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Actors Who Were Forced To Take Roles They Hated

At certain points in their careers, actors no longer need to audition for the roles they take. Eventually, if they're popular enough, filmmakers and studios offer them roles, and they can pick and choose their jobs as they please. It generally takes a lot of time, persistence, and outright luck to get to that point, however, and when an actor is just starting out, they've got to take pretty much any job they can get.

And it isn't just young budding stars who end up contractually obligated to perform in projects they're pretty sure will be subpar. In today's franchise-driven Hollywood, lots of contracts include options for multiple sequels—and even if the experience of filming the original installment is less than ideal, a star can find themselves compelled to come back for the follow-up chapters whether or not they want to. With that in mind, we've looked back over Hollywood history and rounded up a few cases when actors were somehow forced to take on roles they really didn't want at all.

Jennifer Garner in Elektra

After the fairly successful 2003 release of "Daredevil," nearly everyone involved in the project was excited for a spin-off focusing exclusively on Jennifer Garner's character, Elektra. "Daredevil" writer and director Mark Steven Johnson discussed bringing Kevin Smith on board to help with the screenplay, and Garner — herself a major fan of the original Frank Miller comics — gushed in interviews about possible paths the storyline could take in the sequel she was already under contract to complete.

Unfortunately, sometimes even the best-laid plans go awry, and 2005's "Elektra" didn't live up to anyone's expectations. Johnson was replaced as the writer and director, the film bombed at the box office and was panned by audiences and critics, and Garner herself even told her ex-boyfriend Michael Vartan that the movie was "awful." In an interview with Us Weekly, Vartan explained (via SFGATE), "She had to do it because of 'Daredevil.' It was in her contract."

Mike Myers in The Cat in the Hat

Following his first "Austin Powers" movie, Universal signed Myers to appear in what was to be a comedy based on his "Dieter" character from "Saturday Night Live." He backed out of the part due to issues with the screenplay — a screenplay he allegedly wrote himself — which launched a series of legal battles, lawsuits, and countersuits between the studio and the star.

Eventually, the sides reached an agreement — one that obligated Myers to play the title character in a live-action adaptation of Dr. Seuss' "The Cat in the Hat." Even after agreeing to the part, Myers made no effort to play nice while on the set; his co-star Amy Hill revealed (via ScreenCrush) that he acted like a "hermit" and a "diva" throughout the whole production. The end result was so underwhelming that Dr. Seuss' widow, Audrey Geisel, stated in 2004 that she'd never allow Hollywood to make another live-action adaptation of one of his works again.

Channing Tatum in G.I. Joe

Channing Tatum, of "Magic Mike" and "21 Jump Street" fame, has made some big hits — but he hated acting in one of his most high-profile releases, "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra."

In an interview with Howard Stern (via TIME), Tatum alleged that he was "pushed into doing that movie," and claimed he had to do it to fulfill a contract with Paramount Pictures. Tatum went on to say that, although he was a fan of the cartoon growing up, the script was subpar, and he was unsure if he wanted to actually be Joe. After all that hassle, the picture didn't even open the post-blockbuster doors it was supposed to — rather than making a case for Tatum as a leading man, it simply saddled him with an underperforming action movie. All that being said, Tatum made it clear he felt "super lucky and blessed" for the work.

The entire cast in Movie 43

It was a critically derided bomb, but "Movie 43" has one thing going for it: a stellar cast that includes Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Emma Stone, Richard Gere, Halle Berry, Gerard Butler, and Naomi Watts, to name a few. How'd the film's producers get all of these A-list stars to agree to such an awful movie? Turns out it's a bit of a scandal.

Producer Charles Wessler, responsible for films like "Shallow Hal" and "There's Something About Mary," somehow managed to sign Jackman and Winslet and film their scenes sometime in 2009. With their portion in the can, Wessler lined up financing for the picture, which was supposed to be a zany, short-attention-span comedy along the lines of midnight classics like "Kentucky Fried Movie." Leaning on all of his contacts in the industry and suffering through some fairly painful rejections (co-producer Peter Farrelly admitted George Clooney rather profanely declined the offer), Wessler waited years to finish the film — even holding out for a year at one point just so Richard Gere was available for a day of filming.

Given that "Movie 43" was a series of short, allegedly funny vignettes, none of the cast members were really aware of anything else going on in the rest of the movie — and when it came out, they all unsurprisingly refused to promote it. "We did it, and then cut to a year or something later they're like, 'Hey there's a movie coming out,'" said Liev Schrieber, according to Entertainment Weekly. "I'm like, 'Uh-oh' ... But you know, you do these things. We'll see. It was a goof."

Edward Norton in The Italian Job

Edward Norton signed a three-picture deal with Paramount when he landed his breakout role in 1996's "Primal Fear," which turned him into an Oscar-nominated star with lots of new options — and as a result, he never got around to fulfilling the terms of that deal. Finally, Paramount took action; in order for him to appear in 1999's "Fight Club," he had to negotiate a new contract — one that obliged him to make one more movie with the studio after filming on "Fight Club" ended.

By 2002, Norton had yet to agree on a film — a significant sticking point, given that he'd later claim he was promised he'd never have to make a movie against his will. Out of patience, Paramount offered him "The Italian Job," and after he declined, the studio sent him a letter saying he didn't have a choice. Both sides lawyered up, threatening to take each other to court, but Norton finally complied.

Natalie Portman in Thor: The Dark World

Natalie Portman added some major acclaimed actor cred to the budding Marvel Cinematic Universe when she signed on to play Jane Foster in "Thor" — and when the time came to film the sequel, she flexed a fair bit of her Hollywood clout to let Marvel know exactly how she felt about the way the studio did business.

Reportedly reluctant to get back in front of the cameras for "Thor: The Dark World," Portman was said to be "re-engaged" in the project after successfully lobbying for Patty Jenkins to direct. But her happiness proved short-lived: Marvel and Jenkins clashed over creative direction, and ultimately, Jenkins was forced out — and Portman was still contractually obligated to appear. Although she never publicly spoke ill of the project, it was pretty clear she'd had her fill of blockbuster superhero action; after word got out she wouldn't be returning for the third "Thor," she told the Wall Street Journal, "As far as I know, I'm done. I don't know if maybe one day they'll ask for an 'Avengers 7' or whatever, I have no idea. But as far as I know, I'm done."

Bill Murray in Garfield: The Movie

The story of how comedy legend Bill Murray ended up voicing a lasagna-loving cat in a horrible half-animated, half-live action movie almost sounds like the plot to a comedy film itself: Apparently, he'd been wanting to do a cartoon movie, and when a script came his way that appeared to have been written by the legendary Joel Coen (of the Coen brothers), he didn't look beyond the first few pages before signing up.

As Murray tells the story, it wasn't until filming was about to begin that he learned the writer was not Joel Coen of would really make a Garfield movie"The Big Lebowski" and "No Country for Old Men" fame, but actually Joel Cohen, best known for writing films like "Monster Mash: The Movie" and "Cheaper By the Dozen." At that point, it was too late to back out, and Murray claims he spent weeks in the sound booth working on the dialogue in a futile attempt to save both "Garfield" and its sequel, "A Tale of Two Kitties." It's definitely a cautionary tale, but now we wish the Coen Brothers would really make a Garfield movie.

Emily Blunt in Gulliver's Travels

Emily Blunt shot to fame when she appeared in "The Devil Wears Prada," and naturally, numerous studios wanted her for a variety of high-profile projects — including Marvel, who had Blunt in mind for the role of Black Widow in "Iron Man 2." However, Fox Studios executives, who produced "The Devil Wears Prada," preferred that she appear in their remake of "Gulliver's Travels" instead.

Luckily for Fox — and unluckily for Blunt — her "Prada" contract had a clause that required her to star in another Fox-made release, and they used it on "Gulliver's," a movie that wound up becoming a critical and financial bomb. Fortunately, Blunt's career was none the worse for wear; she's gone on to make many more successful films since, including "Sicario," "Into the Woods," and "Mary Poppins Returns."

Shia LaBeouf in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Multiple-movie contracts have been a staple of Hollywood since the "studio system" days of the '30s and '40s, and they're still quite common today—even though actors should probably know better by now. In one recent example, Shia LaBeouf was roped into a three-movie deal for the "Transformers" franchise. Following the second movie in the series, "Revenge of the Fallen," LaBeouf wasn't shy about his disdain for the sequel, saying that he "wasn't impressed with what we did" and singling out director Michael Bay. "There were some really wild stunts in it, but the heart was gone," he argued. "We got lost. ... Mike went so big that it became too big. Unless you have those relationships, then the movie doesn't matter. Then it's just a bunch of robots fighting each other."

Despite the heavy derision from critics, all of the "Transformers" films have been box office successes, particularly internationally. LaBeouf would finally manage to exit the franchise after the third film, "Dark of the Moon," and though he may have hated the creative experience of working on them, surely the millions of dollars he made as Sam Witwicky offer some consolation.

Keanu Reeves in The Watcher

Keanu Reeves' involvement in "The Watcher" is proof that not all of our friends have our best interests at heart. In this case, the so-called friend is Joe Charbanic, who filmed a tour of Reeves' band Dogstar — and happens to be the director of "The Watcher."

Shortly after Reeves' huge success with "The Matrix," Charbanic allegedly forged Reeves' signature on a contract to appear in the serial-killer flick. Rather than deal with a long and costly legal dispute, and unable to prove that Charbanic forged his signature, Reeves appeared in the movie. Once the movie was released, Reeves did nothing to promote it, but for 12 months, he was contractually prevented from talking about how he got involved in it. However, once that contract was up, he didn't hold any secrets back; as he said later, "I never found the script interesting."

Jessica Alba in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

When you agree to play a major character in a superhero movie, you'd better be prepared to play that same role again in the future — even if the movie is a flop. This was the case for Jessica Alba, who played Fantastic Four team member Sue Storm aka the Invisible Woman in the 2005 "Fantastic Four" movie. Because of her three-movie contract, Alba was obligated to return for the 2007 sequel, "Rise of the Silver Surfer" — an experience she hated so much that she actually considered quitting acting for good.

Luckily for Alba, "Rise of the Silver Surfer" underperformed at the box office, and Fox opted to cancel the planned third film and develop a reboot of the franchise with a whole new cast. Fox even went so far as to pull their 2005 and 2007 efforts from digital distribution markets to focus fans on the reboot. The new "Fantastic Four" did even worse than its predecessors, earning scathing reviews on its way to becoming one of 2015's biggest box-office flops.

Whoopi Goldberg in Theodore Rex

Whoopi Goldberg was riding high from her success with "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit" when producers approached her to star in their movie "Theodore Rex." At the time, Goldberg agreed to appear in the movie via an oral contract, but over the next two years, she changed her mind for some reason. (Our guess? It was probably the animatronic talking dinosaur.)

Goldberg attempted to back out, but a court case involving Kim Basinger getting out of "Boxing Helena" created a precedent that would have made it very expensive for Goldberg to quit "Theodore Rex," so she relented and appeared in the movie. It did so horribly on its test run that it was released direct-to-video and has the distinction of being the only direct-to-video film to earn a Razzie nomination.

Daniel Craig in Skyfall and Spectre

He's been enormously successful in his role as British spy James Bond, but Daniel Craig has always been brutally honest about why he hates playing the character — and why he keeps doing it. After the release of "Skyfall" in 2012, Craig admitted that he was never keen on becoming "Bond, James Bond" in the first place. "I've been trying to get out of this from the very moment I got into it," he explained, "but they won't let me go, and I've agreed to do a couple more." Hollywood contracts strike again, proving that they're capable of defeating even 007 himself.

During the 2015 promotional tour for "Spectre," Craig turned the Bond hatred up a notch, responding to the prospect of more sequels by telling Esquire, "At this moment, no. I have a life and I've got to get on with it," and stunning Time Out readers by saying he'd "rather break this glass and slash my wrists" than appear in another Bond film. Finally, after several movies of begging to be killed off, Craig got to put the character to rest, however temporarily, in "No Time to Die."

Val Kilmer in Top Gun

Surprisingly, Val Kilmer wanted nothing to do with "Top Gun," the movie that arguably shot him to stardom. It was all the result of a three-picture deal he signed with Paramount. He'd completed the first two films, "Top Secret!" and "Real Genius," and owed them one more, so in order to get his agent off his back, Kilmer went to meet with the film's director, the late Tony Scott.

Kilmer told the Independent that when he went to get on the elevator after the meeting, "I heard this swooshing round the corner. The doors opened and Tony jumped in front of the lift and wouldn't let me leave." Kilmer thought Scott knew he didn't want to make the movie, but Kilmer took the role anyway. All's well that ends well: After "Top Gun," Kilmer worked with Scott again in "True Romance" and later reprised his role of Iceman in the long-awaited, highly successful sequel, "Top Gun: Maverick."

Roy Scheider in Jaws 2

Roy Scheider rose to worldwide fame with his role as Police Chief Martin Brody in the 1975 blockbuster "Jaws," but he wasn't particularly excited to reprise his role in the 1978 sequel. While his co-stars Lorriane Gary, Murray Hamilton, Cyprian R. Dube, Jeffrey Kramer, and Fritzi Jane Courtney were all coming back, Brody's return was a thorn in Scheider's side. So why did he come back? Two words: contractual obligations.

Scheider had signed a multiple-movie contract with Universal Studios, and they'd originally cast him as the lead in 1978's "The Deer Hunter." Unhappy with the script, he dropped out of the film, replaced by Robert De Niro — but because of that contract, Universal was able to force Scheider to reprise his role as Chief Brody in "Jaws 2."

Marlon Brando in Désirée

As one of the greatest and most famous actors who has ever lived, you'd think Marlon Brando always got a say in which movies he did or didn't make. But even Brando had to deal with contractual obligations — perhaps most infamously when, as a result of a lawsuit filed by producer Darryl Zanuck, he was forced to appear as Napoleon in "Désirée." But Brando didn't take his forced involvement lying down. He made a point of "forgetting his lines or reciting them with a nasal pseudo-British intonation and creating havoc between takes, passing around a football, [and] squirting extras with a fire hose," among other things.

According to Brando's costar, the late Jean Simmons, upon the film's release, Brando was amazed at the movie's success, which included two Oscar nominations, one for art direction and the other for design. Had Brando put some effort into his role, he probably could have garnered a nomination for himself. He coulda been a contender!

Patrick Stewart in Wild Geese II

Today he might be one of the most respected British actors working, appearing as the iconic Jean-Luc Picard in the "Star Trek" franchise and Professor X in the "X-Men" movies, but in the early 1980s he was practically unknown in Hollywood. Though he had a role in David Lynch's "Dune" in '84, most of his work was still on the stage in those days, and that unfortunately left him with very little in his pocket. In fact, he was so hard up for cash that in 1985 he was forced into a role in the ill-advised action sequel "Wild Geese II" because he was in dire need of some home repairs.

The year was 1985, and according to Stewart, a local contractor priced out the desperately needed work on his windows at 2,000 pounds sterling (nearly $10,000 in today's money). "The next day I get a call from my agent saying, 'You're not going to want to do this, but you have an offer to play a Russian colonel in 'Wild Geese II,”" Stewart told a crowd at Wizard Comic Con in 2010. When his agent told him that it paid 2,000 pounds, Stewart had no choice but to accept. Realizing that the fans in attendance might now go looking for the movie to mock him, Stewart made sure to preface their enjoyment by telling them, "Just remember, it paid to replace my bay window."

Brad Pitt in Troy

Still one of the biggest leading men in Hollywood, Brad Pitt came to fame in the early '90s thanks to a small role in "Thelma & Louise" before finding superstardom in movies like "Se7en" and "Fight Club" by the end of the decade. After the turn of the millennium, though, Pitt had a few clunkers mixed in with his critically acclaimed hits, like 2004's "Troy." It's a movie he's not particularly fond of these days, nor anything he's proud of. "I could not get out of the middle of the frame," he said in an interview with The New York Times in 2019. "It was driving me crazy. I'd become spoiled working with David Fincher."

But what might be most surprising is that it's not a movie he even wanted to make. "I pulled out of another movie and then had to do something for the studio," he revealed. "So I was put in 'Troy.' It wasn't painful, but I realized that the way that movie was being told was not how I wanted it to be. I made my own mistakes in it." He nevertheless praised director Wolfgang Petersen, but he said he sees "Troy" as a learning experience that was important to shaping his career. "[After 'Troy'] I made a decision that I was only going to invest in quality stories, for lack of a better term. It was a distinct shift that led to the next decade of films."

Ryan Reynolds in X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Deadpool is Ryan Reynolds' signature role. He appeared in a pair of solo franchise films that have collectively grossed over $1.5 billion, and there's a third on the way. But his first time in the role wasn't really something he wanted to do, at least not the way it was written on the page. 

First appearing in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" as the Merc with a Mouth, Reynolds had already been signed up to do a solo Deadpool movie, so when the character was slated to have a supporting role in "Origins," the studio came to him with an offer to play it there first. "['Origins'] came along and it was sort of like [they told me], 'Play Deadpool in this movie or we'll get someone else to,'" he told Entertainment Weekly. With that kind of pressure, Reynolds may have feared that if he said no it would jeopardize his deal for the "Deadpool" movie. Unfortunately, when he read the script, he wasn't happy about what he read. He felt pressured into accepting it, though, telling the studio, "I'll do it, but it's the wrong version. Deadpool isn't correct in it."

Ultimately, Reynolds was proved right: The film was a flop, the version of Deadpool in the film's climax was widely panned, and it would all but nixed the notion of a "Deadpool" movie. It eventually took Reynolds himself leaking some CG test footage years later to finally get it off the ground.

Natalie Wood in The Searchers

Though her life was cut tragically short during a boating trip in 1981, actress Natalie Wood managed to appear in a number of all-time classics including "Rebel Without a Cause" and "West Side Story," rising to fame as a teenager. When she was still in high school, she played a key supporting role in the iconic 1956 John Ford Western "The Searchers," starring John Wayne. The role she played wasn't one that she was happy to take, though.

In those days, actors had few options under what was called the "studio system," where actors were contracted to a studio — or sometimes even specific filmmakers — who put them into pictures on their whim. This system was typically lucrative for everyone involved, but it meant that actors couldn't pick their projects. In the late 1940s, Wood had signed a seven-year deal with Warner Bros. and found herself placed into Ford's film in a part she felt she wasn't right for. 

Feeling miscast, Wood played Debbie Edwards, a young white woman who had been kidnapped as a little girl and raised by Native Americans. Wayne plays Ethan Edwards, her uncle, who spends years looking for her. Though the movie became one of the most beloved in the Western genre, Wood's role as Debbie was called a "bad part in a great film" by the Observer, a sentiment echoed by many.

Paul Bettany in Dogville

While lamenting his part in "Dogville," an experimental film by controversial writer-director Lars von Trier, Paul Bettany said he felt tricked into the movie and forced to complete it after he signed on. The actor, who has since gone on to be a household name after playing the Vision in Marvel's "Avengers" films and the Disney+ series "WandaVision," spoke about his role in "Dogville" in 2011 in an interview with The Guardian.

Calling the movie "a hideous experience," he said that he only did the film because of his co-star. "Stellan f***ing Skarsgård fibbed to me," Bettany told the outlet. "He said, 'You gotta turn up, it'll be fantastic, it's like a party all the time.'" But once on the set, and the production turned out to be a disaster from top to bottom, Bettany confronted his friend. "I said, 'Stellan, what were you talking about?' And he said, 'Man, I was making it up — I just couldn't face doing it without you.'"

So what didn't Bettany like about the experience? Well, according to him, it was the director. "I found it a peculiarly unsatisfying experience because [Von Trier] has no interest in you being any part of the cerebral process with him. You're absolutely his puppet." Still, he didn't want to be too negative about the filmmaker, admitting his mercurial nature may be why he is considered to be so extraordinary.

David Hyde Pierce in Hellboy

In the early 2000s, superhero movies were booming, and Lionsgate turned to indie hit "Hellboy." The studio tapped rising star director Guillermo Del Toro to make it. Del Toro cast Ron Perlman in the title role of the demon who becomes a government agent and Doug Jones as his sidekick, the amphibious Abe Sapien. But when the movie was in post-production, "Frasier" actor David Hyde Pierce was brought in to replace the voice of Jones in an effort to give the movie a little more star power.

According to Jones in an interview with CBR in 2008, Pierce was apparently unaware that his voicework was being used to replace him, perhaps assuming that the man in the suit was a simple stunt person. "David Hyde Pierce comes in, he hears my original performance in his earpiece, he sees my performance on the film footage that he has to voiceover, and he steps back and says, 'Why am I here?' to himself."

Pierce was already under contract, though, and couldn't quit, so he did his job and left. And much to the annoyance of the film's producers, the "Frasier" star refused to be credited for his performance out of respect for Jones. In the end, he'd mooted the very reason he was hired, as his name wasn't out in front of the movie. For the sequel, the studio learned its lesson, and Jones was simply allowed to perform Abe Sapien in full, voice and all.

Robert Pattinson in Twilight

Not every actor who is forced to play a role they hate regrets it. Such is the case with Robert Pattinson, whose part as Edward Cullen in the "Twilight" films made him an international superstar and allowed him to be able to pick more personal, indie projects like "High Life," "Cosmopolis," and "The Lighthouse" that earned him critical acclaim. Nevertheless, playing the sparkly vampire Edward wasn't a good experience for him in the first "Twilight," as the actor said he hated his character and felt he was at risk of being fired every day. And it was a role he was forced to continue playing for three more movies. 

Over the years, Pattinson has been candid about his dislike for the "Twilight" series, as well as his critique of its author, Stephanie Meyer, after reading the books. "Some things about Edward are so specific, I was just convinced, like, 'This woman is mad. She's completely mad and she's in love with her own fictional creation,'" he told E! (via Evening Standard). "Sometimes you would feel uncomfortable reading this thing." He heaped plenty of hate on fans of the books and movies, too, and in the DVD commentary talked about leaving the premiere of the first movie midway through. He also downright hated his own character. "If Edward was a non-fictional character and you met him in reality, he's one of those guys that would be an axe murderer."

Alec Guiness in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi

The original "Star Wars" film from 1977 boasted a leading cast of mostly unknown actors like Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher, while its two lone big names were British veterans Peter Cushing and Alec Guinness in supporting roles. Though Cushing was known for making schlock horror movies for decades, Guinness was a well-respected, Academy Award-winning actor, famous for movies like "The Bridge on the River Kwai" and "Doctor Zhivago." He was a serious thespian who resented that his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi was what all audiences seemed to know him from after 1977, and he hated the role itself.

Calling the dialogue rubbish and his character unbearable, he famously told a friend via written correspondence that he didn't enjoy making the film at all. While his co-stars all said he was lovely on the set and a joy to work with, his experience making the first movie seemed to have been anything but pleasant for him. But despite the poor experience, Guinness was back reprising the role for its two sequels, feeling somewhat forced to return because of the massive payday he knew he could demand given the franchise's sudden popularity. As a result, Guinness leveraged strict requests and was at least able to get a bigger salary, a shorter shooting schedule — reportedly just half a day of filming — as well as a percentage of the sequels' profits.

Tyler Perry in the Madea movies

For many moviegoers, Tyler Perry is Madea and nothing else. They don't know him for his roles in popular dramas like "Gone Girl," "Alex Cross," or "Vice," but only for his part as the manic grandmother Madea featured in more than a half dozen movies, beginning with 2005's "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," in addition to "Boo! A Madea Halloween" and even an animated adventure. Inspired by Eddie Murphy's gender-bending roles in "The Nutty Professor," Perry told NPR that he also created the character to pay tribute to the older women in his family. But when it proved popular enough to spark its own franchise, Perry was forced to keep it going against his will for decades more.

"It was never something I enjoyed doing," Perry told Level while doing press for the film "A Fall from Grace." in 2020. "My hand to God. I hated the costume, the wig, all of it." The interviewer was skeptical that he could really have hated it that much, but Perry insisted it was true, even from the very beginning. The problem seems to be that Madea became a hit. "It ended up being a $2 billion franchise," he explained. At that point, there wasn't really an option of saying no, and he kept putting the wig back on, year after year. Though he claimed during that 2020 interview he was happy it was finally over, he returned in 2022 with "A Madea Homecoming."

Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween: Resurrection

When an actor feels forced to play a role — or return to one they wanted to leave behind — it's not always for financial or contractual reasons. Sometimes, it's simply a matter of conscience, a feeling of obligation, not just to the audience but to the character themselves. That's how things went down for Jamie Lee Curtis when she begrudgingly returned — again — as Laurie Strode for a brief cameo in "Halloween: Resurrection," the sequel to what she had hoped would be her final appearance in "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later."

In spite of her promise to herself that "H20" would be her final role in the series, she agreed to return for one simple reason: She hated the plans for the sequel, feeling the retconned ending of "H20" ruined her character, and wanted to at least try to do it right for the sake of the audience. In "Resurrection" it's revealed that Strode hadn't killed Michael Myers in the previous film's ending, but murdered an innocent man wearing Myers' mask. Unwilling to leave the franchise on that note, she felt she owed it to fans to see her character out with a definitive death.

Though she agreed to a small cameo, Curtis did have one demand: "You have to kill me in the first 10 minutes of the movie," she said she told producers while attending NYCC in 2022 (per Yahoo). "I've killed an innocent man and I can't live with that."

Matt Damon in The Bourne Ultimatum

Jason Bourne wasn't a role that Matt Damon truly hated, and he has seemed to love playing the character in "The Bourne Identity" and its many sequels. There is, however, one sole exception: "The Bourne Ultimatum." The third in the series, "Ultimatum" followed three years from "The Bourne Supremacy," and while it's the best-reviewed entry in the series, it's one Damon absolutely hated, even before filming started. Over the years, the actor has been extremely candid about what went wrong, placing blame on the studio for inking screenwriter Tony Gilroy to a bad deal, which resulted in a rushed rewrite.

"It's really the studio's fault for putting themselves in that position," Damon once told GQ. By his account, Gilroy wasn't really interested in writing the film, so only agreed to do one draft. The end result was a screenplay Damon described as "unreadable" and "a career-ender," telling the outlet "It's terrible. It's really embarrassing. He was having a go, basically, and he took his money and left." With a bad script in hand, the studio was forced to massively overhaul it with just weeks until filming was set to kick off. And Damon didn't want to do it.

Ultimately, Damon was forced to make "Ultimatum" without a script he liked. He may not outright regret it, though, because when it hit theaters it received rave reviews and became the highest-grossing entry in the franchise.

Stanley Tucci in The Lovely Bones

Regardless of how excited an actor might be for a project, once filming begins, things can change, and suddenly those actors can develop deep regrets and want out of the project. Stanley Tucci is one actor who was forced to continue working on a movie he didn't want to make because he couldn't get out of his contract.

Signed up to play the villain in the supernatural murder mystery "The Lovely Bones," Tucci admitted that he quickly came to hate his own character — serial killer, pedophile, and child rapist George Harvey — and found the experience of making the movie a difficult one. "I tried to get out of playing the role, which is crazy because I needed a job," he told Entertainment Weekly. "It's a wonderful movie, but it was a tough experience simply because of the role." 

Of course, Tucci's attempts to back out of playing Harvey amounted to nothing, and the actor was forced to soldier on. His turmoil wasn't in vain, though, because he was later rewarded for his performance with an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

Brad Pitt in Interview with the Vampire

Speaking of actors who tried to wriggle out of their contractual obligations, there's the case of Brad Pitt, more than a decade before he was forced to make "Troy." It was the early 1990s, and the future "Ocean's Eleven" star wasn't quite yet one of the biggest names in Hollywood when he was tapped to star as Louis in the Neil Jordan adaptation of Anne Rice's gothic romance novel "Interview with the Vampire" opposite Tom Cruise. At first excited to star in the film, Pitt said he quickly changed his mind after struggling with excessive makeup, uncomfortable contact lenses, and a difficult nighttime shoot in London in the dead of winter.

Not only that, but based on his knowledge of the book, Pitt said he assumed the movie would be all about Louis and realized too late that it was far more centered on Cruise's Lestat character. Feeling like he'd been sidelined in a passive role and dealing with a nightmarish production, Pitt said he wanted out. "I'm telling you, one day it broke me," he told Entertainment Weekly years later. "I called [producer] David Geffen, who was a good friend. ... I said, 'David, I can't do this anymore. I can't do it. What will it cost me to get out?'" 

Unfortunately for Pitt, he said Geffen's figure was a stunning $40 million. Forced to complete the film, Pitt got through the production, which ultimately helped raise his profile as the co-star in a wildly popular box office smash.

Alec Baldwin in Rock of Ages

It's easy for an actor to look back on a bad movie after the fact and acknowledge that it was terrible, but it's another for a star to realize that their movie going to be awful while they're in the middle of making it — or worse, before it even starts production. But that's just what happened to Alec Baldwin while he was working on the 2012 flop "Rock of Ages," a jukebox musical comedy featuring the songs of '80s rock greats like Def Leppard, Guns N' Roses, Joan Jett, Twisted Sister, and Pat Benatar.

"A week in, you go, 'Oh God, what have I done?'" the "30 Rock" star said in an interview with Vanity Fair a year after the movie was released. He compared the situation to a departing flight gone wrong, saying, "The plane is buffeting, the engine is on fire." He said he initially signed up to be able to work with director Adam Shankman and appear with stars like Tom Cruise and Russell Brand, Baldwin immediately had second thoughts and asked out of his contract.

Reports at the time cited a possible medical condition for his attempt to leave the film, but the actor now seems to admit that the real reason was that he simply didn't want to make the movie, which he called "a complete disaster." Though he hoped the studio might let him out of his deal, that never happened, and Baldwin was forced to complete it. "Rock of Ages" received middling reviews and was a box office bomb.

Winona Ryder in Boys

For Winona Ryder, the 1990s were some of her biggest years, and she starred in a number of classics like "Edward Scissorhands," "Reality Bites," "How to Make an American Quilt," and "Girl, Interrupted." In the middle of those favorites, though, was the 1996 dud "Boys," a movie that was raked over the coals by reviewers. In fact, her performance was called out as a weak spot, with the Washington Post calling her downright miscast as a femme fatale. But after comments from Ryder were published in Nigel Goodall's 1998 book "Winona Ryder: The Biography," it became clear that she knew "Boys" wasn't going to be very good and actively tried to get out of making it.

According to Ryder, the film — which had undergone several title changes before settling on "Boys" — went through a number of last-minute script changes that forced her to reconsider the movie. Unfortunately, there was really nothing she could do: Her contract was signed and she had no control over script rewrites. "[Next time] I get a script for a tiny movie I'll have to have a serious contract drawn up saying nothing can be changed without my approval."

David Cross in the Alvin and the Chipmunks sequels

Alec Guinness may not have been signed to a multi-picture deal for his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in 1977, but by the 2010s, such deals became fairly standard. And what that means is that if an actor has a poor experience making a movie and that movie is getting a sequel, the actor can be forced to reprise their role whether they want to or not. David Cross, best known today for his role as Tobias Fünke in "Arrested Development," knows exactly how this feels — he had to keep coming back to star in a series about computer-animated singing chipmunks.

Based on the iconic cartoon of the same name, "Alvin and the Chipmunks" came to live-action in 2007 and put Cross into the role of record company CEO Ian Hawke. And when it became a huge box office hit, Cross had to return for two more even though he hated his role in the first movie and didn't have a good time making it. By the third, he said, he was downright miserable. "I was contractually obligated to do three," Cross said during the press tour for his show "The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret" (via IndieWire).

"This last film was literally, without question, the most unpleasant experience I've ever had in my professional life," he continued, bad-mouthing "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked." "It was just a really awful, unpleasant experience." Nevertheless, the role did bring him a level of surprising international fame. "I got recognized in China," he said. "I got recognized in a teeny tiny town in Mozambique. In Zimbabwe. Botswana. It's crazy."

Olivia De Havilland in ... almost everything

During the era when Hollywood was dominated by the so-called "studio system," plenty of actors were forced to do movies they didn't want to make. Most of them kept their feelings to themselves, as professionalism seemed to demand, though some — like Natalie Wood — voiced their displeasure on occasion. Nobody was more outspoken about their feelings on the system, though, than Olivia De Havilland, who was rarely afraid to express herself on the subject.

The star of classics like "Gone With the Wind" and "They Died With Their Boots On," De Havilland was famously unhappy with the movies that her studio Warner Bros. kept giving her. In 1942, she was cast in the film "Princess O'Rourke," a movie about a European princess living incognito in the U.S. — the outspoken actress wanted nothing to do with the project. After refusing to accept the leading role, Warners suspended her, and she eventually relented, with the film being released a year later. After that, her seven-year deal with the studio ended, but Warner Bros. claimed that because of her time spent suspended, she still owed the studio more movies. 

In the end, De Havilland took Warner Bros. to court in one of the most landmark trials in the history of the industry. Following a lengthy and bitter trial, the actress was victorious, and together with a separate ruling on the studio ownership of theater chains, the decision helped abolish the studio system forever.

Geena Davis in Cutthroat Island

Pirate movies were once one of Hollywood's biggest genres, but they were long gone by the 1990s. So it probably seemed like a headscratcher when "Cutthroat Island" was announced, a new swashbuckling adventure set on the high seas. But at least it had a couple of big names, with Michael Douglas and Geena Davis expected to star. All of that changed, however, when a new script was handed in that nobody seemed to have liked and Douglas abandoned ship, using a loophole in his contract regarding unexpected rewrites.

The "Wall Street" star was replaced by Matthew Modine, who was no slouch, but certainly wasn't the big name that Michael Douglas was. Without her former co-star, Davis likely felt out in the cold, nervous about setting sail with a rewritten script and no Douglas. Though she too tried to quit the film, she didn't have the same out clause that Douglas did. To make matters worse, Davis was married to the film's producer, Renny Harlin, so she swallowed her pride and rode out the production. 

In the end, the movie was a disaster in theaters, grossing just $10 million. With a budget of $98 million, "Cutthroat Island" is one of the most notorious flops in the history of Hollywood and nearly ruined Davis' career.

Bruce Willis in Armageddon

Even if it was the biggest movie of 1998, grossing a half billion dollars, "Armageddon" was never a favorite of its star, Bruce Willis. In the film, he plays Harry Stamper, an expert driller enlisted to go into outer space to help destroy an asteroid on a collision course with Earth. Since the movie's release, Willis has rarely wanted to talk about it, and when he did, had nothing but bad things to say, including the difficult relationship he had with the movie's director, Michael Bay.

"Few people will work with him now, and I know I will never work with him again," he once said in an interview (via FandomWire). "It was a great crew, but a screaming director does not make for a pleasant set experience. But look, we were all big boys, and we got through it." The funny thing is, though, Willis never wanted to work with Bay in the first place, because his role as Henry Stamper in the film wasn't one had any choice in playing. Willis' participation was part of a legal settlement after another project fell apart. 

The story starts with Willis' involvement in the Disney picture "Broadway Brawler." It was a troubled project that collapsed 20 days into production when Willis refused to continue making it. The studio, understandably, considered taking him to court, and Walt Disney Studios head Joe Roth met with Willis, who agreed to star in three movies at a reduced rate. "Armageddon" was the only one of the three — which also included "The Sixth Sense" and "The Kid" — that Willis said he outright hated making.