Losing The Plot: 10 Career WTFs

Catwoman300When you’ve made the big time in Hollywood, good roles usually come thick and fast and your agent should be filtering out any duds. But occasionally, established actors make choices which seems risky, strange or down right insane. With the release of The Resident and Legacy: Black Ops this week, two films which left us scratching our heads as to why good actors would waste their time with the material on offer, OTB presents Career WTFs, actors that have completely lost the plot.

1. Halle Berry – Catwoman

You can just see the thought process here. “I won an Oscar for a sensitive portrayal of a woman who lost her son and is battling racism.. I know, I’ll don a skin-tight suit and beat up burglars in one of the worst superhero films in history”. To be fair, she did turn up to collect her (deserved) Razzie in person and, well, she does look good.

2. Hilary Swank – The Resident

Exactly why two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank, who received acclaim for her portrayal of a transgender man Brandon Teena in Boys Don’t Cry as well as her role as boxer Maggie Fitzgerald in Million Dollar Baby decided to be in this schlocky, obvious and badly directed tosh is a mystery. It’s not like she needs the money.

3. Bill Murray – Garfield

Garfield was originally a cynical and actually very funny comic strip back in the late 70s and 80s. But as the ideas started to dry up, it became increasingly zany, the quality dropped and the merchandising and spin-offs increased. Garfield: The Movie, overwhelmingly panned by critics, oddly featured the enormous vocal talent of Bill Murray. The story goes that Murray mixed up Joel Cohen (the actual screenwriter) with Joel Coen (one half of the acclaimed writing/directing team, The Coen Brothers) when he signed on the dotted line. Not really sure how he ended up in the sequel too though…

4. Danny Glover – Age Of The Dragons

Now, we all remember Danny Glover from the Lethal Weapon series of films where he was the straight man to Mel Gibson’s lunacy. He hasn’t been in much lately – The Royal Tenenbaums was the last film which showed some real talent – but really, what exactly drove him to this? A reworking of Moby Dick with Dragons and the production sensibilities of a post-apocalyptic version of Xena. Lordy.

5. Robert De Niro – The last 10 years

He’s one of the most celebrated actors of our time with six Oscar nominations and two wins but that hasn’t stopped him from making some barmy career decisions in the last 10 years. Analyze This and Analyze That? Really Mr De Niro – an actor of your calibre? Shark Tale? Meet The Fockers? Let’s hope that a stint in the forthcoming Limitless is a good one.

6. Natalie Portman – No Strings Attached

After carving a name for herself as a competent actress in Leon, Closer and most recently her Oscar-winning performance in psychological thriller Black Swan, Natalie Portman decides to go with…No Strings Attached, a film in which she looks perpetually ill at ease in a comedy role. Weird because she was really funny in the SNL skits.

7. John Wayne – The Conquerer

Witness Ghenghis Khan as you’ve never seen him before, with a Midwestern accent. This really has to be seen to be believed. Frequently referred to as one of the worst films of the 50s, it was doubly cursed because it was filmed on an old nuclear testing site, which has been linked to causing cancer in a number of the cast and production team. WTF indeed.

8. Michael Caine – A Muppet Christmas Carol

We’re not saying that this was a bad performance by any means, Caine’s portrayal of Scrooge is actually pretty memorable. But watching him singing and prancing through the streets with Gonzo and Beaker definitely raises a few eyebrows. Is it just me or does this scene make you think “Mary Poppins”?

9. David Bowie – The Prestige

Bowie loves a bit of magic and intrigue (anyone that grew up in the 80s will never forget him as The Goblin King in Labyrinth). But you have to do a bit of a double-take when he shows up in The Prestige as visionary scientist Nikola Tesla, complete with dodgy Eastern European accent.

10. Nicole Kidman – Just Go With It

Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston star in this rubbish romcom. So far so predictable. But I almost choked on my coffee when Nicole Kidman popped up in a grass skirt for a hula-off with Aniston. What the heck was she thinking? Oh yeah, pay cheque and a week in Hawaii, gotcha.