10Colin Farrell, Alexander (2004)
Our top 10 casting fails list starts with Irish actor Colin Farrell. Not a bad actor, but Alexander The Great? Not a chance. From the bleach blonde hairdo, to the silly pout face he kept giving us, this was a poor lead choice. The Warner Brothers flop received overwhelmingly negative reviews regarding the overall picture as well. Oliver Stone’s lead didn’t convince anyone that he was great at war, accents, or anything else for that matter.
9Keanu Reeves, Little Buddha (1994)
Bernardo Bertolucci attempts to mix Buddhist spirituality with childhood fantasy in Little Buddha. When Dean Conrad (Chris Isaak), a Seattle architect, comes home from work one day, he finds two robed Buddhist monks sitting in his living room talking with his wife Lisa (Bridget Fonda). This storyline is going along just fine except for Buddha’s being played by Keanu Reeves. Now we like the guy in The Matrix, Speed, and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but not as the religious great.
8Hayden Christensen, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (2002)
We’re moving on to #3 on our top 10 casting fails list. What do you think about when you hear the name Anakin Skywalker? The lack of convincing dialogue delivery and semblance of leadership are missing in this young Skywalker choice. The earlier work of George Lucas – the original Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and even The Return of the Jedi – were all home runs (partly because of great casting). But this production? Not so much.
7John Wayne, The Conqueror (1956)
#7 on our top 10 casting fails list is The Duke. Typecasting exist for one reason and one reason only: said actor is best suited playing role “X” only. If you’ve built your career around playing the toughest cowboy in the land, why would you switch things up so drastically? Never mind that Genghis Khan was a Mongolian emperor – that would be the same ones of Asian decent. The Conqueror is considered one of the worst films ever made. Perhaps a classically trained and physically acceptable Yul Brenner would have been a better choice.
6Kevin Costner, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
#6 on our top 10 casting fails list is no prince. A perfect example of an actor thinking the movie going public would give him a pass because he’s…well…an actor. Robin Hood is the story of an upbeat carefree type of Englishman that robs from the well to do and gives to the not so well to do. Costner is not believable as the cheery type. A British accent was also lacking and would have been a good thing to attempt. We like him better when he’s acting in one of his baseball films.
5Clint Eastwood, Paint Your Wagon (1969)
Halfway there on our top 10 casting fails list with Paint Your Wagon. A sing-along film with Dirty Harry? Who green lit this musical starring one of the biggest western heroes ever? A pretty good singer in the role–and he should be able to test his range–but folks this is Clint Eastwood. If we wanted to see musicals about the West, Hollywood should have hired someone like Gene Kelly – acting, dancing, and singing on tap.
4Sofia Coppola, The Godfather, Part III (1990)
She did a much better job in her baptism scene in the original Godfather movie–because she was a baby and had no lines to deliver. We know that’s a low blow, but her terrible acting totally undermines the severity of the death scene (and any others) she’s in. Just because you’re the daughter of Francis Ford Coppola doesn’t give you a free pass. Show up for work unprepared and you will be talked about accordingly.
3Mickey Rooney, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
If the role calls for someone from a certain ethnic group, it is probably a good idea to find an actor that fits the bill. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a movie classic, but the casting of Mickey Rooney as an Asian landlord was a very poor decision. Why not cast an Asian actor in such a non-pivotal role? To say Rooney’s appearance was stereotypical and politically incorrect is an understatement. Definitely an example on what not to do when wearing the casting director hat.
2Julianne Hough, Rock of Ages (2012)
We’re not certain Rock of Ages could have been saved from becoming a box office disappointment, and hiring actors that haven’t acquired the chops–or are unwilling to commit 100% to their character–is sure to sink a production. Hough’s character is a star-seeking newbie fresh off the bus, and she wants to become the next big thing. The only problem is she doesn’t move, sing, or act in a manner that is believable–leaving everyone frustrated and tortured for two hours.
1Keanu Reeves, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
How does a movie that cast Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins not farewell with critics? By casting the wrong actor. If you’re not going to make certain you have the role buttoned up, don’t accept it. Bram Stoker’s Dracula had the potential to garner positive press from critics and audiences alike, but that was not the case here. Sorry Keanu. Oh, that makes two times the Matrix star has appeared on our casting fails list. He’d better stick to the roles he knows well.