When his son asked him why he played King Koopa in Super Mario Bros, Dennis Hopper answered, ”Well, Henry, I did it so that you could have shoes”. To which Henry replied, ”Dad, I don’t need shoes that badly”.
We’ve all made mistakes, but the acting profession has a peculiar way of atoning for the past. Rather than brave the braying crowds after a bad performance, a number of actors have joined our ranks and booed their film into the ground. Some have been humble enough to criticise their own work, others have instead lashed out at everyone around them. Is this honesty a rare and refreshing pin-prick to overinflated egos, or are these stars simply having their cake (or cheque) and eating it?
Call it damage limitation. Call it biting that hand that feeds. But if it keeps little Henry in shoes, then it’s a job well done. So they can hiss, hurl abuse and shake their fists with the rest of us but perhaps their contrition would be slightly more convincing if they handed back the cash. Or, y’know, not taken the role in the first place.
7. Halle Berry – Catwoman
After watching Berry accept the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in 2001′s Monster’s Ball, it seems unthinkable that, only three years later, she would be nominated for a Worst Actress Razzie. Things start to make significantly more sense, however, when we discover that the nomination was for her role in Catwoman; a film many consider to be one of the worst ever made. Overacting, flimsy characterisation and laughable fight sequences… with a current IMDb rating of 3.2, you can’t say that the Razzie award went to a more deserving winner. And Berry herself would agree, having shown the good nature to collect her Razzie in person. Clutching her Oscar in one hand, she took to the podium and lapped up the applause (a courteous move, even if she did milk this ‘honour’ for the best part of two minutes) before delivering her acceptance speech. ”First of all, I want to thank Warner Brothers. Thank you for putting me in a piece of s**t, god-awful movie. You know, it was just what my career needed. I was at the top and Catwoman just plummeted me to the bottom.”
Playing into the hands of the Razzie audience (who proved that you can’t clap and hold a grudge at the same time) completely defused a potential PR disaster. It was this humility, and of course, humour, that ensured her reputation would emerge with barely a scratch. Surprisingly, this set something of a precedent. For when Sandra Bullock won both the Best Actress Oscar for The Blind Side and the Worst Actress Razzie for All About Steve in the same week, she followed Berry’s mock-graciousness on the path of least resistance. Although you’d assume this would’ve made Bullock reconsider her next film, the insufferably mawkish Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, at least she didn’t suffer the indignity of Movie 43.
This article was first posted on April 9, 2013