10 Actors Who Tried Way Too Hard To Be Edgy

In memory of all those times actors tried - and failed - to show their darker side.

Joker Suicide Squad
Warner Bros.

Many actors, early on in their careers, will fall victim to the dreaded typecast. For some this is fine, as it's what they're comfortable with and is a fast-track to easy paycheck after easy paycheck - see Adam Sandler until he remembered last year that he could actually act. Others, however, will try their hardest to break from the image of comedy goofball or teen-friendly hero.

Tom Hanks is especially notable for his shift from comedy in the 1980s to award-winning fare post-1993, and more recently we've seen Robert Pattinson, once the butt of many jokes, successfully shed his skin of mopey teenage vampire Edward Cullen with heavyweight performances in Good Time and The Lighthouse, and now he's landed the role of Batman. Goddamn Batman.

However, not all of these attempts are successful. Some simply fall flat, seeing the actor in question retreat back to their pigeonhole, and some have been so awful that they have done lasting damage, effectively stalling or even outright ending an actor's career. Frequently this is the result of the performer pushing too far in the other direction, taking on roles they are woefully underequipped for. At other times, an already talented actor may just let their ego take over and chew the scenery so much that the result sails straight past Oscar-worthy and into outright parody.

So let's taker a deeper dive into some of these Hollywood edgelords and their most shameful, embarrassing missteps.

10. Macaulay Culkin - Party Monster

Joker Suicide Squad
Strand Releasing

Squeaky clean Macaulay Culkin, made famous during childhood for his roles as abandonment victim Kevin McCallister and killer bee Thomas J. Sennett, ended his 9-year acting hiatus in 2003's Party Monster, playing infamous real-life New York party promoter Michael Alig. The film centres around Alig's rise as a promoter and ringleader of the notorious "Club Kids" and his subsequent downfall, descending into drug addiction and the murder of drug dealer Angel Melendez at his hands.

It's understandable that after stepping back from his busy and stressful career as a clean-cut child star, Culkin would have wanted to break out of the mould that he was so well-known for. However, his turn as Alig went so far in the opposite direction that it felt off-putting and didn't help his career at all. The film itself is lurid, following a vacuous and decadent club scene that inspires little but apathy in its audience, and Culkin's utterly unconvincing performance is front and centre.

Culkin swears profusely, hoovers up comical amounts of cocaine and meth, trashes apartments and eventually commits a grisly murder - and is unrepentant about all of it. It's a clumsily made misfire all round, and isn't helped by the presence of Kevin McCallister going through an awkward phase.


Neo-noir enjoyer, lover of the 1990s Lucasarts adventure games and detractor of just about everything else. An insufferable, over-opinionated pillock.