It must be so exciting to be tapped to be in a superhero movie. Given the huge success of this genre over the past 15 years, it’s an opportunity few actors would pass up. They’ll do anything for the role. Be it completely transform their body, go through hours of makeup on a daily basis, stay in character throughout the entire film process or seclude themselves for months to get in touch with the character, they recognize how lucky they are and they’re not going to let someone else cash in when they can make a huge name for themselves. They must get so caught up in the excitement, box office predictions, and the possibility that they will be financially set for the rest of their life that they forget to look at the script.
The script is their first indication that the movie might not be such a great product. But when they’re surrounded by yes-men that tell them it’ll be the biggest blockbuster of the summer, it’s hard to disagree. So they do a bunch of ridiculous things to get into character only to find out that no one even likes the movie. Here are 17 actors that went through hell for a bad superhero movie.
17. JARED LETO (SUICIDE SQUAD)
With all of his off-screen antics, one could only assume that Jared Leto completely lost his mind on the set of Suicide Squad. Although he denies a lot of what is said about his behavior, people spread some pretty crazy things about him like that he sent used condoms to his castmates, a dead pig, a live rat or that he remained in character as the Joker throughout. Perhaps this was all just a ploy to get people buzzing about the movie, but if there is truth to any of this, he takes method acting a little too far.
And for all the effort he put into the role, it didn’t make up for the fact that the film got awful reviews. Furthermore, his glorified cameo in the film turned out to be rather underwhelming, as was the look of his Joker.
16. KELSEY GRAMMER (X-MEN: THE LAST STAND)
The first time Kelsey Grammer had to sit in the makeup chair to get the look of Hank McCoy/Beast in X-Men: The Last Stand, he thought to himself “Oh Lord, what have I gotten myself into?” As it turns out, he didn’t find it was too difficult an experience in the end. The makeup took 3 hours to apply and 45 minutes to remove. He was always the first person on set and the last to leave along with his makeup and prosthetics team.
Fans weren’t particularly happy with the way the film treated a lot of their favorite characters. Although no one has any beef the Beast, the other characters didn’t fair as well. For that reason, a lot of comic book fans really hated the movie.
15. CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON (THOR: THE DARK WORLD)
Technically, Thor: The Dark World isn’t a movie no one likes, but it is definitely a sore spot on the MCU’s normally immaculate record. Some would argue that perhaps Iron Man 2 or perhaps Avengers: Age of Ultron were worse, but either way no one would admit to actually liking The Dark World a whole lot. It’s more of the same old tired formula.
Christopher Eccleston played Malekith, the leader of the Dark Elves bent on the destruction of the universe. To play the role, Eccleston had to endure waking up at 3AM and sit in a makeup chair for six hours to achieve the likeness of the character. He also had to learn Elvish, which is no joke because the language was designed by a linguistic expert and Eccleston had to learn the language perfectly.
14. REBECCA ROMIJN (X-MEN: THE LAST STAND)
You are probably wondering why we didn’t include Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique in X-Men: Apocalypse on this list. That is because by the time that movie was filmed, the makeup time was reduced drastically thanks to the use of a bodysuit. Still, the process took 3 to 4 hours to apply.
As for Rebecca Romijn in X-Men: The Last Stand, she wasn’t that lucky. The process to cover her entire body in makeup took 8 hours a day. Here is what she had to say about the experience: “There are four women who do it, and having them in my personal space for that many hours a day is crazy-making. You can go from being perfectly happy and having a nice time to just being, like, evil bitch woman.”
13. JAY HERNANDEZ (SUICIDE SQUAD)
Jay Hernandez had to spend a total of 5 hours a day getting his makeup done to portray the role of El Diablo, a metahuman with incredible powers and a tragic past as he inadvertently killed his family in a fit of rage. This is perfectly understandable because the character is full of tattoos and it can’t be easy to reproduce them perfectly each day.
Hernandez was told by a makeup artist that he could take half an hour off the time it takes to put his makeup on if he shaved his eyebrows. So he did it only to find out afterwards they may not grow back, according to the makeup artist. So not only did he star in a mind-numbingly silly movie, he also had to worry about the fact that he may spend the rest of his life eyebrow-free.
12. JOHN LEGUIZAMO (SPAWN)
John Leguizamo was far from being a household name when Spawn came out in 1997, so we don’t blame him for taking a role that made him completely unrecognizable. Sure, you want to be recognized as an actor in order to get other roles, but you also have to bring home the bacon. Not every movie will place you front and centre as an actor.
For Leguizamo’s role as the Clown/Violator in the film, he had to go through 4 hours of makeup every single day and he had to hunch down to 5’2 for the duration of the shoot. The actor is 5’7, so that must have put a pretty bad strain on his back. To make matters worse, the most was a complete bomb, and fans hated the movie.
11. OSCAR ISAAC (X-MEN: APOCALYPSE)
When Oscar Isaac was cast as Apocalypse, one of the greatest, most imposing villains the X-Men have ever faced, people assumed the producers would decide to render the character entirely with the help of CGI. This makes perfect sense, because the character is a shape-shifter that can later his molecular structure. There’s also the fact that he stands at around 7 feet tall, while Isaac is just under 5’8. And then we found out they were using practical effects, we got worried.
Then when the first images of Isaac in costume were revealed and he looked like Ivan Ooze in the Power Rangers series, and fans flipped out. Although he only had to go through 2 hours of makeup a day, we can only assume that the hate generated online took its toll on his self-esteem.
10. DOMINIC WEST (PUNISHER: WAR ZONE)
Punisher: War Zone promised to be a violent gorefest like we’ve never seen before. The plan was to make a film completely different from The Punisher starring Thomas Jane that would appeal to the comic book fans. It certainly delivered on that promise, but along the way it forgot to actually have a decent plot. It is filled with gruesome killings, but no substance.
Dominic West played Billy “Jigsaw” Russoti, the villain of the film, who gets horribly disfigured by the Punisher in the film, which resulted in a swollen, stitched-together mess of a face. In order to achieve this look, West had to go through two hours of makeup application every day. But it didn’t end there. The makeup took almost 2 hours to take off.
9. MICKEY ROURKE (SIN CITY 2)
Mickey Rourke went through hours and hours of prosthetics and makeup to capture the look of the hulking brute with a heart of gold named Marv in the original Sin City film. He was reluctant to come back to the sequel, because he knew he would once again have to spend hours doing makeup. Co-director Robert Rodriguez asked the makeup artist if there was any way to shorten the process considerably. They did, and Rourke agreed to reprise the role.
Unfortunately for him, this quicker makeup technique made for cheap results that looked horrible on screen. This philosophy (cheap and lazy techniques to cut corners) unfortunately applied to the entire film. As a result, the movie was an unwatchable mess. It paled in comparison to the first film, and earned terrible reviews from critics.
8. SAMUEL L. JACKSON (THE SPIRIT)
In 2008, Samuel L. Jackson had just begun his run in the MCU with his first cameo appearance as Nick Fury in Iron Man. Little did he know, that cameo would turn into multiple appearance across quite a few MCU films. That same year, he was in another movie based on a comic book series, except that one had the exact opposite commercial response than Iron Man and the subsequent MCU films Jackson played a prominent role in. We are of course talking about The Spirit, based on Will Eisner popular comic series. In the film, Jackson played Octopus, the arch-nemesis of the Spirit.
For the role, Jackson had to be fitted for countless outlandish costumes, as the character is constantly changing outfit. The only thing worse than having to sit through hours of costume fittings is the movie itself, which was critically panned.
7. RYAN REYNOLDS (X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE)
We are really happy for Ryan Reynolds, because he was lucky enough to get another chance to play Deadpool despite having played him in the steaming pile of garbage that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The movie got horrible reviews and fans were particularly horrified by how the film interpreted Gambit and Deadpool, which have a huge following. People usually don’t get a second chance in Hollywood, and we are extremely happy that Reynolds got it.
Reynolds had to fight arduously to play Deadpool. Film executives told him that he could either play him in Origins or someone else would. Reynolds jumped at the chance to portray a character he loved so much. The film was produced during the Hollywood writers’ strike so Reynolds actually had to write a lot of his own dialogue. Of course, he couldn’t control horrible conclusion of the film.
6. MICHAEL CHIKLIS (FANTASTIC FOUR)
Michael Chiklis described the bodysuit he wore for his portrayal of the Thing in Fantastic Four and its sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer as “middle of summer, Sahara hot.” He actually had a cooling system in the suit that is similar to one race car drivers have. Unfortunately, he could not be plugged into the cooling system while he was on camera.
The suit would take 2 hours to apply each day, and Chiklis was also given dentures for the character. He practiced speaking with them on while reading bedtime stories to his children. His dedication didn’t pay off though, because both movies were critically panned. To make matters worse, his suit looks horrible, because he doesn’t even look like he is made of rocks.
5. ADEWALE AKINNUOYE-AGBAJE (SUICIDE SQUAD)
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje was extremely excited about taking on the role of Killer Croc in Suicide Squad. The makeup and prosthetics took over 5 hours to apply on a daily basis, but Akinnuoye-Agbaje didn’t sweat it. He was just happy to be a part of the experience. Plus he really enjoyed the look of the character.
When he first saw himself in full makeup he said: “It felt awesome. To put it on — the chest, the head, the shoulders — and then to have my body painted, it was the most awesome feeling of excitement, power and childish fantasy brought to life.” The experience mind have been great, but the outcome wasn’t. Most comic book fans hated Suicide Squad with a passion. At least he can say he enjoyed the gruelling ride, even if the destination was a dud.
4. THOMAS JANE (THE PUNISHER)
Thomas Jane was extremely committed to playing the Punisher perfectly. He was intrigued by the idea that Frank Castle has no superpowers, which means that the man has to be in incredible shape to be a one man army that can hold his ground against other superheroes and villains. Jane did most of his own stunts and worked out incredibly intensely for the role in order to bulk up to 200 pounds, which is more than 20 pounds over his regular weight.
His gruelling workout regimen consisted of full body exercises and heavy weights as well as martial arts training. He certainly looked the part, but that didn’t save the movie from its melodrama, cheesy dialogue and boring plot. At least Jane got a decent pay check and a solid frame out of the experience.
3. JOSH BROLIN (JONAH HEX)
Josh Brolin did not enjoy the process of getting into character to play Jonah Hex. He says, “I had a mouth piece that held my mouth all the way back that was attached to the back of my neck.” Sounds painful. Shooting days were 14 hours long and he couldn’t eat during that whole time because it would ruin the prosthetics. He also spent three hours a day in the makeup chair.
To achieve the look of the character, who has one eye popping out of his face due to his facial scaring, Brolin wanted to achieve the look without using CGI but they quickly gave up on that because his eye got infected within an hour. His suffering didn’t end there, because the movie did horribly at the box office and it also got very poor reviews.
2. TOMMY LEE JONES (BATMAN FOREVER)
Tommy Lee Jones replaced Billy Dee Williams as Harvey Dent in Joel Schumacher’s sequel to Batman Returns entitled Batman Forever. The cinematographer on the film, Stephen Goldblatt, revealed that “Tommy Lee, of course, in his prosthetic makeup, which he had to endure — it didn’t put him in the best of tempers at all times — having to be in makeup at 4 or 5 a.m. for three hours.”
This is also coupled with the fact that Jones actually hated his co-star Jim Carrey, who played the other villain in the film, the Riddler. Surprisingly, the film did extremely well at the box office, getting the highest grossing opening weekend at the time, but the reviews have been very harsh. Even Schumacher has admitted that “it was not expected to be the success it was.”
1. BEN AFFLECK (BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE)
Granted, Ben Affleck’s take on Batman is almost universally adored by fans, but a lot of people were extremely upset when he was cast as the Dark Knight in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The poor guy had a lot of backlash before anyone even saw what he looked like in the suit, let alone in action. It worked out well for him in the end, but apart from Affleck, people absolutely hated the film.
Given all the work he had to put into training for the role, the insults hurled at him before he was even given a chance and the fact that the movie did so poorly with fans, we can safely say that he went through hell for the role. Let us not forget the Sad Affleck meme that hit the Internet after the film was crushed by critics.
Did you like any of these performances and movies? Let us know in the comments!
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