Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Top Seven Actors Who Were Briefly Awesome

The following is a list of actors who were at the top of the world and close to making the jump to being bankable, a-list celebrities. And then somehow did not. 

7) Alicia Silverstone
After her breakout role in Clueless, everyone loved Alicia Silverstone. Except casting directors, because she was cast in bomb after bomb after bomb. Clueless produced Breckin Meyer, Brttany Murphy, Paul Rudd, and Donald Faison. But when Batman and Robin is the best thing you've done since, your career is as dead as Brittany Murphy.

You might want to return a few of those for store credit...

6) Hayden Christinsen
When Christiansen was tapped to play the new Anakin Skywalker, we had no idea that'd be the last cool thing he'd ever do. Correction - it wasn't even cool then. While it's generally agreed that "Attack of the Clones" is the least bad of the new Star Wars movies, it was the peak of Christiansen's career. And while he's still young, I haven't even heard of anything he's done since. Perhaps he should have used the dark side. Or maybe George Lucas should have written some decent dialogue.

What was worse, murdering children or murdering Star Wars?

5) Ralph Macchio
Making his first big splash as one of The Outsiders, Macchio is best known as the Karate Kid. And always will be. His only decent role after that came in My Cousin Vinny in 1992. Since then, he's mainly been playing himself making fun of himself. At least he has a sense of humor about it. By the way, the other Outsiders included Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze, and Tom Cruise. Oops.

"Put his career in a body bag!"

4) Kellly Mcgillis
In 1985, McGillis played Harrison Ford's love interest in Witness. In 1986, she played Tom Cruise's love interest in Top Gun. In 1987, she vanished. Actually, she's been working steadily ever since, with her roles getting smaller and smaller. In the mid-90s, she appeared in North as "Amish Mom." And the career comes full circle.

Clearly, she's lost that lovin' feelin'.

3) Lindsay Lohan
Lohan is the only one on this list that took herself out of the equation. She was awesome in Mean Girls, but her habit of showing up three days and coked up late quickly turned her from bankable into tabloid fodder. She's now in jail, which may be the safest place for her. Certainly safer than making a sequel to I Know Who Killed Me.

I bet the girls in prison are way meaner.

2) Cuba Gooding Jr.
Gooding has had 63 roles, and 62 of them have been awful. Okay, so his "Boy Getting Haircut" in Coming to America was fine. But after he won an Oscar for Jerry McGuire, he was in Pearl Harbor, Rat Race, Snow Dogs, and Boat Trip all within a year of each other. I'd rather take an actual boat trip to Cuba than watch any of those. It make sense - his Jerry McGuire character was a guy playing for a terrible team, but staying because he was paid well. Perhaps he's a method actor.

Don't get used to the taste, Cuba.

1) Brendan Fraser
Remember School Ties, when Fraser played the dramatic role of David Greene, the great Jewish quarterback from a small mining town in western Pennsylvania? The fact that he's the same guy who has starred in a dozen flops since is almost as unbelievable as there being a great Jewish quarterback from a small mining town in western Pennsylvania. Then came George of the Jungle, Dudley Do-Right, and Journey to the Center of the Earth - and those are just examples of his remakes that sucked. I'm at the point now where if Brendan Fraser is in a movie, I won't see it. No matter how allegedly Jewish his character might be.

You probably should have worn that helmet in the rest of your movies, too.

Honorable mentions:

Sarah Michelle Gellar: Awesome as Buffy. Awesome as an incestuous crazy in Cruel Intentions. Best role since has been The Grudge 2.

Phoebe Cates: Best bikini scene ever. Love interest in Gremlins. Now her biggest role is raising Kevin Kline's children.

Ben Affleck: After School Ties, Dazed and Confused, Mall Rats, Chasing Amy, and Good Will Hunting, Affleck was in Gigli, Daredevil, Paycheck, Armageddon, Bounce, Pearl Harbor, Surviving Christmas, and the Sum of All Fears, to name a few. And I thought the sum of all fears was that he'd keep making movies. Or maybe that's Armageddon.

Did we leave anything out? Disagree with these choices? Then tell us how we could have done better.


  1. I think Fraser did a good job with the first two "Mummy" films, but you're right - he's gone downhill since.

  2. Love the list with the exception of 2 things: 1st, What's up with Cuba on the list man? Haven't you ever seen Men of Honor?! Plus since when are Pearl Harbor and Rat Race bad movies? You could name a lot of good actors that were in both of those movies. 2nd, Silverstone should be #1.

    Other than that bravo.

  3. Ben Affleck is going to have a career boost this year with "The Town" and "The Company Men"- both looking to be Oscar bait movies, plus you aren't taking into account his work as director of "Gone Baby Gone."

  4. If Kelly is going to restrict her activities to Amish parts, her career is over. She's got to do some Quakers, too, just to be relevant.

  5. Well, she was television, not movies, but I think Denise Crosby who played Tasha Yar on Star Trek: The Next Generation went way down hill. Didn't see her on or in anything from the time Yar was killed by the talking oil spill (actually a species' sucked off negative emotions) until Dexter - where she played a murderous nurse that teenage Dexter kills. Man, she did not age well.


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