HomeTrendingThe 25 Worst Casting Choices of All-Time

The 25 Worst Casting Choices of All-Time

Everyone knows that Daniel Day-Lewis has a strong personality and dominates Gangs of New York. He demands the audience’s attention and even most of the cast manage to keep speed behind him. But there’s an actress, in particular, that was a complete miscast – Cameron Diaz.

Gangs of New York seems like a far-cry from Diaz’s normal roles. She played a pickpocket that ends up being Leonardo DiCaprio’s character’s love interest. The Irish accent wasn’t the only thing wrong with the role, she just didn’t put on a convincing role for the movie.

Any actor that has to portray the notorious Lex Luthor, an iconic comic supervillain, has some pretty big shoes to fill. So when people heard that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice would have the supervillain in it they were intrigued as to who would be able to fill the role. From his background, a lot of people speculated that it would be Bryan Cranston. So when they found out that it would be Jesse Eisenberg, they weren’t thrilled.

Movie audiences and DC fans don’t normally get along very well, but they turned their pitch-forks at Eisenberg in unison. They believe that Eisenberg destroyed the identity of Lex Luthor by making him way more manic than necessary. They draw comparisons between his portrayal of him and The Joker.

Another Hollywood movie, another whitewashing. Johnny Depp’s career has taken a downward spiral in recent years, but The Lone Ranger was one of his biggest setbacks. Disney allegedly lost around $190 million when no one was impressed by the movie. It seemed that the biggest issue they had with it was Depp being cast as the Native American, Tonto.

Many of Depp’s past roles have had him hide behind a lot of makeup or prosthetics. But the makeup in this film was criticized due to its racist implications.

Why or why did we need another Carrie film? It seems that audiences agree since the movie didn’t do very well at the box office. And if they really did have to why couldn’t they cast someone who was right for the role? The character in the film is an unpopular teen who gets bullied for being different. Choe Grace Moretz looks way too much like a popular kid who would be the bully if anything. She just never evolves throughout the movie.

So when we see the awkwardness she portrays on screen it doesn’t feel like the right kind. She should look in torment from the constant bullying she faces and the suffering she faces from her bible-thumping mother. It’s just not the right energy for the role.

John Cusack’s strengths lie in being the guy the audience likes, just a regular relatable guy. So when we see him playing the role of one of the least popular presidents of The U.S., we knew it wouldn’t end well. Lee Daniels must have a coupon for Cusack as he’s already been in two of his films.

Daniel’s first movie with Cusack was The Paperboy where he portrays the role of a sex maniac with murderous intent. But when he played President Nixon in The Butler we couldn’t figure out why he was picked, he doesn’t look like Nixon, he doesn’t sound like Nixon, and let’s not get started on that prosthetic nose.

Keanu Reeves in Bram Stoker’s Dracula has an almost equally bad performance as Cusack.  He plays estate agent Jonathan Harker and overall the film was amazing, it won three Oscars. But the problem with Reeves’ performance was his British accent.

The director of the film Francis Ford Coppola said that Keanu Reeves wanted his portrayal to be perfect, but it was his perfectionism that really brought it down.  “He wanted to do it perfectly, and in trying to do it perfectly it came off as stilted.”

Actors who’ve only worked in comedy sometimes want to try other roles and we understand that. But really? Casting the same actor that played Kelso in That ’70s Show as Steve Jobs, the man that changed the way we interact with computers even today? We honestly cannot see Ashton Kutcher as a computer genius.

It’s hard to hold our suspension of disbelief when we recognize the guy on the screen from Dude Where’s My Car? But now he’s responsible for the iPhone in my pocket? No way! Someone who really filled the role well was Michael Fassbender when he played Steve Jobs in… Steve Jobs!

The movie already has a strike with Colin Farrell being our protagonist. But then going on to cast his mother as Angelina Jolie. What were they thinking? She’s not nearly old enough and they didn’t even try to make her look as old as his mother should.

The age gap between Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie is only a year! So how did they think no one would notice? Should we believe that she had him when she was a one-year-old baby, yeah we didn’t think so. Imagine hiring an older actress, Hollywood.

Here’s another remake of a horror movie that no one asked for. Original fans didn’t even think the first film needed a remake. But the worst thing is that they cast the role of Bates, a very important character, to Vince Vaughn. Bates was supposed to look weak and frail. To be fair, in 1998 Vince Vaughn was still getting a feel of where he belonged as an actor in Hollywood.

Before Psycho he had played in movies like Swingers and Rounders. But he hadn’t emerged as a comedic actor yet. So before finding his comfort zone in films like Old School and Wedding Crashers, he tried his best to play the role of Bates. But it just wasn’t very good.

Before Denise Richards was cast as a nuclear scientist in the Bond film The World is Not Enough, she was known for being topless in The Wild Things. So this already sounds like a bad idea, the girl of the Bond film should always be able to be on Bond’s level of wit. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case.

Her character lacked depth and she even admitted that the character she played was “brainy”. Watching the film it’s so hard to see her as an intelligent nuclear scientist. But hey, because of her the film was the first Bond film to receive a Golden Raspberry.

Hollywood needs to stop taking bible stories and making them into film adaptations. Sure, everyone knows the 10 Commandments has gotten acclaim and The Passion Of The Christ made a lot of money at the box office. But please, just stop.

The problem with biblical stories is that the role normally has huge shoes to fill. So when Russel Crowe was cast as Noah we couldn’t take him seriously at all. A lot of people were up in arms about it and it was banned in some regions due to opposing the views of Islam. Nice one!

She is the daughter of a famous director (Francis Ford), cousin of a famous actor (Nic Cage), and a great director/screenwriter in her own right (won a screenwriting Oscar for Lost In Translation). As an actress in The Godfather III, Sofia was about as wooden as a barstool. Nepotism is nothing new in Hollywood. In her defense, Coppola was uncredited for two appearances as a child in The Godfather and The Godfather II.

However, Daddy Francis must still shake his head at casting his daughter in his third, critically acclaimed effort. Sofia Coppola’s Mary Corleone was monotone and as uninteresting as watching grass grow. The fact she was killed off before the final act was a blessing.

A non-English-accented, long-haired Californian playing Robin Hood, you say? Pity. Costner set the legend back immeasurably with his bogus portrayal of one of England’s most beloved mythical characters. What made it worse was that this was his follow up to the acclaimed Dances With Wolves (making this performance even harder to stomach).

Costner’s Robin Hood was a cross between his earnest Elliot Ness from The Untouchables and crass Crash Davis of Bull Durham. Except he left out the acting part. Ugh, what a terrible film and role.

Hollywood loves a superhero. We can’t say the same for Ryan Reynolds’ portrayal in Green Lantern. Director Martin Campbell probably figured he was going to get some Robert Downey Jr./Tony Stark magic from his handsome and snarky leading man. He figured wrong. Reynolds doesn’t have the gravitas of Downey, but that’s not a bad thing. 

He’s just more suited to playing a wisecracking, invulnerable anti-hero, as he does in Deadpool. Seeing Reynolds in a green crime-fighting suit dealing out retribution to bad guys is just all kinds of wrong. The film bombed as bad as Reynolds did in a role he wasn’t suited for.

Irish actor Colin Farrell has had a fair number of acclaim-worthy performances. Despite this, his eponymous turn in Alexander was not one of them. Not only has his casting been panned for being culturally insensitive to Greek culture, but he was simply not convincing as the type of morally bereft and greedy emperor that would go on to make history as Alexander the Great. Farrell, for his part, has since been able to laugh off the criticism. 

He particularly spoke about his terrible bleach blonde hair on The Graham Norton Show in 2013: “That was my Doris Day look…Alexander was the golden-locked child, but he shouldn’t have been. He should’ve been brunette. And maybe he shouldn’t have had an Irish accent — only from the 7,000 reviews I read.”

Halle Berry was only a few years removed from her historic Oscar win when she accepted the lead role in Catwoman. To this point, she had already had success playing a superhero with her portrayal of Storm in the X-Men series. Unfortunately, Berry’s performance was about as far from Michelle Pfeiffer’s incredible portrayal of the character from 1992’s Batman Returns as possible.

Berry’s version lacked the seductive nature of Pfeiffer’s, and instead was over-the-top and hyper-sexualized. It certainly doesn’t help that Catwoman is one of the worst superhero movies ever made. Even if it hadn’t been a cinematic travesty, Berry’s performance still stands as arguably the worst on-screen Catwoman to date.

Starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson as the infamous couple, the Fifty Shades of Grey movie attempted to capitalize on the phenomenon that was the novel with the same title. Unfortunately, the movie fell short in almost every way. 

Most notably, Dornan and Johnson had such little chemistry together that the film could have easily been called Fifty Shades of Oh God My Eyes This Is So Boring. Capturing none of the sexual tension or interesting power dynamic of the literary version of the couple, reports began to leak during the film’s release that Dornan and Dakota legitimately hated each other on set.

Lots of famous names have played the Dark Knight (to varying degrees of success). After all, fans were outraged when it was announced that Heath Ledger would play The Joker. That one turned out pretty well. Anyway, back to Clooney. He only played Batman once, in the critically panned Batman & Robin. Ya know, the movie with the bat nipples.

Clooney’s take on Bats was surrounded by a terrible Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a terrible Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman), a terrible Batgirl (Alicia Silverstone) and just a terrible movie. It’s okay, though. His career turned out just fine.

While not nearly as good as the newer Spider-Man movies, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man will always hold a special place in our hearts. Some people thought casting Tobey Maguire as the superhero was a bad choice. 

But it was an even stranger choice to cast Topher Grace, who’s better known for his role of the meek Eric Forman from That ’70s Show, as Venom in Spider-Man 3. According to the comics, the villain should be a much bigger guy (let’s say, like Tom Hardy). Topher’s performance as Venom was straight garbage. Having Maguire and Grace face each other in the film was embarrassing, to say the least.

Genghis Khan was born in Mongolia, which is part of Asia. John Wayne was born in the middle of Iowa, perhaps the whitest part of the entire United States. After being a big-time Hollywood star in the way of Westerns, Wayne decided to play the role of Khan in the 1956 disaster The Conqueror.

Maybe he was just bored after 30 years in the business. Or maybe producer Howard Hughes just drove up to his house with a dump truck full of money. Either way, the movie and the casting choice was terrible — and is routinely cited as one of the worst in film history.

Another prominent example of whitewashing in genre filmmaking, Scarlett Johansson’s casting as Ghost in the Shell was simply an unacceptable move for a major studio to make in 2017. Much like with Jake Gyllenhaal in Prince of Persia, there is nothing inherently wrong with Johansson’s performance. She’s a good actress and I genuinely enjoy most of her performances. 

That being said, handing a prominent Asian role to an already successful white actress at a time when Asian actors as a whole are hugely underrepresented in Hollywood reeks of poor taste. As a result, it comes at little surprise that a petition was circulated by fans of the Ghost in the Shell demanding that the role be recast. At least Ghost in the Shell fans got some karmic justice in that the Rupert Sanders-directed film was both a commercial and critical flop.

Now, this is a big one — the part of Breakfast at Tiffany’s people seem to completely forget when talking about the film’s appeal. How many girls who visit New York begging to be taken to Tiffany’s do you think understand that the third-biggest star in the film (Mickey Rooney) wore fake teeth and pretended to be a Japanese man?

He’s the only non-white character in the film, and he’s played by a white man. Rooney’s character is also a stereotype in literally every way. The character easily could’ve been cut from the plot, but was kept in — presumably — for comic relief.

Prior to release, the Suicide Squad marketing machine hit us over the head for months about the extreme lengths Jared Leto went to get into character as the Joker. This reportedly included sending used condoms to his costars — to staying in character so much that Will Smith claims he never actually met Jared Leto on set. With that kind of dedication, you would expect that Leto’s Joker would at least be captivating to watch.

Unfortunately, the only truly memorable thing about Leto’s performance is how forgettable it is. Leto’s “Scarface” Joker is outclassed by Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn at every turn. Leto’s portrayal lacks the danger and chaotic nature that Ledger had in spades. On the bright side, at least he’s only one of the many, many problems with Suicide Squad.

The Star Wars prequel trilogy has become something of a galactic-sized joke, even for audiences who positively loved the original films. A lot of that has to do with Hayden Christensen’s exaggerated portrayal of Anakin Skywalker in the days leading up to his transformation into Darth Vader. 

Before he became the sand-loathing villain, Christensen was a little-known actor with few films and TV roles to his name. His work was certainly cut out for him to keep pace with decorated industry veterans like Natalie Portman, Samuel L. Jackson, and Ewan McGregor. Even so, his performance easily ranks among the most laughable of all-time. It simultaneously helped to put a stain on the series.

Cameron Crowe’s 2015 romantic comedy Aloha was not well-received by any metric. One of the biggest criticisms leveled against the film was the casting of Emma Stone as Allison Ng. It’s very simple: Emma Stone is neither Hawaiian nor Chinese (like her character). Many viewed Stone’s casting as a prominent example of Hollywood whitewashing — an argument that Stone herself came out in support of. 

She told the Los Angeles Times, “I’ve become the butt of many jokes. I’ve learned on a macro level about the insane history of whitewashing in Hollywood and how prevalent the problem truly is. It’s ignited a conversation that’s very important.” Aloha ended up being a box office flop, though that likely had more to do with poor reviews and a lack of interest rather than the controversy over Stone’s miscasting.


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