10 Films Actors Wanted You To Hate

When actors troll their audience.

Joker Joaquin Phoenix
Warner Bros.

Most would probably agree that the primary function of film is to entertain, but cinema can of course be so much more than that. Movies can tell us something unique and valuable about the human condition, and naturally, this truth isn't always sunshine and rainbows.

Films can hold a mirror up to the uglier side of humanity and open up challenging dialogues, even if for many, these cinematic visions will simply be too unwieldy.

These 10 movies are all undeniably divisive and controversial projects, and ones which were encouraged by not only the filmmaker themselves, but the performer at the center.

There's no denying that these films were all made to antagonise and agitate, and though each certainly had their passionate band of supporters, more mainstream-skewing audiences were basically left appalled and infuriated.

But again, the actors knew exactly what they were doing in each case, swinging for the fences with their brave and unpredictable performances, eschewing typical morality and civility in favour of something far more interesting and, indeed, loathsome...

10. Only God Forgives - Ryan Gosling

Joker Joaquin Phoenix

After the critical and commercial success of Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Winding Refn's first collaboration, Drive, the world waited with bated breath for the release of their follow-up, 2013's Thailand-set thriller Only God Forgives.

While Drive received its fair share of mainstream pushback due to its lack of action and Gosling's stoic performance, that film was positively accessible compared to the aggressively nebulous narrative of the pair's second team-up.

Refn's sparse narrative, full of ambiguous character motivations and eyebrow-raising Freudian imagery, was a major point of contention, though the film's generally antagonistic attitude towards its audience is best felt through Gosling's affect-free brick wall of a protagonist, Julian.

Though Gosling spoke only 116 lines in Drive, he and Refn ultimately decided that Julian would speak just 17 lines in this movie.

For all the talk of Gosling's "autistic" portrayal in Drive, this impenetrable, blank-faced quality was dialled up to 11 for Only God Forgives, giving the audience precious little to chew on as a result.

Gosling is absolutely committed to Refn's challenging vision throughout, even if you can't really blame audiences for being angry that the pair were basically flipping the bird at those just hoping for Drive 2.0.


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.