Not many actors go as far as Michael Madsen, who used to have a section on his website dedicated to rating his own movies – sample title: “Species 2, Big Mistake” – but there are plenty of examples of stars who slagged off their projects after the fact. Here are some of the most vociferous.
Robert Pattinson – ‘Twilight’ franchise
For a guy who was more or less unknown (except to hardcore ‘Harry Potter’ fans) before becoming Edward Cullen, the 29-year-old sure hates the franchise which made him.
Aside from suggesting that the fans who waited to see the stars at the red carpet premiere had a “mental disorder”, he has discussed how the films don’t make sense, criticised the relationship between Ed and Bella and when asked in an interview whether he would be a ‘Twilight’ fan in real life replied, “I would just mindlessly hate it.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger – ‘Red Sonja’
Playing second fiddle to Brigitte Nielsen’s spectacular mullet, Arnie clearly isn’t a fan of this silly sword and sorcery fable that he starred in just after ‘The Terminator’.
“It’s the worst film I have ever made,” he said. “Now, when my kids get out of line, they’re sent to their room and forced to watch ‘Red Sonja’ 10 times.”
Adapted from a comic by Robert E. Howard, the actor was supposed to reprise the role of Conan who was created by the same author, but the filmmakers didn’t have the rights. As a result, Kalidor was born – and a flop was created.
Brad Pitt – ‘The Devil’s Own’
This morally ambiguous 1997 action-drama got Pitt in a right pickle during shooting. Playing a fugitive IRA man who is unknowingly taken in by a beat cop, the star is said to have clashed with Harrison Ford on-set and tried to quit, stopping only when he was threatened with a multi-million-dollar lawsuit by the producers.
The script was in constant flux, much to Pitt’s chagrin, who called the film “the most irresponsible bit of filmmaking – if you can even call it that – that I’ve ever seen.”
He later added, “The script that I had loved was gone. I guess people just had different visions and you can’t argue with that.”
Christopher Plummer – ‘The Sound of Music’
Calling it “sentimental” and “gooey” – two adjectives which probably explain part of the enduring popularity of the classic musical – Plummer has an uneasy relationship with his iconic role. “Awful” was a word he also used in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
There’s some suggestion that his negative comments were put forth as a deliberately cynical counterpoint to what is an unfailingly syrupy movie, but still, calling it ‘The Sound of Mucus’ might be going a bit far.
Mark Wahlberg – ‘The Happening’
Wahlberg was very honest about M Night Shyamalan’s 2008 flop, calling it a bad movie during a press conference for ‘The Fighter’.
He also joked about the much-reviled storyline, in which nefarious plants release a toxin that causes people to commit suicide. “F*****g trees, man, the plants,” he said. “F*** it. You can’t blame me for wanting to try to play a science teacher, you know? I wasn’t playing a cop or a crook.”
Katherine Heigl – ‘Knocked Up’
The actress was a successful TV star in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ when she was hired to play the titular pregnant woman after Anne Hathaway turned it down.
It turned her into a box office draw, capable of commanding £8million for movies like ‘Killers’.
However, she wasn’t so endeared to her breakout part, telling Vanity Fair that it was sexist.
“It paints the women as shrews, as humourless and uptight and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys,” she said. “I had a hard time with it, on some days. I’m playing such a b***h; why is she being such a killjoy?”
George Clooney – ‘Batman & Robin’
The Cloonster has embraced the rubbishness of his effort as the Dark Knight, consistently criticising its lack of gravitas, the nippled suits, the cheesy villains and his own performance.
“With hindsight it’s easy to look back at this and go, ‘Woah, that was really s*** and I was really bad in it,’” Clooney told Total Film. “It was a difficult film to be good in.”
He also keeps a picture of himself as the Caped Crusader in his office to remind to choose roles for the right reason.
Shia LaBeouf – ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’
Shia is one of the (very) few actors to have dissed his own movie using the power of rap and despite his role opposite various giant robots turning him into a household name, he’s not that proud about his participation.
That was particularly true with the first sequel. “We didn’t have a script,” he told EOnline. “It was like a two-hour SNL skit with explosions. We were sort of riffing.”
He added to HuffPo, “When I saw the second movie, I wasn’t impressed with what we did… Michael [Bay] went so big that it became too big, and I think you lost the anchor of the movie. You lost a bit of the relationships. Unless you have those relationships, then the movie doesn’t matter. Then it’s just a bunch of robots fighting each other.”
Woody Allen – ‘Manhattan’
The genius writer/director generally doesn’t like his movies, even the ones which become classics. In fact, especially the ones that become classics.
He thought ‘Annie Hall’ was unsuccessful and disliked ‘Manhattan’ so much that he said he would make another film for free if the distributor stopped its release and threw away the negative.
Luckily for the world, they told him he was wrong – and were proved right.
Michelle Pfeiffer – ‘Grease 2’
The 1982 sequel has become something of a cult classic, but its star doesn’t agree and harbours some strongly negative feelings about the tale of an English exchange student (Maxwell Caulfield) who falls for the sassy leader of a high school girl’s gang.
“I hated that film with a vengeance and could not believe how bad it was,” the actress has said. “At the time I was young and didn’t know any better.”
Photos: Giphy/Everett/Rex_Shutterstock/Paramount/MGM/UA/Moviestore/ Snap Stills