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Actors who failed to live up to their potential


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#1 of 159 OFFLINE   Don Giro

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Posted March 12 2004 - 03:24 AM

I've been thinking of all the backlash I've been reading about Halle Berry's career "downslide" after her Oscar win. A number of reviews I've read about "Gothika" compare Berry's career choices to Cuba Gooding, Jr., who seems to have been prominently featured in clunker after clunker since "Jerry Maguire" (so I've read).

While I think it's still too early to place Halle Berry in the same category as Cuba Gooding, Jr., I wonder how many other actors and actresses have failed to live up to the expectations we/critics/Hollywood had for them when they first burst onto the scene.

The first person who springs to my mind is Bridget Fonda. I fell in love with her when I watched "Scandal," and by the time she had done "Godfather III," I just KNEW she was going to take the world by storm and win several Academy Awards in the process (and marry me...) What happened to her? The last GOOD movie I saw her in was "Jackie Brown," and that seems like a LIFETIME ago.

Marisa Tomei and Mira Sorvino are two more who spring to mind. They both won Academy Awards early in their film careers, then...

Who else?
When she embraces, your heart turns to stone
She comes at night, when you're all alone
And when she whispers, your blood shall run cold
You'd better hide before she finds you...

#2 of 159 OFFLINE   John_Lee

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Posted March 12 2004 - 05:07 AM

Marisa was nominated for 'In the Bedroom' last year.

#3 of 159 OFFLINE   Vickie_M

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Posted March 12 2004 - 05:11 AM

Quote:
The first person who springs to my mind is Bridget Fonda. I fell in love with her when I watched "Scandal," and by the time she had done "Godfather III," I just KNEW she was going to take the world by storm and win several Academy Awards in the process (and marry me...) What happened to her? The last GOOD movie I saw her in was "Jackie Brown," and that seems like a LIFETIME ago.

You missed A Simple Plan?? I know what you mean though. She's been too scarce.

It depends on what you mean by "potential." More famous to the general public? Working in more projects that you hear about and can see? Amassing awards? Working in only "good" movies (tough, since no one accepts and starts working on movies that they KNOW will be bad)?

There are only so many movies that get made, and of those, only so many that get attention and released in places where you might be able to go see them. For every Lord of the Rings (blockbuster everyone's heard of and seen) there are 10 Lost In Translations (indie movie everyone's heard of and many have seen). For every Lost In Translation there are 10 The Station Agents (indie movie that few people saw but got critical and award attention). For every Station Agent that are 10 even smaller movies that are just as good, but flew under most people's radar.

Few actors are in the position, say, Nicole Kidman, is in. She's in her prime and has her pick of roles. She's one of the few who CAN "live up to their potential" while most actors have to take what they're offered or go without working. If they're only offered smaller movies, they're working, but not in a project that will play and do well at the megaplexes.

The fact that you even brought up Marisa Tomei shows one of the problems. She's done good work in several good films, and that Oscar nod for In The Bedroom is nothing to sneeze at, but it seems that she didn't "live up to her potential" so I don't know what she can do about it.

There are several actors I would like to have seen/would like to see more often. Caitlin Clarke is one. She played the girl who disguised herself as a boy in Dragonslayer and I wanted to see her in more films. I'd like to see Jacqueline McKenzie (Romper Stomper) have a higher profile. Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures, Shattered Glass) is another. So is Fairuza Balk. For me, potential means more good movies that I can easily see, and maybe some outside (critical or commercial) attention as well.

Actors want to work, and most actors try to keep busy in whatever movie roles they can get, and on the stage, but it's not enough for the people who like them.
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#4 of 159 OFFLINE   Rob Gardiner

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Posted March 12 2004 - 05:35 AM

Haley Joel Osmet has done very little since A.I.

#5 of 159 OFFLINE   Chris_Richard

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Posted March 12 2004 - 05:41 AM

Will Smith.

Early in his film career he did "Six Degrees of Seperation" and I was very interested in what he would do next. Next was "Bad Boys" and it's been one crappy big budget film after another.

#6 of 159 OFFLINE   Mike Broadman

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Posted March 12 2004 - 06:18 AM

Don't forget that a lot of actors do theater as well as film. If you're wondering where your favorite actors are, check out the stage.

Besides, not every actor wants to be in big blockbuster Oscar winning movies all the time.

#7 of 159 OFFLINE   Erik.Ha

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Posted March 12 2004 - 06:22 AM

I think the problem is some of the roles these people pick.

Its unfortunate, but actors tend to get pigeonholed in their last role, and it becomes difficult to break out of it. Ive heard many casting person say "what about [actor name]?" and the response is "nah... they were just in [name of crappy movie]" (picture look of disgust on faces). As a matter of fact, this is the script for every casting meeting Ive ever seen. They sit around and mentally go through what each candidate did last and the taste the film left in their mouths... regardless of whehter THAT actors performance was the reason for the taste...

To go through some of the ones mentioned:

Bridget Fonda- 3 words- SINGLE WHITE FEMALE. That was a career killer... It was very hard to take her seriously after that...

Cuba Gooding- "Show Me The Money"- That tagline will haunt him the rest of his career... When you think of him, that line is the first thing you think of... and it pigeonholes him. Did Cuba Gooding win the oscar or did Rod Tidwell??? You add on his lousy lead performance in "murder of crows" and his flat supporting performance in "Pearl Harbor", you have real doubt about his abilities as a leading man. Its tough to "live up to potential" when youre seen only as a supporting player... Even harder when you're the "show me the money" guy...

Fairuza Balk- NOTORIOUSLY difficult to work with.

Haily Joel Osmet- Puberty.

Will Smith- He transitioned to action hero (ID4, Bad Boys) WAY too early in his career... Once an actor makes that transition, its VERY difficult to go back to serious character pieces. There are exceptions, but they are rare... When you add that to the already scarce number of serious character roles for African Americans, the chances are thin that he will go back to roles like "6 degrees of seperation."

Tomei- Tomei is the exception. She keeps chosing small artsy films that she shines in, and people recognize that... Is getting that recognition in small films "living up to her potential" or is that to be judged by box office figures and wide commercial success? Thats up to you (and HER) to decide, but the two rarely intertwine...
"I'm not an actor, but I play one on TV..."

#8 of 159 OFFLINE   Don Giro

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Posted March 12 2004 - 06:38 AM

I forgot about "A Simple Plan." Great film. But "Kiss of the Dragon" was beneath her (although she looked outstanding in that rubber get-up).

I also forgot about Marisa Tomei's nomination for "In the Bedroom," so we can excuse her.

To clarify my original post, I find it heartbreaking when someone like Cuba Gooding gets accolades and awards for outstanding work, then follows it up with a slew of misfires. Were we expecting "Snow Dogs" and "Boat Trip" after "Jerry Maguire"?

How about Ashley Judd? She was the "It" girl after strong small performances in "Heat" and "Smoke," and now it seems the only roles she lands are by-the-numbers thrillers like "Twisted", "High Crimes," and "Double Jeopardy." I find it almost heartbreaking.

As for Haley Joel Osment, I just watched "Secondhand Lions" and LOVED it.
When she embraces, your heart turns to stone
She comes at night, when you're all alone
And when she whispers, your blood shall run cold
You'd better hide before she finds you...

#9 of 159 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted March 12 2004 - 06:52 AM

I haven't seen Seconhand Lions but I'm willing to give Osment a little slack. Getting a quality education and growing up well-adjusted are more important than being prolific or "successful."
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#10 of 159 OFFLINE   Rob Gardiner

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Posted March 12 2004 - 09:29 AM

Brendan Fraser must have the worst agent. He proved his acting "chops" in GODS AND MONSTERS but has done very little except juvenile crap (George of the Jungle, Mummy 1 & 2, etc.) since then.

#11 of 159 OFFLINE   Vickie_M

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Posted March 12 2004 - 09:52 AM

Quote:
Fairuza Balk- NOTORIOUSLY difficult to work with.


Really? I didn't know that. I've been a fan since she was in Return to Oz and I've liked many of her roles since. I'd like to see more of her.
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#12 of 159 OFFLINE   RobertW

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Posted March 12 2004 - 10:20 AM

gary oldman?

maybe i'm just missing a large part of his work, but he seems to have become the dennis hopper of his generation: any time you need a psychopath or crazy bad guy, call up gary. and he played such a wide variety of roles early in his career, but now seems to be stereotyped.

#13 of 159 OFFLINE   Dennis

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Posted March 12 2004 - 10:23 AM

Brendan Fraser was in a critically acclaimed film called The Quiet American with Michael Caine a couple of years ago. He is presently working on a drama called Crash with Don Cheadle, Jason Isaacs, Sandra Bullock, Thandie Newton, Matt Dillon and Keith David.

The thing is, movies like Monkeybone, Dudley Do Right and George Of The Jungle are mass marketed while his better work is in and out of the theater by the time you hear about it. You would think some of these "high profile" films would hurt his career but it doesn't seem to. He is one of those actors that is given opportunity after opportunity, which I personally have no problem with because he is as good an actor as any in his age group, I just have a problem when there are actors just as good as he is that don't get anywhere near the same chances.

#14 of 159 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted March 12 2004 - 10:51 AM

Quote:
Will Smith- He transitioned to action hero (ID4, Bad Boys) WAY too early in his career... Once an actor makes that transition, its VERY difficult to go back to serious character pieces.
Ali - sucked, but Smith nailed the role by most accounts (never saw it).

My pick would be Kim Bassinger.

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#15 of 159 OFFLINE   dpippel

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Posted March 12 2004 - 10:59 AM

Ali - sucked, but Smith nailed the role by most accounts (never saw it).
So you're praising Smith's portrayal of the titular character AND trashing the movie without ever having seen it? Posted Image

As for Brendan Fraser I'd have to agree that his talent has been mostly squandered. He seems to be a good actor who either has a lousy agent or likes a fat paycheck (nothing wrong with that). His choice of roles has leaned more towards popcorn flicks, but he was great in both Gods and Monsters and The Quiet American. I'd like to see him do some more "serious" stuff.

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#16 of 159 OFFLINE   Erik.Ha

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Posted March 12 2004 - 11:07 AM

Quote:
Really? I didn't know that. I've been a fan since she was in Return to Oz and I've liked many of her roles since. I'd like to see more of her.


Ahhh... I remember that role... What a cute little kid she was...

Her issues started a few years AFTER Retuning to Oz... How many of the rumors I hear about her are TRUE??? I don't know, but I do know they are pervasive and most definitely cost her work...
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#17 of 159 OFFLINE   Eric Scott

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Posted March 12 2004 - 11:51 AM

Paul Hogan

#18 of 159 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted March 12 2004 - 12:18 PM

Quote:
How about Ashley Judd? She was the "It" girl after strong small performances in "Heat" and "Smoke," and now it seems the only roles she lands are by-the-numbers thrillers like "Twisted", "High Crimes," and "Double Jeopardy." I find it almost heartbreaking.

Then it's too bad you missed her on Broadway in the recent revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Her Maggie was a highlight of the show, and the proof of her drawing power is that when she was forced to leave the production because of a performance-related injury, the play closed (just last week).

I saw Ashley Judd when she first appeared on Broadway in Picnic, back before anyone knew who she was, and I saw her Maggie last December. Take it from me -- as an actress, she's more than living up to her potential.

M.
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#19 of 159 OFFLINE   Chris

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Posted March 12 2004 - 12:26 PM

Val Kilmer. Fantastic in "Doors" and when he says "Huckleberry" in "Tombstone" that is a great moment.. but petered after that.. though I have hope for "Spartan"
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#20 of 159 OFFLINE   dpippel

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Posted March 12 2004 - 03:17 PM

I thought Val was pretty good in The Salton Sea. Not a fantastic film, but his performance was up there with some of his older stuff.

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