9 Bad Actors That Continued Getting Hired for Years

Funny Actress Forgetting her Line Filming Outdoors. Professional female actor giving a bad audition performance for casting director

9 Bad Actors That Continued Getting Hired for Years

There are just bad actors on the screen, there’s no getting around it. While some are popular household names, there is something to be said about their performances. Interestingly, there must be something that keeps these men employed as they’ve had film careers that most would envy.

Adam Sandler

Sandler continues to churn out low-brow comedies while raking in cash.
  • Notable Films: Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Uncut Gems

When you talk about bad actors, Adam Sandler is always going to deserve a mention. It’s baffling because there is some clear range and nuance to performances as seen in the likes of Uncut Gems and Punch-Drunk Love. However, Sandler seems more content churning out low-brow comedies for Netflix than anything else.

Kevin James

I would honestly love to know who decided to elevate Kevin James to films.
  • Notable Films: 50 First Dates, Hitch, Hotel Transylvania

Kevin James is perhaps more known for his work on television shows. However, he’s been a presence in Adam Sandler films for years now and shows the same oafish range. I’m sure he’s perfectly nice in real life, it’s just baffling that one of the most notoriously bad actors in Hollywood continues to get massive paydays.

Jared Leto

Jared Leto might be an Oscar winner but his last few projects have been duds.
  • Notable Films: Suicide Squad, Fight Club, Morbius

Leto is an interesting figure, especially due to his bizarre behavior on and off-set. The actor/rock star has reached the annals of bad actors with his last few projects. His attempts to get into a superhero franchise film have fallen flat, with two notably awful performances in Suicide Squad and Morbius.

Vin Diesel

Vin Diesel’s comfortable niche of franchise films has kept him going for decades now.
  • Notable Films: Guardians of the Galaxy, Saving Private Ryan, Fast & Furious series

I’m not here to deride Vin Diesel. However, recent years have shown that he’s earned to enter the hall of bad actors. His performances earlier in his career showed range and nuance. Since landing on franchise gold with Marvel and Fast & Furious he seems more content to give one-note performances that focus on his physicality and spectacle rather than performing.

John Travolta

Travolta is usually great in films, but his last few clunkers have been painful to watch.
  • Notable Films: Pulp Fiction, Grease, Saturday Night Fever

Is Travolta one of the most notorious bad actors to exist? I don’t think so, but recent career moves have seen the formerly lauded actor lambasted for poor choices and bizarre performances. Turns in films like Gotti and The Fanatic are bafflingly at the most charitable of times.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

It must be rough when your last notable film was in the 1990s.
  • Notable Films: Conan the Barbarian, Commando, Predator

I’ll just get it out of the way and say that I love Arnold’s 80s films. If you want action classics, he’s your man. However, everything past the late 1990s has been campy, wooden, and leaning more into his accent and physicality than anything else. This would be fine if he was a renowned novelty act, but the man was known more for his biceps than for reciting Shakespeare.

Liam Hemsworth

Liam lacks all the charm of Chris, but that’s alright.
  • Notable Films: Knowing, The Expendables 2, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

I’ll readily admit I don’t remember anything Liam Hemsworth is in. As to whether he deserves to be listed among the other bad actors here, I’d say that’s up to other folks. However, common complaints about his performance note how wooden and stiff he appears on screen. It’s interesting because his brother Chris is lauded for his nuance while still being a top-action star.

Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg is great at playing Mark Wahlberg.
  • Notable Films: The Departed, Boogie Nights, Lone Survivor

If there’s a movie with Mark Wahlberg, he’ll frequently be the worst part in it. He’s starred in some incredible films like Boogie Nights and The Departed but his default performance hones in on a slightly angry guy from Boston. If you’ve got a schtick, stick to it I suppose.

Johnny Depp

Depp’s career has been in a nosedive for nearly 20 years at this point.
  • Notable Films: Edward Scissorhands, Alice in Wonderland, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

I’ll go ahead and preface this by saying I love Ed Wood and Dead Man. However, the last 20 years haven’t been kind to Johnny Depp. Bizarre role choices have led to him just being the weird guy in a Tim Burton movie, for a time at least. We might be witnessing Depp’s career ending, thanks to his off-screen antics of excessive drinking and aggression toward staff.

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