14 Actors Who Wish They Had Never Gotten Their Iconic Roles

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Most actors have played a role they regret.

When an actor is in an iconic movie, it’s easy for viewers to forget that the actor isn’t the character. And that’s exactly why many actors’ careers are forever changed after appearing in hit movies.


Of course, the same happens when actors appear in terrible movies. In either case, while fame is often a consequence, it’s not always positive. Here we’ve gathered 14 actors who majorly regret their iconic roles in movies you’ve definitely seen.

14. Robert Pattinson as Edward in “Twilight”

For those who dislike Twilight but admire Robert Pattinson as an actor, it comes as a sort of relief that the actor hates the films probably more than anyone else.

Summit Entertainment

The London native told Empire Magazine he played vampire Edward Cullen “as a manic-depressive who hates himself,” and called the books’ author, Stephenie Meyer, “completely mad” in an interview with E! Online. It’s said that Pattinson was very vocal about his distaste for the franchise even during filming.

13. Kate Winslet as Rose in “Titanic”

Kate Winslet now regrets starring as Rose DeWitt-Bukater in Titanic, but not for the usual reasons actors give when they regret being in a film, like being dissatisfied with the experience or feeling that the final product is terrible.

Paramount Pictures/20th Century Fox

No, Winslet, who was 21 when the film was made, is now extremely critical of her performance as Rose and is embarrassed to watch it. The Brit says her regrets stem from her acting choices and the fact that she feels her American accent wasn’t strong enough.

12. Sean Connery as James Bond

Overall, Sean Connery enjoyed the role of James Bond in the iconic films, but by the end of his tenure, he felt that there was too little character development and that the stories were formulaic. Thus, Connery quit the franchise in 1967.

The Kobal Collection

George Lazenby then played Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but quit after just one film. Connery then returned to reprise the role once more in Diamonds Are Forever in 1971, before he quit for the second and final time.

Just kidding, he returned once more in 1983 for Never Say Never Again. After that, he quit for the third (and actually final) time.

11. Ally Sheedy as Allison Reynolds in “The Breakfast Club”

Ally Sheedy’s Breakfast Club regrets seem to come not from the 1985 film itself, but the dramatic turn her life took after the film came out. The film was an instant hit, but Sheedy’s life went a different way.

Universal Pictures

She dated Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi, became addicted to illegal substances, and developed an eating disorder. It took Sheedy years to recover, and she has never landed another highly desirable role, instead acting in third-rate films.

10. George Reeves as Superman

Decades before Christopher Reeve played Superman, the first Superman was George Reeves (no relation; Reeves’ real name was George Brewer). Reeves thought this part was beneath him and called his costume a “monkey suit”—because the ensemble was gray and brown to better show up on black-and-white television screens.

LA Times

Before starring as Superman, Reeves was in Gone with the Wind, but Superman seemed to be all he was known for in later years, which made it hard for him to land other roles. This contributed to his depression, and he took his own life in 1959.

9. George Clooney as Batman

Hollywood legend George Clooney has been incredibly public in his apologies to fans for the 1997 disappointment Batman & Robin.

Warmer Bros.

The film was largely ridiculed by critics and franchise fans alike, and though the disaster of a film isn’t entirely Clooney’s fault, he admits that he “so terribly destroyed the part.” In 2014, at Comic-Con, he officially apologized for “ruining” the series with his role and personally apologizing to Adam West, the actor in the 1960s Batman TV series.

He also apologized in 2015 during his appearance on The Graham Norton Show—”I always apologize for Batman & Robin … I thought, at the time, this was going to be a very good career move. Um, it wasn’t.” Take a look, starting at 1:35:

8. Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski in “A Streetcar Named Desire”

Marlon Brando said of his character in A Streetcar Named Desire, “He had the kind of brutal aggressiveness that I hate… I detest the character.”

Warner Bros.

Quite on the contrary, Brando had a rough childhood devoid of affection, which helped him develop empathy for others, often bringing home starving animals to take care of them. As a consequence, he hated playing Kowalski, a character so full of the “brutal aggressiveness” that he saw in other adults.

7. Shia LaBeouf as Mutt Williams in “Indiana Jones”

Shia LaBeouf has two regrets concerning Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The first relates to what many fans thought about the movie. LaBeouf said publicly that Steven Spielberg “dropped the ball” on the film and that it lacked the gravitas of the franchise’s other productions.

Lucasfilm Ltd./Paramount Pictures

As you can imagine, LaBeouf then had to apologize to Spielberg for the statement. And therein lies his second regret: Although he dislikes the film, he also regrets sharing his negative opinion of it.

6. Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in “Star Wars”

Carrie Fisher grew up surrounded by fame, because her mother, Debbie Reynolds, was an actress and her father, Eddie Fisher, was a famous singer (who married Elizabeth Taylor when Carrie was a young child).

Associated Press

This gave her a negative impression of fame, and although she wanted to be an actress, she never wanted to be a big star. She has said that if she’d known the Star Wars franchise was going to be a blockbuster, she never would have accepted the role of Princess Leia.

5. Jessica Alba as Sue Storm in “Fantastic Four”

Jessica Alba was so upset with Tim Story’s direction of her character in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer that she considered quitting acting, going so far as to say, “I don’t care about this business anymore.”

20th Century Fox

She also told Elle Magazine that during one scene where her character was meant to cry, the director told her not to look so “real” and to “be prettier” when she cried. This and other experiences during filming led her to a career crisis.

4. Katherine Heigl as Alison Scott in “Knocked Up”

Katherine Heigl is proof that you can enjoy the process but hate the end product. Heigl has said she loved working on Knocked Up but felt like the film was misogynistic.

Universal Pictures

In an interview with Vanity Fair, she pointed out that the female characters in the film, her own especially, were portrayed as uptight and withdrawn while the men in the film are free-spirited and fun. These comments sparked conflict with costar Seth Rogen and director Judd Apatow, and Heigl later had to apologize.

3. Christopher Plummer as Captain Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music”

Celebrated Canadian stage actor Christopher Plummer has been anything but timid in his criticism of the 1965 Oscar–winning musical that catapulted him into fame.

20th Century Fox

As recently as 2011, he publicly criticized the film, telling The Hollywood Reporter, “It was so awful and sentimental and gooey. You had to work terribly hard to try and infuse some minuscule bit of humor into it.” He also once said he “disliked almost every aspect of it.” One has to wonder if this has anything to do with the less-than-stellar reviews he received when the film was released.

2. Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars”

The famous British actor, who only accepted the role after his pay was doubled, has been very critical of the Star Wars movies, despite his role earning him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

20th Century Fox

He’s even said publicly, “I like [the movies] well enough, but it’s not an acting job, the dialogue—which is lamentable—keeps being changed and only slightly improved.” He’s also called the series “fairy-tale rubbish.” The Jedi Master’s comments have, understandably, created some fan friction.

1. Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter

It’s hard to image Daniel Radcliffe as anyone other than Harry Potter, but the young actor has spent a lot of time in recent years trying to outgrow the role he took on as a child. And he’s expressed a great deal of regret over it, mostly stemming from his taking the role without prior experience.

Warner Bros.

“[T]he moments I’m not so proud of, mistakes other actors get to make in rehearsal rooms or at drama school, are on film for everyone to see,” he explained to the Daily Mail. He told Radio Times, “I find those early films very hard to watch personally.”

Warner Bros.

And, as every Harry Potter fan knows, Radcliffe has refused to do any more work as the Boy Who Lived. Even with the Harry Potter theme parks expanding and finding themselves in desperate need of footage of the character, Radcliffe has definitively moved on.

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