10 Films That Got Actors Taken Seriously

9. Hollywoodland - Ben Affleck

Tom Hanks, Philadelphia
Buena Vista International

Ben Affleck's filmography is a fascinating mixture of tremendous highs and extreme lows, often fluctuating from one to the other within the space of a few years. This turbulent career may have all started when he co-wrote his breakthrough film Good Will Hunting with Boston bestie Matt Damon. While the film went on to win Oscars and be a box office hit, Affleck has admitted that casting himself as the slightly dim best friend to Damon's boy genius was a shadow that followed him around during his early career.

While Damon managed to begin a successful career landing Spielberg film Saving Private Ryan and launching the Jason Bourne trilogy, Affleck saw his career become the laughing stock of the town with his career hitting rock bottom in 2003 when he starred in a holy trinity of critically slated films: Daredevil, Paycheck and the absolutely horrific Gigli.

However, shortly before he proved himself to be a promising director with gritty Boston drama Gone Baby Gone starring his brother, he played Superman actor George Reeves in 2006's Hollywoodland. This underrated film saw critics stop mocking him and finally take him seriously as an actor and after 10 years of fronting mediocre movies saw the beginning of his Hollywood comeback.


An avid cinephile, love Trainspotting (the film, not the hobby), like watching bad films ironically (The Room, Cats) and hate my over-reliance on brackets (they’re handy for a quick aside though).