All actors in Hollywood were once less famous than they are now, and had to play the roles they were offered just to get a job and pay the bills. Actors of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are no exception; they also had their ups and downs. Before becoming MCU superheroes, these guys played a number of roles, and some of them were more or less embarrassing.
These next 15 blurbs are MCU actors who played in movies that turned out to be a complete fail. Why did they agree to play in these films in the first place? Did they expect them to succeed or did they only do it for money? It's a good question, but I won't answer it here. Instead, we'll surely have a good laugh, looking at the 15 embarrassing roles MCU actors want to forget!
15 Robert Downey Jr. - The Shaggy Dog (2006)
Before becoming Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. had quite a tough life full of drugs, jail sentences, and bad roles. One of the particularly strange roles he played during that time was Dr. Kozak in The Shaggy Dog, a 2006 comedy film that also featured Tim Allen and Kristin Davis.
RDJ plays the main villain — a scientist who wants to find a fountain of youth, by conducting experiments on an immortal dog. But somehow, when this dog bites Tim Allen's character, he becomes half-dog, and, in the end, Downey's character also turns into a dog. What the heck?
Of course, the film wasn't a success. The Shaggy Dog received only 26% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was rated 4.4 of 10. Nevertheless, according to RDJ, the process of filming it was good. "I wanted to be in a Disney movie and they offered it. Best job I ever had," he says.
14 Chris Hemsworth - Home And Away (2004-2007)
Chris Hemsworth was born and raised in Australia. It was there that his acting career began, when he took on a role in a famous Australian soap opera Home and Away.
This TV series resembles a number of other similar ones, because it's excessively long. It began back in 1988, and it's still ongoing with 31 seasons and almost 7,000 episodes (whoa!). Hemsworth starred for just three years. His character, Kim Hyde, was sweet and likable, but, compared to Thor and other serious characters Hemsworth played afterwards, it seems to be weird that he was in a soap opera. To make things stranger, being a star of the series, he ended up participating in Dancing with the Stars, which subsequently almost lost him the role of Thor.
However, the actor says that even though it was embarrassing, he learned a lot about the acting industry from playing in Home and Away. After he quit, he moved to Hollywood and soon became an A-lister.
13 Mark Ruffalo - Mirror, Mirror (II and III)
Low-budget horror movies rarely come out good, and the Mirror, Mirror trilogy was a bright example. The movies told the story of a mirror that had demonic powers and killed people. And—wait for it—this mirror was stored in a church orphanage!
Mark Ruffalo played in the second and third movies of the trilogy (Raven Dance that got 9% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and The Voyeur that received 20%). Even though it was supposed to be the same story about the same mirror, Ruffalo played different characters. Perhaps, the filmmakers didn't find another actor who'd agree for a role and thought that no one would even notice?
Gee, if the Hulk was forced to play such a silly role, he'd immediately turn green and smash everyone in the room.
12 Scarlett Johansson - Home Alone III (1997)
The first and the second Home Alone movies were an international success. Everyone loved them, and they're still considered a Christmas-time classic. As it often happens with successful movies, some filmmakers decide to make a sequel, hoping that it'd also become a success. And, as it often happens, the sequels fail.
The same thing occurred with Home Alone 3. No one from the original cast agreed to take part, and they decided to make a whole new story about a boy defending his house from burglars. People didn't like the movie; it received only 30% approval on Rotten Tomatoes and was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Remake or Sequel.
Why are we talking about it here? Because Scarlett Johansson played the main character's sister. She was young back then and didn't have a lot of roles to choose from, but she surely doesn't think this one was her best, does she?
11 Chris Evans - Fantastic Four (2005)
Chris Evans touched the world of comic superheroes even before becoming Captain America: the actor played Johnny Storm (aka the Human Torch) in Fantastic Four. Even though it's also based on Marvel comics, it's not the part of the MCU. And we all know that it was a bad movie since it got 37% on Rotten Tomatoes (just like its reboot that was released in 2015 and got only 9% approval rating). It seems that it's impossible to make a good Fantastic Four movie. Is it cursed, or something?
Anyway, it wasn't only about the movie, it was also about Evans' character. Even though he had quite a useful superpower to handle fire coming right out of his body, he never really got a chance to show himself as a superhero. While the movie focused on the characters of Jessica Alba and Ioan Gruffudd, the Human Torch was needed only for comedy relief.
Fortunately, despite this silly role, Evans managed to get Cap's shield and reveal his acting potential.
10 Josh Brolin - Jonah Hex (2010)
Josh Brolin played in a few movies based on comics before landing the role of Thanos in the MCU, and one of them was the main role in Jonah Hex, the movie about an antihero who gets a change to take revenge on the people who killed his family and disfigured his face.
Even though the movie had an all-star cast that included John Malkovic and Michael Fassbender along with Brolin (we shouldn't mention Megan Fox here), it was a complete failure. Brolin's performance (that is usually very strong) was criticized, as well as that of all other actors. Only 12% of critics gave it a positive review on Rotten Tomatoes and it received an average rating of 3.5/10. Moreover, it was also a box office failure, as it grossed only $10 million, against the $47 million spent on making it.
9 Chadwick Boseman - Gods Of Egypt (2016)
Gods of Egypt, that featured Chadwick Boseman as Thoth, the Egyptian God of Wisdom, wasn't well-received by the audience and ended up with only 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And it wasn't only because of the flat plot and mediocre acting, but also because of a blatant case of whitewashing.
Think about it: we're talking about Egyptian gods and Egyptian people, but we see an almost all-white cast. I don't know what filmmakers were thinking when they chose actors, but they certainly should have expected the reaction of the audience.
It's noteworthy that Chadwick Boseman himself was thinking about it and it was exactly why he agreed to play in the movie. "I wanted to do it, so you would see someone of African descent playing Thoth, the father of mathematics, astronomy, the god of wisdom," the actor said later. But he's certainly not proud of being in the movie.
8 Chris Pratt - Movie 43 (2013)
Movie 43 is a comedy film that features 14 different storylines connected with each other by one single thing: all of them are excessively weird. The part where we can see the future Star Lord along with his future ex-wife Anna Faris was called The Proposal. In it, Pratt's character proposed to Faris, who confessed that she was coprophiliac and asked him to do something he'd never expect to do. In fact, we shouldn't talk about the subsequent events and, if you didn't watch the movie, you shouldn't do it. Believe me, ignorance is bliss in this case. I'm sure that if Pratt could, he'd erase his memory to forget that he played in Movie 43.
The film cast included a number of stars, such as Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Emma Stone, Richard Gere, Uma Thurman, and others. If you ask me, I can't even understand how they all agreed to take part in this movie. It was repeatedly called "the worst movie ever made" and got only a 4% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
7 Zoe Saldana - Crossroads (2002)
Back in 2002, when Britney Spears was "not a girl, not yet a woman," Zoe Saldana was only beginning her acting career. One of the first roles she had was a teen girl named Kit, a friend of Spears' character in Crossroads. This movie was similar to all other pop star-turned-actor films. That is, it lacked good acting and captivating plot, but had a lot of singing instead.
For this reason, Crossroads wasn't well-received by the critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, it got only a 14% approval rating and critics called it "cliche," "dull," and "silly." Fortunately for us, it evidently made Spears understand that she's "not yet an actress" and her acting career finished. But for Saldana, it was only a beginning, because a lot more successful and interesting projects were ahead of her.
6 Sebastian Stan - Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
In a way, Hot Tub Time Machine was similar to Back in the Future, because the main characters travel 20 years back in time and get a chance to change their lives for the better. The movie didn't get as popular though, due to a number of factors, but it wasn't all so bad. It even got a generally favorable response and a 63% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
But it's not the movie, it's Sebastian Stan's role I want to talk about here. In this film, the future Winter Soldier plays a high school bully who repeatedly beats up one of the main characters. And the last time we see Stan, he gets beaten up by him. If we continue the comparison with Back to the Future, he basically played Biff. It's not the best and most pleasant role to play, but it's part of his resume.
5 Vin Diesel - The Pacifier (2005)
The man who gave his voice to Groot played in a number of movies, and some of them weren't as successful as Guardians of the Galaxy. Let's take The Pacifier, for example. In this film, we saw Diesel in a very different role. He wasn't a street-racer or a criminal. He was a United States Navy SEAL, who received a secret task and had to work as a babysitter to five children of different ages. Forcing a tough guy to work with kids is quite a commonplace thing for family comedies. Hulk Hogan did it in Mr. Nanny in 1993 and David and Peter Paul did it in Twin Sitters in 1994. So the audience wasn't impressed by the plot and gave The Pacifier only a 20% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
But, however silly this movie was, it was good that Diesel took part in it. At least, it was different from everything else he was doing.
4 Elizabeth Olsen - Red Lights (2012)
Red Lights had an all-star cast that included Robert De Niro, Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, and Toby Jones. Yet it failed. It received a 28% positive review rating on Rotten Tomatoes and it was a box office failure. People called this movie dull and predictable, and many reviewers said that directing was bad.
Back then, Elizabeth Olsen wasn't as famous as she is now, but she took part in this film, as well. I'm not sure if she liked this movie herself, but working on it certainly seemed like a nice experience. At least, she saw Hollywood A-listers, such as De Niro and Weaver work side by side. But, as we know now, a much bigger success and a chance to show her incredible acting skills was still ahead.
3 Paul Rudd - Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers (1995)
Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers is a slasher film that is part of the Halloween film series, and it's about a mass murderer who wears a mask and kills people. Paul Rudd played Tommy Doyle, a recurring character in The Curse Of Michael Myers. He had an encounter with the murderer when he was a child, and later in life he became obsessed with finding him. But given the film's genre, Rudd didn't get a chance to reveal his acting potential, because he only had a few substantial lines and a couple of memorable scenes. It wasn't the most impressive role of his.
The audience didn't assess the The Curse Of Michael Myers positively. Rotten Tomatoes users gave it only 6% approval rating, and other critics called it "impossibly convoluted," "tired," and "run-of-the-mill."
2 Anthony Mackie - Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was quite a dubious attempt to combine historical film with supernatural. As it's clear from the title, the 16th US President turned out to have an ability to hunt and kill vampires. It's a bit different from what we learned in schools, huh? Anyway, even though this controversial plot had a potential to become a funny movie, the audience didn't like it and gave it only a 35% approval score.
Speaking of Anthony Mackie's character, he could have been much better than he was in the movie. He played William Johnson, a real-life person, who was the friend of Abraham Lincoln. Since Mackie is a great actor capable of giving very good performances, we could expect him to shine in this role, but, unfortunately, his character was flat and uninteresting. Too bad for him.
1 Gwyneth Paltrow - View From The Top (2003)
In View from the Top, Gwyneth Paltrow played a young woman, who moved from a small town in Nevada and began pursuing her dream of becoming a first-class flight attendant. Even though the premise is not that bad, the movie turned out to be... well, not really good.
We don't know why Paltrow even agreed to play in View from the Top, but later she called it "the worst movie" she ever made. I mean, did she read the script? How couldn't she notice that it was a bad movie from the very beginning? Critics and the audience agreed with the actress, saying that the film was "uneven in tone and badly edited" and wasted "the talents of its cast." The movie's rating on Rotten Tomatoes is only 14%.
Oh, and Mark Ruffalo happened to also star in this. I wonder what he thinks about this film, as well.