10 movies so bad they destroyed these actors’ careers
Some were forced into retirement; others went into hiding for a while.
1. Elizabeth Berkley, “Showgirls”
What’s now considered a cult classic was a Hollywood punchline for a decade. “I know what it feels like to be made fun of, to be humiliated, to be rejected,” she told Out Magazine in 2011. “There was no bigger time in my life at 21 years old where I had to walk through basically having my head handed to me on a national level.”
2. Mike Myers, “The Love Guru”
What was supposed to be the “Austin Powers” star’s 2008 comeback totally blew up like one of Fat Bastard’s back pimples. Paramount took a hit after the hacky comedy’s $13 million opening (number four at the box office), and Myers has quietly ducked away from TV and film since. A colleague of mine was not surprised—upon the release of the film he wanted to ask Myers on the red carpet, “So where’d you come up with the idea to play Borat?” (He didn’t actually ask that, but you get the point.)
3. Sean Connery, “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”
Sean Connery incidentally retired after this 2003 piece of shit hit theaters.
4. Cuba Gooding, Jr., “Boat Trip”
In a 2006 interview with the New York Times, Gooding, Jr. admitted to the wrong turn he took with the super-homophobic buddy comedy. “I was wrong on so many levels … It was also for the money. When I got to ‘Boat Trip,’ I thought it was time to do something that was going to make me a $20 million player.”
5. Geena Davis, “Cutthroat Island”
An A-lister at the time with box offices successes such as “A League of Their Own” and “Beetlejuice,” Oscar nominee Geena Davis starred in her then-husband’s big budget nosedive “Cutthroat Island,” which actually brought on the bankruptcy of Carolco Pictures.
6. Sofia Coppola, “The Godfather Part III”
Critics slayed Francis Ford Coppola’s daughter’s acting debut in what was a shitty enough threequel to the greatest movies ever made. Lucky for her, she went back into the Coppola castle and didn’t come out for years until she was a bad ass director. So that’s good.
7. Kevin Costner, “The Postman”
The $80 million-budgeted Costner vehicle returned less than $18 million at the box office, which was the star’s second bomb in a row. Two years prior, “Waterworld” bombed hard on a $175 million budget. Costner never quite recovered to A-list status after these productions. Not yet, anyway.
8. Ben Affleck, “Gigli”
“That was really hard for me to watch as his friend, because I didn’t think it was fair to him,” Matt Damon told Shortlist in 2011. “As his writing partner, I know how great he is … I’m glad to see him doing so well, and it’s turned back the way it should be.”
9. C. Thomas Howell, “Soul Man”
In 1986, C. Thomas Howell starred in what was basically a blackface version of “Teen Wolf,” except he didn’t go on to do greater things like Michael J. Fox. In what many deemed an accidentally racist title, “Soul Man” sent Howell off to a career in straight-to-DVD action flicks for the next 15 years.
10. Susan George, “Mandingo”
Fans of the buxom British actress mark this 1975 racy period piece as the one that permanently marked Susan George as an exploitation actress rather than an edgy, arthouse femme fatale. She never came back from this one and instead spiraled into a series of made-for-TV movies and forgettable drive-in fare. But she’s still responsible for some of the best ’70s cult movies. Check out “Straw Dogs” and “Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry.”