Hollywood sure is a fickle business; it’s often not so much about talent as a combination of luck and who you know. This explains why countless enormously talented actors have to work side-jobs to fund their art, while some truly dreadful ones – the Lindsay Lohans of this world, for instance – get to clog up our cinema screens because they have the right “look” or play the right politics. Or, in some cases, they probably just sleep with the producer…
There are so many great actors out there struggling to catch a break, and here are 10 success stories who managed to make it look totally effortless. Here are 10 actors who are largely regarded as being bad, even dreadful actors, yet they have managed to become stars in their own right due to making smart choices and probably having a damn good agent.
Here are 10 terrible actors who got lucky breaks…
10. Keanu Reeves
Of course, one cannot neglect the fact that Keanu Reeves lit up cinema screens with his 1980s role in the two Bill and Ted films and also as disaffected teen Matt in River’s Edge. Again, though, these roles – of the metal-loving airhead and ennui-infused drifter – feel entirely derived from the actor’s actual personality. The roles in which he has shone best have been those that require empty vessels, and as such it’s no surprise that his casting in the Wachowski’s The Matrix was a a stroke of twisted genius.
In much the same way that he proved a diverting presence in the otherwise dire remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, Reeves is great at playing hollow shells, but if he ever has to adopt a vibrant character, he encounters problems. Hence, getting the big break as a soulless everyman computer hacker who then becomes a machine-like Jesus-figure-badass is perfect for him. All he needed was good looks and decent physical ability, which he more than demonstrated throughout the film’s plentiful action scenes.
Granted, the Wachowski’s got a little ahead of themselves by trying to get Neo to act all emotional in the sequels – and that’s one of many reasons why they don’t work – but this is a quintessential instance of a bad actor making the best of what he has with the luckiest of all breaks.
This article was first posted on March 8, 2013