5 Famous Actors Who Hate Their Most Iconic Roles
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.
(Cracked's actors loved their roles in this Star Wars miniseries. Watch the trailer now!)
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 that Bond has for women ... is that he is decisive, 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:
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.
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.
Nothing suggestive about Clark waking up with a known cross-dresser.
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.
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.
The Star of The Sound of Music Called It "The Sound of Mucus"
Fifty years and over a hundred film roles later, Christopher Plummer is still best known for his role as the strict-but-loving Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music. This movie has it all: singing, dancing, and fighting Nazis (the magic formula). More importantly, it made and continues to make obscene amounts of money, and it catapulted Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer into instant and perpetual Hollywood stardom.
And it catapulted the seven child actors absolutely nowhere.
So everyone likes this damn film, but one person who wasn't so in love with the movie is Christopher Plummer himself. Plummer had mixed feelings from the get-go: He wanted to do a musical, and The Sound of Music sure as hell counts, but he thought Captain von Trapp was a giant bore. He was frustrated by the limitations of playing such a humorless character, asserting that trying to make him interesting was "like flogging a dead horse" -- actually, playing the horse probably would have been more exciting.
"Quit involving me in your personal shit, Chris."
For a long time, Plummer's contempt for the character festered and spread to the rest of the movie like an infection -- he called it "awful and sentimental and gooey." Plummer refers to it simply as "that movie," but sometimes he gets creative with it, getting all that suppressed humor out with nicknames such as "The Sound of Mucus" and "S&M."
If you weren't already picturing Captain von Trapp in a leather catsuit, you're welcome.
It was only years later that Plummer even bothered to watch the film (because he was forced to) and decided it was actually pretty good ... except for that insipid captain guy. It took 45 years and Oprah Winfrey to persuade Plummer to attend his first cast reunion in 2010, and even then he spent half the time slagging off his own character, saying it wasn't "human enough" and "sucked massive, sweaty donkey balls" (that part was edited out). Presumably he would have preferred it if Captain von Trapp had been the one spinning on the Alps in the intro, not Julie Andrews. Hey, maybe they can do that in the inevitable gritty remake with Michael Fassbender as the captain.
Robert Pattinson Hates Twilight More Than You
This has to be the first time in history that a list including Brando and Connery has Twilight's Robert Pattinson at #1, but the man's open contempt for the part that made him famous is so hilarious that he couldn't have been at any other spot.
Pattinson started out as wizard boy #17 in the Harry Potter movies and would have probably gone on to have the same stellar career as every other minor Potter actor if he hadn't landed the role of sparkly vampire Edward Cullen in Twilight. However, even way back in 2008, Pattinson made zero effort to hide his opinion of the character in an interview with Empire magazine, poking fun at him for being a century-old virgin:
"I got calluses on every inch of my palms for added realism."
And that was before he had to play the guy for four years. Apparently not realizing that there's no faster route to heartthrob status than pretending to be a moody asshole, he later complained that he wanted to strangle whoever came up with fan nickname "R-Patz" (he prefers the more dignified "Robz-P"). As for the secrets of his brooding performance, besides playing him as "a manic-depressive who hates himself," Pattinson also admitted that the trick to portraying Edward is just looking "slightly constipated and stoned."
Implying that every high school science teacher is an immortal vampire.
Oh, but he was just getting started. Someone helpfully put together this compilation of the various press junkets during which Pattinson hilariously trashed the movies he was supposed to be promoting. Our favorite moments include the quote "When I read it, it seemed like a book that wasn't supposed to be published," the part where he says Edward is creepy in a serial killer kind of way, and the part where he says Twilight author Stephenie Meyer is even creepier because she's clearly in love with the character. Regarding Bella and Edward's relationship, he says, "There's definitely something wrong with her, and there's very obviously something wrong with me."
If you can't watch the video, this face sums it up perfectly.
Considering that the movie also spawned his doomed relationship with co-star Kristen Stewart, we can understand why Pattinson would be pissed that sparkling in the sun is probably what he's going to be most remembered for.
Cracked hopes our actors are remembered for this incredible Star Wars mini series we made. And NOTHING ELSE.
You can read more from Amanda on Mannafesto, or follow her on Twitter if you like terrible poop jokes at three in the morning. Menezes broke down and set up a Twitter page. His current whereabouts are unknown.
Related Reading: Speaking of Brando, read this article about the awful final movies of great actors. If you need more positive stories right now, why not read about the time Quentin Tarantino strangled an actress to the point of unconsciousness? Oh, we guess that isn't very positive. Here, cleanse your brain pallet with actors you didn't recognize in famous roles.