In retrospect, we’ve noticed that actors tend to get a bit braver a long time after their movie is out of the traps. Halle Berry is far more scathing, for instance, about the Catwoman movie than she ever was at the time.
But what about the actors who slam their own films at the time of release? That takes a level of courage and/or a dash of stupidity. Here are ten actors who did just that…
BRAD PITTThe Devil’s Own
Considering his star wasn’t quite as bright as it is now (although it wasn’t bad, considering he had Seven and Twelve Monkeys under his belt), Brad Pitt was really quite bold in criticising his pairing with Harrison Ford in The Devil’s Own.
The troubled film, the last to be directed by Alan J Pakula before his death, was slammed by Pitt as “the most irresponsible bit of filmmaking – if you can even call it that – that I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t believe it”. He did this in an article in Newsweek, that was published in February 1997, ahead of the film’s eventual release on March 26th of that year. Pitt also called the film a “disaster”.
But it still managed to clean up around $140m around the world. And it didn’t seem to do Pitt’s career much harm…
WESLEY SNIPESBlade: Trinity
With the third Blade film rolling out on DVD back in 2005, Wesley Snipes filed a lawsuit – which is still believed to be pending – against New Line Cinema and writer/director David S Goyer.
Snipes wasn’t happy with the final cut of the film, nor the fact that his screen time had been cut down to beef up that of his co-stars, Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel. Snipes’ contention was that the decisions Goyer and the film’s other producers made harmed the end product, and thus damaged the box office take.
Snipes is still keen to reprise the role of Blade, but given that he’s also made The Art Of War II, we’d be shocked if there wasn’t a single film in his back-catalogue he wouldn’t want to ransack.
SEAN CONNERYThe League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Connery had a reputation for prickliness at the best of times in some quarters, but the film that sent him into a retirement from which he never returned was The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. It’s been (very) well reported that Connery and director Stephen Norrington did not see eye to eye at all, but unusually, those stories were not played down at the time. In fact, when asked where Norrington was at the opening party for the film, Connery retorted, “Check the local asylum.” Love between the pair was not lost, and Connery’s dissatisfaction was not kept tightly in check.
To be fair, he kept his opinions on the film itself to himself at the time, but his views were so well known by the time the film hit cinemas that it almost seemed moot by that point.
KATHERINE HEIGLKnocked Up
She steered clear of voicing her opinion as the film cleaned up at the box office, but Katherine Heigl wasn’t so shy when it came to the film’s DVD release. The actress, who has since criticised the show that gave her the big breakthrough she needed (Grey’s Anatomy) said of Knocked Up that it was “a little sexist. It paints the women as shrews, as humourless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys. … I had a hard time with it, on some days. I’m playing such a bitch; why is she being such a killjoy?”
That was in a Vanity Fair interview, although in the furore that followed, she did assert that making the film was the “best filming experience of her career”. As her co-star in Knocked Up Seth Rogen has since pointed out, though, she went on to make The Ugly Truth, surely one of the most misogynistic (and generally shit) romantic comedies that Hollywood has churned out in a long, long time…
MATTHEW GOODELeap Year
A romantic comedy starring Goode with Amy Adams that finally made it to the UK last week, Leap Year had hardly been a critical darling before the actor had his say on the matter. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Goode said of the film that it was “turgid” and, “I just know that there are a lot of people who will say it is the worst film of 2010.”
In the interview, he also talks about the fact that he didn’t have to travel to make the film, too. He says, “That was the main reason I took it – so that I could come home at the weekends. It wasn’t because of the script, trust me. I was told it was going to be like The Quiet Man with a Vaughan Williams soundtrack, but in the end it turned out to have pop music all over it. A bit like Chasing Liberty again. Do I feel I let myself down? No. Was it a bad job? Yes, it was. But, you know, I had a nice time and I got paid.”
Oddly, Goode pulled out of an appearance to promote the film on Radio 5 Live last Friday.
This one, to be fair, you can hardly pin on Garner herself. Obliged to reprise her role as Elektra as part of her Daredevil contract, Garner reportedly told her ex-boyfriend, Michael Vartan, that she thought that the movie was awful.
Sadly for her, he spilled the beans on this, and the story did the rounds in January of 2005, the exact same month that the film was released. Garner never confirmed that she said those words, but she’d have to be blind/deaf/both not to reach that conclusion after watching the final cut of the film…
BURT REYNOLDSBoogie Nights
He didn’t explicitly say so in public, but again, this is one of those stories that inevitably leaked out. For when Burt Reynolds saw a rough cut of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights, he was apparently very unhappy with the end result. He thus sacked his agent, and turned down a role in Anderson’s next film, Magnolia. Out came the story, and Reynolds then picked up a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his performance in the film.
His new agent, presumably, then lined him up with roles in the likes of Universal Solider II, Driven and Hard Time: The Premonition. Oh dear.
MEGAN FOXTransformers: Revenge Of The Fallen
She didn’t outright trash the film, but as part of the promotional whirlwind ahead of the release of last summer’s Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, you can hardly say she was on-message.
Amidst the widely-reported criticisms she had of director Michael Bay, she said of Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen that “This movie is for geniuses.”
This is not a compliment, as it turns out, as she explained that she basically didn’t understand the film. She was in the movie, she explained, read the script and watched it and, “I still didn’t know what was happening.” In the same interview for CBS News, she questioned how the interviewer didn’t get a migraine while watching it on an IMAX screen.
There are some who would argue she’s bang on the money there…
MARLON BRANDOThe Freshman
Never shy about offering his viewpoints on a project, Marlon Brando signed up to play opposite Matthew Broderick in Frank Oz’s 1990 comedy, The Freshman. Only he wasn’t very happy with the film at all.
At one stage before it was released, Brando said that he thought the film would go on to become one of cinema’s greatest ever turkeys, calling the film “lousy”. He did apparently come round to it subsequently, and as it turned out, The Freshman garnered impressive reviews in the end anyway.
He’d then go on to make The Island Of Dr Moreau, which, bizarrely, he was less vocal about…
EDWARD NORTONThe Italian Job/The Incredible Hulk
It was well known at the time that Edward Norton had no interest in appearing in Paramount Pictures’ remake of The Italian Job. However, having signed a three-picture deal with the studio, he faced a multi-million dollar lawsuit if he failed to participate. That said, he made his reluctance well known, reportedly suggesting that his real fans gave the film a miss.
He kept mostly quiet as the rumour mill went into overdrive on The Incredible Hulk back in 2008. Norton was widely reported to be unhappy with the final direction that the film took, and while he did a small amount of promotional work for the film, he disappeared during the month of the film’s release to do charity work instead. Hardly the enthusiastic backing the movie arguably needed, and also not the best way to nix the rumours of his displeasure with the end product…
And There’s Also…
* It wasn’t reported at the time, but John Cusack’s views on his mid-80s comedy Better Off Dead were pretty forthright from the moment he saw the final cut. The film’s director, Savage Steve Holland, recounted the story of the maiden Better Off Dead screening, which Cusack apparently walked out of. The following day, Holland told The Sneeze that Cusack said, “You know, you tricked me. Better Off Dead was the worst thing I have ever seen. I will never trust you as a director ever again, so don’t speak to me.” Blimey.
* Christopher Lee snubbed the premiere of The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King, unhappy at how far back his role had been cut.
* Keanu Reeves originally agreed to a scale-rate cameo in The Watcher, only to see his part beefed up when the final script was delivered. He tried to pull out of the film, but was reportedly threatened with legalities if he did so. Thus, he did the film on the condition that he didn’t do interviews, and his involvement in it would be downplayed.
* Christopher Plummer now reportedly refers to The Sound Of Music as The Sound Of Mucus…
* We can’t find anything definite on this, but apparently Rosie O’Donnell wasn’t best pleased with the final cut of the terrible Exit To Eden, and thus took her pet dog along for press interviews to avoid having to talk about it.
* Jack Black has reportedly expressed his displeasure at the film Envy, but again, we can’t find the exact quote to back that up. The same, too, for Jason Patric, who was vocal about his displeasure with Speed 2, but again, the exact quote eludes us. Bah.
* Jackie Chan is no fan of his American movies. Having sat through the Rush Hour trilogy, we can see his point.
* Halle Berry turned up to collect her Golden Raspberry Award for Catwoman, just as director Paul Verhoeven did for Showgirls.
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