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.


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