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Actors Who Blamed Themselves For Flops

For every "Avengers: Endgame" and "Avatar: The Way of Water" — huge box office successes that bring in billions of dollars at the box office — there's a flop that fails to attract cinemagoers enough to turn a profit. After all, it is simply impossible for every single film to be a success — especially when the market is so crowded and big blockbuster films frequently dominate the world of cinema.

But why do movies flop in the first place? There can be a variety of reasons why audiences and critics dislike a film. Sometimes this is due to the quality of the movie, or the studios not giving them the marketing required to make them a success. Of course, there's also the possibility that the actors themselves may be to blame because even Hollywood's best actors sometimes drop the ball.

For all of these flops — even though there may have been other factors involved — one of the actors involved has put their hand up and taken accountability for their part in the movie's failure.

Sam Worthington for Clash of the Titans

Sam Worthington stars as Perseus, the main protagonist and one of the many sons of Zeus in the 2010 action film "Clash of the Titans" — a remake of the 1981 film of the same name. The film sees the mythical hero set out to kill Medusa to stop the destruction of his home city of Argos. While the original "Clash of the Titans" was not a runaway box office success– and it did have to overcome the hurdle of being released on the same day as "Raiders of the Lost Ark" — it did perform moderately well. The same cannot really be said of the 2010 film, however, which struggled to make much of an impression with critics or viewers.

Looking back at "Clash of the Titans," Worthington pulled no punches when he admitted that he acknowledged the movie had disappointed fans of the series and that he was not performing at his very best. As per The Hollywood Reporter, Worthington said, "I think the first one, we kind of let down some people. I think I can act f***ing better, to be honest." He went on to say that he and the writers would do everything they could to improve for the sequel — although this didn't come to fruition with "Wrath of the Titans" also failing to impress.

Tim Roth for United Passions

Few people would argue about the talents of English actor Tim Roth. He has appeared in a wide array of critically acclaimed films, including Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction," and has been the recipient of an Academy Award nomination for his performance in "Rob Roy." Roth has also appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starting with his role in "The Incredible Hulk" in 2008. One role that is unlikely to be fondly remembered, though, is his performance in "United Passions."

This FIFA-funded movie tells the story of the origin of the organization from its formation and struggles to become relevant. It flopped massively, earning a tiny amount at the box office, and faced scathing criticism in reviews. After its release, Roth largely refused to talk about the film. But he did speak out to say that he was partly to blame for what was seen by many as a propaganda film for FIFA.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor confirmed that he only took the role of Sepp Blatter because of its high pay but he regretted this decision. Roth also explained that he should have spoken out more to ensure it was more critical of the governing body. "Yeah, I apologize I didn't question the director, I didn't question the script," he said. "This is a role that will have my father turning in his grave."

Akshay Kumar for several notable flops

Although Western audiences may not be as familiar with Akshay Kumar's work, the actor is a huge star in the world of Bollywood. In fact, he has more than 160 acting credits to his name and has also worked as a writer and producer during his career. Kumar has also won dozens of awards and is widely considered to be among the world's highest-paid actors thanks to his roles in movies such as "Rowdy Rathore," "Mohra," and "Singh Is Kinng."

Despite his achievements, Kumar has seen many of his more recent projects fail to land with audiences. Even those that have achieved some measure of success with critics have not performed at the box office. Following a series of flops, the actor spoke out and took much of the blame for the lack of financial success.

In an interview with AajTak (via India Today), the actor explained that the negative audience responses to his latest movies show that they want something new from his performances. He elaborated further, saying: "The audience have changed, you need to change, you need to dismantle yourself. You have to start again because the audience require to see something else."

Rosamund Pike for Doom

Movies based on video games have not always had a great history. While the likes of 2023's "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" are starting to change that, there is a rich history of terrible adaptations that have left fans with their heads in their hands. One of the worst offenders is "Doom," a 2005 film that stars Dwayne Johnson, Karl Urban, and Rosamund Pike. Like the games, the film takes place on Mars where a group of marines is sent to rescue a group of researchers — but instead, they encounter an army of demons from Hell.

A commercial and critical failure, "Doom" was lambasted by almost everyone who saw it for the way it failed to capture the atmosphere and story of the gaming franchise. Pike has since talked about how she wasn't aware of the importance of "Doom" to gamers and failed to prepare as well as she should have for the project. She said: "I feel embarrassed, really. I feel embarrassed that I was sort of ignorant of what it meant and I didn't know how to go about finding out because the internet wasn't the place it is now for the fans to speak up" (per Collider).

Dwayne Johnson for Baywatch

During the '90s, "Baywatch" was one of the biggest shows on television. It made household names of its cast — which included David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson — and was among the most-watched series in history. In fact, it is estimated to have been watched by a global audience of more than 1 billion at its peak. So when a movie reboot was first announced with Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron leading the cast, it certainly led to a lot of anticipation.

With such big shoes to fill, the 2017 film was always going to struggle to make its mark. But few could have imagined the awful reception it would get from critics and how badly it would do in its theatrical run. Johnson — who accepted a Razzie for his performance – freely admitted culpability for the film. In an Instagram post, the actor said: "Hey, I take full responsibility for the [poop emoji] so punch me right in the kisser for that one."

Shia LaBeouf for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

After three stellar films during the '80s, the "Indiana Jones" franchise returned in 2008 with the release of "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." This fourth entry in the series saw Harrison Ford return as the titular protagonist alongside newcomers such as Cate Blanchett, Ray Winstone, and Jim Broadbent, with "Transformers" star Shia LaBeouf also joining the cast as the hero's estranged son. Even with its mostly positive reviews and decent box office performance, the film was largely seen as a failure and it is currently considered the worst in the franchise.

LaBeouf — who has had something of a controversial career since the movie was released — has never shied away from his performance in "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." Speaking to the Los Angeles Times in 2010, the actor explained how he had respect for everyone involved in the project and apologized to fans, saying that he feels like he "dropped the ball on the legacy that people loved and cherished." He also took responsibility for failing to "make it come alive and make it work" by admitting that this was his own fault.

Jennifer Lawrence for Dark Phoenix

"Dark Phoenix" was the final entry in the current guise of the long-running "X-Men" franchise. Widely considered to be the worst entry in the series, the 2019 film sees Sophie Turner's Jean Grey transforming into the powerful Phoenix entity as her fellow X-Men attempt to save her from herself and those who are trying to harness her force for evil. Among the large ensemble cast was Jennifer Lawrence, reprising her role as Mystique.

When speaking about a run of flops to Vanity Fair in 2022, Lawrence revealed that she felt she had burned out somewhat for "Dark Phoenix" and several other recent films. The explanation suggested that she simply was not performing at the top of her game and this affected the movies. "I was not pumping out the quality that I should have," she said in the interview. "I just think everybody had gotten sick of me. I'd gotten sick of me. It had just gotten to a point where I couldn't do anything right."

Jamie Lee Curtis for Virus

Even highly acclaimed and award-winning actors such as Jamie Lee Curtis sometimes appear in stinkers. However, few appear in movies that are received quite as poorly as "Virus." The 1999 film was not just panned but also failed to make back even half of its $75 million budget at the box office, making it a huge financial loss for the studio. Also starring William Baldwin and Donald Sutherland, the movie is based on a Chuck Pfarrer comic series and sees the characters discover an alien threat that has taken over a Russian ship.

While it would be difficult to blame Curtis entirely for what was a terrible movie, the actor has revealed that she was well aware of how awful "Virus" was during filming, saying: "It was maybe the only time I've known something was just bad and there was nothing I could do about it" (via Express). She obviously takes some blame for being aware that the movie was so terrible and failing to let people know.

Jake Gyllenhaal for Prince of Persia

Yet another example of a live-action video game adaptation that was a flop at the box office, "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" attempted to transfer Ubisoft's action-adventure series to the big screen. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, it starred Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead role as Prince Dastan of Persia with Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina, and Gemma Arterton in supporting roles.

Gyllenhaal seemingly accepted that he should not have had the role of Prince Dastan amid criticism that the role had been whitewashed. The actor revealed that he is now more careful when it comes to choosing a role to make sure he is the right fit. "I think I learned a lot from that movie in that I spend a lot of time trying to be very thoughtful about the roles that I pick and why I'm picking them," Gyllenhaal said to Yahoo. "You're bound to slip up and be like, 'That wasn't for me,' or 'That didn't fit perfectly,'"

William Shatner for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Often ranked among the very worst "Star Trek" films, "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" was a flop both in terms of its box office takings and the reception it received from fans and critics. The movie follows the USS Enterprise crew as they are forced to search for a God-like being by Spock's half-brother Sybok.

Shatner did not just reprise his role as Captain James T. Kirk but he also had a hand in the story and took on directing duties. This gave him even more influence over the movie and is perhaps why he feels so responsible for its failure. The movie went through a number of story changes that drastically altered the ideas that Shatner had originally envisioned and he now realizes he should have walked away from the project.

"I had a choice," he writes in his memoir (via Trek Movie). "I could accept the compromise or refuse to direct the movie. I made a mistake; I accepted the compromise, which doomed the picture from the beginning." The actor has also apologized for not allocating the funds for the movie in an efficient way, leading to shots being reused and a lack of special effects (via Entertainment Weekly).

Michael Fassbender for Assassin's Creed

In 2016, Michael Fassbender starred in "Assassin's Creed," a sci-fi action film that adapts Ubisoft's video game franchise of the same name. The actor stars as Callum Lynch and his assassin ancestor Aguilar de Nerha, alongside Marion Cotillard, Brendan Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling, and Jeremy Irons. Like the games, the story follows a modern-day protagonist who can relive his ancestors' lives through a strange machine known as the Animus against the backdrop of a generations-long war between the Templars and assassins.

The actor told Movie'n'co that he would make a number of changes to the film and his own performance if he could go back in time and do it again. He said: "I would make it more entertaining, that's really the main note. The feeling of the film, I think it took itself too seriously and I would get to the action a lot quicker. I think there are three beginnings of the film, which is a mistake."

Colin Farrell for Miami Vice

"Miami Vice" was one of the most popular shows of the 1980s, so it was always likely that it would be revamped at some point and brought back for modern audiences. Unfortunately, that happened in 2006 with a film that received mixed reviews and grossed just over $160 million. Much of the criticism centered on the lack of charm that Colin Farrel and Jamie Foxx's characters had compared to the original series — although the film has developed a small cult following in the years since it first came to cinema screens.

The actor admitted that he takes a portion of the blame for how the movie turned out, revealing it could have been a lot better. "I didn't like it so much — I thought it was style over substance and I accept a good bit of the responsibility," said Farrell to Total Film (via The Metro). "It was never going to be 'Lethal Weapon,' but I think we missed an opportunity to have a friendship that also had some elements of fun."

Jerry Lewis for The Day the Clown Cried

Written and directed by Jerry Lewis — who also starred in the lead role — "The Day the Clown Cried" is a 1972 film that is set during the Holocaust and follows a clown tasked by the Nazis with leading children to their deaths. Causing controversy due to its delicate subject matter and facing complex rights issues, it has never seen the light of day.

Lewis has all but wiped the film from existence, claiming that he would never release it publicly or allow anyone to see it. This makes it one of the best-known examples of a lost film, due to its controversial nature and the derision it has been subjected to. He also blamed himself for how the movie came out, suggesting that he is ashamed of the work he did on the film. "It was all bad and it was bad because I lost the magic," said Lewis to Reuters. "You will never see it, no one will ever see it, because I am embarrassed at the poor work."

George Clooney for Batman & Robin

"Batman & Robin" was the fourth film in the initial live-action "Batman" franchise, arriving in 1997 after the success of Tim Burton's "Batman" and "Batman Returns." While those two movies featured Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader, 1995's "Batman Forever" saw Val Kilmer take up the role before he was replaced in "Batman & Robin" by George Clooney. With the highest budget of the series — at an estimated $160 million – the film was the only flop of the four installments, making around $238 million at the box office and attracting criticism for its cynical attempt to sell toys rather than be a good movie.

Clooney hasn't shied away from his own shortcomings in the film, explaining in an interview with GQ that he put in a terrible performance. "The only way you can honestly talk about things is to include yourself and your shortcomings in those things," he said. "Like, when I say 'Batman & Robin' is a terrible film, I always go, 'I was terrible in it.'" The actor has also admitted that he feels so embarrassed by the movie that he won't let his wife or kids watch it at home (via Variety).

Jean Seberg for Saint Joan

Released in 1957, "Saint Joan" is a historical drama that tells the story of Joan of Arc, from her humble beginnings to her execution when she is burned at the stake. The lead role of Joan of Arc was cast in a strange way, with director Otto Preminger holding a talent search that saw him audition more than 18,000 women before they settled on Jean Seberg. However, the film and Seberg in particular were criticized in reviews and the film ended up as a huge flop.

According to E! Online, Seberg was critical of her own performance in the film and admitted that she wasn't equipped at the time to handle such a high-profile role. "I was scared like a rabbit and it showed on the screen," she said. "It was not a good experience at all." She later went on to say that the publicity surrounding the film made it harder to be successful, saying: "I am the greatest example of a very real fact, that all the publicity in the world will not make you a movie star if you are not also an actress."