you a humble “Sorry I didn’t see Rules of Attraction in the theater, but your hair was kind of cute in it.”
There you have it. The five most tragic cases of actresses who were simply left on top of the Hollywood car before it drove off to splash them all over the 405. The question is, who’s next?
All my money on Blake Lively. Ashley Greene, too.