For a decade, Smallville entertained DC Comics fans with the story of how Clark Kent became Superman, showing his life in the small country town in Kansas and concluding with his new life in Metropolis. It was a sprawling story, and Clark never put on the cape until the very end. Along the way, fans got to meet the supporting players that led Clark from his life as a country boy to his role as Earth’s greatest hero. It all worked because the cast of Smallville, overall, excelled in their roles in this superhero origin story.
However, just because the actors involved were so great in their Smallville roles, it does not mean that everything went well when they flexed their acting muscles outside of the world of Superman. While some of the actors came to the show with a solid body of work behind them, many of the stars used the show to springboard their careers into Hollywood, and not all of the actors had as much success away from the small screen. As a matter of fact, some of the cast had some very embarrassing roles in their filmography that they likely want their fans to forget about. Here is a look at the 15 most embarrassing roles of Smallville actors.
15. ALLISON MACK – HONEY WE SHRUNK OURSELVES
Honestly, it is hard to judge Allison Mack for this embarrassing movie appearance. The actress who won fans over with her portrayal of Chloe was only 15 when she appeared in Honey We Shrunk Ourselves, the third movie in the Honey I Shrunk the Kids series. The fact that this movie went straight to video and was the last live-action movie appearance for Rick Moranis before he quit acting speaks volumes.
Moranis was the only returning cast member and his kids from the previous movies were never even mentioned. Instead of recasting them, Allison Mack and Jake Richardson replaced them as the nephew and niece of the eccentric inventor. This was the only movie in the franchise with overwhelmingly negative reviews.
14. JENSEN ACKLES – MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D
Jensen Ackles is a leading cast member of one of the most successful shows in The CW’s history — Supernatural. However before he became a Winchester on that show, he made his name on other TV shows, specifically the soap opera Days of Our Lives and a role as Jason Teague on Smallville, a love interest for Lana Lang in season 4.
It seems that one thing long-time TV stars discover is that it is hard to make the jump to the big screen. During their break from Supernatural, both Ackles and his co-star Jared Padalecki tried to make it in movies. While Padalecki was in a fun reboot of the Friday the 13th franchise, Ackles was stuck in the critical bomb remake of My Bloody Valentine 3D, where critics said the 3D gimmick almost overshadowed any story and acting by people like Ackles.
13. MICHAEL CASSIDY – BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE
Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice is a movie that remains very polarizing. There are many fans who love the movie, despite all its perceived faults. There are also a large number of fans who hate the movie, because of those same faults. However, one of the movie’s biggest sins was taking the popular character of Jimmy Olsen and completely changing everything about him.
Instead of a news photographer and Superman’s best buddy, BvS made Olsen a CIA operative who died on a botched mission with Lois Lane. Smallville fans might have recognized the actor who played Jimmy in the movie. It was Michael Cassidy, the actor who portrayed Julian Luthor, the cloned brother of Lex Luthor in Season 7.
12. JUSTIN HARTLEY – MEGAFAULT
Most fans of the DC Comics line of shows on The CW will always connect the character of Oliver Queen — The Green Arrow — with Stephen Amell. However, as with many characters introduced into the Arrowverse, they first appeared on Smallville with different actors and distinctively different looks. When it comes to Oliver Queen, the actor on Smallville was Justin Hartley.
Like Jenson Ackles, Hartley has experience on soap operas, starring in Passions before his role on Smallville and The Young and the Restless after Smallville ended. Also, much like Ackles, he has continued to find success on the small screen, in his case with This is Us. However, he also shares the failure in landing a hit movie. His most embarrassing moment likely came in the made-for-TV movie MegaFault, a film that’s sadly best known as Brittany Murphy’s final role before her death.
11. JAMES MARSTERS – DRAGONBALL EVOLUTION
James Marsters has become one of those actors who remains known for one role — despite over a decade passing since he last portrayed the character. Of course, Marsters was Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. However, that is not to say that he has not had other great roles. He played Captain John Hart in Torchwood and Brainiac on Smallville. He also voices Harry Dresden in the Dresden Files audiobooks.
However, his movie appearances are few and far between. He has a horror role in House on Haunted Hill and a small role in the romantic drama P.S. I Love You. However, his most embarrassing role has to be that of Lord Piccolo in the movie Dragonball: Evolution, a movie destroyed by both critics and fans alike.
10. KRISTIN KREUK – STREET FIGHTER: THE LEGEND OF CHUN-LI
One of the biggest complaints about Smallville in its early seasons was that too much time was spent on the “will they or won’t they” storyline between Clark and Lana. While that seemed to be the major plot early on, soon the series phased that out and focused more on Clark discovering his own destiny and his much more interesting relationship with Lex Luthor. Soon, Clark had other love interests and Lana completely left the show after seven seasons.
Actress Kristin Kreuk seemed ready to make a move to Hollywood, but that never materialized. Instead, Kreuk returned to the small screen for shows like Beauty and the Beast and Chuck. Possibly what doomed Kreuk in Hollywood was that her biggest role was the lead in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li one year after leaving Smallville. That movie was a critical and box office flop.
9. TERENCE STAMP – ELEKTRA
As with many stars on Smallville, actors from previous iterations of the Superman franchise returned in different roles. Arguably, the greatest villain in Superman movie history is General Zod from Superman II and the actor who told the world to “kneel before Zod” returned to the franchise for Smallville. In Smallville, Terence Stamp was not the villain from Krypton, he was the voice of Jor-El, the father of Superman.
However, while Stamp starred as the villain in one of the greatest superhero movies in history with Superman II, he also appeared in one of the worst superhero adaptations — the critical and box office failure, Elektra. In that disappointing film, Stamp played Stick, the blind martial arts master who helped train the future assassin.
8. JOHN GLOVER – BATMAN & ROBIN
Much like Terence Stamp, John Glover is also a revered character actor who has appeared in many different movies and TV shows over his career. In Smallville, Glover took on the important role of Lionel Luthor, the father of Lex Luthor, and the man who was the primary villain for the early seasons of the series. Also, much like Stamp, Glover played a villain in a big budget superhero movie as well, but his role was nowhere near as iconic as General Zod.
Instead, Glover took on the embarrassing role of Doctor Jason Woodrue in the movie that killed the Batman franchise, Batman & Robin. As fans of the comics know, Woodrue is the Floronic Man, but in this movie, he is just a mad doctor who betrays Poison Ivy before dying at her hands — one of the many disappointing changes the Joel Schumacher made to characters in the movie.
7. CHRISTOPHER REEVE – SUPERMAN IV
If you ask a lot of fans, the greatest Superman in the history of television and movies is Christopher Reeve. He portrayed the ideal Superman in his four movies and created a legendary icon that no one else has been able to reach since those films. Even after his paralysis, Reeve took on a role in Smallville as Doctor Virgil Swann in the second and third seasons.
However, the movie that made Superman refuse to ever play Superman again came in 1987 — Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. Reeve almost didn’t return for this movie and wishes he didn’t. In later interviews after appearing in the movie where Superman tries to force nuclear disarmament, Reeve actually said, “the less said about Superman IV the better.”
6. KIM COATES – BATTLEFIELD EARTH
When discussing the worst movies of all-time, there are a few that always make the list. One of the movies that often tops lists about the worst of the worst is the John Travolta-starring movie Battlefield Earth. The movie was based on the novel by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and was a massive failure, destroyed by critics and ignored at the box office.
One of the actors in the film was Kim Coates of Sons of Anarchy fame, portraying a character named Carlo that was original to the movie and wasn’t in the book. Coates is kind to the movie, saying it was just hampered by a weak script, despite its infamy. Smallville fans will remember Coates as Agent Carter on the show’s seventh season.
5. JANE SEYMOUR – FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK
Most television fans know Jane Seymour from her lead role on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman on the CBS series that lasted for six seasons. Her career has stretched out over almost 50 years though, making her big-screen debut in 1969 and breaking out with her role in the James Bond movie Live and Let Die in 1973.
On Smallville, Seymour took on the role of Genevieve Teague in the fourth season of the series. However, despite her award-winning career, that included an Emmy, two Golden Globes and a Walk of Fame star, she still takes on questionable roles on occasion. This included a part in the Marlon Wayans parody movie Fifty Shades of Black where she picked up a Razzie nomination for worst supporting actress.
4. JOHN SCHNEIDER – SUPER SHARK
John Schneider is known best for two key television roles. First, he reached his greatest mainstream success as Bo Duke on the iconic television series The Dukes of Hazzard. Then, two decades later, Schneider took on another iconic role — this time as Jonathan Kent, the adoptive father of Clark Kent on Smallville.
In between, as well as after the fact, Schneider specialized in small cameo appearances on TV shows and a series of B-movie and smaller supporting roles. While his actual filmography doesn’t include anything impressive, he did appear in a notorious movie by B-grade film director Fred Olen Ray in 2011 called Super Shark. The movie, about a giant killer shark, is one of the worst in the genre, although it is almost so bad that it’s good.
3. TOM WELLING – THE FOG
Tom Welling suffered the same curse that almost all previous Superman actors did. Whether it was the classic George Reeves, the popular Christopher Reeve, the more recent Brandon Routh, or Tom Welling himself, it was hard for any of them to find roles outside of the Man of Steel to portray.
Welling did have minor success in a supporting role in the Cheaper by the Dozen movies, but when he tried to do something as a lead, it was a disaster. He was the main star in the remake of John Carpenter’s The Fog in 2005. It was a flop, with a four-percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while Fangoria named it the worse movie of the year. Welling never got a chance to play the lead role in a movie again.
2. ERICA DURANCE – HOUSE OF THE DEAD
When fans rejected the idea of Clark Kent and Lana Lang becoming a couple, it was soon time to finally introduce Lois Lane to the world of Smallville. The actress brought on to play Lois was Erica Durance, the first significant role for the young actress. While she has since become a star on her own in the TV series Saving Hope, she has one very embarrassing role in her career — the year before she debuted on Smallville.
When looking at embarrassing movie roles, one need look no further than an appearance in an Uwe Boll movie. In 2003, Durance appeared in the Uwe Boll adaptation of the horror video game House of the Dead. Using her former married name of Erica Parker, she portrayed Johanna in the movie and is best known for her nude scene as a party girl skinny dipping.
1. MICHAEL ROSENBAUM – SORORITY BOYS
Michael Rosenbaum was the MVP of Smallville, arguably one of the best portrayals of Lex Luthor in movies or television. Rosenbaum brought a level of respect to Luthor that made him easily the most interesting character on the entire series, and that made it a shame when he left the show after the seventh season — a loss that was almost impossible to recover from.
Before leaving Smallville, Rosenbaum starred in the comedy Sorority Boys, where he, Barry Watson and Harland Williams star as former frat boys who dress up as women to seek revenge after getting kicked out of their frat. It ended up with a 13% rotten rating and barely made back its original budget.
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