Most actors spend their entire lives waiting for that one role that will make them famous -- most never find it, and that's why we don't have to carry our food ourselves in restaurants. But then there are some performers who finally get their lucky break, that magical part that they'll forever be linked to ... and they fucking hate it. Here are five famous actors we probably wouldn't know about if it wasn't for a character they despise.
#5. Sean Connery Wishes He Could Kill James Bond
Before being the first James Bond, Sean Connery was just another ex-coffin polisher, footballer, and babysitter with a magnificent accent. After Bond, he was ... well, James Fucking Bond. The guy is like 100 years old and hasn't been in a movie for 10 years, and yet he's still recognized all over the world as the incarnation of manliness. After all, who doesn't love 007? Every woman wants him, and every man wants to be him.
Well, except Sean Connery, apparently. As a previously unknown, starving actor, he was grateful for the fame and success the James Bond role had given him, but he wasn't exactly a fan of actually performing it, saying, "I have always hated that damned James Bond. I'd like to kill him."
Sean Connery, seen here remembering that time Bond nearly got lasered in the dick.
Connery was reluctant to sign up for more than one Bond movie, and when he reached the "last" one, he gave away the entire salary to charity, presumably out of spite (apparently the Bond producers hate charity). As for the character's sex symbol status, Connery observed, "I think one of the appeals[h] that Bond has[h] for women ... is that he is decis[h]ive, cruel even." When the guy who advocates slapping women around to keep them in place thinks you're a little too rude to the ladies, that's some strong hate.
"... plus, did they have to make him sound so damn Scottish?"
The producers were only able to keep Connery around by throwing more and more money at him (and his charities) every time; he quit after his fifth movie, then after the sixth, and then after the seventh. He'd probably still be playing Bond if the United Kingdom's economy could sustain it, despite hating the guy all the way. Connery felt that the larger-than-life superspy character had quickly become a parody of itself ... so he turned around and did this:
20th Century Fox
This would be a great moment for your computer's screen to freeze and your boss to walk by.
That's right, Connery was so eager to persuade viewers to look at him, uh, differently that he put on that ridiculous man-thong and made the LSD flashback nightmare that was Zardoz, a movie about people who believe the root of all evil is dicks. That's not a joke, that is the actual plot of the movie, and since the 007 saga is 90 percent about the exploits of Bond's dick, we can safely declare that it's all James Bond's fault.
#4. George Reeves Thought Superman Ruined His Life
Decades before Christopher "No Relation" Reeve or Henry "Whoops, There Goes Another Building Full of People" Cavill, the first guy to play Superman in a feature film was George Reeves in the promisingly titled Superman and the Mole Men. The film led to the now classic Adventures of Superman TV series, which turned Reeves into a star beloved by children and man-children across the world.
Look at those eyes: He's fucking stoked to be meeting Superman.
Yep, everyone loved Reeves as Superman ... except Reeves himself, who considered the part "beneath his dignity." This may in part be explained by the fact that the show was produced on the cheap, with episodes filmed for $15,000 and individual actors getting just $200 for each one. They couldn't even afford colors for the Superman costume, which was gray and brown to better show up on black-and-white screens -- Reeves thus called it a "monkey suit."
The whole show was sponsored by Kellogg's, and in addition to the episodes, the cast also had to act in dumb cereal commercials ... except the actress playing Lois Lane, because Lois eating breakfast with Clark Kent was deemed too suggestive. So they showed him eating cereal with Jimmy Olsen instead.
But the main reason Reeves hated the part that made him famous was that instead of advancing his career, it murdered it. Reeves had previously acted in Gone With the Wind, but after becoming instantly recognizable as Superman and Clark Kent, he stopped getting parts that didn't involve taking his pants off inside phone booths. He got hired for From Here to Eternity, winner of Best Picture at the 1954 Oscars, but according to a widely repeated legend, preview audiences laughed and yelled "There's Superman!" whenever he appeared on the screen, so the producers cut his part to just a few lines. If that story is fake, then that's even worse -- it means they hired him to be pretty much an extra in the first place.
We're pretty sure the key grip got higher billing than Reeves.
Without a whole lot of other opportunities, Reeves signed up for a revival season of Adventures of Superman. That might suggest that he was kind of OK with the role after all, except for the small fact that before filming got underway, he put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. Unfortunately, the bullet didn't bounce. No one can ever know for certain why he killed himself, and some people wonder if it was suicide at all, but the official cause of death at the time was that he was really, really sick of being Superman.
#3. Marlon Brando Hated That His Character in A Streetcar Named Desire Became a Sex Symbol
Before playing Vito Corleone, Colonel Kurtz, or a guy wearing an ice bucket as a hat, Marlon Brando became the defining actor of his generation thanks in great part to his role as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire. Brando played Kowalski with an intensity rarely seen in a motion picture before, by which we mean that half the people in the audience had to change their undies by the time the movie was over. Sure, Kowalski is a coarse, arrogant prick with a hot temper that quickly turns violent, but Brando made him a sexy coarse, arrogant prick, etc., etc.
Before Brando, Hollywood's idea of sexy was a pencil mustache and a tap number.
Of course, not only was this never Brando's intention, but the idea of Kowalski as a sex symbol actually made him sick. He couldn't stand the character. Remember, this is the guy who sent a Native American woman to decline an Academy Award on his behalf to make a statement about racism in Hollywood. He was as dirty a hippie as they come, and felt so disconnected from Kowalski that, while preparing to play him in the original stage version of Streetcar, he had to shrug off his Method acting training and base his performance on other macho assholes he knew (and hated).
Pictured: An actor suited to playing a drunken woman puncher. Also, Marlon Brando.
As such, Brando was severely irritated by all the panties that were metaphorically being thrown at Kowalski. He saw him as less of a "sexy outlaw" and more of a worthless piece of shit. He talks about the character like he just stole his girlfriend, saying, "He had the kind of brutal aggressiveness that I hate." Despite disliking the guy so much, Brando agreed to play him again in the film version of Streetcar, perhaps figuring "Maybe this time they'll get it." Instead, they gave him an Oscar nomination and turned him into a screen legend.
Even after getting Freaky Friday'd with Jabba the Hutt, Brando still couldn't shake off the (according to him, unwarranted) bad boy reputation that started with Stanley Kowalski. Think about it: The poor guy had to gain 200 pounds to escape his sex symbol status.
And it didn't even work.