"[I] Could Not Believe How Bad It Was": 21 Actors Who Openly Criticized The Roles That Made Them Famous

    "It was so awful and sentimental and gooey,”

    1. Jacob Elordi has made a number of comments about The Kissing Booth films, his first major movie roles, including, “I didn’t want to make those movies before I made those movies." He also called them "ridiculous" and "not universal. They’re an escape.” When asked if he had a "one for them, one for me" mentality, Elordi said, “My ‘one for them,’ I’ve done it. That one’s a trap as well. Because it can become 15 for them, none for you. You have no original ideas and you’re dead inside. So it’s a fine dance.”

    closeup of jacob shirtless

    2. Megan Fox didn't exactly knock Transformers, her first starring film role, but she did famously compare director Michael Bay to Hitler and call him a "nightmare to work for," as well as "so hopelessly awkward," saying "he has no social skills at all." She also said he often gave her notes on set to "be hot" or "just be sexy," which Fox said made her angry. "Then again, audiences don’t come to Transformers to see us. They’re there to see the devastation and the explosions. I don’t want to shit on the movie, it’s a fun movie. People tend to think that I hate it and I don’t, because clearly none of us should take it seriously."

    her character fixing a car

    She also said, "I can't shit on this movie because it did give me a career and open all these doors for me. But I don't want to blow smoke up people's ass. People are well aware that this is not a movie about acting. And once you realize that, it becomes almost fun because you can be in the moment and go, 'All right, I know that when he calls 'Action!' I'm either going to be running or screaming, or both.''

    3. Robert Pattinson has pretty famously bashed the Twilight series that made him a household name over the years. Once, he claimed if he hadn't been in the series, he'd probably "mindlessly hate it without having seen anything." He also spoke about how strange the hype, fans, and series were, and when reflecting on photo shoots, he said it was weird "kind of representing something you don’t particularly like." He also joked that the only thing he'd stolen from the set was his dignity.

    Edward talking to Jacob

    Pattinson also expressed that he thought the book's writer Stephanie Meyer was "mad" and that Twilight felt "like it was a book that wasn’t supposed to be published" because it felt like Meyer's "sexual fantasy." He went on, "sometimes you would feel uncomfortable reading this thing." In particular, he called later storylines like Bella's pregnancy "really weird," adding, "a lot of stuff in the Twilight world doesn’t make any sense."

    closeup of him

    4. Kristen Stewart, who played Bella, has also criticized the pregnancy and ensuing storyline. "As soon as she becomes a vampire they kind of ignore their duties. Instantly, they just wanna bone. It’s the most ridiculous situation,” she said of the final film in 2012. “Really? You just had a child. Really?!” She had actually initially not wanted to play Bella, telling MTV she didn't "wanna be part of this very set unrealistic ideological of love and push it on every little girl because they’re never gonna get that.'"

    5. Alec Guinness has very openly criticized his character Obi Wan's dialogue in Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope. He even reportedly begged George Lucas to kill him off. ”I just couldn’t go on speaking those bloody awful lines. I’d had enough of the mumbo jumbo," he said. He also has recounted a story where a young boy who had seen Star Wars dozens of times asked for his autograph. Guinness said he'd give it on the condition that the boy never watched Star Wars again.

    6. Harrison Ford has similarly made several comments suggesting he didn't love playing Han Solo over the years, including referring to him as "Ham Yoyo" and claiming, "As a character, he was not so interesting to me." Ford, too, took issue with his character's dialogue. "I told George [Lucas]: 'You can't say that stuff. You can only type it.'" However, he ended up coming around: "I was wrong. It worked."

    After the second film, Ford strongly felt that Solo should be killed off. "I thought he ought to sacrifice himself for the other two characters [Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa]. I said, 'He’s got no mama, he’s got no papa, he’s got no future. He has no story responsibilities at this point so let’s allow him to commit self-sacrifice.’” He apparently told saga creator George Lucas this, who told him there was no future in dead Han Solo toys. When promoting the third film, Ford famously said, "Three is enough for me. I was glad to see that costume for the last time." He did reprise the role in The Force Awakens, but his character was finally killed.

    7. One of the stars of the sequel films also criticized the writing of the films. John Boyega, who played Finn, took issue with the way his character (and other BIPOC characters) were sidelined after The Force Awakens. "You get yourself involved in projects and you’re not necessarily going to like everything," he told GQ. "What I would say to Disney is, do not bring out a Black character, market them to be much more important in the franchise than they are, and then have them pushed to the side. It’s not good. I’ll say it straight up."

    Closeup of John Boyega

    8. Similarly, Harold Perrineau criticized the decision to sideline his character Michael in Lost. Perrineau initially joined the drama because he felt the story "was really equitable" and allowed all the characters to shine. However, as the show went on, he began to feel that the white characters were getting more screen time and meatier storylines and that he was there to be the token Black character. In particular, he criticized a Season 2 storyline where Walt (Michael's son) is kidnapped and Michael only asks about him once. The script ended up being changed, but Perrineau felt his relationship with the showrunners sour, and they actually ended up letting him go at the end of the season.

    Closeup of Michael in "Lost"

    9. Perrineau's Lost costar, Evangeline Lilly, also slammed certain aspects of the series' writing, telling The Lost Boys podcast that she often disliked playing the character, especially as the show went on: "I felt like she became more and more predictable and obnoxious. I felt like my character went from being autonomous — really having her own story and her own journey and her own agendas — to chasing two men around the island. And that irritated the shit out of me." She admitted to throwing scripts across the room.

    10. Christopher Plummer called The Sound of Music, to date probably his most memorable early role, "so awful and sentimental and gooey." He also said it was his most challenging role, as “You had to work terribly hard to try and infuse some miniscule bit of humor into it.” He even went further and claimed he was bored with the character: "Although we worked hard enough to make him interesting, it was a bit like flogging a dead horse. And the subject matter is not mine. I mean it can't appeal to every person in the world. It's not my cup of tea."

    Young Christopher Plummer

    11. Michelle Pfeiffer reportedly hated her film Grease 2 (her first major film role) "with a vengeance" and "could not believe how bad it was," saying she was "young and didn't know any better" when she took the role.

    Michelle Pfeiffer in "Grease 2"

    12. Penn Badgley was pretty critical of the Gossip Girl writers' decision to make his character, Dan, Gossip Girl in the series finale. "It doesn't make sense at all. It wouldn't have made sense for anybody. Gossip Girl doesn't make sense!" Badgley has also shaded the show and Dan quite a few times, calling Dan a "judgmental douchebag." While promoting a later project, he stated that it was nice to actually be proud of something he worked on, calling it a "new feeling."

    13. Blake Lively also spoke out against the character she played on Gossip Girl. Lively called playing Serena "personally compromising," expressing concern about the message her character sent out, and listing some of the horrible things Serena did.

    14. Shailene Woodley was similarly not a fan of the message the writing was sending out when she starred in teen drama The Secret Life of the American Teenager. "Toward the end, morally, the things that we were preaching on that show weren't really aligned with my own integrity. So, that was a bit hard to show up to work every day knowing that we were going to project all of these themes to thousands — millions — of young adults across the country, when, in fact, they weren't what I would like to be sending out," she said after her time on the show was done.

    Closeup of Shailene Woodley

    15. Angus T. Jones also didn't like the moral content of his show Two and a Half Men. “It was difficult for me to be on the show and be part of something that was making light of topics in our world where there are really problems for a lot of people,” he said. “I was a paid hypocrite because I wasn’t OK with it and I was still doing it.” A year before, he had said his character "means nothing" and compared watching the show to "filling your head with filth."

    Closeup of Angus T. Jones

    16. Ian Harding was not a fan of the way Pretty Little Liars presented his character Ezra's relationship with his student, 16-year-old Aria. He once called Ezra "America's most beloved pedophile," though he said he tried to play it as a love story. But when an advertiser dropped out early on, Harding believed it was because of his character's illegal relationship — only to find out it was actually Emily's lesbian relationship. "So, I could be seen as a statutory rapist, and people are like, 'I know, but love knows no bounds, as long as there is a penis and a vagina involved,'” he said dryly.

    When an interviewer asked if he'd ever felt a PLL storyline went too far, Harding joked, "Always," and said the show "jumped the shark" in Episode 2. He then nominated in particular a scene where Ezra stood in his boxers with the other partners of the main cast. "I was like, 'Wait a minute. Why is Ezra Fitz — this grown man — getting half-naked with a bunch of high schoolers?! How is this acceptable? This is completely wrong!' And yet, simultaneously, that was one of my favorite episodes because we were all together, and we were being ridiculous because that current storyline was ridiculous." He also said by the end of the show, he "wasn’t feeling creatively fulfilled."

    17. Isaac Hempstead Wright was a little less obvious, but he threw a bit of shade at the Game of Thrones writers after the disastrous last season, which ended with his character, Bran, becoming king. "I genuinely thought it was a joke script and that [showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss] sent to everyone a script with their own character [ending] up on the Iron Throne," he said. "‘Yeah, good one, guys. Oh s--t, it's actually real?'"

    Close-up of Isaac as Bran

    18. Wednesday star Jenna Ortega wasn't happy with many of the original scripts for Season 1 of her Netflix hit — particularly the romance aspects. "Her being in a love triangle made no sense," she told Dax Shepard on his podcast. "Everything that [Wednesday] does, everything that I had to play, does not make sense for her character at all." She ended up "putting her foot down" and changing lines from the script, saying she grew protective of the character and didn't want her to be a lead with no emotional arc.

    Closeup of Wednesday

    19. Katherine Heigl subtly shaded Grey's Anatomy over the writing decisions, saying she wasn't a huge fan of the storyline where her character, Izzie, sleeps with ghost Denny. She also disliked the storyline where she had an affair with George. “They really hurt somebody, and they didn’t seem to be taking a lot of responsibility for it. I have a really hard time with that kind of thing. I’m maybe a little too black-and-white about it. I don’t really know Izzie very well right now. She’s changed a lot. I’m trying to figure her out and keep her real, she told Vanity Fair, then called the storyline "a ratings ploy."

    Closeup of Katherine Heigl as Izzie

    She also pretty famously withdrew herself from Emmy consideration in 2008, saying, "I did not feel I was given the material this season to warrant a nomination," although she's since expressed regret over this, saying that it was between her and the writers, and a lot of it was about her own performance.

    20. Heigl also made waves for (in the same interview) calling her character in Knocked Up — her first major movie role — "a little sexist." She continued, “It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys. It exaggerated the characters, and I had a hard time with it, on some days. I’m playing such a bitch; why is she being such a killjoy? Why is this how you’re portraying women? Ninety-eight percent of the time it was an amazing experience, but it was hard for me to love the movie.”

    21. And finally, Johnny Depp compared starring on his show 21 Jump Street (the show that made him a major star) in later years to being "in a prison creatively," saying, "It started to get a little showboat-y, you know what I mean? It just started to become false. It started to become this action-packed can of soup, you know? You just market it and send it out.”

    Closeup of Johnny Depp