Advertisement

9 Terrible Casting Decisions That Ruined Great Movies

Keanu Reeves as a posh Englishman? Sounds plausible.

Casting is such a vital €“ and tricky €“ part of making a movie that one wrong choice can bring the whole thing crashing down; if a role is cast perfectly it€™s hard to imagine another actor in the part, and when it€™s wrong it can be fatal. There are numerous examples of great actors giving bad turns (think the last decade or so of Robert De Niro€™s career) but if the movie itself is terrible nobody is likely to notice.

It€™'s only when the movie is otherwise great - bar one miscast actor - that accusations really start getting thrown about. And most frustratingly for casting directors, sometimes it doesn€™t matter how talented the actor is; if they€™re wrong for the part there€™'s very little they can do to compensate. It€™s rare to find one performance so poor it almost singlehandedly nullifies the movie around it, but they certainly do exist in a rare pile marked Cautionary Casting Fails.

The context can be any number of things - a hammy performance, someone out of their depth, a typecast actor desperately trying to break out - but all excuses are forgotten in the torrent of criticism. It€™s never pleasant when this happens, and it€™s especially frustrating when the film is so close to perfection, only to be hamstrung by one lousy performance.

Contributor
Contributor

Handsome. Charismatic. Intelligent. Noble. Witty. I'm none of these things, but I'm a half decent writer, I guess.