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Movie stars that never were

Started by dead-ced-dead, November 26, 2021, 11:06:34 AM

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dead-ced-dead

Lee Evans was definitely being courted for this: MouseHunt, There's Something About Mary and a few other Hollywood bit parts. I think he was also an uncredited joke writer for NBC (or one of the TV studios) for a bit.

But I think while he enjoyed making the films, he really hated what Hollywood was turning him into.

Small Man Big Horse

Quote from: DrGreggles on November 26, 2021, 12:54:58 PMHe's mostly done theatre stuff since BB.
The successful actor's way of saying "I never have to work again!"

I don't think that's really true though, the first thing he did after Breaking Bad was Godzilla, and he followed it up with Trumbo, one of those biopics that's begging for Oscars. Then in 2016 alone he starred in three movies (The Infiltrator, Wakefield and Get A Job) and was a supporting character in two others, while in 2017 he created (and co-starred in) Sneaky Pete, before making another bunch of worthy but average films. I love him as an actor, but think the choices he's made since Breaking Bad have mostly been pretty disappointing.

Quote from: phantom_power on November 26, 2021, 03:06:29 PMReally? I think he is a decent actor and has been in loads of things, from X-Men to Warm Bodies and The Great on TV, which he is...er...great...in

I was surprised by that as well, and really rate him as an actor too.

DrGreggles

Quote from: Small Man Big Horse on November 26, 2021, 03:20:52 PMI don't think that's really true though, the first thing he did after Breaking Bad was Godzilla, and he followed it up with Trumbo, one of those biopics that's begging for Oscars. Then in 2016 alone he starred in three movies (The Infiltrator, Wakefield and Get A Job) and was a supporting character in two others, while in 2017 he created (and co-starred in) Sneaky Pete, before making another bunch of worthy but average films. I love him as an actor, but think the choices he's made since Breaking Bad have mostly been pretty disappointing.

I wasn't saying he hadn't made films, but I don't think he's interested in capitalising on his BB stardom, hence his runs on Broadway and in the West End.

SweetPomPom

James Marsden is another X-men actor who didn't make step up to A list while apparently being loved by all in the biz. Don't remember him being noticeable in anything post-30 Rock.

Not sure if it fits with OP but John Cazale was absolutely perfect in his handful of films and that last shot of him being left behind in Deer Hunter is a heartbreaker. Could have been the antidote to mid-late period DeNiro.and Pacino bilge..

SweetPomPom

Cranston was great in Network, deserved all his plaudits.

The Culture Bunker

Quote from: SweetPomPom on November 26, 2021, 03:30:21 PMJames Marsden is another X-men actor who didn't make step up to A list while apparently being loved by all in the biz. Don't remember him being noticeable in anything post-30 Rock.
I remember him in the first series of Westworld - I didn't watch it beyond that - and I think he was in the Sonic the Hedgehog film more recently. Bit hard to remember him, because in his most famous role, he had that visor covering his eyes.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

I remember the trailer for Godzilla gave Cranston's presence equal weight to Godzilla itself. Then the film was released and everyone felt ripped off that he was barely in it (then again, nor was Godzilla).

I don't know exactly what level of stardom he could have achieved post Breaking Bad, but it's certainly more than he has done. These days he seems to have been overshadowed by his former 'Also featuring' player Bob Odenkirk (no slight on twinkly Bob).

Ignatius_S

Quote from: Small Man Big Horse on November 26, 2021, 03:20:52 PMI don't think that's really true though, the first thing he did after Breaking Bad was Godzilla, and he followed it up with Trumbo, one of those biopics that's begging for Oscars. Then in 2016 alone he starred in three movies (The Infiltrator, Wakefield and Get A Job) and was a supporting character in two others, while in 2017 he created (and co-starred in) Sneaky Pete, before making another bunch of worthy but average films. I love him as an actor, but think the choices he's made since Breaking Bad have mostly been pretty disappointing....

When looking at Cranston, films he did whilst Breaking Bad was running should be considered as the series was instrumental in his casting. In particular, Argo and Drive - the former was a commercial and critical hit and the latter won him many plaudits from reviewers and again, a film that did well commercially and critically.

Prior to Breaking Bad, Cranston has done relatively little movie work and that work tended to be dubbing or acting (usually as support) in not particularly good, but economical to make films. During and post Breaking Bad, his films have far from being all classics, but they have tended to be a step up from those earlier ones.

Also something that needs to be factored in is his age - after Breaking Bad, he was 57 that's going to restrict his film roles and there was no chance of him becoming a big movie star.

With regards to picking films roles, these things aren't an exact science, actors are sometimes badly advised or for that matter, their representatives will simply not present them with offers. Additionally, circumstances change - Super Mario Bros. is a classic example; the principal cast all signed on due to the script by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais but then found out a completely different one was going to be used, which they were stuck with. There are many actors that I wished had been in better films, but there are so many factors at play.

Ignatius_S

Quote from: Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth on November 26, 2021, 03:41:00 PM...I don't know exactly what level of stardom he could have achieved post Breaking Bad, but it's certainly more than he has done. These days he seems to have been overshadowed by his former 'Also featuring' player Bob Odenkirk (no slight on twinkly Bob).

Although it's fair (and accurate) to say that Odenkirk in recent years has been in some real stinkers, both commercially and critically, as well as some fantastic work.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

Quote from: Ignatius_S on November 26, 2021, 04:18:17 PMSuper Mario Bros. is a classic example; the principal cast all signed on due to the script by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais but then found out a completely different one was going to be used, which they were stuck with.
I hope you bought my hat dinner first, because you just fucked it good.

BeardFaceMan

Quote from: DrGreggles on November 26, 2021, 12:54:58 PMHe's mostly done theatre stuff since BB.
The successful actor's way of saying "I never have to work again!"

I've heard Cranston say in interviews that he never wanted to be big or famous, his life goal was to become a working actor and make a living from that. He did that years ago, that's why he does smaller stuff or theatre, it's not really about money, that's just the type of stuff he enjoys doing.

Small Man Big Horse

Quote from: DrGreggles on November 26, 2021, 03:27:49 PMI wasn't saying he hadn't made films, but I don't think he's interested in capitalising on his BB stardom, hence his runs on Broadway and in the West End.

I think it's a case where we'll have to agree to disagree, because as far as I can see he's only acted in two plays (Network in the West End and Broadway, All the Way on Broadway) but made a sod load of quite high profile films and tv, it's just that not much of it has been any good.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

Yes, it's not that he hasn't been working consistently, it's that none of it seems to have even tickled the zeitgeist.

mothman

David Caruso spent the eighties in supporting roles in films - and he was a weaselly-looking little scrote back then so not really a surprise he got nowhere. Then he aged a bit and got the lead in NYPD Blue and was a massive hit and instant heart-throb. So immediately he starts trying to get out of his contract to go off to be a big movie star. He burns his bridges with TV in general, and Steven Bochco in particular... and his movie career was a total bust. He eventually skulked back to TV and after about a decade has a hit in CSI Miami. When that was cancelled after ten years, he seems to have retired from acting.

Famous Mortimer

#44
Agreed about Caruso - he's one of those guys who, for some reason, I love on telly. He picked two excellent roles and did them very well, and I presume he saved his money. Perhaps he was one of those people who recognised he wasn't getting a second bite of the movie-star apple and decided to bin it off? I think there's half a chance, if the Vegas reboot of CSI does well, he'll be offered a similar deal for Miami.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

Caruso's film career has nowhere higher to go after Session 9.

Small Man Big Horse

I was a big fan of NYPD Blue and Caruso was superb in that first season, but I hadn't noticed he'd quit acting now, I just presumed he'd moved on from CSI Miami to some other procedural.

The Culture Bunker

Yeah, I'm not sure there's many other examples of someone who's been in a (mainly) very successful show and then just quit the trade when it ended. CSI: Miami wound up nearly ten years ago and it seems he's not bothered with acting since - fair fucks, if he was financially set.

Brundle-Fly

Thora Birch's career going down the toilet was rather sad. I know she was never going to compete with her Ghost World (2001) co-star in the glamour stakes but Birch deserved so much more after her nuanced portrayal of Enid from said movie. I was so pleased to see her turn up in The Walking Dead recently(ish).

mothman

I think Miami might have been the CSI with the highest ratings, so yeah he's probably set for life. It may be that in having that success he was trying to reclaim the acclaim he might have had if he'd stuck with NYPD Blue.

The Culture Bunker

Quote from: mothman on November 26, 2021, 09:28:05 PMI think Miami might have been the CSI with the highest ratings, so yeah he's probably set for life. It may be that in having that success he was trying to reclaim the acclaim he might have had if he'd stuck with NYPD Blue.
For me, it was the one that was the most (presumably) absurd - what with Caine's one-liners leading to Daltery scream and whatnot - and also had the sexiest cast. Caruso aside, obv. So that made it the most fun to watch out of the franchise.

George White

Quote from: The Culture Bunker on November 26, 2021, 09:08:24 PMYeah, I'm not sure there's many other examples of someone who's been in a (mainly) very successful show and then just quit the trade when it ended. CSI: Miami wound up nearly ten years ago and it seems he's not bothered with acting since - fair fucks, if he was financially set.

Jack Lord.
Dennis Franz

The Culture Bunker

Quote from: George White on November 26, 2021, 09:43:04 PMJack Lord.
Dennis Franz

Fair enough! Nice coincidence that they all played cops.

Ignatius_S

Quote from: The Culture Bunker on November 26, 2021, 09:08:24 PMYeah, I'm not sure there's many other examples of someone who's been in a (mainly) very successful show and then just quit the trade when it ended. CSI: Miami wound up nearly ten years ago and it seems he's not bothered with acting since - fair fucks, if he was financially set.

Dennis Franz retired after NYPD Blue but yeah, it's relatively rare for someone to totally quit the business after a successful show - barring child stars.

Something more common is when an actor focusses on other areas. Penny Marshall didn't entirely give up on acting after Laverne and Shirley, for instance, but her roles tended to cameos and guest spots, whilst her main work was directing and producing.

Also, they might just really reduced the amount they do - like Jack Benny did after his television show ended. Mind you, he was in his mid-60s, continued to do a lot of live work and it was only ill health that finally forced him to stop.

Ignatius_S

Quote from: mothman on November 26, 2021, 09:28:05 PMI think Miami might have been the CSI with the highest ratings, so yeah he's probably set for life. It may be that in having that success he was trying to reclaim the acclaim he might have had if he'd stuck with NYPD Blue.

He was paid a huge amount per episode and IIRC, was one of the top TV earners then. Also, because of his reputation, there could have been big challenges finding people wanting him.

Ignatius_S

Quote from: Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth on November 26, 2021, 04:22:14 PMI hope you bought my hat dinner first, because you just fucked it good.

A gentleman never discusses such things (good job, I'm not a gentleman etc. etc.).

Yeah, it's a pretty mad idea thinking about them being involved, even though they've had a very nice career in Hollywood. Their script was - and sure still is - online and it's interesting to think what might have been - the whole experience sounded like a complete nightmare, which Hoskins and his co-star drank heavily to deal with.

The Culture Bunker

Quote from: Ignatius_S on November 26, 2021, 09:52:02 PMSomething more common is when an actor focusses on other areas. Penny Marshall didn't entirely give up on acting after Laverne and Shirley, for instance, but her roles tended to cameos and guest spots, whilst her main work was directing and producing.
I wonder if she was inspired by her (briefly) Happy Days co-star Ron Howard?

Icehaven

Quote from: Brundle-Fly on November 26, 2021, 09:16:48 PMThora Birch's career going down the toilet was rather sad. I know she was never going to compete with her Ghost World (2001) co-star in the glamour stakes but Birch deserved so much more after her nuanced portrayal of Enid from said movie. I was so pleased to see her turn up in The Walking Dead recently(ish).

Didn't her father basically fuck her career up by being an overbearing control freak who wouldn't leave well enough alone on sets she was working on? I'm sure I read a few articles about it, he sounds like a nightmare.

Ignatius_S

Quote from: The Culture Bunker on November 26, 2021, 09:59:53 PMI wonder if she was inspired by her (briefly) Happy Days co-star Ron Howard?

It's usually said that her brother, Garry (who was the one that got her on Happy Days) was the one that encouraged her to get into directing.

A while ago, I was reading quite a bit about how Laverne and Shirley started - Michael McKean had a lot of interesting information about how he and David Lander (RIP) got hired. Rob Reiner, who was married to Penny, had seen them in The Credibility Gap playing two characters, which they had been doing since college and would become Lenny and Squiggy, and said they could be good for the proposed Laverne and Shirley.

One account of McKean, says that he and Lander were hired as writers but basically, this was a ploy and a cheaper way than to get them than as actors. They managed to get Credibility Gap colleague, Harry Shearer involved in the show. Later on, they recorded the awesome live album, Lenny and the Squigtones (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mycw1jeDKw8&list=PLs57pk8sbeMa293nue17OlBmkuUMIn53v) that features a certain Nigel Tufnel on guitar - the album is a collection of very good pastiches interspersed with patter. Some of the songs were performed on Laverne and Shirley.

Going from memory, one song intended for Lenny and Squiggy but was unused, was recored by Spinal Tap. In any case, it's an interesting way that Lenny and Squiggy played a part in how Spinal Tap came about.

Ignatius_S

Quote from: icehaven on November 26, 2021, 10:33:23 PMDidn't her father basically fuck her career up by being an overbearing control freak who wouldn't leave well enough alone on sets she was working on? I'm sure I read a few articles about it, he sounds like a nightmare.

Good shout - totally forgot about that.