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Actors Who Were Tricked Into Taking Roles

Even the most accomplished actors are embarrassed by a few of their movies, and many publicly slam their own box office bombs. But, in some cases, actors claim it wasn't their fault the movie tanked: They say they were tricked into making the movie in the first place. It happens more than you might think.

Ryan Reynolds in X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Before this year's Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds was batting zero for two in the superhero game. Green Lantern was a disaster, and his first turn as Deadpool's alter ego in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, was a fail. Reynolds said he was "blackmailed" into the latter. "I was already attached to the Deadpool movie," he told Entertainment Weekly. "We hadn't, at that point, written a script yet. [Origins] came along, and it was sort of like, 'Play Deadpool in this movie or we'll get someone else.' And I just said, 'I'll do it, but it's the wrong version. Deadpool isn't correct in it." Since production began during a writers' strike, Reynolds didn't even have any scripted lines to work with. Then it took years of begging to finally get Deadpool off the ground.

Alec Baldwin in Rock of Ages

The prospect of working with director Adam Shankman for Rock of Ages and the bevy of stars attached (Tom Cruise, Russell Brand, Bryan Cranston, and Catherine Zeta-Jones) seemed like a good idea to Alec Baldwin. Then he took a closer look at the script and lost interest a few weeks before production. He tried to jump ship, even going so far as to cite an unnamed medical condition. Unfortunately, the look and musical skills of the character made it too difficult for producers to recast. "It was a complete disaster," Baldwin told The Wrap. "A week in, you go, 'Oh God, what have I done?'"

Tyler Perry in Gone Girl

David Fincher's adaptation of Gone Girl scored big at the box office, impressed critics, and prompted a lot of married people to look at their spouses with suspicion. But Tyler Perry claims he was misled into signing on to play celebrity attorney Tanner Bolt. He said he was oblivious to the cultural phenom of Gillian Flynn's novel, so Perry didn't know he was walking into one of the most anticipated book adaptations of the decade. He didn't know Fincher's body of work, either. "Had I known all those things, I would have said no," Perry told Vulture. "My agent knew that! So, he didn't tell me any of those things! Not until after I had signed on to do it."

Jared Leto in Suicide Squad

Jared Leto can afford to be choosy with acting gigs. He's an Oscar winner after his performance in Dallas Buyers Club, and his band, 30 Seconds to Mars, keeps him busy enough to disappear from the big screen for years at a time. So when he agreed to play the Joker in Suicide Squad, fans were pretty pumped. After what Heath Ledger did with the role in The Dark Knight, the Joker is no laughing matter. But when Suicide Squad hit theaters, the response wasn't good. Adding to the already insane history of the production, Leto reportedly claimed he was duped into the movie because it was "pitched to him very differently." Perhaps Ben Affleck's solo Batman flick will be more in line with his vision?

Michelle Pfeiffer in Grease 2

It's hard to believe three-time Oscar nominee Michelle Pfeiffer was once a young ingenue being suckered into bad movies, but that's what happened when she landed a lead role in the sequel to Grease. She told Hollywood.com that her youth and inexperience played a big part in her being lured into the musical, which didn't even have a finished script during production. "I hated that film with a vengeance and could not believe how bad it was," Pfeiffer said. "At the time, I was young and didn't know any better."

Paul Bettany in Dogville

Dogville, a 2003 crime thriller about a woman hiding from gangsters in a Colorado town, is one of Paul Bettany's more celebrated movies. But the actor has no love for the flick, and says it was a lie that brought him on. He told the Guardian, "I did it because [co-star] Stellan f—ing Skarsgård fibbed to me. He said, 'You gotta turn up, it'll be fantastic.'" After several weeks of shooting, though, Bettany realized he'd been tricked. "[Skarsgård] said, 'Man, I was making it up. I just couldn't face doing it without you.'" Bettany refused to watch the movie.

Paula Abdul in Brüno

Celebrity cameos might be common, but what happened to Paula Abdul in Brüno is not. Apparently the American Idol judge was unfamiliar with Sacha Baron Cohen's work before she unwittingly became part of the film, because she didn't recognize him when she waltzed onto the set. She explained to Vulture that her publicist was informed Abdul had won a German award and she was to be interviewed for it. But when she arrived and saw humans used as furniture, she assumed it was just a weird quirk and went with it. Things eventually went south, but her rep had signed a release allowing the footage to be used. It took a year for her to discover the clip was for Brüno once the interview requests started rolling in. The good news is that she thought the bit was "hysterical."

Kate Mulgrew in The Principle

As "Red" on Orange Is the New Black, no one would dare mess with Kate Mulgrew. But both she and physicist Lawrence Krauss were fooled into participating in the 2014 documentary based on geocentrism–the theory that Earth is the center of the universe. Mulgrew, who narrated the movie, apologized to fans for the confusion about her involvement with the film. She wrote on Facebook: "I was a voice for hire, and a misinformed one, at that."

The entire cast of Movie 43

The Farrelly Brothers wore out their rolodex when they patched together an all-star cast for Movie 43. They enlisted Richard Gere, Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Halle Berry, Uma Thurman, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Kristen Bell, Chris Pratt, and more. It was reportedly the filmmakers' refusal to take no for an answer that aligned the unfortunate stars. Peter Farrelly described the production method: "Wait for [the actors]. Shoot them when they want to shoot. Guilt them to death." Some said no (like George Clooney), but many of those who did appear in the badly reviewed movie refused to promote it.