10 Actors Who SAVED Their Careers By Turning Down Movie Roles

9. Jack Black Turned Down Son Of The Mask

Closer Natalie Portman Dirty Dancing Havana Nights
Universal & New Line Cinema

Jack Black was certainly a well-known actor long before 2005, having had bit-parts in countless '90s comedies and thrillers, before becoming a comedy star in his own right throughout the 2000s.

But that trajectory was very nearly stopped in its tracks when Black was offered the lead role in 2005's Son of the Mask, the $100 million sequel to Jim Carrey's legendary comedy vehicle The Mask.

Despite the huge scale of the production - and the presumably fat resulting payday - Black turned the role down, which instead went to Jamie Kennedy.

Son of the Mask was ultimately lambasted by critics and tanked at the box office, while Kennedy received two Razzie nominations for Worst Actor and Worst Screen Couple (for himself and "anybody stuck sharing the screen with him").

Kennedy's career suffered a severe downturn as a result and he hasn't had a major starring comedy movie role since, even appearing more recently in the straight-to-VOD Tremors sequels.

Black, meanwhile, went on to appear in Peter Jackson's King Kong instead, and in the years that followed became one of the most reliably bankable comedy actors in Hollywood, while also proving his dramatic chops in projects like Bernie and The Polka King.

While we can't assume that Black would've definitely been Razzie-bound had he appeared in the film, Son of the Mask's failure absolutely would've hobbled his career in a totally devastating way.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.