10 Breakout Movie Performances That Ultimately Went Nowhere

From "next big thing" to "where are they now?" in no time at all.

Warner Bros.

So, you've finally made it. Maybe it's after years of plugging away in unglamorous supporting roles and direct to DVD trash. Maybe it's through being plucked from obscurity at stage school. Either way, you've just given the performance that is seeing you hailed as the year's great breakout star.

You're going to all the awards shows and you've got your pick of follow-up roles. Superhero blockbuster or serious dramatic turn for one of the directorial greats? The world lies at your feet. All your hard work has paid off and you're now on the fast track to the permanent A-list.

Except that isn't always how it works. Sometimes an actor can give a stellar performance that results in everyone thinking that they are one to watch, the next big thing, someone who's next role is sure to be something special. And then, for whatever reason, it just doesn't work out for them. Those great, juicy parts just don't keep coming.

Before you know it, you could be back doing TV movies and minor supporting roles, that youthful Oscar win long since forgotten. For all of the promise of that breakthrough performance, you might instead find yourself years later gracing "whatever happened to...?" lists. Lists like this one, in fact...


Loves ghost stories, mysteries and giant ape movies. Thinks Netflix is overrated.