10 Actors Who Gave Their WORST Performance In Great Movies

We all know Keanu wasn't meant for Dracula, but what's Mark Hamill's worst turn?...

Michael Shannon The Shape Of Water
Fox Searchlight

It’s easy to single out some great turns from slumming thespians hidden within movies which really didn’t deserve them. Whether it’s Pete Postlethwaite being the only actor to convince legendary critic Roger Ebert in The Lost World: Jurassic Park or Michael Chiklis’ tender and thoughtful turn as, er, The Thing in the campy Fantastic Four flicks, there are always a few actors willing to go the extra mile despite the material not being worth the effort.

It’s not a bad idea either, as often times actors who offer solid performances in even the most middle-of-the-road efforts manage to survive these duds with their careers intact and may even be offered some more impressive roles as a result of their dedication to the craft. In contrast, it’s harder to find a truly great film—or even a particularly good one—which features a fine actor phoning it in or hamming it up, disappointing despite being surrounded by stellar performers.

However, there’s nothing we here at WhatCulture love more than a good challenge, so we’ve collated this list of flicks which are great but still somehow feature an otherwise fine actor’s worst turn—and even tried our hand at working out what went wrong for these usually venerable performers in these rare cases.

10. Marion Cotillard—The Dark Knight Rises

Michael Shannon The Shape Of Water

Maybe this one was a case of grabbing the Hollywood paycheque and making a run for it, but we kind of want to believe that rising star Marion Cotillard was just messing with the filmmakers in this instance. After all, by the time Inception helmer Christopher Nolan was casting the final film of his Batman trilogy, Cotillard had impressed in everything from acclaimed Edith Piaf biopic La Vie en rose to Michael Mann’s Public Enemies. The actor was well-established and would have been perfect for the role of Miranda Tate—so why that hilariously over-the-top death scene? Why the corny accent and overactive eyebrows?

Why the inexplicable decision to make her last words so… seductive? Is that even what they were meant to be?

Maybe Cotillard isn’t a big believer in Nolan’s grand vision, maybe she was a bitter fan of Occupy Wall Street, maybe she just wanted the role of Catwoman to go to her instead of the Princess Diaries star—whatever the case, her Talia al Ghul makes for a great hammy comic relief in the otherwise self-serious final chapter of this blockbuster franchise (intentional or otherwise).


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