Actors Who Regretted Their Most Iconic Roles

We all live with regrets, but unlike actors, our regrets aren’t promoted with millions of dollars, shown on movie screens worldwide, and then preserved forever in film history. No one will know if you totally bombed a job interview, but the world remembers Robert Pattinson’s character in Twilight.

These actors ended up regretting some of their most iconic roles for a variety of reasons. Some hated the film while others hated the character. One Harry Potter actor can’t stand to watch the films just because of their acting.

See how Sean Connery really felt about his 007 role.

Kate Winslet Thinks Her Performance In Titanic Sucked

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Paramount Pictures/MovieStillsDB
Paramount Pictures/MovieStillsDB

While Winslet doesn’t regret the character or the movie, she can barely watch herself in scenes from Titanic. She once told CNN that she’ll criticize how she acted in every single scene. The worst part for Winslet? Her “awful” American accent. She says it’s hard to even listen to.

While Winslet had acted in numerous movies before Titanic, none of them required a different accent. She definitely felt in over her head with that role.

Megan Fox Knew Her Role In Transformers Didn’t Rely On Acting

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Paramount Pictures/MovieStillsDB
Paramount Pictures/MovieStillsDB

While teenage boys love Fox’s character Mikaela Banes in the Transformers franchise, the actress hated it. She told Entertainment Weekly that it didn’t take long for her to realize the director wanted her for her looks, not her acting.

As such, it became a fun game for her to "act" in the film. Fox felt the film didn’t appreciate her skills or challenge her whatsoever. It makes more sense now why she left the franchise after the second installment.

The lead actor in a beloved movie coming up says it was too “sentimental” for him.

Zac Efron Hates Troy Bolton’s Legacy

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Disney Pictures/MovieStillsDB
Disney Pictures/MovieStillsDB

Efron is definitely thankful for the fame and opportunities that High School Musical and Disney gave him, but he doesn’t have to like it. The actor told Men’s Fitness that he’ll watch it and “want to kick that guy’s *** sometimes.”

Efron’s biggest regret is that many people have a hard time separating him from the character. He has gone on to have a wildly successful career and tackle many different roles, but if you were a teenager in 2006, he’ll always be Troy Bolton.

Michelle Pfeiffer Knew Grease 2 Couldn’t Live Up To The Hype

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Paramount Pictures/MovieStillsDB
Paramount Pictures/MovieStillsDB

Even though Pfeiffer went on to be known for many other iconic roles, we first got a taste of her as Stephanie in Grease 2. The spin-off was highly successful in the ’70s, but has since been considered a terrible flop. Pfeiffer wasn’t exactly happy with it either had hates to be reminded of it.

In fact, she calls acting in Grease 2 “a bad dream” that she wants “erased from her memory.”

Christopher Plummer Hated "Every Aspect" Of The Sound Of Music

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Twentieth Century Fox/MovieStillsDB
Twentieth Century Fox/MovieStillsDB

Even though it made him a star, the actor who played Captain von Trapp “disliked almost every aspect of” The Sound Of Music. Plummer said that there was nothing to make his character interesting and that his attempts felt like “flogging a dead horse.” Ouch.

Maybe Plummer just isn’t into romantic, happy endings because years later in 2009 he also called the film “awful and sentimental and gooey.” It may have made him a household name, but apparently, it wasn’t worth it.

Keep reading to see the MULTIPLE Star Wars actors who hated the roles.

It’s No Secret That Robert Pattinson Hates Twilight

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Summit Entertainment/MovieStillsDB
Summit Entertainment/MovieStillsDB

The British actor has never hidden his hatred for both the character Edward Cullen and the entire Twilight franchise. In 2008 during filming, he said, “the more I read the script, the more I hated this guy.” It affected his acting too. Since Pattinson hated the character, he played Edward as a “manic-depressive who hates himself.”

If that wasn’t enough to convince you, Pattinson also said the sound of screaming Twilight fans is “the sound you hear at the gates of hell.”

Carrie Fisher Hates The Fame She Gained From Star Wars

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Lucasfilms/MovieStillsDB
Lucasfilms/MovieStillsDB

The late actress had a turbulent career that all began when she landed the role of Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise. While she eventually came to terms with the role, in 2008 on The Today Show, she said that she "would have never done it" if she had known how famous it would make her.

Granted, in 2008 Fisher was still struggling with substance abuse. When the series was rebooted in 2015, she happily reprised the role.

Harrison Ford Hated His Star Wars Role For A Different Reason

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Lucasfilms/MovieStillsDB
Lucasfilms/MovieStillsDB

Unlike Carrie Fisher, Ford was perfectly content with the fame that came from playing space outlaw Han Solo. What he didn’t like was the demand of the character. Ford actually wanted his character to be killed off at the end of Return of the Jedi but George Lucas didn’t grant his wish.

Ford reprised the role in the 2015 franchise reboot solely on the condition that his character would finally die.

Alec Guinness Thought His Star Wars Character Was "Fairy-Tale Rubbish"

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Lucasfilms/MovieStillsDB
Lucasfilms/MovieStillsDB

Alec Guinness was already a British film legend in 1977 when he begrudgingly agreed to take the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the first Star Wars film. He only took the role after his pay was doubled which should have been a red flag for George Lucas.

Then, from letters at the time, you can see him writing about how Obi-Wan and the entire film franchise was “fairy-tale rubbish.” Star Wars does not have a good reputation with its actors.

Next, find out which Harry Potter star can’t stand to watch the films.

Daniel Radcliffe Kind Of Regrets Harry Potter

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Warner Bros./MovieStillsDB
Warner Bros./MovieStillsDB

Don’t freak out right away, he doesn’t regret the Harry Potter films OR the lead role entirely. Daniel Radcliffe mostly just hates looking back and watching his acting. Radcliffe gives himself a pass on the first few movies because he was young, but he absolutely hates Harry in The Half-Blood Prince.

Radcliffe told Playboy in 2015 that his acting “is very one-note” and that he felt he just got “complacent” with the character.

Katherine Heigl Liked Knocked Up But Hated Her Character

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Universal Pictures/MovieStillsDB
Universal Pictures/MovieStillsDB

Heigl never hid her feelings for the Judd Apatow comedy film that made her a name on the silver screen. Even when promoting the film in 2007, she called it “a little sexist.” Later on, she expended the comment and said the film painted her as “shrew, humorless and uptight.”

Many people were quick to agree with her, but Heigl quickly made it clear it’s not the movie she hates but it was her character.

Sean Connery Has Had A Troubled Relationship With His Character 007

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/MovieStillsDB
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/MovieStillsDB

While most actors would kill for the chance to play James Bond, the original one couldn’t care less. In an interview with The Guardian, Connery said he was so sick of even talking about the role and that he’s “always hated that damned James Bond…I’d like to kill him.”

When Connery first landed the role, he thought he was being underpaid. By the end of his sixth and final appearance as James Bond, he was donating his entire salary to charity.

Marlon Brando Hated Being Beautiful

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Warner Bros./MovieStillsDB
Warner Bros./MovieStillsDB

Brando is known for different roles by different generations, but his portrayal of Stanley Kowalski in the 1951 film A Streetcar Named Desire shot him into fame. Despite being the role that made him, Brando once told Time magazine he “detests the character” because for a long time it branded him as a “sexy outlaw” archetype.

It took a few decades but Brando eventually shook the label when he landed the lead role in The Godfather.

Halle Berry Knew From The Start Catwoman Was A Flop

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Warner Bros./MovieStillsDB
Warner Bros./MovieStillsDB

When Catwoman was released in 2004 critics didn’t know what to do. The movie itself was terrible, the script had no depth, and the character was boring. But somehow, Halle Berry’s acting was incredible.

Berry ended up winning a Razzie Award for the film and in her acceptance speech she thanked Warner Bros. for casting her in the "piece-of-s***, god-awful movie." Teenage boys were pretty thankful to Warner Bros. too.

Ben Affleck’s Only Career Regret Was Daredevil

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Twentieth Century Fox/MovieStillsDB
Twentieth Century Fox/MovieStillsDB

Ben Affleck was known as a bankable drama and action film star thanks to Good Will Hunting. Then it all came crashing down in 2003 with Daredevil. Affleck told Playboy magazine in 2013 that he loves the story and character so much that “the fact it got f***ed up the way it did” still hurts.

He’s never really been able to bounce back. Even his bid to be the new Batman has been seen as a failure.

Harrison Ford Hated Blade Runner More Than Star Wars

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Warner Bros./MovieStillsDB
Warner Bros./MovieStillsDB

The only character Ford hated more than Han Solo was Rick Deckard in Blade Runner. He complained that he was a "detective who did not have any detecting to do" and that the material was difficult to read. He also despised having to read for voice-overs.

Ford seems to have a weird habit of reprising roles that he hates. Hopefully, his experience in the 2017 sequel, Blade Runner 2049, was better.

Molly Ringwald Now Looks Back In Anger At The Breakfast Club

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Universal Pictures/MovieStillsDB
Universal Pictures/MovieStillsDB

It took more than 30 years, but Molly Ringwald has finally decided she doesn’t actually like her character of Claire or the film The Breakfast Club. In 2017, during the rise of #MeToo, Ringwald reexamined the movie and said some scenes make her feel “deeply uncomfortable.”

Ringwald even went so far as to say she regretted not speaking out against certain inappropriate scenes at the time because they portray women in a bad way.

Jessica Alba Said Fantastic Four Made Her Want To Quit Acting

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Twentieth Century Fox/MovieStillsDB
Twentieth Century Fox/MovieStillsDB

The first Fantastic Four film was panned by critics, but for some reason, they still made a sequel. The sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer was even worse and scarred her for life. She said that during filming she considered stopping acting because she hated it.

Apparently, the final straw came when the director told her she looked “too real” when crying and that she should just focus on looking pretty, and they’d “CGI the tears in.” Yikes.

Dakota Johnson Isn’t A Fan Of Fifty Shades Of Grey

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Focus Features/MovieStillsDB
Focus Features/MovieStillsDB

She hasn’t fully bashed the films that shot her into stardom, but Dakota Johnson isn’t exactly a fan of Anastasia Steele or the entire Fifty Shades of Grey franchise. She told Glamour magazine in 2017 that she has a troubling love-hate relationship with her character that “comes in waves.”

Johnson also said that the fame from the role put her life on a path that she “didn’t plan to go down.”

The Final Jason Bourne Script Was "Unreadable" For Matt Damon

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Universal Studios/MovieStillsDB
Universal Studios/MovieStillsDB

The role that turned Matt Damon into a certified action star was stretched too thin for his liking. Damon played Jason Bourne in the trilogy but began to hate the character and the franchise after the final film, The Bourne Ultimatum. He said the script was so terrible that he thought it would be “a career-ender.”

Oddly enough, the third film ended up being the most critically acclaimed of the series.

Will Smith’s Biggest Regret Is After Earth

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Sony Pictures/MovieStillsDB
Sony Pictures/MovieStillsDB

Believe it or not, Will Smith’s biggest film regret isn’t Wild, Wild West — it’s the 2015 sci-fi movie After Earth. Smith said the movie was “the most painful failure” of his career and a valuable lesson for him.

He even said the failure of the character, his acting, and the film taught him to think twice about what he signs on to do. I guess even acting alongside your son can’t make you like a movie role.

Kelly Clarkson Regrets Her First And Only Movie Role

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19 Entertainment/MovieStillsDB
19 Entertainment/MovieStillsDB

Let’s take a trip back to 2003. Kelly Clarkson just won the first season ever of American Idol, and on the coattails of her fame, she’s decided to star in a terrible romantic musical comedy called From Justin To Kelly. We all knew it was bad and so did Clarkson.

Years later she was jokingly asked if she’d burned all her copies and she responded, “No, I think I would have to own it first.” Clarkson has also instructed her nanny to never show her kids the film.

Edward Norton Was Forced To Make The Italian Job

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Paramount Pictures/MovieStillsDB
Paramount Pictures/MovieStillsDB

The 2003 remake of The Italian Job had a devoted fan base to work with and an A-list cast so it was guaranteed to be well-liked, right? Wrong. Edward Norton didn’t actually want to sign on to do the film but he had a contract with Paramount Pictures. If he didn’t take the role, he could have been sued.

You can’t tell from his excellent performance but Norton says he regretted every second he spent on the set.

Bill Murray Told Us All He Hated Voicing Garfield

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Twentieth Century Fox/MovieStillsDB
Twentieth Century Fox/MovieStillsDB

If you paid attention closely in Zombieland you might have caught Bill Murray’s character of Zombie-Bill-Murray say that he regretted doing Garfield. That wasn’t a line in the script, that was real life.

Murray explained that he signed on for the role because he knew Joel Coen—one half of the iconic Coen Brothers—was writing the script so it must be good. As well all know, it wasn’t good. Murray said the film felt like a waste of his talents.

Sia LaBeouf Said He Let The Indiana Jones Franchise Down

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Paramount Pictures/MovieStillsDB
Paramount Pictures/MovieStillsDB

Everyone was pretty excited when the reboot of the Indiana Jones series was announced featuring Harrison Ford and Shia LaBeouf. It ended up being a huge critical flop and LaBeouf largely says it’s because of his dislike of the character.

LaBeouf believed he let the character down because he didn’t like the script or the role. As a result, the movie was a flop and is one of his biggest regrets.

George Clooney Thought He Destroyed The Role Of Batman

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Warner Bros./MovieStillsDB
Warner Bros./MovieStillsDB

No one, not even the main actor, enjoyed the 1997 film, Batman & Robin. More than 15 years after the film’s release, George Clooney joked that he’d “been disinvited from Comic-Con for 20 years” and that he saw Adam West and apologized to him.

Clooney as a superhero should have been a slam dunk but those darn nipples on the bat-suit really ruined everything. At least we got to see Arnold Schwarzenegger as Freeze.

A Clockwork Orange Ruined A Decade Of Malcolm McDowell’s Life

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Warner Bros./MovieStillsDB
Warner Bros./MovieStillsDB

Apparently, the genius behind Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of A Clockwork Orange didn’t resonate with the film’s star, Malcolm McDowell. He said that thanks to playing Alex, he wasn’t able to land a good new role for at least ten years.

McDowell fully admits that he resented the film and everyone involved in it for those ten years and that rewatching it today still irritates him. Luckily, he’s been a highly successful actor after the brief drought.

Channing Tatum Got Duped Into G.I. Joe

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Paramount Pictures/MovieStillsDB
Paramount Pictures/MovieStillsDB

There was a lot of hype surrounding the release of G.I. Joe in 2009 that suckered all of us, even the film’s star, into thinking it would be good. Years after the franchise ended, Tatum told Howard Stern that he hated the movie and "was pushed into doing it."

Tatum, like all of us, was a fan of the television show as a kid. Unfortunately, he said after reading the script he didn’t want to be G.I. Joe but couldn’t turn back.

Ryan Reynolds Has Had A Rocky Relationship With Deadpool

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Twentieth Century Fox/MovieStillsDB
Twentieth Century Fox/MovieStillsDB

Today, everyone knows Reynolds to be the hilariously inappropriate Deadpool from the standalone movies. Before that though, he played Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and it was just plain terrible. Reynolds has a deep love for the character and said that he was told if he didn’t play the part they would “get someone else to.”

Reynolds didn’t want anyone else to take on the character so he swallowed his pride, but from the start knew “it’s the wrong version” of the character.

Cher Couldn’t Care Less About Her Role In Burlesque

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Sony Pictures/MovieStillsDB
Sony Pictures/MovieStillsDB

Back in the 1980s, Cher was the most bankable actress of the decade. You’d think that would mean she’d only take on award-winning projects later in life, but you’re wrong. Cher famously would like to forget ever starring in the 2010 musical Burlesque.

Cher openly told The Guardian that it could have “been a much better film” but that the director didn’t care about Cher’s input and told her he just wanted her to “shoot the dance numbers.”

Christian Bale Hates His Musical Start

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Walt Disney Pictures/MovieStillsDB
Walt Disney Pictures/MovieStillsDB

Bale came to prominence when he was 17 years old for his role in the musical Newsies. While the film was well-liked by critics, Bale has commented that he felt like the role didn’t help him when he was gunning for a respectable and serious acting career.

Bale is now known for his incredibly wide acting range. He’ll stretch his body and mind to the absolute limit for a role, but the movie that put him on the map didn’t exactly do that.

Miley Cyrus Has A Deep Hatred For Hannah Montana

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Disney Enterprises/MovieStillsDB
Disney Enterprises/MovieStillsDB

Singer and actress Miley Cyrus probably wouldn’t be where she is today without her breakout role on the Disney Channel show Hannah Montana. Cyrus began the show when she was 11 and it wasn’t until the show ended that she found her real voice.

While Cyrus doesn’t hate what the show did for her career, she hates how insecure the role made her. She told Marie Clair that she was a “fragile little girl” who always had to play a part and couldn’t be herself.

Shailene Woodley’s Morals Didn’t Align With Her First Major Role

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CityTV/MovieStillsDB
CityTV/MovieStillsDB

Woodley says that her time on The Secret Life Of An American Teenager made her question her integrity. She told Flaunt magazine that by the final season, she was anxious about what the “young adults across the country” would be learning about life from the show.

It seems that she’s moved on though. Now Woodley is best now known for her activism and dramatic movie roles that are much more aligned with her morals.

One Day, Angus T. Jones Just Decided He Hated Acting

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The WB Television Network/MovieStillsDB
The WB Television Network/MovieStillsDB

You might recognize Jones best as the “half man” from Two And A Half Men. He played the role of Jake Harper on the show for ten years until, suddenly one day, he completely denounced the role. Jones uploaded a video that said he hated the show, didn’t want to be on it, and that he wanted people to stop watching.

It seems that not only did he hate the role that made him famous, but he hated the entire industry. He’s stepped away from Hollywood and hasn’t acted since 2016.

Andrew Lincoln Wants To Be Known For His More Serious Roles

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Universal Pictures/MovieStillsDB
Universal Pictures/MovieStillsDB

Nowadays, kids would recognize Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead. Long before he landed that major role though, Lincoln debuted as Mark in Love Actually, AKA, the guy holding the signs for Kiera Knightly.

Even though the bit part made him a recognizable face, Lincoln says that his character was the “weird stalker guy.” Apparently, even at the time, he was worried about coming off as “creepy.”

George Reeves Thought Playing Superman Killed His Career

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ABC/MovieStillsDB
ABC/MovieStillsDB

The first actor for play Superman on the small screen was George Reeves in the 1950s show The Adventures of Superman. While Reeves took the part very seriously because he knew the impact he would have on kids, he absolutely hated it.

He constantly referred to the role as “beneath his dignity” and said that getting into costume was like wearing a “monkey suit.” Reeves didn’t even appreciate the fame it gave him because, for years afterward, he’d have entire roles cut because directors thought his famous face would distract audiences.

Adam Brody Is Tired Of Being Seth Cohen

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The WB Television Network/MovieStillsDB
The WB Television Network/MovieStillsDB

Any teenager growing up in the early 2000s had a major crush on the nerdy outcast Seth from The O.C. While he may have had girls fawning over him, the actor who played Seth is tired of being asked questions about him. It has been nearly fifteen years and Brody still apparently gets asked only about his role as Seth.

Brody even related his hatred of Seth Cohen to Harrison Ford’s hatred of Han Solo.

Burt Reynolds Hates The Movie That Earned Him An Oscar Nomination

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New Line Cinema/MovieStillsDB
New Line Cinema/MovieStillsDB

The first generation of Burt Reynolds fans know him from Smokey and the Bandit, but Reynolds’ career was revived with the 1997 film Boogie Nights. His role as Jack Horner even landed him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Despite the rejuvenated career, Reynolds outspokenly hated the character and the film. He even refused to appear in director Paul Thomas Anderson’s next film because he hated the experience that much.

Blake Lively Felt Her Gossip Girl Role Was Personally Compromising

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The CW Television Network/MovieStillsDB
The CW Television Network/MovieStillsDB

Much like Shailene Woodley, Blake Lively has had troubled remedying the character that made her famous with her own personal morals. Playing Serena van der Woodsen in Gossip Girl definitely put Lively on Hollywood’s A-list, but at what price?

Lively explained her dislike of the character is because she’d never do the malicious things Serena did like give “someone the cocaine that made them overdose.” Lively even said she didn’t understand why people love the character so much.

Mark Wahlberg Hates His Musical Roots

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Barry King/WireImage/Getty Images
Barry King/WireImage/Getty Images

You could argue that playing the “role” of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch was a long-lost hated character. Wahlberg looks back on the early stage of his career with complete embarrassment. The actor told Sports Illustrated that he “thought he was so cool back then” when in reality he “was such an a**.”

It’s alleged that as part of his contracts, film sets aren’t allowed to play any of his Marky Mark hits.