As anyone who pays attention to the acting industry should know all too well, it is such a competitive business that garnering any real success within it is nothing less than miraculous. After all, due in large part to the glitz and glamour that most people think movie stars enjoy, people from all over the world dream of becoming a popular actor.
Unfortunately, even when an actor manages to become famous for their work, that doesn’t mean they will stay on top forever. Still, most major stars can survive a few missteps here and there. However, there are certain actors that once were thought to be bankable in Hollywood who’ve since had their careers hit the skids after a single film of theirs failed. With that in mind, it is time to get to this list of 15 major acting stars whose careers tanked after a single movie flopped.
15 Kevin Costner – Waterworld
Due to movies like The Untouchables, Bull Durham, and The Bodyguard among others, during the early ‘90s, Kevin Costner was one of the most beloved actors around. Then he produced and starred in Waterworld, an insanely expensive film for its time that failed at the box office and with critics. Mocked mercilessly at that time, Costner has never returned to the top of the business since then.
14 Colin Farrell - Alexander
When word broke that a big-budget movie about Alexander the Great was coming to the big screen, many people with an interest in history were overjoyed. Sadly, 2004’s Alexander was an all-around disappointing film. Worse yet, Colin Farrell who up until then had built an image for himself as a rough and gruff man’s man seemed very whiny in the movie which did massive damage to his career.
13 Topher Grace – Spider-Man 3
As the star of That ‘70s Show, Topher Grace built up a loyal fan following that loved to see him portray relatable good guys. Despite that, Grace tried to change moviegoers perception of him by taking on the role of Venom in Spider-Man 3. While we applaud him for taking a risk, he was so miscast as Venom that he made Spider-Man 3 a lot worse and put an end to his leading man prospects.
12 Jennifer Lopez – Gigli
Don’t get us wrong, we know that Jennifer Lopez continues to be an icon to this day. However, if you look at her acting career pre-Gigli and after, there is a very notable difference between the two. After all, prior to that movie she was starring in films like Out of Sight and Maid in Manhattan and after she was relegated to a series of lesser movies and even her attempts at TV acting have failed.
11 Taylor Lautner – Abduction
Still in the middle of starring in the Twilight films when Abduction came out, with this action movie Taylor Lautner was trying to cement that he was a bankable actor. Instead, Abduction was so bad that it was ridiculed by almost everyone who saw it. For that reason, since the Twilight movies finished Lautner has largely floundered aside from appearing in a pair of lambasted Adam Sandler movies.
10 Lindsay Lohan - I Know Who Killed Me
Even though it may be hard to remember at this point, during the early 2000s Lindsay Lohan was one of the biggest movie stars around due to her roles in movies like Freaky Friday and Mean Girls. Amazingly enough, however, she then quickly fell from grace as her reputation for being difficult combined with her abysmal performance in I Know Who Killed Me destroyed her career.
9 Alicia Silverstone - Batman & Robin
After the huge successes of the first three Batman movies, it made perfect sense that many stars wanted to be a part of Batman & Robin including Alicia Silverstone. Considered by most to be Hollywood’s “It Girl” at that time, Silverstone couldn’t have known that Batman & Robin would be one of the worst movies of all time and turn her into an afterthought.
8 Emile Hirsch - Speed Racer
Once tapped to be the next big thing in Hollywood, Emile Hirsch seemed to be on the shortlist for every major role after he starred in movies like Into the Wild, The Girl Next Door and Lords of Dogtown. Then he starred in Speed Racer, a movie that not only put an end to Hirsch’s career momentum but also hurt the industry’s perception of Christina Ricci and Matthew Fox.
7 Elizabeth Berkley – Showgirls
Due to the fact that Saved by the Bell was incredibly popular with ‘90s teens and kids, by the time that series came to an end Elizabeth Berkley had become a star. Still, her image at that time was family-friendly and she clearly wanted to change that. As a result, she chose to star as a stripper in Showgirls but that movie was such a misfire that her career has never recovered.
6 Sean Connery - The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Given the fact that Sean Connery is considered to be an acting legend by most, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Hollywood didn’t kick him out after he starred in The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Instead, unlike the other people included in this list, Connery was so upset by his experience making that film that he chose to retire from the industry after it flopped.
5 Geena Davis - Cutthroat Island
Due to her starring roles in movies like The Fly, Beetlejuice, Thelma & Louise, and A League of Their Own, Geena Davis used to be a big deal. Then she headlined Cuttthroat Island, a movie that failed and damaged her career so badly that she began to focus on being a professional archer. On top of that, Cutthroat Island did so poorly that it often is blamed for Carolco Pictures, the company that made it, closing up shop.
4 Halle Berry – Catwoman
Of all the entries on this list, this could be the most disappointing one. After all, when Halle Berry’s Catwoman came out the talented actor was just on the heels of winning an Oscar for her amazing performance in the movie Monster’s Ball. Despite that fact, Berry was so bad in Catwoman that she has never been that a big movie star since, let alone actually building off the momentum of her award win.
3 Chris O’Donnell – Batman & Robin
While most observers know Batman & Robin hurt Alicia Silverstone’s career, many moviegoers seem to have forgotten that Chris O’Donnell never recovered from his association with that film. Once respected for his celebrated roles in School Ties and Scent of a Woman, after his time as Robin, O’Donnell has never been taken that seriously again.
2 Mike Myers – The Love Guru
An absolute comedy legend, Mike Myers somehow managed to star in three massive film series, Wayne’s World, Austin Powers, and Shrek. However, even after all that, his career disappeared when he starred in The Love Guru. Sure, his previous movie The Cat in the Hat wasn’t popular but The Love Guru was so poorly received that Myers hasn’t starred in a single live-action movie since its release.
1 Demi Moore – Striptease
Earlier in this list, we looked at the fact that Showgirls decimated Elizabeth Berkley’s acting career. Amazingly enough, in the same time period, an extremely similar movie named Striptease had the same effect on Demi Moore. In fact, despite being one of the biggest movie stars in the world prior to 1996’s Striptease, Moore has never truly headlined a successful film since then.