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Actors Who Hated the Roles That Made Them Famous

Hollywood seems like a world where everyone only cares about success and money, but this isn’t always true. Many actors and actresses wish they’d never taken on the breakout roles that shot them into stardom.

Perhaps they hate the character they played, finding them boring, cruel, or a mixture of both. Maybe the role left them typecast and unable to play anything different from their first successful performance. Whatever the reason, it’s a more common experience than you may think.

Like and subscribe to Facts Verse for more on the careers of your favorite performers. Watch our video to learn about the most notable actors who hated the roles that made them famous.

Robert Reed

Robert Reed was a classically trained Shakespearean actor who appeared on Broadway and in several prestigious shows and films. He was contractually obligated to be in the Brady Bunch pilot but seemed disappointed when it became a full show with him as patriarch Mike Brady.

Director John Rich revealed in the documentary The Brady Bunch Exposed that Robert was looking for more serious work like his previous show The Defenders. His co-star Ann B. Davis who played Alice, noticed he was unhappy on set.

Robert spent his lunch breaks drinking as a coping mechanism. His frequent outbursts over the scripts left him absent from key episodes, including the series finale in 1974.

Robot Reed died of colon cancer at the age of 59 on May 12, 1992. Despite his on-set shenanigans, the entire cast was devastated when Florence Henderson had to tell them that he was dying.

Carrie Fisher

Princess Leia herself revealed on an episode of the Today Show that if she had known Star Wars would become such a massive franchise, she never would have taken the role.

Carrie saw the dangers of celebrity from an early age when her father Eddie Fisher left her mother Debbie Reynolds to marry the even more famous Elizabeth Taylor. Despite following in her family’s footsteps and becoming an actress, she never dreamed of becoming famous and dreaded the very idea.

Getting the role of Leia was also a difficult experience. She was offered the part at the age of 19 but, at only 5’1 and 105 pounds, the casting directors thought she was “too fat.” She eventually got the part but couldn’t escape the struggles that came later in life.

Her second husband, Bryan Lourd, left her for another man. She later began experimenting with drugs which led to addiction, and she struggled with bipolar disorder that could only be treated with electroshock therapy.

Carrie Fisher died days after a heart attack on December 23, 2016. It’s unknown how much the struggles of and regret from taking on such a famous role affected her health.

Sean Connery

Sean Connery was the first actor to officially bring suave superspy James Bond to the big screen in the 1962 film Dr. No. It made $60 million worldwide (which equates to $509 million today) on a budget of only $1 million.

David Niven and Roger Moore were the first actors considered for the film and got to play the role later. Sean won out for the first film, but he was unimpressed with the franchise from day 1. During the production of his 3rd Bond film Goldfinger in 1964, he admitted that he was grateful to the character but that Bond was nothing but a dull, prosaic English policeman. He was fed up with the character by 1965 and had a falling out with producer Albert Cubby Broccoli in 1967. That only added to his frustrations with the paparazzi and a low salary.

Sean wanted You Only Live Twice to be his last foray as Bond, but he returned for Diamonds are Forever in 1971. He only agreed after the studio offered him a deal that came with a $10,000 per week salary over only 18 weeks of filming, a large percentage of the profits, and the opportunity to produce 2 movies of his choice. His official last Bond film was Never Say Never Again, and it netted him $5 million.

Sean Connery died at the age of 90 in October of 2020 and left behind a powerful legacy. Future Bond actor Daniel Craig followed in his shoes by expressing both his hatred for the character and willingness to portray him for the right price.

Faye Dunaway

Mommie Dearest was an intense thriller based on a real story of family abuse. Faye Dunaway, a 2-time Best Actress Oscar winner, was the one chosen to take on the difficult task of portraying the title character Joan Crawford. It was panned by the critics but earned positive box office returns and praise of her work, even from Joan Crawford herself. She rarely spoke about it but revealed her feelings to People magazine. She feels that the role was harmful to her career because it ruined public perception of her as an actress and person. She was typecast into female villain roles for most of the rest of her career. She wishes that Mommy Dearest had never been made at all. She felt that it lacked the nuance of a true “look into a tortured soul” that she’d hoped it would be.

Like and subscribe to Facts Verse for more behind-the-scenes stories from the sets of your favorite shows and films.  Keep watching to learn about more actors who hated the roles that made them famous, including one that turned deadly.

George Reeves

George Reeves was the first actor to play the iconic Superman in a feature film. His role in Superman and the Mole Men lead to the Adventures of Superman TV series. These roles made him beloved around the world, but George felt the part was beneath him. He resented the $200-per-episode salary and called the gray-and-brown Superman costume a monkey suit. He hated the product placement from their sponsor Kellogg’s and being forced to act in the brand’s commercials.

Most of all, George experienced an unfortunate circumstance common among actors who hated their previous roles. Fans and casting directors became unable to recognize him for or cast him to play anything else. He was set to become a notable part of 1954 Best Picture Oscar winner From Here to Eternity…until the audience laughed and cried out “there’s Superman” whenever he went on screen and had his part cut to only a few lines. The damage to his career and psyche was so powerful that many believe it killed him.

George Reeves died on June 16, 1959, of a gunshot wound. Alternate explanations such as murder abound, but the prevailing theory is that he would have rather died than play Superman again.

Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando’s method acting technique and devotion to his characters earned him a spot as the greatest actor of all time in the eyes of many. Unlike many other celebrities, he earned his big break almost right out of the gate, but he still hated the character who shot him to fame.

Marlon never intended for an abusive character like Stanley Kowalski to become a sex symbol. He’d always hated the character and based his portrayal on macho bullies from his past, but the anger that came through only made his acting more powerful. He hoped for the character’s true nature to show up in the film version, but he only became more attractive to the women watching. The role earned him an Oscar nomination, but it also gave him a sexy bad boy reputation. He even tried gaining 200 pounds to escape it, but it wasn’t enough.

Marlon Brando died on July 1, 2004. Despite his objections, he lives on as a sex symbol with a dark side in the minds of his fans.

Christopher Plummer

Christopher Plummer appeared in over 100 films. He’s best known as Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music, the one film he’d least want to be associated with.

He was hired at the age of 34 and ages up with gray streaks in his hair. He only took the role as a way to train for the Broadway musical Cyrano in 1973. It only took him 11 days to complete shooting in the Austrian alps, but he hated every second of it.

He considered the Captian a humorless bore. He called the movie as a whole sentimental and gooey and referred to it with disparaging nicknames such as The Sound of Mucus and S&M. Early reviews called his performance horrendous, and he hoped the film would fade into obscurity, but it now sits as one of the most beloved musicals of all time.

Christopher didn’t watch The Sound of Music until 2012 at an Easter party to entertain the children there. He suddenly found it a charming escape from the violence and chaos of the world, but he still hated his character. He didn’t even attend a cast reunion until Oprah persuaded him in 2015 after 45 years of staying away. The hatred didn’t die down, and he spent most of that time talking disparagingly about Captain von Trapp

Christopher Plummer died on February 5, 2021. Fans should honor his memory by continuing to take their families to see The Sound of Music but also watching his more serious films that he’s more proud of.

Robert Pattinson

One of Robert Pattinson’s first roles was a small appearance as in the Harry Potter films. After that, he had several other lesser-known appearances, but he’ll always be best known as Edward Cullen in Twilight, one of the most beloved and hated film series of all time. 

Robert revealed in a 2008 Empire review that his hatred for Edward Cullen made him portray the character as if he hated himself. He spoke against the character and franchise so many times that they were put into a compilation on YouTube. The 4 Twilight films were a slog that also began and ended his relationship with co-star Kirsten Stewart.

Actors and actresses may have several reasons for hating and regretting a role they played, even if it made them famous and rich. It may have failed to meet up to their expectations or left them typecast for the rest of their career. Whatever the reason, learning about their experience is essential for fans who want a full experience of what their favorite shows or films were like for the cast.

Are there any famous characters that you think actors regretted taking on? Let us know in the comments below. Like and subscribe to Facts Verse for more on the complex ways actors and actresses were affected by their most memorable roles.

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