They may not receive the plaudits they deserve, but the role of the casting director should not be underestimated. And that has never been more apparent since news broke that Kristen Stewart is set to portray the late Princess Diana in the hotly anticipated biopic, Spencer.
Causing shock waves amongst outraged 'royal fans' everywhere, who deem the famously stilted Twilight actress unworthy of the role as the 'People’s Princess'; it’s time to acknowledge that miscasting (and the accompanying bad acting and terrible accents) is a crime.
But for every miscast role, there are also the actors who are painfully typecast time and time again; the talent that have been pigeonholed into the same big-screen format regardless of their acting credentials.
Colin Farrell - Alexander
There’s a reason Colin Farrell almost quit acting after his performance in 2004’s Alexander. Painfully miscast as Alexander the Great in the epic historical drama, which also starred Jared Leto and Val Kilmer, nobody could believe that his blonde mulletted character was a warrior, or that he was young enough to be the on-screen son of Angelina Jolie.
In an interview with The I Paper, he recalled: “It was once-in-a-lifetime David Lean film-making. There was a lot of drunkenness, but a lot of people working very hard, and then a film that was slaughtered. I remember the first day the reviews came, and going, ‘Oh, s**t!’”
Emma Stone - Aloha
She’s enjoyed stratospheric success but even Emma Stone can get it wrong.
The actress, who portrayed a part-Hawaiian and part-Chinese woman in Cameron Crowe’s 2015 film Aloha, was forced to apologise for the role.
In a 2015 interview, Stone said the controversy around her casting had opened her eyes “in many ways.”
“I’ve become the butt of many jokes,” Stone said. “I’ve learned about the insane history of whitewashing in Hollywood and how prevalent the problem truly is. It’s ignited a conversation that’s very important.”
Director Cameron Crowe apologised for his casting choice in the romantic comedy. Despite pulling in Hollywood heavy hitters Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams and Bill Murray, unsurprisingly, the film wasn’t a box-office success.
Vince Vaughn - PSYCHO
It’s difficult to imagine Vince Vaughan as anything other than a free-wheeling funny guy who is always edging towards a punchline, so he wasn’t exactly the ideal candidate to play a serial killer, let alone one of Hollywood’s most prolific murderers, Norman Bates.
Even audiences couldn’t get on board, which made Gus Van Sant’s 1998 remake of Psycho a floundering failure. Ironically, Vaughn said he was afraid the movie would cause him to be typecast as a murderer.
Gerard Butler and Hilary Swank - P.S. I Love You
If you’ve read Cecelia Ahern’s best-selling novel, you will have a certain affection for this poignant love story from beyond the grave; you may even forgive the many cinematic blunders throughout this movie adaptation, but the casting cannot be overlooked. Despite her Academy Award-winning lead turns in both Million Dollar Baby and Boys Don’t Cry, Hilary Swank is stilted and awkward as the romantic lead, while Butler’s attempt at an Irish accent would bring tears to your eyes.
Keanu Reeves - Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Just when you thought Keanu Reeves could do no wrong we’ve brought this movie back from the archives.
Failing to command a British accent, Reeves brought Bram Stoker’s Dracula into comedic territory, despite its dark and chilling premise.
It makes for awkward, but also hilarious, viewing.
Ashton Kutcher — Jobs
He may look like a young Steve Jobs, but that wasn’t enough to save him from the savage reviews of movie critics and fans alike. The biopic on the life of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Jobs bombed at the box office. Just two years later, Michael Fassbender portrayed the business magnate and showed no mercy when he was asked how he prepared for the role: “I studied Ashton Kutcher.”
If you regularly experience déjà vu, you’re not alone: Hollywood is full of actors who play the same character in every movie.
Melissa McCarthy quite literally burst onto the big screen as the hilarious and equally crass Megan Price in the smash hit Bridesmaids. But like many other actors, the role that ensured her fame has led to painfully similar offerings in movies like Tammy and Identity Thief. McCarthy’s slapstick brand of humour relies on gags about her weight and er, bodily functions; most memorable is the bathroom scene from Bridesmaids that involved a sink and a particularly bad bout of food poisoning.
Jim Carrey is known for his eccentric, physical brand of comedy and his manic off-the-wall humour is what made him an international superstar in 90s movies Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, Cable Guy and Dumb and Dumber. Despite making a somewhat successful switch into drama, it’s these oddball characters that will immortalise him in Hollywood’s hall of fame.
If you’ve ever experienced a sense of déjà vu when watching an Adam Sandler movie, you’re not alone. Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Jack and Jill and Grown Ups are all proof that the actor likes to stick to what he knows. But for audiences, the man-child routine is all getting a little jaded. And he’s yet to show people how much range he has as an actor.
Taking over the reins from Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler is Seth Rogan. If someone’s going to play a stoner or unlikely romantic interest in 10 different movies, it’s going to be this guy.
With no drive or motivation, he’s not a bad person, just someone who is a little down on their luck — but that doesn’t make him any less lovable on screen in films such as Pineapple Express, Knocked Up, Superbad and Longshot.
Keira Knightley is a woman who knows her way around a corset and that’s partly because of her affection for period dramas. Think back to Anna Karenina, which is set in 19th-century Russia, and The Duchess which is set in 18th-century England. Her character even faints from wearing a tight corset in Pirates of the Caribbean.
Recognising how she gravitates to period-piece movies, in an interview with TV Times, the actress said: “I’ve been asking myself about that an awful lot, and I think when I was younger, I felt really bad about it and felt I was doing something wrong in doing so many period films. And then, all of a sudden, I went, ‘OK, this is obviously what I’m drawn to.’”
Samuel L Jackson
As one of Hollywood’s highest grossing actors, Samuel L Jackson is also a bankable badass. Making eye patches look good, the often gun-toting villain may speak in quotable one-liners but it’s his colourful language and penchant for swear words that keep audiences on their toes.
You’ve seen it all before in Pulp Fiction, Snakes on a Plane, The Avengers, Kingsman: The Secret Service, and the Unbreakable trilogy.
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Your seat reclined, the engines' hum, a good book resting in your lap, the dull clinking of ice cubes in your plastic glass, and far below the pleasing sight of empty seas and scudding clouds. Air travel has become such a faraway, exotic memory at this point that I'd happily watch just about any film about flying - except maybe for this one.
Across the western world, statues are tumbling, institutional racism is being called out, and even classic movies are not immune. Last week, HBO temporarily removed the 1939 epic Gone with the Wind from its streaming roster, citing "ethnic and racial prejudices that were wrong then and are wrong today". The network was of course responding to the heightened sensibilities of the post-George Floyd era, with US racism under the microscope as never before.