Our first look at actors cast in the wrong genre was so much fun that we’ve compiled 7 more for your entertainment.
Actors, like any other artists, are always looking to expand their horizons a little by branching out into new genres. While that courage is certainly worth applauding, it often leads to weird performances that stand out in entirely the wrong way.
So, once again, let’s take a look at 7 times actors were cast in the wrong genre.
7. Jack Black in ‘King Kong’ (2005)
Jack Black is undoubtedly one of the finest comic actors of our time. Blending slapstick with his unique brand of vocal, lovable comedy, Black has proved himself time and again to be something of a golden goose for Hollywood; with his roles in movies like Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Tropic Thunder and The Holiday cementing his status as an A-list star. He’s even proved his talent in slightly more dramatic roles too, in movies like Bernie and The Holiday, so why is it that Black was so out of place in 2005’s King Kong? The answer is painfully simple: Black was cast as Carl Denham, a role written to evoke something that the actor simply doesn’t embody.
Denham is a 1930s filmmaker who sets out to capture Kong on film, only to become obsessed with the giant ape and capture him. Denham is written to be a throwback to the wide-eyed greed of Old Hollywood, and his subtle descent into madness as he obsesses over Kong is something that we just weren’t used to seeing from Black – despite the fact that he was excellent in the role.
6. Jesse Eisenberg in ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ (2016)
Image: Warner Bros.
Jesse Eisenberg might have earned himself an Oscar nomination for his work in 2010’s The Social Network, but even though his manic, gently sociopathic vibes perfectly gelled with his portrayal as Mark Zuckerberg, they haven’t exactly done him favours elsewhere.
Nowhere is this more evident than in 2016’s ambitious (yet ill-fated) Batman v Superman, which saw Ben Affleck’s iteration of the Dark Knight face off with Henry Cavill’s Man of Tomorrow in a pre-Justice League clash. Eisenberg was cast as Superman’s nemesis Lex Luthor, in one of the riskiest casting decisions ever made. While it had the potential to tip the scales in the superhero movie’s favour, it backfired spectacularly, with Eisenberg giving fans the weirdest, most uncharacteristic Lex Luthor imaginable. Naturally, it wasn’t a hit.
It seems that Eisenberg should stick to more dramatic fare, where his knack for portraying the slightly creepy weirdo can be properly utilised.
5. Vince Vaughn in ‘Psycho’ (1998)
Vince Vaughn has cultivated a career out of his easily likeable, fast-talking comedic style, with roles in movies like Swingers, Dodgeball and Wedding Crashers all furthering his image as one of comedy’s most reliable choices.
Before he’d found his niche as a comic actor, though, Vaughn was strangely (mis)cast as Norman Bates in 1998 shot-for-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 masterpiece Psycho.
It’s not hard to understand Vaughn’s willingness to take part in such a big project, and his work isn’t totally awful, but he just looks so out of place now that we know his true calling was that of a funnyman.
4. Tommy Lee Jones in ‘Batman Forever’ (1995)
Image: Warner Bros.
No list of misguided movie decisions would be truly complete without a Joel Schumacher/Batman entry.
Batman Forever was Schumacher’s Dark Knight debut, starring Val Kilmer as the World’s Greatest Detective, Jim Carrey as The Riddler, Chris O’Donnell as Dick “Robin” Grayson, and Tommy Lee Jones as Two Face.
The real issue here is that Jones is far too good an actor to stoop to Batman Forever’s level, yet there he is, stooping. Due to the bizarre script and… creative character design, Tommy Lee Jones was absolutely awful as Two Face.
Supervillians are supposed to be pure evil, and this talented character actor was wasted in genre so black and white.
3. Cameron Diaz in ‘Gangs of New York’ (2002)
Image: Touchstone/Buena Vista
Cameron Diaz was easily one of the ’00s biggest stars.
Known for her countless roles in comedies, romcoms and occasional thrillers, Diaz is instantly recognisable and usually entirely unforgettable.
In Scorsese’s historical crime epic Gangs of New York, though, she stuck out like a sore thumb.
Starring alongside acclaimed actors like Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day Lewis highlighted Diaz’s fish-out-of-water status, and her performance, while not awful, was by far the weakest link in an incredibly realised story.
It wouldn’t be fair to blame Diaz for her place here, as any actor would surely have jumped at the chance to work with Scorsese, but the sad truth is that she simply doesn’t work in this violent crime epic.
2. Russell Crowe in ‘Les Misérables’ (2012)
Russell Crowe made his name acting in a number of big budget historical epics like Master and Commander, Gladiator, and Noah.
Crowe is also a musician, and has been performing since the ’80s under various names.
Whatever your thoughts are on Crowe as an actor, you can’t deny his success – especially given his Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in Gladiator – but there are certain roles that he simply doesn’t look right in.
One such role came along in 2012, when Crowe was cast as Inspector Javert in the movie adaptation of Victor Hugo’s musical Les Miserables.
It was a part that required an awful lot of singing, and let’s just say that there’s a reason his music career didn’t take off.
1. Arnold Schwarzenegger in ‘Junior’ (1994)
The 1990s was a strange decade, and it was one that saw Arnie cast in practically every role imaginable.
While the former bodybuilder might have seemed a little out of place in movies like Kindergarten Cop and Jingle All the Way, there’s no ’90s flick that he belonged in less than Junior.
Playing research geneticist Dr. Alex Hesse, Junior details Hesse’s pregnancy while taking his own experimental fertility drug, ‘Expectane’.
Yes, it’s more than a little weird to watch a young, pregnant Governator delivering one of the strangest performances of his career, but starring alongside Schwarzenegger is Emma Thompson as fellow geneticist Dr. Diana Reddin, who provides the ovum which is later implanted into Hesse (without her knowledge).
While Junior shapes up to be a sci-fi/horror fever dream, it soon reveals itself as a romantic comedy, with Hesse and Reddin falling in love and deciding to raise their baby together.
Not to put Arnie down – he’s a world-class action hero, after all – but he really doesn’t play romantic well at all. In fact, his performance was probably the least believable thing in this misguided romcom, and that’s really saying something.
That’s the list! You can check out our first Actors Cast In The Wrong Genre list here, and don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date with our daily content!