When it comes to the glitz and glam of Hollywood, success is often elusive, and for some actors, stardom remains just out of reach. A group of movie gurus engaged in an online debate about actors who never quite ascended to A-list status. From missed opportunities to personal struggles, these actors navigated a challenging journey through the ever-competitive landscape of Tinseltown and came up short.
1. Jaden Smith
The public has criticized Jaden’s acting skills, his choice of roles, and his perceived nepotism. The popular belief is that he’s a terrible actor and only gets roles because of his dad, Will Smith. Unfortunately, he couldn’t fill his dad’s shoes and hasn’t gotten many parts throughout his lifetime.
2. Scott Eastwood
The critique for Scott is similar to the gripes people have with Jaden Smith. People have unfavorably compared him to his father, Clint Eastwood, and argued that he lacked the same talent and charisma. For example, he has none of his father’s grit, charm, or intensity. He comes across as a generic action hero who can’t carry a movie alone. In all fairness, he’s not a bad actor, but he’s not a great one either. Scott Eastwood is somewhat forgettable and interchangeable with any other handsome guy in Hollywood.
3. Casper Van Dien
Several online forum users pointed out that Casper Van Dien was mainly known for his role in Starship Troopers and never managed to break out of the sci-fi genre or the B-movie circuit.
4. Taylor Kitsch
Some of Taylor Kitsch’s failures as an actor could be because of the poor quality of the movies he starred in, such as John Carter, Battleship, and Savages. Ultimately, he had potential but chose some awful projects that bombed at the box office and tarnished his reputation. It comes back to the same critique that he’s not a bad actor per se, but he’s not a star, either. He doesn’t have the on-screen presence to carry a movie as the lead.
5. Taylor Lautner
Taylor Lautner has been dismissed as a one-hit wonder who only became famous for his role in the Twilight saga. After that, he failed to impress in any other project. It seemed that once the franchise ended, nobody cared about him anymore.
6. Alex Pettyfer
Over time, Alex Pettyfer developed a bad reputation in the industry for being brutal to work with, arrogant, and unprofessional. There was a report of a feud with Channing Tatum, his co-star in Magic Mike, who reportedly did not like him and did not want him back for the sequel. Pettyfer admitted that he was insecure and rude on the set. Additionally, he was dropped by his agents and managers after he refused to audition for roles and demanded high salaries.
7. Harry Styles
Although he is a successful singer and songwriter, he has yet to establish himself as a credible actor in Hollywood. He has only appeared in one major film, Dunkirk, directed by Christopher Nolan, and had a large ensemble cast. He received mixed reviews for his performance, with some critics praising his naturalism and others finding him unremarkable. Perhaps Styles is more of a toss-up.
8. Jim Sturgess
Despite starring in several films, such as Across the Universe, 21, Cloud Atlas, and Geostorm, Sturgess hasn’t achieved widespread recognition or acclaim in Hollywood. He has often played American characters with varying degrees of success in his accent and mannerisms. Some critics have noted that he seems more comfortable and authentic when he uses his native British accent. Sturgess hasn’t pursued any major franchises or awards-worthy roles that could boost his profile and visibility in the industry.
9. Jai Courtney
Jai Courtney is an Australian actor who has appeared in several blockbuster films, like A Good Day to Die Hard, Divergent, Terminator Genisys, Suicide Squad, and Alita: Battle Angel. However, Courtney has played bland or generic characters that do not stand out or make an impression on the audience. On top of that, he hasn’t shown much range or versatility as an actor, mostly sticking to action or thriller genres. He has rarely ventured into comedy or drama roles that could showcase his talent or potential.
10. Josh Lucas
Josh Lucas is often compared to Matthew McConaughey, another actor who shares his Southern charm and good looks. However, unlike McConaughey, who reinvented his career with more severe and diverse roles, Lucas has yet to escape his typecasting as a romantic or action hero. He has been involved in personal and professional controversies that may have affected his reputation and career. He’s played chiefly supporting or secondary roles in either mediocre or forgettable films.
11. Jared Leto
Many forum users disliked Leto’s method of acting, his ego, and his off-screen antics. Others said he’s a one-trick pony who only gets attention for his physical transformations. He was good in Dallas Buyers Club, but everything else he’s done has been annoying.
12. Sam Worthington
Sam Worthington has been consistently criticized for his lack of charisma, poor accent, and choice of roles. He always plays the same character in every movie. Additionally, many people feel that Worthington can’t do an American accent to save his life. A few contributors echoed that he sounds like he’s mumbling his lines, and one person said, “He was in Avatar, the highest-grossing movie of all time, but nobody remembers him or cares about him.”
13. Kit Harington
The public has argued that Kit Harington was only famous for his role as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, and he has little talent or range as an actor. The verdict is that he can’t act outside Game of Thrones and was awful in Pompeii, Seventh Son, and The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. While everyone doesn’t share the same sentiments, Hollywood producers may feel that Harrington can’t play any other role convincingly.
14. Josh Duhamel
Josh Duhamel has only played romantic or action roles that didn’t showcase his skills or potential. Multiple users articulated that he’s just a handsome face with no substance or depth as an actor. He plays the same role in every movie: the charming but bland love interest or hero. Another commenter elaborated and called him “a filler actor who fills up space and time in movies that don’t need him.”
15. Alden Ehrenreich
Alden Ehrenreich had the misfortune of being cast as Han Solo in Solo: A Star Wars Story, which was a commercial and critical disappointment. He didn’t look, sound, or act like him, and many thought that he ruined one of the most iconic characters in cinema history. Outside of him, the movie had a troubled production, a low fan interest, and a high expectation. He couldn’t live up to the legacy of Harrison Ford, so that hurt him in the industry.
16. Glen Powell
People praised Glen Powell’s performance in Scream Queens and Everybody Wants Some!!, but noted that he hasn’t been in many high-profile projects since then. He may be one of the few people who should get more opportunities than they’re given. He’s a great actor with a lot of charm and personality, but he hasn’t been given the chance to shine in more prominent roles. He’s too good for the parts he gets. He deserves better than being the sidekick or the love interest in mediocre movies like Hidden Figures and Set It Up. Hopefully, we’ll see more of him shortly!
17. Dane Dehaan
Dane Dehaan has faced harsh criticisms, such as being a terrible actor who always looks like he’s on drugs or constipated. He’s also been accused of lacking versatility or emotion as an actor. He always plays the same character in every movie: the brooding, troubled, angsty young man. One of the most vicious critiques has been that Dehaan is a poor man’s Leonardo DiCaprio who tries to copy his style and career choices but fails miserably. Ouch.
18. Ryan Phillippe
Ryan Phillipe peaked in the late 90s and early 2000s and never managed to transition from a teen heartthrob to a mature actor. He was a hot commodity that didn’t evolve as an actor or take on more challenging roles. He was stuck in the same type of movies: teen dramas, romantic comedies, or action thrillers. Philippe had potential but also went through some bad career choices and personal scandals. He was overshadowed by his ex-wife, Reese Witherspoon, who became an Oscar winner and a producer, while he became irrelevant.
19. Michael Biehn
Michael Biehn was phenomenal in a few classic sci-fi movies like The Terminator, Aliens, and The Abyss, but lamented that he did not get more opportunities or recognition in Hollywood. Other people concurred, saying he is a great actor in some of the best sci-fi movies ever, but he never got the credit or the respect he deserved.
20. Armie Hammer
The overwhelming majority of people have expressed their disappointment and disgust with Armie Hammer’s recent scandals involving allegations of sexual abuse, cannibalism fantasies, and drug use. His actions and words appear to have ruined his career and reputation. In the eyes of many, he’s lost all respect and credibility as an actor and human being.
21. Hayden Christensen
Hayden Christensen has come under fire for being egotistical yet mediocre as an actor. Some sources suggest that he quit Hollywood after playing Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels, which were widely criticized and earned him several Razzie awards. He said that he felt like he had not earned fame and fortune and wanted to live a more normal life on a farm. He also said that he was disappointed with some of the projects he chose or was offered and did not get the chances he deserved as an actor.
22. Charlie Hunnam
Charlie Hunnam was praised for his performance in Sons of Anarchy, but viewers noted that he has been unable to replicate that success in other movies. Maybe he hasn’t found the proper movie role yet. Hunnam was wasted in Pacific Rim, King Arthur, and The Lost City of Z. He needs to branch out and show some versatility as an actor instead of always being the rugged antihero. Hunnam has said he prefers to work on passion projects rather than blockbuster franchises and values his privacy and personal life over fame and fortune.
23. Jason Patric
Many commenters argued that Patric was a promising actor in the late 80s and early 90s but never lived up to his potential or expectations. He could be too picky with his roles and turned down some significant opportunities, such as The Firm, The Matrix, and Speed 2.
24. Jon Bon Jovi
Jon Bon Jovi is an example of a musician who tried to act but failed miserably. He’s undoubtedly a rock star who should stick to music and leave acting to the professionals. He falls into the same category as The Rock, who always plays the same role in every movie: himself. Audiences believe Bon Jovi is a below-average actor who only gets parts because of his fame and connections. According to critics, he was terrible in U-571, Pay It Forward, and New Year’s Eve.