The world of Hollywood is extremely demanding of everyone who wants to be famous. All actors and actresses need to perform often and look (seemingly) perfect all the time. They also need to choose only the good roles for themselves, because otherwise they can be crossed off the A-list very quickly.
However, we are all people and we all make mistakes. Believe it or not, Hollywood stars aren't an exception. They also have their ups and downs, and take on the roles that aren't destined for success or make other decisions that eventually ruin their careers.
After several attempts to restore their success, many of these actors and actresses give up and stop trying to get back on the A-list. They either take part only in independent movies that don't bring them fame or stop acting at all and do something else. Sometimes it happens through their own fault, but in some cases it seems that luck simply turned its back on them, and nothing can help them rise up back to fame.
Let's see who couldn't handle the pressure of Hollywood and turned from promising actors into has-beens we remember due to some of the big roles they once played.
15 Nicolas Cage
Throughout his career, Nicolas Cage played in almost 100 movies. This number is impressive, isn't it? The actor also was nominated for an Academy Award twice and won one of them (it was Best Actor for this role in Leaving Las Vegas). The other awards Cage received for his acting are a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
We saw him in such prominent films as Face/Off (1997), City of Angels (1998), Gone in 60 Seconds (2000), Adaptation (2002), and Lord of War (2005).
However, even though Cage has a massive filmography and multiple awards, he's no longer an A-list actor now. It seems that his recent failures began from the movie Ghost Rider (2007), a superhero film based on the Marvel comic book. It told a story about a motorcycle stunt rider, who made a deal with the Devil and turned into a supernatural creature hunting for other people's souls. The audience didn't like this film and Cage even was nominated for Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor.
After this movie, Cage didn't have any successful roles. For example, his science fiction film Knowing got a 33% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while a recent thriller Inconceivable received only 17%.
Did Nicolas Cage forget how to choose successful roles, like he did before?
14 Jessica Alba
A beautiful woman with huge eyes and gorgeous smile — who could ever think that she'd get off the radar one day? After all, Jessica Alba was an A-lister back in the 2000s. She starred in a number of movies, including the highly acclaimed Sin City (2005), where she played an exotic dancer Nancy Callahan, and Machete (2010), where she worked alongside such prominent actors as Robert DeNiro, Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, and Steven Seagal.
However, Alba's career was also full of worse roles in the movies Honey (2003), An Invisible Sign (2010), and, of course, Fantastic Four (2005) and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), where she portrayed Sue Storm (aka the Invisible Woman). Up until now, these films seem to be one of the lowest rated movies based on Marvel comics.
However, Alba doesn't seem to be devastated by her failures in acting. Currently, she's a successful entrepreneur and a co-founder of a consumer goods firm called The Honest Company. They sell eco-friendly baby, personal, and household products, and their activity is based on the principles of ethical consumerism.
In one of her interviews, Alba shared, "It was important to me to that The Honest Company have a cause component as part of its DNA, engage in environmentally sound practices, and actively communicate with our customer base to deliver the eco-friendly products they most desire." It seems that she loves what she's doing now, so — way to go!
13 Tobey Maguire
Tobey Maguire started acting at a young age and had quite a few roles up until his Spider-Man trilogy ended. The first two movies received positive reviews, as well as 89% and 93% approval ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. The third film was assessed a bit lower and got 63%, but it was still a success.
Many comic fans still think that Maguire was the best Spider-Man actor. After leaving the role of Peter Parker, Maguire appeared in Brothers, a 2009 war film, and The Great Gatsby, based on Scott Fitzgerald's novel of the same name, where he starred alongside his real-life best friend, Leonardo DiCaprio.
Other than that, Maguire seems to be mostly off the radar today with his last film being in 2017.
In one of his interviews, the actor replied why it happens, "It's always difficult to find projects that I want to get involved in, so that's a continuous challenge. When you're working with people you like and stories you like, then no matter how difficult it is, there's a kind of excitement and passion for what you're doing. And when it doesn't work out that way, where you're not in love with the story—I don't want to say 'in love'—but when you’re not interested, constantly interested, and curious to keep digging and pushing, then it's just painful and not as much fun. So I try to avoid that."
Well, it seems that it's really hard for Maguire to find interesting projects these days.
12 Megan Fox
Megan Fox is mostly known for her performance in two Transformers movies. The lead female role in this film brought her world fame, but it also made her career flop shortly. In 2009, Fox claimed that Michael Bay, the director of Transformers, made her wash his Ferrari as a part of her audition for the film. Besides, he also filmed her in the process, and God knows how he used this tape afterwards...
However, after Fox shared this incident with the media and also said that Bay behaved like a "Nazi" on set, she was hurt more than the director. Immediately, she lost her role in the third installment of Transformers, and her career was never restored.
In 2010, she starred in Jonah Hex, a film based on DC comics, alongside Josh Brolin, but no one seemed to like it since the movie received only 12% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And two installments of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, where Fox agreed to cooperate with Michael Bay again and took the role of April O'Neil, also weren't able to turn her back to the A-list. Let's hope that at least she didn't have to wash his car again to get this role...
11 Taylor Lautner
Taylor Lautner became popular after playing Jacob Black, a werewolf friend of Bella Swan, in four movies of the Twilight saga. The films quickly turned the aspiring actor into a teen idol. This role was huge for the guy and brought him quick popularity, making everyone sure that it was a good start of a successful career.
However, seeing what's going on with Lautner's career now, it seems that he's either not interested in acting anymore or is unable to choose good roles.
Since the last Twilight film that was made in 2012, Lautner was seen only in a few movies, and none of them was successful. One of them, a Western comedy The Ridiculous 6 (2015), where he played alongside Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider, received a rare 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes... It's hard to imagine how one can recover from such a devastating failure.
When asked about his career plans a couple of years ago, Lautner replied, "For me the biggest thing is just surrounding myself with people that I love, just spending time, it doesn't matter what I'm doing as long as I'm with my friends and my family. Ya know, I could be sitting in a cardboard box and that's where I'm happiest."
It seems that the guy is happy where he is now. Will we ever see Taylor Lautner in any big roles? Who knows...
10 Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan was a child star with a promising future. In 1998, her acting career began with The Parent Trap. The film was critically acclaimed. It's safe to say that the story about twin sisters Hallie and Annie (both played by Lohan) still remains a favorite film for many people. It was funny, sweet, and interesting, to a large extent due to Lohan's brilliant performance.
Then there was Freaky Friday (2003), where Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis played mother and daughter who switched their bodies. Then there was Mean Girls (2004), a story about high school students, played by Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, and others. Both films were also accepted very positively.
But, even after such a great start, things can go wrong. At least, this is what Lohan's example shows us. Most of her other roles weren't well-received, and, moreover, the lifestyle of the young actress became completely different. From a child A-lister, she turned into a drug addict and an alcoholic. Hollywood seems to be unwilling to cast her in any good movies today, and all we can do is hope that someday things may change back for Lohan.
After all, she was a talented actress in her childhood and teenage years, wasn't she? Perhaps this talent will resurface again one day.
9 Macauley Culkin
Is there any '90s kid whose childhood went by without Macaulay Culkin Culkin in it? I highly doubt it! I mean, can you remember a single Christmas in your childhood when you didn't watch Home Alone? You most likely knew all the events of the movie and its sequel by heart, but still enjoyed watching it every year. It's easy to say why — the movies were hilarious and their lead actor was as cute as he could be!
Culkin is still considered one of the most successful child actors in the movie history. However, he never really became an adult actor, even though most people had high hopes about his future.
In 1994, Culkin stated that he wanted a normal life and decided to take a break from acting. It seems that this break never actually ended. Since then, he appeared only in several independent films and experimental projects. He also had a music band called Pizza Underground from 2013 'till 2016, but his music career didn't work out, as well.
Culkin is still actively avoiding the spotlight. Nevertheless, we know that currently he's working on the film Changeland, where he stars alongside Seth Rogen and Brenda Song. We'll see how this movie will turn out.
8 Jennifer Garner
Jennifer Garner became famous due to playing the lead role in Alias, a TV series about a CIA double agent posing as an operative for SD-6. The series aired on ABC from 2001 'till 2006. During this time and afterwards, Garner gained prominence as an actress and played in several successful movies, including Catch Me If You Can (2002), 13 Going on 30 (2004), and Juno (2007). In her roles, she didn't only show her acting and comedic talents, but also made us all fall in love with her sweet and tender persona.
However, Garner didn't always choose her roles wisely. She agreed to play in Daredevil, where she met her future ex-husband Ben Affleck, and agreed to also play in the movie's sequel called Elektra. While Daredevil got mixed and average reviews from critics and the audience, Elektra was received much worse. Its criticism and 10% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes didn't stand Garner in good stead.
After it, the actress mostly played in romantic comedies that seemed to be too generic and similar to each other to single out the good ones.
Thankfully, Garner received a role in an Academy Award winning drama Dallas Buyers Club, as well as in Love, Simon, which can signify a good turn in her career. We still love Jennifer and believe in her, so fingers crossed!
7 Brendan Fraser
In the 1990s and 2000s, Brendan Fraser was a famous actor whose career was full of successful roles of all kinds. We all remember his hilarious comedies George of the Jungle (1997), The Mummy (1999), Bedazzled (2000), and Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008). As well as critically acclaimed dramas Gods and Monsters (1998) and The Quiet American (2002). Fraser managed to show us his multifaceted talent, and it seemed that this man had a huge future in Hollywood.
However, destiny had other plans for him...
In the late 2000s, Fraser divorced his wife and had health issues. Besides, according to his allegations, he was assaulted by Philip Berk, the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. All these issues combined led the actor to depression and career decline. Recently, he also had to undergo several surgeries, including a partial knee replacement and vocal cords surgery.
However, it doesn't mean that Fraser's acting career is completely over. Now he's mostly acting on TV. His most prominent works include TV series Texas Rising on History Channel and Trust on FX. Thanks to these appearances, people still remember who Brendan Fraser is, but it seems that his A-lister days are left behind.
6 Renée Zellweger
Renée Zellweger acted in so many films that it's even hard to decide which ones we should recall today. But let's try!
Zellweger gained popularity after playing in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994). This film didn't receive positive reviews from critics and the audience, but it still launched the actress' career. Then she appeared in a sports film Jerry Maguire (1996), musical Chicago (2002), drama Cold Mountain (2003), biopic Miss Potter (2006), and, of course romantic comedy Bridget Jones (2001) and its sequels Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) and Bridget Jones's Baby (2016).
Zellweger's acting was critically acclaimed and the actress won a number of awards, including the Academy Award, Golden Globe, and BAFTA for her roles in Cold Mountain and Chicago.
In 2010, Zellweger announced that she wanted to take a break from acting. "I was fatigued and wasn't taking the time I needed to recover between projects, and it caught up with me," the actress shared later. "I got sick of the sound of my own voice."
When Zellweger came back to the spotlight in 2016, fans could hardly recognize her due to all the elective procedures she went under. Since then she took part only in a few projects. Hopefully, she will amaze us with her talent again soon.
5 Hayden Christensen
Hayden Christensen's breakthrough happened in 2000 when George Lucas chose the 19-year-old actor for the role of Anakin Skywalker in his prequel Star Wars trilogy that told the story of Darth Vader's youth, relationship with Padme, and formation as Hollywood's most iconic villain. Winning this role, Christensen passed over such prominent actors as Ryan Phillippe and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Hayden's performance in Episode II - Attack of the Clones and Episode III - Revenge of the Sith was positively assessed, and many people expected the actor to become an A-lister and consolidate his success. However, he didn't live up to these expectations.
Since playing his most prominent role in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Christensen had several failures and even a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screen Combo for his role in Awake (for which he was nominated along with the previously mentioned Jessica Alba).
For the most part, his post-Star Wars filmography is full of low-budget independent films that weren't acclaimed by the critics.
Is Christensen depressed by this state of affairs? It's hard to say. All we know is that in 2007 the actor bought a farm and decided to renovate the property by himself, striving to learn more about livestock, crops, and agricultural machinery. He also cooperates with modeling agencies and models for Louis Vuitton and Lacoste.
4 Alicia Silverstone
In 1995, Alicia Silverstone played the lead role in Clueless and became famous overnight. Her performance of Cher, a spoiled but nice girl from a wealthy family, deserved critical acclaim and brought her numerous fans.
After Clueless, Silverstone remained on the spotlight for some time due to playing in The Babysitter (1995) and True Crime (1995), but few of her roles could become as successful as the role of Cher. Her performance of Barbara Wilson (aka Batgirl) in Batman & Robin in 1997 was criticized, along with the movie itself. It's still considered to be one of the worst movies ever made, and it brought the Razzie Award to Silverstone for Worst Supporting Actress. It's not the best thing that can happen to an actress whose previous role became iconic, right?
Whether it is due to these failure or not, Silverstone is staying away from the spotlight at the moment and playing in low-budget movies that don't get nearly as popular as Clueless.
These days, Silverstone is known for her activism in terms of environmentalism and animal rights protection. She also wrote two books about nutrition.
Even though Silverstone doesn't seem to be unhappy about her unaccomplished acting career, her fans would still love to see more of her roles in good movies.
3 Gerard Butler
Gerard Butler is the man behind one of the most beautiful voices of Phantom of the Opera, who played in such successful movies as 300 (2006), Nim's Island (2008), Law Abiding Citizen (2009), and Coriolanus (2011). His filmography is full of different kinds of films, including romantic comedies, action movies, biopics, and dramas.
Butler is still acting quite often, but, for some reason, most of his recent projects turn into failures right after they come out.
For example, Gods of Egypt (2016), where he played the Egyptian god Set, was actively criticized and received mostly negative reviews, along with whitewashing accusations. In 2013, he took part in Movie 43, which is admitted to be one of the worst movies ever made. And last year, he played a lead role in Geostorm, which was called "a disaster of a movie" by critics, rather than a disaster movie.
We all know that Gerard Butler is a talented actor, but it's hard to say why he's been picking the movies destined for failure during the recent years. Perhaps, he needs to learn on his mistakes and come to choosing the next role more wisely? I mean, we want to see him as an A-lister again, right?
2 Halle Berry
Halle Berry is one of the actresses who managed to receive both an Academy Award and a Golden Raspberry Award for her roles. Let's talk about it more....
In 2001, Berry won an Oscar for her performance in a romantic drama Monster's Ball. Her performance in this film was praised and the movie itself received a 85% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But only in a couple of years, Berry agreed to play a lead role in Catwoman (2004), the film that was later called one of the worst movies ever made and brought her a Golden Raspberry Award. Right away after this film, Berry's career started to slow down.
If before Catwoman, Berry could take part in six successful movies within three years, after this failure she never did it again. She acted in one movie per year, and she'd even take a break from acting for a year or two.
However, the actress still landed good roles since 2004. It was Cloud Atlas (2012), The Call (2013), and X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014). Perhaps now she's trying to think more about taking a particular role and doesn't make haste. It's a good approach, but we would still like to see this talented actress on screen more often. Let's hope that she'll become more active again someday.
1 John Travolta
Throughout his career, John Travolta has played a number of iconic roles in such movies as Saturday Night Fever (1977), Blow Out (1981), Pulp Fiction (1994), and Face/Off (1997). However, as we have already understood, everyone makes mistakes, and even the best actors choose bad roles sometimes, thus contributing to a decline of their careers.
The same thing happened to Travolta. In fact, it happened twice. The actor played the lead role in three family comedies united as a trilogy, Look Who's Talking (1989), Look Who's Talking, Too (1990), and Look Who's Talking Now (1993). All three movies weren't well-received by the audience, but, luckily for Travolta, Pulp Fiction quickly came to rescue, along with other successful movies, and he returned to the A-list.
However, already in 2000, Travolta played in Battlefield Earth, the film that was considered to be one of the worst movies ever made and received only 3% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Since then, few of his projects were as successful as before, and he never played any iconic roles again.
But since Travolta managed to return to the A-list so soon after the first failure, we can still expect him to do it again, even though it is already taking years this time.
Sources: IMDB, Wikipedia, Wikipedia, Wikipedia, Wikipedia, IMDB, Wikipedia, Fortune, Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB, Cinema Blend, Rotten Tomatoes, Rotten Tomatoes, Nicki Swift, Wikipedia, IMDB, Wikipedia, IMDB, Wikipedia, IMDB, Wikipedia, Wikipedia, IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, E Online, Wikipedia, Wikipedia, Wikipedia, Wikipedia, Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB, IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes