7 Actors Who Hated Their (Actually Pretty Good) Movies
It’s one thing for Mark Wahlberg to shit-talk The Happening (“Fucking trees, man.”) or for Robert Pattinson to actively loathe the Twilight series (pick a quote, any quote). It’s quite another for an actor to speak out against a movie that most people actually like. It makes them a bit less approachable (of course Clooney would pan Batman & Robin) and a little more “Wait, what?” Here are five actors who did just that:
No one hates The Sound of Music like Captain Von Trapp himself. In a 2011 actor’s roundtable for The Hollywood Reporter, Plummer said the iconic role was the most challenging he’s had in his decades-long career, “because [the film] was so awful and sentimental and gooey, and you had to work terribly hard to try and infuse some miniscule bit of humor into it.” His favorite nicknames for the film are “S&M” and “The Sound of Mucus,” and in a Life magazine 50th anniversary tribute book he likened working with Julie Andrews to “being hit over the head with a big Valentine’s Day card, every day.” (But, like, in a good way, because they’re friends.) Asked in the aforementioned THR interview whether he understood why people love the movie so much, he put on his conciliatory hat and said yes, because “it’s a very good movie [for] what it is.” I can’t even be mad about it, because A) I kind of admire how he gives no shits, because he’s Christopher Plummer, dammit, and B) every time I think about Captain Von Trapp I get really distracted for some reason. (Look at the pic, above.)
You’re damned right I’m putting The Sound of Music and Rush Hour on the same list. Hey, I didn’t say all the movies on this list have to be good in the same way. It’s a classic ’90s actioner! Chan, already a huge star in China, did Rush Hour to dip his toe into American markets, but he found the waters uncomfortably tepid and Cheeto-flavored. “When we finished filming, I felt very disappointed because it was a movie I didn’t appreciate and I did not like the action scenes involved,” he later wrote on his blog. “I felt the style of action was too Americanized and I didn’t understand the American humor.” He did the second movie because the studio offered him an “irresistable” amount of money, and the third to please the franchise’s fans (???).
Less concerned with fans:
Guinness’ hatred of Star Wars is legendary. In a letter written to a friend before he accepted the role, he noted that he might say yes if the money was right, though he also called it “fairy-tale rubbish” that “could be interesting perhaps.” In another letter written during production, he expressed dismay over the script (“new rubbish dialogue reaches me every other day on wadges of pink paper”) and complisulted Harrison Ford, whom he called “a rangy, languid young man who is probably intelligent and amusing. But Oh God, God, they [Ford and Mark Hamill] make me feel ninety—and treat me as if I was 106.” In a diary entry from 1976, he says that “apart from the money, which would get me comfortably through the year, I regret having embarked on the film. I like them all well enough, but it’s not an acting job, the dialogue, which is lamentable, keeps being changed and only slightly improved, and I find myself old and out of touch with the young.”
In his memoir A Positively Final Appearance, he said he “shrivel[ls] inside each time [Star Wars] is mentioned.” He also told the story of how he made a 12-year-old fan cry when he asked whether, in exchange for an autograph, he would promise to never watch Star Wars again. Guinness recalls: “His mother drew himself up to an immense height. ‘What a dreadful thing to say to a child!’ she barked, and dragged the poor kid away. Maybe she was right but I just hope the lad, now in his thirties, is not living in a fantasy world of secondhand, childish banalities.”
Of The Bourne Ultimatum, the third film in the Bourne franchise, star Matt Damon said: “I don’t blame [screenwriter] Tony [Gilroy] for taking a boatload of money and handing in what he handed in. It’s just that it was unreadable. This is a career-ender. I mean, I could put this thing up on eBay and it would be game over for that dude. It’s terrible. It’s really embarrassing. He was having a go, basically, and he took his money and left.” Gilroy’s contract required only one draft from him—Scott Z. Burns and George Nolfi took passes as well after he skedaddled.
Damon, unlike most of the other actors on this list, apologized for his comments, saying that his frustration came from a place of respect for Gilroy and “hurt feelings” caused by the substandard script. “And that’s exactly why I shouldn’t have said anything. This is between me and him. So saying anything publicly is fucking stupid and unprofessional and just kind of douchey of me.”
Maybe Jimmy Kimmel was really mean to him that day?
A twofer here—a director who’s also an actor talking smack about one of his most beloved films. Allen called his script for Manhattan “too preachy, too self-righteous” (…has he seen the rest of his movies?), telling the Associated Press that “When I saw it, I was not crazy about it. To this day, I have memories of it as being disappointing to me. I’m not saying it wasn’t beautifully filmed - it was [cinematographer] Gordon Willis, shot in black in white - and the people were good.” Robert B. Weide, director of 2012’s Woody Allen: A Documentary tells the story that Allen begged United Artists to shelve the film, telling them “I’ll do the next one for free if you don’t release this.”
Even while Sean Connery was balls-deep in the Bond franchise—in November 1965, before he’d filmed You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever—the actor told Playboy that he was “fed up to here with the whole Bond bit.” He gave up his entire fee for Diamonds out of what is apparently spite, and at one point he commented that “I have always hated that damned James Bond. I’d like to kill him.” Yes, well, James Bond would like to kill your hilariously 1998 official website, Sean. Click and have your day made.
From an interview with The Guardian:
Q: What is the worst job you’ve done?
A: Super Mario Brothers.
Q: What has been your biggest disappointment?
A: Super Mario Brothers.
Q: If you could edit your past, what would you change?
A: I wouldn’t do Super Mario Brothers.
EXCUSE YOU, BOB.
Rebecca previously wrote about authors who hated their book adaptations, so you can check that out if you want.