While it’s undoubtedly the goal of any actor that’s serious about their craft to be able to act across all genres without ever being typecast, the simple fact is that some just aren’t believable in certain roles.
While sometimes this is due to their reputation being made in a particular sub-section of cinema, there are a number of reasons that certain actors simply don’t work in certain genres.
For instance, some actors can’t carry off comedy, while others simply can’t emote in movies with more serious subject matter.
It’s not necessarily the sign of a bad actor, but seeing an actor in the wrong genre is always weird, and often very, very bad.
Here are 7 times that actors found themselves cast in entirely the wrong genre.
7. Kristen Stewart in Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
Image: © Universal
Kristen Stewart isn’t known for her impressive acting talent.
That’s a shame, because she has proved her acting chops in some of her more forgettable roles – she was the saving grace in American Ultra and she seemed right at home in Adventureland – but big budget fantasy movies are clearly a little out of her wheelhouse.
While Stewart might work in smaller dramatic or even action-based movies, being thrust into the shoes of a fairytale princess really didn’t suit her at all.
This one shouldn’t ever have happened though, as she’d already proven how poorly she handled fantasy in the Twilight saga. Poor casting is one thing, but there was clear evidence against Stewart here. Baffling.
6. George Clooney in Batman and Robin (1997)
Image: © Warner Bros.
Back in the ’90s, George Clooney was young, handsome and effortlessly smooth.
So why is it that he simply isn’t believable as a superhero?
It’s probably Clooney’s clean-cut, trustworthy nature. He just doesn’t look capable of harbouring a secret identity, let alone one that sees him taking to the street to beat criminals to a bloody pulp.
To be fair to Clooney, half of the issue here was Batman and Robin’s notoriously awful writing, but even when you take the movie’s subpar execution out of the equation, George still doesn’t quite fit the bill here.
5. Clint Eastwood in Paint Your Wagon (1969)
Image: © Paramount
For a time, Clint Eastwood was inarguably the edgiest character in Hollywood.
Having made his name as a gruff action star in Westerns and cop movies alike, even now he’s considered something of a tough guy despite his advancing years.
While many might believe Paint Your Wagon was nothing more than a joke from The Simpsons, it’s a real movie, and it’s a truly bizarre watch.
Seeing everyone’s favourite hard-talking, hard-staring gunslinger singing his way across the Wild West is truly something to behold, and not in a good way.
4. Elijah Wood in Green Street (2005)
Image: © Universal
It’s hard to imagine exactly who it was that signed off on this one, but Elijah Wood has never seemed more out of place than he did in 2005 sport hooligan movie Green Street.
While the idea that Wood’s character – a journalist from a whole different world – could be drawn in by the apparent glamour of football hooliganism in ’00s London is central to Green Street’s plot, it’s simply too far-fetched to see Wood’s soft features and even softer voice among the brutal violence on display here.
It seems that Wood was only cast to lend the movie a bit of star power across the pond, which was probably a lot to ask considering American audiences undoubtedly got painfully upset by the football/soccer thing (as they always do).
3. Nicolas Cage in The Wicker Man (2006)
Image: © Warner Bros.
The Wicker Man tells the story of a police officer who goes to a remote island in search of a missing girl, only to find that the locals are strangely hostile and the island is populated almost entirely by females.
It’s no doubt intended to be a creepy, slow-building horror flick, so who better to cast in the lead role than the erratic Nicolas Cage to lend a little lunacy to proceedings?
The result warps what could have been an incredibly atmospheric creep-fest into an unintended laugh-riot, and although Cage should definitely steer clear of the horror genre, 2006’s The Wicker Man is a truly unique and monumental piece of cinema.
2. Robert De Niro in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000)
Image: © Universal
Robert De Niro is one of the most prolific actors of all time, starring in true classics of both the crime and drama genres.
De Niro has also turned his hand to comedy in recent years, playing upon the reputation he built in movies like Goodfellas, Casino and The Godfather Part II in order to subvert audience expectations and bring a subtle, meta form of comedy to his roles.
De Niro’s role in 2000’s The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle was something else entirely.
Playing the villainous “Fearsome Leader”, the acclaimed actor donned a monocle and an offensive Eastern European accent while trying his hand a cartoonish, family-friendly action adventure based on the 1960s cartoon of the same name.
It was a strange departure from De Niro’s more traditional fare, and he seemed conspicuously out of place.
- Kelsey Grammer in The Expendables 3 (2014)
Image: © Lionsgate
You most likely know him as Dr. Frasier Crane, the pompous, arrogant snob that entertained us on both Cheers and successful spin-off Frasier, but Grammer has had a number of high-profile movie roles outside of his most recognisable character.
While his turn in X-Men as Hank McCoy/Beast was actually one of the better aspects of the franchise in the ’00s, he did manage to wander into a role in completely the wrong genre in 2014 when he appeared in The Expendables 3.
The Expendables franchise was conceived as a means of putting all of the world’s most well-known action stars into one property, and the results were predictably mediocre.
Grammer’s casting, however, was a singularly strange and misguided choice.
Playing the role of Bonaparte, a retired mercenary, we’re asked to suspend our disbelief as one of the world’s most well-spoken actors known for playing a pompous, high-browed doctor pretends to be a man who spent his life racking up confirmed kills in deadly skirmishes?
It’s a no from us. Here at Corner of Film, we imagine Grammer took the role because he didn’t know what to do with those tossed salads and scrambled eggs.
That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more lists filled with hilarious content, and drop a comment below if you think we missed an obvious entry out!