5 'Star Wars' Actors Who Had The Goofiest Early Roles
Without its actors, Star Wars would be nothing but a bunch of kooky puppets and CGI. I mean, could you imagine what that would be like? Anyway, in the meantime, flesh-and-blood people appear in these movies. And while many of these actors have become pop culture icons, that doesn't mean that they don't have some spectacularly embarrassing stuff on their resumes. For example ...
Secret Agent 00 Soul -- Billy Dee Williams Stars In The World's Most Insane Bond Parody
If you met a general manager of a regional gas company who was never not wearing capes, you'd probably be a tad weirded out. Somehow, though, Lando Calrissian managed to pull it off. And charm machine Billy Dee Williams is reprising his role in The Rise Of Skywalker, in which he'll apparently rediscover his passion for bright yellow shirts.
But Billy Dee hasn't only been in blockbuster space operas. One of the oddest titles in his filmography is Secret Agent 00 Soul, a straight-to-video James Bond parody so bad that even its poster looks like it's been sun-bleached.
Directed by Williams' stunt double from Return Of The Jedi, the movie follows Bond-like secret agent James Brown III, who quits the spy game in the opening minutes. He then opens a private detective office above a greasy spoon diner. Despite this, like Bond, he's often in a tux and is all about romancing the ladies. Early on, he invites an attractive colleague back to his apartment for drinks.
We can see where this is go- no wait, their date gets interrupted by a phone call informing him that she's secretly an agent for British Intelligence ... and his daughter!
Gross. Maybe the writers thought that after Star Wars, the combination of Billy Dee Williams and narrowly avoided incest was box office gold. The rest of the movie follows Agent 00 Soul, the daughter he almost made out with (or worse), and his idiot son on a series of loosely connected adventures that are also completely insane. At one point, he investigates a lead on a possible Russian agent, and ends up in a haunted house full of rapping and dancing mummies.
Later they go undercover, and "Junior" takes out a room full of armed thugs using only a noxious fart.
And we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that Williams spends the climax dressed like Dracula, for some reason.
This movie didn't come out in the midst of professional doldrums. This was Williams' follow-up to Batman. He starred in the biggest movie of the year, then this fart-filled nightmare.
Hollywood Vice Squad -- Carrie Fisher Beats The Shit Out Of Pornographers
The late great Carrie Fisher was a wonderful actress, brilliant writer, and would probably be the first to admit that she's starred in some turds. Like, movies so bad that they make her ballad about the wonders of Life Day seem genius. One of the worse was 1986's Hollywood Vice Squad, which also starred Frank Gorshin (aka TV's Riddler) and the biggest Travolta they could afford ... Joey. Fisher plays a vice cop who is undercover as a sex worker when we first meet her. She encounters a man who wants to introduce her to "Mike."
Of course, Mike turns out to be ... a glowing dildo with the guy's face drawn on it?!
Later, she coincidentally stumbles upon an S&M porn shoot in a neighbor's backyard.
She overhears that one of the actors is only 16, so she and some other cops surveil the house. In the end, they decide to burst into this private residence with no warrant and randomly attack literally everyone involved in the production. They even rough up the actors, whom they're supposedly protecting. One of them shoves a gun right in an unarmed woman's face.
The producer tries to escape, but Fisher clubs him half to death, then calls him a "barf bag."
Corvette Summer -- Mark Hamill Was In The Dude, Where's My Car? Of The '70s
Mark Hamill followed the success of playing Luke Skywalker with Corvette Summer, a movie that marketed itself as "What if the dude from Star Wars got a boner next to a sports car?"
Hamill plays a teen who ventures out of his small town and into a larger world -- not because of stolen battle station plans, but because of a stolen Corvette which he was restoring for auto class. Instead of the Millennium Falcon, he hitches a ride to Vegas from Vanessa (Annie Potts), a "prostitute in training" driving a beat-up "mobile sex van."
You might assume that this freewheeling '70s comedy would be chill about this, but it, um, isn't. Hamill, for instance, is super judgmental.
He ends up finding the car, learning that it was stolen by a crime ring run by his teacher, absurdly. So he ... takes a job with them? Imagine if Luke Skywalker finally made it to the Death Star, only to fill out an application to become a stormtrooper. After earning a bit of cash, he decides to buy a night with Vanessa, his friend. She ends up giving him a "freebie."
Hamill eventually gets the car back, quits the gang, and goes after Vanessa, whom he's fallen for. She's busy shooting porn, so he breaks into the set like a goddamn psychopath and orders her to leave. (Some strange common threads in these movies.)
She doesn't cooperate, so he abducts her while she screams for help.
This paves the way for a happy, romantic ending.
A Majority Of One -- Sir Alec Guinness Plays ... A Japanese Guy?
Classing up the original Star Wars was legit knight Alec Guinness, who clearly wasn't thrilled to be working with a bunch of fake robots and "Tennyson Ford." Guinness was in some of the greatest movies ever made. A Majority Of One is not among them. The mostly-forgotten 1961 film follows an old Jewish woman whose son died in World War II. Despite the fact that she pretty much hates the Japanese, she agrees to take a cruise to Japan with her daughter. On the ship, she meets a handsome Japanese businessman, who's played by the super not Japanese Guinness.
From a certain point of view ... no it's still terrible. While Guinness occasionally dabbled in playing other ethnicities (Lawrence Of Arabia, for example), this one is especially cringey. He just talks in a British accent, occasionally swapping his Ls and Rs. Most disquietingly, he has some kind of creepy prosthetics over his eyes. What follows is a love story in which Guinness teaches the American about Japanese culture.
The most galling part is that the story itself isn't that bad, but the whitewashing completely undercuts its message. And this wasn't a thing that happened all the time back in the ancient 1960s; it raised eyebrows even then. The Harvard Lampoon gave the movie an award for "most flagrant example of miscasting."
George Takei, who played Guinness' butler in the film, was excited at first to be working with one of his heroes. But then he was "shocked" when Sir Alec showed up with the "grotesquely offensive" makeup. According to Takei, not only was Guinness' accent bad, but his Japanese was also "incomprehensible gibberish."
Little Italy -- Hayden Christensen Stars In A Baffling Rom-Com
We don't blame Hayden Christensen for the shittiness of the prequels. You try to deliver a dramatic monologue about the evils of sand and see how it turns out. But the former Anakin Skywalker also starred in one of the worst pizza-themed Canadian romantic comedies of recent years. Little Italy stars Christensen as Leo, who hooks up with childhood friend Nikki, played by Emma Roberts. Though Christensen is a full decade older than Roberts, they are alleged to be the same age. We even see them in flashbacks as children.
They're the offspring of rival pizza shop owners. And just because it's Canadian doesn't mean it's not crammed full of casual racism. For example, one of the employees at one pizzeria is Indian, so the boss calls him "Slumdog."
Just how bitter is this pizza parlor rivalry? Christensen's dad gets his oregano spiked with marijuana. Which seems like an expensive way to exact revenge. In a scene that makes Reefer Madness seem understated, everyone who eats the pot-laced pizza starts dancing on tables as if they just snorted Pop Rocks. It also makes them super horny, for some reason. When the Indian employee tries to convince an elderly woman to come down, she hits on him and calls him "Aladdin."
And because he ate some pot too, he's totally into getting dry-humped by one of the Golden Girls.
Soon the cops arrive, and one of the officers immediately begins molesting Leo in front of all his friends and family, either because she also ate the sex-pizza or she's just a terrible person.
In the end, Roberts and Hayden get drawn into their parents' rivalry and compete in a pizza cook-off, which is oddly happening alongside a bikini competition. Nikki heads to the airport to fly back to London, where she was visiting from. She has a major career opportunities there, having graduating from culinary school. Leo follows her to the airport, and like so many rom-com leads before him, he asks her to stay. Just to be clear, he has nothing going on in Toronto; he just works in his dad's pizza shop and is itching to get out himself. There's no reason he couldn't go with her instead of asking her to sacrifice what she's built for herself in London. Even the TSA agent implores her not to stay.
Sadly, she doesn't listen.
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