Ten Actors We Don’t Need Anymore
Without wanting to sound mean, there’s some actors working in the business that we just don’t need anymore. This isn’t just about being in bad films – Nic Cage has done some real stinkers, but there’s no-one who could do that mad eye-twitch – this is about being obsolete but not going away. There are some reasons for this, sometimes they’ve become typecast, grown out of their typical roles or there’s simply someone better to do the part. Some of them are just embarrassing. Let’s have a look…
Under the heading of ’embarrassing’, here’s Mel. Back in his heyday the people of Australia were pretty quick to claim him as their own…these days they seem content to leave him to America. Once one of the most marketable actors in the business his box office bank-ability took a very sudden and very deep dive when he got into the habit of getting drunk and letting lose a tirade of anti-Semitic, homophobic and sexist remarks while being recorded. Now it’s difficult to look at the man without remembering these outbursts (referring to a police officer as “sugar tits” is particularly memorable) and whether he’s starring in an edgy thriller or an arty indie film, nobody wants to see him anymore.
Who We UseInstead: Taking on the roles of the warm, yet tough, middle aged role we have Liam Neeson (The Grey, Taken). If you want a bit for comedy in the role we’ve now got Alec Baldwin (It’s Complicated).
Rising to prominence in the lead role of television sitcom, Braff quickly branched out into film roles, including hard-nosed indie film Garden State. He’s had little success outside of his role as young doctor JD, and a rewatching of Scrubs might explain why. Tara Reid, Heather Graham, Courtney Cox, Elizabeth Banks, Scott Foley, Tom Cavanagh, Brendan Fraser and others did very funny guest roles on the show…even though their attempts at comedy elsewhere are terrible. Evidently the show is what makes people funny and endearing, take that away and they’re just awkward.
Who We Use Instead: Joseph Gordon Levitt has successfully filled the young male quirkiness, and can bring the drama when required. Cillian Murphy could also use some more exposure.
Not only did he have screen presence, but he had range. He was able to play tough guys but keep them human. He’s like one of the Hollywood stars from the golden age of cinema. While his phone-throwing tantrums made the gossip pages he never did anything so terrible that public opinion turned against him. Yet somehow he’s all but vanished from our screens (being locked into an exclusive contract with Ridley Scott will do that). Now we’ve reached the point where he’s no longer the go-to guy for the strong leading man roles.
Who We Use Instead: Young , tough actors like Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton have stepped up to the plate and proved that they’ve got the talent to carry a big film. Just watch Warrior).
It’s kinda hard to imagine an actor we need less. Young, attractive males are an essential part of the all-important teen male cinema demographic and between Transformers, Disturbia and others he looked set to become to an institution. But, like many young actors who get by on their looks, he’s a terrible actor. Combined with his crappy, spoiled brat behaviour in public and it’s time to make way for new talent.
Who We Use Instead: Between The Social Network and The Amazing Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield can be our new go-to action dude. But with acting.
Every time I go back and rewatch Almost Famous I get knocked flat by the performance put in by the young Ms. Hudson. She opened up the doors of Hollywood with this breakout role. Since then…it’s be one terrible film after another. She was to be part of the next generation of talent. It never happened.
Who We Use Instead: Emma Stone, step on down. The Help, Easy A, Crazy Stupid Love and The Amazing Spider-Man proves that we have a talent to watch.
Sometimes you gotta shoot a fish in a barrel. A sex symbol about thirty years ago, Cruise’s brave decision to play every single part he’s offered by smirking at the camera has somehow managed to keep him afloat in the business up until now. Even with the huge public bashing he’s received over the past ten years for his membership to a cult, marrying the much younger Katie Holmes and generally acting like a twunt he still takes leading roles. Even more unusual, seeing a short fifty year old trying to be an action star gets taken seriously.
Who We Use Instead: If it wasn’t clear from Mission: Impossible IV, Jeremy Renner is more than man enough to fill those tiny little shoes.
Quick, name the last film where Angelina Jolie impressed you with her performance. Times up. Odds are whatever you thought of it wasn’t from the last decade. Wanted, Salt, TheTourist…these are not the films chosen by someone dedicated to their craft any more. She deserves the kudos she earned for her performances in the past, but I just don’t believe that she cares much any more. Maybe she’s just more dedicated to her family nowadays, but her roles seem to be chosen based on the holiday location it’s getting filmed in.
Who We Use Instead: Maggie Gyllenhaal could use some juicy roles to stretch her ability while Charlize Theron brings some classic Hollywood charm to the table.
Eddie Murphy was the young, tough, sassy black actor of the 80s. These days…whatever.
Who We Use Instead: Take your pick – Chris Rock, Tracey Morgan, Samuel L. Jackson…
(Disclaimer: Yes, I know that you don’t need a black actor to replace a black actor. But Hollywood studios certainly think that way.)
I never liked him, but he had a niche during his heyday as one of the highest paid actors of the time. His breakout roles saw him play various people who talk in a baby voice and then shouting angrily. He did that again and again and again and again.
Who We Use Instead: I don’t care, just take him away.
Zellweger has tried her hand in many different genres from comedy to drama to musical and done the same pouting routine every time. Somehow her lack of timing, charm or talent gets her great reviews in mediocre films. Some of these films may have been lifted to the realm of decent if there was someone who does more than pout in the lead role. Such as…
Who We Use Instead: Kristen Dunst, Emma Stone, Emily Watson, Reese Witherspoon…there’s a long list of people who could fill her roles better.
Disagree about Shia and Angelina. I think both get a lot of unnecessary hate for reasons I’m unsure of.
I don’t hate Jolie, and I can’t stand the way the gossip rags report on things like her adopted family. By all genuine accounts she sounds to be a great mother, total professional and a lovely person. As far as her acting is concerned she really doesn’t seem to be offering much – feels like it’s a secondary interest for her.
There are plenty of other talented performers who would no doubt enjoy the opportunity to take on the roles that she gets based on her box office pull – I’d like them to get the chance.
Russell Crowe doesn’t belong anywhere near this list!
Except Russell Crowe & Angelina Jolie I agree 😀
I wholeheartedly agree with your choices of who to put on this list. I do, however, disagree somewhat with your choices for replacements. I like Emma Stone alright, and I think she does a great job, but I also think she’s a little one-dimensional. Somehow she tricks the viewer (including myself) into falling for her act, but then afterwards you tend to realize…hey…she just played basically the same exact character she did in that other movie. I’m also not a huge fan of Kirsten Dunst. She always just seems…whiny.
Love the blog, and I’ll definitely keep reading! You are informative, convincing, and humorous at the same time!
Alec Baldwin – I liked him early on in his career – but he seemed to lose his acting skills along with his charisma the past 10 years or so. Today I just find him obnoxious. Yet he’s still making a good buck – proves talent isn’t everything
Don’t agree with Russell Crowe at all. I think he just needs to pick “older” roles. He’s great in Body of Lies and should stick to roles more like that. He doesn’t need to be an action hero anymore but is still a good actor. I also think Zach Braff still has a career in films if he gets the “breakout” role that he’s lacked since Scrubs.
Agree with Murphy and Sandler. How they are still making films baffles me!