10 Actors That Went From Their Best Movie To Their Worst

From critical acclaim to box office pain.

robert downey jnr

We all have a bad day at work from time to time. Whether it's mixing up colleagues' lunch orders or accidentally breaking your boss's favourite mug in the staff room, it can happen to the best of us. Even some of Hollywood's finest aren't impervious to the occasional slip-up every now and then, too.

After impressing audiences with their talents in roles that have ultimately helped define careers, it's not uncommon for the same actor to follow it up with something that isn't reflective of their abilities at all.

In fact, sometimes it could be some of the worst work they've ever produced.

This isn't to say that any of these performers are objectively bad in any way, but occasionally the pieces don't fit as they were expected. It could be because they were too ambitious for their own good, securing a part that was never right for them to begin with, or they were obliged to be in something they knew would sink and gave as minimal effort as possible, saving energy for a more promising production.

Even Hollywood's finest need to work for a living, after all.

10. Lupita Nyong'o - 12 Years A Slave To Non-Stop

robert downey jnr

As a fairly fresh-faced newcomer to the world of acting, Kenyan-Mexican actor Lupita Nyong'o has made a pretty impressive name for herself in the industry in a remarkably short amount of time, appearing in big-budget blockbuster franchises Star Wars and Marvel's cinematic universe.

While she blew audiences away with her latest performance in Jordan Peele's cerebral horror Us, it was her debut film appearance in Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave as Patsey that put her in the limelight, marking her as an incredible talent and rewarding her with an Oscar for her efforts. Her performance was raw, emotional, and heartbreaking and will be an impressive feat to top for any actor.

Unfortunately, though, lightening didn't strike twice for Nyong'o in her second film where she played a flight attendant named Gwen in underwhelming Liam Neeson-fronted action flick Non-Stop.

While by no means the worst film ever made, this claustrophobic thriller followed Neeson hunting down a killer on an international flight ultimately boiled down to a somewhat entertaining but over-complicated and over-long mess.

While Nyong'o isn't necessarily awful in the film, it's still a far cry from 12 Years A Slave and anything she's done afterwords.


Glasgow-based cinephile who earned a Master's degree in film studies to spend their time writing about cinema, video games, and horror.