Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Actors Who Hated The Iconic Movies They Starred In

Though we tend to think of acting as a noble, artistic pursuit — or at the very at least, getting to play pretend all day — it is, in fact, a job. Even those stars paid millions do it still have to get up every day and go to work, whether they like it or not. Moreover, when one project is done, another must be found to keep their brand and income rolling. It can be a grind for even the most established thespians, and every actor has a role or two with which they're not particularly happy.

Often, those roles are the kinds of things actors did early in their career: Cheesy guest spots on TV shows, bad horror movies they took to pay rent, kiddie programming featuring puppets and puns. In rare cases, however, the role an actor can't stand just happens to be part of cinematic infamy, burned forever in the minds of pop culture observers. 

The most beloved films are sometimes hated by the actors who star in them, and the absolute worst movies have sometimes been made with the presence of a budding superstar not yet ready to properly harness their talents. Sometimes it's because they had a terrible time making the film, sometimes it's because they just can't stand to watch themselves, and sometimes it's because they just don't enjoy the film itself, despite its legions of fans. Here are some stories of actors who don't like the iconic films they starred in — and why.

Christopher Plummer: The Sound of Music

Though it suffered from bad reviews upon its initial release, "The Sound of Music" has gone on to become one of the most beloved movie musicals of all time. Even if Quentin Tarantino has never seen it, families regularly gather 'round their televisions to watch it, the songs remain catchy, and Julie Andrews' performance as Maria is an iconic piece of work, matched only by her role as Mary Poppins. That said, one of the film's other stars has never been a fan.

Christopher Plummer has spent decades reminding viewers that he never liked "The Sound of Music," referring to the film as "The Sound of Mucus," "S&M" or simply "that movie" at various points over the years.

"I was a bit bored with the character,” he said in 2010, "although we worked hard enough to make him interesting, it was a bit like flogging a dead horse. And the subject matter is not mine. I mean, it can't appeal to every person in the world. It's not my cup of tea.”

Before his death in 2021, Plummer always made his thoughts on the film clear — albeit, while also acknowledging that people everywhere love it.

"As cynical as I always was about 'The Sound of Music,' I do respect that it is a bit of relief from all the gunfire and car chases you see these days," he said. "It's sort of wonderfully, old-fashionedly universal."

Alec Guinness: Star Wars

By the time the film that would be released as "Star Wars" came into his life, Sir Alec Guinness was already a legend — and that's why director George Lucas wanted him. The young filmmaker hoped the name and reputation of the "Bridge On the River Kwai" star would bolster his film, which largely starred unknowns, and offered Sir Alec a chunk of the film's earnings in exchange. Guinness, thinking it was just another payday, took the job.

Then "Star Wars" became "A New Hope" and launched the most powerful franchise in the galaxy; a lot of people involved in the production were happy about it, but Guinness was not. Yes, "Star Wars" made him a lot of money, but he famously couldn't stand the film itself. He refused to open any mail related to the film, and even asked George Lucas to limit future appearances of the Obi-Wan Kenobi character because he hated the dialogue. Most famously, Guinness once told a young fan, who claimed to have seen "Star Wars" many times, that he'd only sign an autograph for him if he promised to never watch the movie again.

Harrison Ford: Blade Runner

Just about any list of the greatest sci-fi films ever made has to include "Blade Runner." Ridley Scott's 1982 classic about a cop tracking rogue synthetic humans across a futuristic Los Angeles is still beloved today for its visuals, its performances, and the many mysteries buried within its story structure. "Blade Runner" is also remembered for overcoming so-so reviews, extensive financial turmoil, and development hurdles. It's a movie that persevered, against all odds, to become a cult classic.

While frequent re-edits, re-releases, sequels and spinoffs have kept new audiences finding the film and falling in love, star Harrison Ford apparently isn't one of them. In a 1999 interview, Ford said that no matter which cut of "Blade Runner" he watches, he responds the same way.

"I didn't like the movie one way or the other, with or without [the voiceover the studio forced him to record]," he said. "I played a detective who did not have any detecting to do ... In terms of how I related to the material, I found it very difficult. There was stuff that was going on that was really nuts."

Despite these struggles, Ford eventually did return to the role of Deckard for "Blade Runner 2049."

Crispin Glover: Back to the Future

Sometimes actors dislike movies they made because they didn't like the script, or they just did it for the money, or they were overwhelmed by the fame thrust upon them. Others dislike movies because of their director, or their co-star, or the place they had to live while they shot the film. Still more dislike movies they made because they can't stand watching themselves. Then there's Crispin Glover, who has his own very specific reasons for disliking "Back to the Future."

In a 2012 interview with The A.V. Club looking back on his career, Glover went into a lot of detail about why he didn't appear in either of the film's sequels as George McFly. It's complicated, and actually helped set legal precedent, but according to Glover, a lot of it started with his own dislike of the film's ending, when Marty McFly goes back to 1985 and finds that his parents are happy and his father is a successful and wealthy sci-fi author. For Glover, that kind of ending just sends the wrong message.

"I think if the characters have money [in the updated timeline at the end of the film], if our characters are rich, it's a bad message," he said. "That reward should not be in there."

For Glover, it is more important to simply show that Mr. and Mrs. McFly were in love. Director Robert Zemeckis did not agree.

Kate Winslet: Titanic

Films like "Heavenly Creatures" had already made Kate Winslet an accomplished young actress by the time "Titanic" came around, but James Cameron's film about the sinking of the legendary ocean liner made her into an international superstar. Though she's since gone on to many other roles, and even won Oscars for her non-"Titanic" work, Winslet will forever be known in the eyes of many as the lovestruck Rose, immortalized in memes and on basic cable for years to come.

That said, when the time came for a "Titanic" 3D re-release, Winslet admitted that she actually doesn't like watching the film very much. It's not Cameron's filmmaking, though. It's her own performance.

"Every single scene, I'm like 'Really, really? You did it like that?' Oh my God...Even my American accent, I can't listen to it. It's awful," she said. "Hopefully it's so much better now. It sounds terribly self indulgent but actors do tend to be very self-critical. I have a hard time watching any of my performances, but watching 'Titanic' I was just like, 'Oh God, I want to do that again.'"

Andrew Lincoln: Love Actually

"Love Actually" is one of those films that did well when initially released, but has grown its audience by leaps and bounds in the years since. The romantic comedy anthology about various Londoners and their relationships in the weeks leading up to Christmas has become a holiday staple for many, continuing to draw new fans through annual theatrical showings and Christmas movie marathons. That doesn't mean everyone who worked on the film has to like it, however.

While he acknowledges the film's impact, and even agreed to return for the Red Nose Day reunion special in 2017, Andrew Lincoln has admitted in interviews that he was never too comfortable with his own place in the film as Mark, the lovesick man who professes undying affection to his best friend's wife.

"In one of the most romantic movies of all time, I got to play the only guy who doesn't get the girl," he said. "The story is set up like a prism looking at all the different qualities of love. Mine was unrequited. So I got to be this weird stalker guy."

Katherine Heigl: Knocked Up

In 2007, Katherine Heigl was an up-and-coming actress still working on making the big leap from TV stardom to movie fame. She got a major break in the form of Judd Apatow's second film as director, "Knocked Up," a comedy about the fallout from a one-night-stand pregnancy. "Knocked Up" was a major success both critically and commercially, helped make Seth Rogen into a comedic star, and further cemented Apatow as one of the genre's guiding lights. For Heigl, though she enjoyed making the film, it was also an unpleasant story about an uptight woman.

"It was a little sexist," she said. "It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys. It exaggerated the characters, and I had a hard time with it, on some days. I'm playing such a b****; why is she being such a killjoy? Why is this how you're portraying women? Ninety-eight percent of the time it was an amazing experience, but it was hard for me to love the movie."

Robert Pattinson: Twilight

Robert Pattinson was one of several young actors — including Kristen Stewart and Anna Kendrick — who had overwhelming fame thrust upon them, seemingly overnight, with the original "Twilight" film. "The Batman" brought him back to franchise work, but Pattinson has also proven himself to be predominantly arthouse-minded, working with David Cronenberg and Claire Denis, and in films like "Good Time" and "The Lighthouse." He's not just a pretty face — he's a capable actor.

Pattinson can make strange indie films in no small part because he became extremely famous after playing Edward Cullen in five "Twilight" films. Based on Stephenie Meyer's massively popular novels of the same name, they drew a rabid fanbase to Pattinson, and while he's well aware of what the films did for him in terms of status, he was never actually a fan of the films themselves. 

While promoting the films, he once admitted that it was "weird" to be "kind of representing something you don't particularly like." Asked in a Moviefone interview if he'd go see a "Twilight" film if he wasn't in them, he responded: "I would just mindlessly hate it."

In the years since, however, he seems to have warmed to the films. "Now the intensity has died down," he said in 2019. "And it's just very warm memories."

Daniel Radcliffe: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Daniel Radcliffe's life changed forever when he was cast as the title character in the "Harry Potter" series of films, based on J.K. Rowling's mega-bestseller series of books. Radcliffe played Potter in eight different films across an entire decade of his life, quite literally growing up on the big screen. He's since used his "Potter" clout to work on a large number of smaller-scale projects, from horror films like "The Woman in Black" to strange indie fare like "Swiss Army Man," the TBS comedy series "Miracle Workers," and even playing "Weird" Al Yankovic

Radcliffe has fond memories of his time as the boy wizard, and always seems happy to share memories of making the "Potter" films. But there is little doubt, however, which film is his least favorite to watch.

"It's hard to watch a film like 'Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince,' because I'm just not very good in it. I hate it," Radcliffe said in 2014. "My acting is very one-note and I can see I got complacent and what I was trying to do just didn't come across. My best film is the fifth one ('Order Of The Phoenix') because I can see a progression." Radcliffe might only see stagnation and opportunities for improvement, but fans, at least, never seemed very bothered.

Viola Davis: The Help

"The Help" is considered by some to be among the best period dramas of the 2010s, and it earned widespread acclaim. Focusing on the interpersonal relationships between African American women working for white people in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1963 — at the height of the Civil Rights Movement — it starred Viola Davis in an Academy Award-nominated supporting role. Today, it may be remembered as one of her most celebrated roles, but nevertheless she is unhappy with the film and says she was reluctant to take the part.

"Have I ever done roles that I've regretted? I have, and 'The Help' is on that list," she said to the New York Times in 2018. "I just felt that at the end of the day that it wasn't the voices of the maids that were heard. I know Aibileen. I know Minny. They're my grandma. They're my mom. And I know that if you do a movie where the whole premise is, I want to know what it feels like to work for white people and to bring up children in 1963, I want to hear how you really feel about it. I never heard that in the course of the movie."

Megan Fox: Transformers

The chances are that few people would know who Megan Fox was had she not starred in Michael Bay's "Transformers" in 2007. The film introduced the Transformers to a new generation, and it introduced Fox to the world. In the film, Fox plays the love interest of Shia LaBeouf, who gets caught up in the Earthbound adventures of Optimus Prime and crew when they show up on their doorstep. Since "Transformers" and its sequel brought Fox a great deal of fame, you'd think it would be at the top of her list of favorite projects; that is not the case.

Fox was let go from the production of the third "Transformers" movie, primarily due to a falling out with Bay. She told Wonderland in 2009 that Bay was "a nightmare to work with. He's like Napoleon. ...He wants to be like Hitler on his sets, and he is. So he's a nightmare to work for." 

Following something of a public feud (and Fox's replacement by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley on the next "Transformers" film), Fox and Bay reconciled, even working together in the rebooted "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" films.

Looking back since on "Transformers" and its sequel, Fox has said she hates her acting. "People are well aware that this is not a movie about acting," she told Entertainment Weekly in 2009. "Once you realize that, it becomes almost fun because you can be in the moment and go, 'All right, I know that when he calls 'Action!' I'm either going to be running or screaming, or both.'"

Ryan Reynolds: Green Lantern

Ryan Reynolds has starred in several high-profile superhero movies, but he only truly regrets one: "Green Lantern." 

Intended to launch a franchise of DC Comics films, Reynolds was at the center of it all, and anticipation was high while the film was in production. Cast as Hal Jordan, the cocky test pilot who stumbles upon an alien that bestows upon him a Green Lantern power ring, the film had all the right names and story beats of the comics. But all the anticipation landed with a thud, collapsing in a brightly-lit CGI mess that didn't even include a real suit; the movie did so poorly at the box-office that it upended DC plans at the time. 

Reynolds has not been shy in the years since at joining in on the joke. Reynolds has mocked his performance and various aspects of the film on multiple occasions. In 'Deadpool," his character asks that his superhero suit not be green, referencing the CGI monstrosity from "Green Lantern."

Reynolds doubled down in "Deadpool 2" by going back in time and shooting himself in the head just as he's about to accept the role of Hal Jordan. He's gone on talk shows, appeared in commercials, and tweeted endlessly about the full scope of "Green Lantern" awfulnness. Reynolds told Entertainment Weekly the film failed because it "fell victim to the process in Hollywood, which is like poster first, release date second, script last." Reynolds also mentioned the film's failure wasn't the fault of the people who made it ... which include Blake Lively, who he met on the film and would later marry.

Michelle Pfeiffer: Grease 2

"Grease" was a massive hit that turbo-charged the careers of Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta, and others. The film's sequel was an often forgettable pile of celluloid  — except for the fact that it gave the world one Michelle Pfeiffer. 

Marking her largest role to date at the time, "Grease 2" revisited Rydell High School some two years after the previous film, this time depicting British student Michael (Maxwell Caulfield) and the object of his eye Stephanie (Pfeiffer), the leader of a girl's gang that only allows its members to date greasers ... for reasons.

"Grease 2" gave Pfeiffer a chance to show her stuff, singing and dancing and taking a big leap towards becoming a household name. But it is also regarded by some to be among the worst musicals of all time. 

"I hated that film with a vengeance and could not believe how bad it is," she told Hollywood.com in 2014. "At the time, I was young and didn't know better." Pfeiffer also didn't think she'd get the part, calling her casting a "total fluke."

Zac Efron: High School Musical

"High School Musical" was a massive success, and it launched the career of multiple stars, including Zac Efron. Not only was the film a hit, but it also spawned two sequels, and Efron starred in both of them, playing Troy Bolton to widespread popularity. Efron was a teenage heartthrob who could sing, dance, and look good doing it. After he put those films in his rearview mirror, Efron got to work playing more diverse roles.

While "Musical" made him a star, the way Efron sees it, his most awkward stage in life was also immortalized for generations of teens. Efron discussed how the role made him feel in a 2021 interview with Men's Journal

"I step back and look at myself, and I still want to kick that guy's a** sometimes," he said. "He's done some kind of cool things with some cool people, he did that one thing ['Neighbors'] that was funny, but I mean, he's still just that f****** kid from ['High School Musical']."

By this point, Efron has done a pretty good job leaving Troy Bolton in his past, from playing Ted Bundy in "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile," to mature movies like the "Baywatch" revival film and "The Greatest Showman." Efron has also become a documentarian; he hosts a travel show called "Down to Earth with Zac Efron," which sees him traveling the globe in search of healthy lifestyles.

Bob Hoskins: Super Mario Bros.

Bob Hoskins was an exceptional actor, lending power and presence to numerous iconic roles. From a (sometimes) affable PI in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" to a ruthless crime boss in "The Long Good Friday" to Captain Hook's sidekick Smee in "Hook," he had tremendous range.

But there's another iconic role Hoskins took on, and this one didn't work out so well. In fact, it's sometimes cited among the worst movies ever made; it was also the first, and remains the worst, video game adaptation ever put to film.

Long before Chris Pratt ever said "It's-a-me," Hoskins took on the role of "Mario Mario" in "Super Mario Bros." in 1993 — and no, that's not a typo. His first and last name were the same in the film, and that would be the first of many mistakes made in its production. With the possible exception of the costumes for Mario and Luigi (John Leguizamo), little about the movie relates to the source material. Fans aren't the only people who hated "Super Mario Bros."; Hoskins absolutely loathed the film, and he never kept that disdain to himself.

"The worst thing I ever did? 'Super Mario Brothers'," he told The Guardian in 2007. "It was a f****** nightmare. The whole experience was a nightmare. It had a husband-and-wife team directing, whose arrogance had been mistaken for talent. After so many weeks, their own agent told them to get off the set!" Dismissing them as "idiots," he cited the project as his biggest regret.

Matt Damon: The Bourne Ultimatum

Matt Damon got his start playing minor roles in "Mystic Pizza," "Courage Under Fire," and "School Ties," then he launched to superstardom with "Good Will Hunting." That role was undoubtedly iconic, and he won an Academy Award for best screenplay. The film launched Damon's career to new heights, and it helped him land his most iconic role: Jason Bourne. Damon first played Bourne in "The Bourne Identity" and has since appeared in three sequels.

While the movies did exceptionally well and solidified his place as a Hollywood A-lister, Damon isn't a huge fan of the third film, "The Bourne Ultimatum." In an interview with GQ, Damon expressed his disappointment with the script, which he credited to Tony Gilroy's deal to write a single draft, take no notes or rewrites, and receive "an exorbitant amount of money." Despite pointing out the script as the reason for the film's lackluster performance, Damon doesn't hold Gilroy accountable.

"It's really the studio's fault for putting themselves in that position," explained Damon, discussing Gilroy's contract. "I don't blame Tony for taking a boatload of money and handing in what he handed in. It's just that it was unreadable. This is a career-ender. I mean, I could put this thing up on eBay, and it would be game over for that dude. It's terrible. It's really embarrassing. He was having a go, basically, and he took his money and left." Ultimately, the shooting script was rushed into production, due to a set release date.

Sam Worthington: Clash of the Titans

Circa the late '00s, Sam Worthington had become Hollywood's hottest flavor, landing high-profile gigs headlining "Avatar," a "Terminator" sequel and a "Clash of the Titans" remake. 

Of course, "Avatar" became a once-in-a-generation hit, but Worthington's other two projects didn't quite work out as well. "Terminator: Salvation" was largely dead on arrival, and "Titans," which put him alongside the likes of Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Mads Mikkelsen, and other celebrated actors, did fair-to-middling business, ultimately failing to woo critics or audiences. The film eventually got a sequel (2012's "Wrath of the Titans"), but Worthington isn't a fan of his acting in "Clash," to the point where he would later apologize to fans in a 2010 interview with MovieFone

"I think the first one, we kind of let down some people," he admitted, saying he wanted to correct his mistakes with the sequel. "I think I can act f****** better, to be honest ... Just take all the notes from people that I have been reading about on the 'net and give them a movie they f****** want."

Brad Pitt: Interview with the Vampire

When Brad Pitt was cast opposite Tom Cruise in Anne Rice's eagerly-anticipated "Interview with the Vampire" adaptation, many saw it as a passing of the torch. Here was Hollywood's hottest young actor (Pitt, coming off "Thelma and Louise" and "A River Runs Through It," had become a sensation) matched with its biggest star (Cruise was coming off a succession of nonstop hits including "Rain Man," The Firm" and "Days of Thunder"). In this darkest of tales, who would shine brightest?

In the eyes of some, no one. The movie made money, but according to Pitt, it was a nightmare to shoot. In a 2011 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Pitt explained how miserable he was, shooting for six months in the dark. On top of that, he felt his character wasn't as fully realized as he should have been.

When asked if he knew what the role would be going in, Pitt replied, "No, I didn't. There was no script. I knew the book, and in the book, you have this guy asking, 'Who am I?' Which was probably applicable to me at that time." 

Explaining that "I got the script two weeks before we started shooting," Pitt even tried to get out of his contract. He called producer David Geffen, a good friend of his, and asked what it would cost to break the contract. When Geffen's answer was in the neighborhood of $40 million, Pitt decided to take his vitriol and, like any good vampire, just suck it up.

Emilia Clarke: Terminator Genisys

Speaking of ill-advised "Terminator" sequels, 2015's "Genisys" tried to capitalize on the phenomenon Emilia Clarke has become playing Daenerys Targaryen on "Game of Thrones," casting her as a quasi-new-Linda-Hamilton in the same character of Sarah Connor. The film aimed to reboot the franchise once again, and had it been successful, Clarke would have had a cinematic vehicle for years.

Unfortunately, the movie was deemed a disappointment, even if it did gross more than $440 million at the worldwide box office. Because it underperformed, the planned sequel was scrapped. Clarke spoke with Vanity Fair about her experiences filming "Genisys," noting that she'd seen the film's director Alan Taylor get "eaten and chewed up on 'Terminator.' He was not the director I remembered. He didn't have a good time. No one had a good time."

On top of that, Clarke expressed relief that she wouldn't have to make any more "Terminator" films. According to Clarke, a neighboring production was "FANT4STIC," another infamously troubled shoot that nearly destroyed its director and ultimately limped into theaters as a box office dud. She said the crew on that production was spotted wearing jackets that read, "AT LEAST WE'RE NOT ON 'TERMINATOR'." 

In 2016, Clarke was later asked about whether she'd ever return to the "Terminator" franchise. "No," she replied. "Can I say that? It's okay. No. Uh-uh."

George Clooney: Batman & Robin

If you've ever wondered what the worst "Batman" movie was, just head into your local comic book store, conduct a poll and you'll inevitably hear a consensus of invective surrounding Joel Schumacher's last film in the franchise. If you happen to pass by the onetime Dark Knight himself, George Clooney, you could ask him, and he'd likely agree.

When Clooney took the role, following Val Kilmer in Schumacher's "Batman Forever," he was an on-the-rise TV star ("ER") navigating a tricky transition to films. At the time, it was the biggest thing he had ever done, and while he recalls it as the role that helped him secure financial freedom, he nevertheless regrets it more than he does being in "Return of the Killer Tomatoes."

Clooney's Batman had nipples on the bat suit, a bat-credit card, and dialogue corny enough to make Adam West cringe. Clooney is no fan of the movie and has apologized to the fans several times. During an appearance on The Graham Norton Show in 2016, Clooney remembered the experience as a disaster, saying, "I always apologize for 'Batman'." 

"Let me just say that I actually thought I'd destroyed the franchise, until somebody else brought it back years later," he said. "I thought at the time that this was going to be a very good career move. It wasn't." 

Ben Affleck: Daredevil

Among other notable roles, Ben Affleck has played a superhero twice — well, 3 times if you count "Hollywoodland." He became Batman in "Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice," and continued his grittier, angrier Dark Knight through several DC Extended Universe films, including  both "Justice League" movies. His first foray into costumed crimefighting, however, didn't receive any encore performances.

Affleck played Matt Murdock (aka Daredevil) in the 2003 movie, a notorious dud at the time. While the film featured notable Easter eggs for fans who had long hoped to see their hero on the silver screen, it deviated from the source enough to provoke others. Affleck's performance isn't terrible, but the movie features some bad acting, crummy dialogue, and several scenes that deserve to reside in the bottom of the discount bin at your local 99 cent store.

In 2015, Affleck admitted to Entertainment Weekly that the film was a misfire. "'Daredevil' didn't work, at all," he said. "That was before people realized you could make these movies and make them well. There was a cynical sense of 'Put a red leather outfit on a guy, have him run around, hunt some bad guys, and cash the check.'"