10 Most Obvious Paycheck Movies Ever Made

cop-out We've all worked in a job we shouldn€™t have because, well, we needed the money. I remember once spending a series of desolate evenings stuffing envelopes for a PR company, not to satisfy an overwhelming stationery fetish, but because the rent had gone up. Right now you may well be at work surreptitiously reading this article before returning your attentions to a job which is feeding relentlessly on your very soul. I've been there, and I feel for you. Actors are pretty much the same. Of course, the rewards may well be much greater than those for, say, a call centre advisor, but it's still a job. The statistics for the acting profession make scary reading, with something like 92% of actors out of work at any given time. What is most telling is that it is the same 8% who tend to work continuously whilst the remaining 92% never get a chance. Thus, the secret to an acting career is to become one of the 8% and keep working so that you never become one of the 92%. Now, we all applaud a good work ethic and understand an actor has to remain visible lest he or she should slip into the 92% bracket, though sometimes you'll watch a duff movie, see an A-lister quite obviously slumming it and think to yourself, "What, in the name of all that is good and wholesome, is he/she doing in this?" The answer, boys and girls is, invariably: "It's a paycheck movie!" Here are 10 examples for your perusal and delectation...

10. Nicol Williamson - Spawn

spawn5 Nicol Williamson is probably best known for portraying Merlin in John Boorman€™s Excalibur (1981). His early potential saw him hailed as the €œgreatest actor since Marlon Brando,€ and when Prime Minister Harold Wilson raved about his Hamlet to Richard Nixon, Williamson was asked to perform at the White House. He was the star of London theatre and transported his skills across the pond where he won a Tony award world for his performance as a solicitor whose life is collapsing around him in John Osborne€™s Inadmissible Evidence. He reprised his role for the screen and was nominated for a BAFTA in 1970. He played a number of successful roles including Sherlock Holmes in The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976). In Excalibur he was cast opposite his ex-lover, Helen Mirren. Boorman felt that the natural tension between them would bring a spark of excitement to the screen, and he was right. Their scenes sizzle. The remainder of the eighties and the nineties saw Williamson becoming increasingly disillusioned with the acting process, going through the motions until he found himself in Spawn (1997). The movie tells the story of government black ops assassin Al Simmons (Michael Jai White), who is betrayed and murdered by his boss Jason Wynn (Martin Sheen). Simmons goes to Hell and makes a deal with Satan to return him back to his wife if he promises to lead the armies of Hell against Heaven in the final war of Armageddon. Simmons finds himself back in the Earthly realm with new supernatural necro powers. Williamson, as Cogliostro, is the notorious Black Knight whose job it is to school the new Hellspawn in superhero etiquette. A notoriously querulous individual, Williamson was unhappy with the script and his costume, and he refused to wear a beard. In an earlier play, incensed by a co-star not coming up to standard, he had stabbed him. There was no such bad behaviour this time around. He couldn't be bothered. This movie, once completed, and indeed the photograph above, reveal an actor who had given up, but seeks comfort in his financial rewards. This movie proved to be the subpar superhero movie which broke the distinguished actor€™s back. He took the money and ran never to make another movie.
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