10 Actors Whose Career Has BOMBED After Their Biggest Hit

Cursed isn't even the word.

Rosamund Pike Gone Girl Radioactive
New Regency / StudioCanal

Hollywood is an incredibly unpredictable beast at the best of times, and no matter how talented an actor might be, that's no guarantee of success.

Though it's expected that an actor's profile will snowball after appearing in a massive hit movie, in turn allowing them to get cast in a slew of tentpole and prestige films, that's sadly not always the case.

Ironically, these 10 actors all suffered through major setbacks after appearing in the biggest, most successful, and most iconic films of their careers up to that point.

While some of them were lucky enough to rebound eventually - whether in the world of film or TV - most are still feeling the effects of a career that failed to take flight in the wake of a major hit.

From actors who clearly took bad advice from their agents, to those who earned reputations for being difficult to work with, and those who were simply unlucky, these 10 performers all struggled to gain upward momentum after appearing in their biggest movie to date...

10. Val Kilmer - Batman Forever

Rosamund Pike Gone Girl Radioactive
Warner Bros. Pictures

From the mid-1980s through to the mid-1990s, Val Kilmer was one of Hollywood's hottest young properties.

With successful roles in the likes of Top Secret!, Real Genius, Top Gun, Willow, The Doors, Thunderheart, and Tombstone, it seemed like Kilmer was set to be a popular Hollywood mainstay forever more.

Kilmer being cast as the Dark Knight in 1995's Batman Forever seemingly cemented his standing in the industry, and the film's solid commercial performance suggested he'd return for at least a few sequels.

But in actual fact, Kilmer opted not to reprise the role for Batman & Robin, and after appearing in Michael Mann's heat later in 1995, found himself suffering through a brutal run of critical and commercial duds.

In honesty his career never recovered from turning down Batman, with his last 25 years in the business being largely defined by the tawdry likes of The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Saint, Red Planet, Alexander, and in more recent years The Snowman and a slew of straight-to-VOD action duds.

Though Kilmer has certainly appeared in a few great movies since Batman & Robin - namely Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans - he's never regained that leading man box office appeal, which combined with his reputation for being difficult to work with hasn't served him well.

Kilmer will appear in cameo form, however, in the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick, yet due to a recent bout with throat cancer reducing his voice to a rasp, it's sadly unlikely he'll ever regain his A-lister status.


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.