Due to the fact that the world is chocked full of people who dream of someday becoming an acting star, it is very safe to say that the competition in Hollywood is fierce. For that reason, the vast majority of actors who are still on the rise exhibit a passion for their craft that people can feel when they watch them on the big or little screen.
Unfortunately, in life, it can be way too easy to take things for granted. For example, even though famous actors have beaten the odds to get where they are, some veteran Hollywood performers wind up resting on their laurels over time. With that in mind, it is time to get to this list of 20 actors who have given up on Hollywood
20 Kevin James
Never the most critically acclaimed actor out there, it could still be said that during the early stages of Kevin James’ career he could be relied upon to do a good job portraying regular Joes. In recent years, however, it has been very obvious that James has been going through the motions and even when he reunited with Leah Remini, the results were disappointing.
19 Megan Fox
Considering that Megan Fox starred in both the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers movie franchises, it is very safe to say that she was a huge deal at one point. Despite all of the opportunities being in that position gives a young actor like her, Fox has never seemed to be overly interested in being a big star and she barely works these days.
18 Johnny Depp
During the early years of Johnny Depp’s career, there is no doubt that he was an actor that the average cinephiles adored. Sadly, those days are long gone as his last praised performance came in 2015’s Black Mass. Instead, it now seems like he cares more about the big money offers than landing interesting roles.
17 Jennifer Garner
If you ask us, Jennifer Garner should’ve become one of the biggest stars of her generation. After all, she can be quite charming, she is gorgeous, and she has proven that she can embody characters that people care deeply about. Instead, even in a world where there are endless movies and TV shows going into production every year, she rarely pops up which makes us believe she isn’t seeking out roles.
16 Matthew Perry
Unlike a lot of other legendary sitcoms, the stars of Friends have mostly gone on to accomplish quite a bit in the business. However, unlike his former co-stars, Matthew Perry has never really found his stride despite how much people loved him as Chandler and in the film The Whole Nine Yards. As for why that is the case, we think it is because he no longer seems to apply himself the way he used to while on set.
15 Lindsay Lohan
It is difficult to remember it now, but at one time Lindsay Lohan ruled the pop culture roost in large part due to her acting career. With those days long behind her and a string of really bad movies left in her wake, Lohan now seems to be most interested in garnering headlines any way she can instead of acting.
14 Nicolas Cage
If you take a closer look at Nicolas Cage’s filmography, you will notice that during the golden years of his career he appeared in 2 or 3 movies a year and they tended to be good. On the other hand, in 2018 Cage starred in 8 movies, a couple of which were good while the rest certainly weren’t. Given his past financial troubles, it seems clear that he takes virtually any movie work that pays enough and when he shows up in something worthwhile that is a lucky twist.
13 Pamela Anderson
During Pamela Anderson’s years starring in Baywatch, she was among the most talked-about celebrities in the world. After that series came to an end, she tried to break free from the world’s perception of her a lot of ways but none of it worked. For that reason, she seems to have given up on her acting career for the most part and she no longer appears to be overly interested in how she is perceived by the masses.
12 Jaden Smith
Back when Jaden Smith was a child, it certainly seemed like he was destined for big things as an actor. After all, he was excellent in The Pursuit of Happyness and The Karate Kid outdid the expectations of many. After those successes, Smith starred in After Earth which was decimated by critics and audiences which seems to have made him more interested in posting supposedly deep things on social media.
11 Milla Jovovich
In a series of movies, Milla Jovovich has proven that she has the kind of cinematic presence that should have earned her a place on the list of great action stars. Unfortunately, she allowed herself to be typecast by agreeing to star in six Resident Evil movies even as those films diminished in quality. Worse yet, based on how blasé her performances in those movies came to be as the series progressed, her flagging career isn’t upsetting to her.
10 Jason Lee
Back when Jason Lee first rose to acting prominence, he managed to imbue every role he took on with so much energy that it was a joy seeing him on the big screen. Unfortunately, ever since he began starring in frankly bad movies like the Alvin and the Chipmunks trilogy, Lee has become a shadow of his former self.
9 Hilary Duff
After rising to fame as a Disney Channel star, Hilary Duff walked away from her show Lizzie McGuire in order to have the freedom to make movies and become a pop princess. After a series of failures and years of relative obscurity, word recently broke that she has agreed to star in a Lizzie McGuire revival series which really says it all.
8 Andrew Lincoln
After playing The Walking Dead’s main character from 2010 until 2018, Andrew Lincoln announced he was leaving the show. At the time, that made perfect sense as it seemed obvious that he’d become bored with playing Rick Grimes. Then, word broke that he would continue to play the character in spin-off films which makes it seem like he is fine with mailing in his performances.
7 Katherine Heigl
If you ask us, this entry is a shame as Katherine Heigl showed potential early in her career and we totally understand why she complained about how the industry tends to treat actresses. Despite that, the fact remains that Heigl no longer is in demand as an actor and based on her recent roles, it seems like she is willing to take most jobs that come her way.
6 Adam Sandler
On the one hand, Adam Sandler’s 2019 film Uncut Gems is the best-reviewed movie of his entire career and it looks like it could be really entertaining. On the other hand, his comedy films continue to be subpar in quality and he cares so little that when he shows up on a red carpet it often looks like he just rolled out of bed.
5 Gwyneth Paltrow
Once in the running for almost all of the most sought after roles in Hollywood, Gwyneth Paltrow used to be a gigantic star, to say the least. However, these days she appears to be much more interested in her brand Goop, to the point where she doesn’t even know which Marvel movies she has appeared in.
4 Daniel Craig
When word broke that Daniel Craig would be taking over the role of James Bond, many 007 fans were outraged. Little did they realize that he would receive heaps of praise for his work as the character yet before too long he would make it abundantly clear that he resented the role. Despite that, he keeps taking the massive paycheques to play Bond again which makes it look like money matters more than artistic satisfaction does to him.
3 Jennifer Lawrence
At the height of her career, Jennifer Lawrence seemed to have pulled off the impossible as she starred in two blockbuster franchises and she was winning awards at every turn. Those days are long gone though as she slept walked her way through her performances in the last two X-Men movies and it has been years since her last non-Razzie Award nomination of note.
2 Harrison Ford
Clearly, an actor that has no interest in being famous, the once charming Harrison Ford has been replaced by a grumpy guy that rarely cracks a smile. As a result, when he does show up on set he often seems to go through the motions. This is made all the worse by the fact that he still shows occasional flashes of brilliance when he invests but that is an extreme rarity.
1 Bruce Willis
At one time, Bruce Willis had one of the most interesting careers in Hollywood as he switched in between action-packed movies and much more cerebral films. These days, however, Willis clearly mails in all of his performances, he reportedly is a real jerk on set, and his interviews are cringe-inducing as he seems to be so fed up with them.
Sources: cinemablend.com, rottentomatoes.com, vanityfair.com, screenrant.com