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Actors you thought would make it, or something.

post #1 of 83
Thread Starter 
I was watching Blade Runner the other night, after reading about the Final Cut, and it got me thinking,

Whatever happened to Sean Young? I mean, I've heard the crazy ady stories, but she seemed to have some pretty big parts in some pretty big movies, and then she turned crazy cat lady and dropped off the face of the earth.

Another is Fairuza Balk. Decent in The Craft, and I think she had something of a buzz for a while afterwards, but then the only major parts that happened was the girlfriend in Water Boy and about 3 minutes in Almost Famous.

Is it lack of trying from an actor? Or simply just not picking the right projects? Or that "break" never really comes that establishes their longevity?

Who did you think would have made it big, then just failed to catch on?

Another example might be Ryan Reynolds...he seemed on the up and up for a while, then, nothing happened. Nothing big, anyways.
post #2 of 83
There was a pretty good article recently in EW about Sean Young. Here it is:

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20056516,00.html

She's still a little nuts, but nowhere near as pigpiss insane as she was back in the "stalking James Woods" phase of her life.
post #3 of 83
The truth is Gretchen Mol.
post #4 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Dellamorte
The truth is Gretchen Mol.
Amen. I'll keep my screener of THE TEN just for her.
post #5 of 83
Seems kinda early to throw the towel on Ryan Reynolds. I think Chris Evans stole his thunder a bit, but I'm sure he'll be back.
post #6 of 83
Sometimes a Gretchen Mol is a Heath Ledger. But Gretchen thought she was a Heath only to find out that she wasn't. It was very sad.
post #7 of 83
I'll always keep rooting for Casey Siemaszko. He was magnificent in "Three O'Clock High" , "Breaking In", and "Of Mice and Men", but he never ascended to leading man status, sadly.

Jenny Wright (no one even seems to know if she's still alive)

Amanda Plummer

Rachel Ward

Henry Thomas

Lindsay Crouse

Peter Riegert
(god, I love him in "Local Hero")


I wish Richard E. Grant was the biggest actor in the world, but that would probably mean that we wouldn't get his wonderful diaries.
post #8 of 83
I always thought Emily Lloyd would have a bigger career. She kind of dropped off the face of the earth after A River Runs Through It.
post #9 of 83
Sean Young kind of sucked.

Fairuza Balk, who don't forget was also in American History X (and was pretty good in it), seems limited.

Both Skeet Ulrich (okay in Scream and Ride with the Devil) and Shannon Sossamon shunned fame. Nothing pisses me off more, but I still love you Shannon.

That reminds me, James Van Der Beek, great in Rules of Attraction, now what the fuck? Will he only be seen as Dawson forever?

I'd also bring up David Caruso, if only because it's so much fun to, but also because he picked two really bad projects after NYPD Blue (Kiss of Death and Jade).
post #10 of 83
Neve Campbell is someone I always wondered about too. Around the time she was still on Party of Five and that Wild Things movie came out she seemed to be getting quite popular. Plus the Scream movies. Is it because she refused to go naked in movies or something (I realize she has now but it's too late)?

As has been pointed out recently, Vin Diesel would be another one. Chronicles of Riddick seemed to destroy him.
post #11 of 83
I thought the girl who played Agent Butterfly in CQ could've been big. But the only thing I saw her in last was a small part in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. I guess she's content sticking to modeling or something.
post #12 of 83
What could possibly explain Daniel Stern avoiding massive celebrity? The one two three punch of Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, and Bushwhacked should have established him as the next Sean Connery at least. Now nothing.

Seriously, though, I thought Wayne Knight would have a John Goodman-esque run of character actor work. Being in Seinfeld an Jurassic Park at one time, but I guess just too much of a fat weirdo
post #13 of 83
Lee Tergesen. I hope he's one of those guys who get their awards as they get older, eg. James Cromwell, Tommy Lee Jones.
post #14 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan
Neve Campbell is someone I always wondered about too. Around the time she was still on Party of Five and that Wild Things movie came out she seemed to be getting quite popular. Plus the Scream movies. Is it because she refused to go naked in movies or something (I realize she has now but it's too late)?

As has been pointed out recently, Vin Diesel would be another one. Chronicles of Riddick seemed to destroy him.
I was going to say Vin Diesel earlier, but I don't know if he counts.

For about 30 seconds, everybody thought he would make it. Hell, more than make it, be the next big action star. He appealed to guys and a lot of girls were hot for him, so he had a lot of crossover appeal. He hit it big with The Fast and the Furious and XXX and then....

Then...failure.

I still don't know why this was. I suppose it could be a lot of things. He was relentlessly dogged by rumors that he was homosexual (rumors that he oddly never refuted), his career choices were pretty terrible, he made it well known in interviews that he wasn't a badass in real life, but a Dungeons and Dragons playing dork.

It could be any, all, or none of those things. I don't know. But it was really weird to see a guy go from being on the cusp of being a big time, A-List player to being a nobody in the span of a few months.
post #15 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gayest
Seriously, though, I thought Wayne Knight would have a John Goodman-esque run of character actor work. Being in Seinfeld an Jurassic Park at one time, but I guess just too much of a fat weirdo
Last time I saw Knight was in the Cheaper By the Dozen remake, in a really small and shitty part. He was just some repair guy or something. I barely recognized him because he's lost a ton of weight. Good for his health, but terrible for his career?

By the way(preaching to the choir here, I'm sure), avoid that movie like the plague. It's totally devoid of anything funny.
post #16 of 83
Knight's Microchip in the new Punisher sequel.

...that doesn't really make anything better, does it?

Anywho, there was a long time I thought Ed Burns was more famous than he later turned out to be (or not be).

I guess what I'm trying to say is, when did Elizabeth Daily go wrong?
post #17 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by BTSMGL

I guess what I'm trying to say is, when did Elizabeth Daily go wrong?
Over a decade of doing voices on Rugrats, I guess.
post #18 of 83
Wayne Knight, because of Seinfeld, likely never needs to work again. Same with James Van Der Beek. Actually same with Neve Campbell. TV pays well, and I'm sure by Scream 3 Neve became solvent. She also has explored indie films to little effect.

And the one thing that killed Vin Diesel's career over anything else was the tribute to Sidney Lumet at the Academy Awards. That one clip - with the bad hair and overacting - hurt him more than a thousand Riddicks.
post #19 of 83
Yeah, Knight had very steady TV work with the added movie part for several years. He probably made more than enough money to do what he wants (which, I guess, is voice acting, because he's been doing a lot of that in recent years).
post #20 of 83
I've got my fingers crossed for Gretchen Mol's return. Her work in Notorious Betty Page was a real eye-opener -- fantastic performance in an otherwise shitty film -- and since then I've been rooting for her. She was great in her small part in 3:10 to Yuma, too. Not flashy but solid; a good actor. More power to you, Gretchen.
post #21 of 83
I always wondered what happened to 'Elizabeth Perkins' she seemed to have a solid career in rom-com's and comedies.
post #22 of 83
Mark Hamill. Dude was Luke Skywalker, man! He did some Broadway, got great reviews then...

Wing Commander video games. Shitty sci-fi movies (The Guyver).

Well, his voice-over work kicks ass on Cartoon Network, but I thought he really deserved an A-list career.
post #23 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by beamish13
Henry Thomas
He's got quite an indie following, and has worked steadily there for about the past 15 years or so, but he's a really good actor and deserves to be seen more. E.T. was his blessing and his curse - I used to work with a guy who grew up with Henry, and he said Henry worked in video stores in Texas as a teenager to try and hide from being "Elliott" and decide what he wanted to do. Really, the only huge mainstream hits he's been in as an adult have been Legends of the Fall and Gangs of New York. He was in All The Pretty Horses, but I don't think that was as big as the other two films. It's really a shame he's not more visbible.
post #24 of 83
Does "make it" necessarily have to mean superstardom? Because a lot of these actors being mentioned, while perhaps not getting top bill in blockbusters, are still working steadily, or getting some high-profile work. Like...

David Caruso's the lead on CSI Miami
Gretchen Mol is in 3:10 to Yuma
Elizabeth Perkins is on Weeds

And Vin Diesel may not be the juggernaught action hero expected of him at one point, but his career can't be called "dead." Didn't The Pacifier make a bundle? Having a career making shitty comedies is still a career.

Skeet Ulrich seems like a great example (didn't he have the lead in a couple of flop TV shows?), and of course Sean Young's the classic. Neve Campbell's a good one, though for some reason I think her cessation was voluntary (plus she did do nudity eventually, in When Will I Be Loved). And Van Der Beek -- yeah, he was great in Rules of Attraction. I'd definitely like to see more of him.

If we're accepting people who work but never got the big stardom they deserve, I'll offer up Elias Koteas. He's a great actor and charismatic like no other (Casey Jones, people). But then, he was the only tolerable thing about Shooter and he had a good role in Zodiac, plus Atom Egoyan will always hire the guy, so he hardly disappeared.

As for someone who had a shot and blew it, I can't really think of anyone...William Atherton?
post #25 of 83
Just thought of one: Guy Pearce. With L.A. Confidential and Memento, we should see him a lot more than we do. It's like they gave him one big-budget chance in The Time Machine, and then abandoned him.
post #26 of 83
After his roles in The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, and Tombstone, I really thought Michael Biehn was destined for A-list status. Then he just up disappeared. Then he showed up on that shitty syndicated show, but I'd much rather forget about that. His role in Planet Terror proved that he's still got a great screen presence, but the failure of that flick isn't going to do him any favors.

Additionally, Linda Hamilton, another Cameron alum, really seemed to be poised for super-stardom immediately after Terminator 2 (not to mention her role on "Beauty and the Beast"), but then she just kinda slowly slunk back to television and supporting roles in crappy DTV flicks. Oh, and Dante's Peak, but really, that doesn't count. Bit of a shame, really.
post #27 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cow Puncher
I still don't know why this was. I suppose it could be a lot of things. He was relentlessly dogged by rumors that he was homosexual (rumors that he oddly never refuted), his career choices were pretty terrible, he made it well known in interviews that he wasn't a badass in real life, but a Dungeons and Dragons playing dork.
In a fair world, each of these things (save for the career choices...but I thought Riddick was ok) should have made Vin Diesel more popular. Even though I don't like Dungeons and Dragons or care about his sexuality, I really liked the fact that he seemed to have more important things in his life than crafting a "public persona".

I thought Guy Pearce's move out of the spotlight was intentional...I think I read an article or two to that point.
post #28 of 83
Having a steady TV gig is considered making it in my book. Don't forget that Skeet Ulrich is the lead on the much buzzed about Jericho.

I want to throw Elisabeth Shue into the mix. I loved her in Adventures in Babysitting, she was Oscar nominated for Leaving Las Vegas, and then...Hollow Man? She still pops up in smaller films every once in awhile, but she deserves to be a lot more popular than she is.
post #29 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris O.
Additionally, Linda Hamilton, another Cameron alum, really seemed to be poised for super-stardom immediately after Terminator 2 (not to mention her role on "Beauty and the Beast"), but then she just kinda slowly slunk back to television and supporting roles in crappy DTV flicks. Oh, and Dante's Peak, but really, that doesn't count. Bit of a shame, really.
Ms Hamilton has had several real life issues with which to contend. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which can clearly create all kinds of problems working. She also had her marriage end to Cameron after she discovered he was having an affair with his latest female star. Finally, she was typecast as Sarah Connor after her starmaking performance in T2. Still, I hold out hope that she will return to the screen in something significant. Lips like hers don't come along every day.
post #30 of 83
Peter Weller; headlined one blockbuster (i.e. Robocop), became a big-name for a bit and kinda disappeared after doing a handful of crap films. I still think his career would have went higher had he played the lead in Basic Instinct (i.e. he was supposedly Paul Verhoeven's first choice but Michael Douglas wanted the role himself!)

And ditto to Michael Biehn! I used to love him as a kid.
post #31 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moltisanti
There was a pretty good article recently in EW about Sean Young. Here it is:

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20056516,00.html

She's still a little nuts, but nowhere near as pigpiss insane as she was back in the "stalking James Woods" phase of her life.
Her name was Lo-la, she was a show-girl...
post #32 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cow Puncher
I still don't know why this was. I suppose it could be a lot of things. He was relentlessly dogged by rumors that he was homosexual (rumors that he oddly never refuted), his career choices were pretty terrible, he made it well known in interviews that he wasn't a badass in real life, but a Dungeons and Dragons playing dork.
Dude, it was that Find Me Guilty movie. I think after that bomb, I think not even his biggest fans were gonna give him the benefit of the doubt. His after problem is The Rock. They both have the same friggin' public personas and therefore they both compete for the same roles. Honestly you could interchange both actors in either of their movies. And no one would bat an eye. Plus The Rock didn't make Find Me Guilty.

After watching Crach '96, I thought Deborah Unger would make it big time based on her unusual looks alone. But I remember seeing her in Payback before falling off the face of the Earth.

Also Marisa Coughlan. I thought she would have it made as the queen of lowbrow comedies after seeing her in Freddie Got Fingered and Super Troopers but I haven't see much of her since. Which is a shame, because I felt that there's no other actress in recent years who's prettier, funnier and more game for anything. (Other than Elizabeth Banks.)
post #33 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by FilmNerdJamie
Peter Weller; headlined one blockbuster (i.e. Robocop), became a big-name for a bit and kinda disappeared after doing a handful of crap films. I still think his career would have went higher had he played the lead in Basic Instinct (i.e. he was supposedly Paul Verhoeven's first choice but Michael Douglas wanted the role himself!)

And ditto to Michael Biehn! I used to love him as a kid.
I think Weller is happy as is being a history professor at Syracuse, doing stuff for the History Channel and the occasional film/TV role.
post #34 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuxtaPosition
I think Weller is happy as is being a history professor at Syracuse, doing stuff for the History Channel and the occasional film/TV role.
If that's the case, good for him. Don't know if he and Jeff Goldblum still play in their jazz-band. I heard he was the villain on 24; 5th season I think.

Friend of mine heard a recent story about him shopping at a music store in New Orleans. The clerk looked up at the counter and with a huge grin said, "BUCKAROO BANZAI!" Weller smiled, talked to the guy for a few minutes and paid for his CDs. Total class-act.
post #35 of 83
Quote:
After watching Crach '96, I thought Deborah Unger would make it big time based on her unusual looks alone. But I remember seeing her in Payback before falling off the face of the Earth.
She has a fairly substantial role in Silent Hill, but looks like a maniaical bag lady for the entire film.
post #36 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratty
She has a fairly substantial role in Silent Hill, but looks like a maniaical bag lady for the entire film.
Was she the mother, delia or something?
God, there was something about her that was so ....ethereal. Me and my boyfriend were kinda hot for her.

Micheal Biehn is I think, ont the top of the actors of "THey should have been great!"
Starring Roles in some of the biggest sci-fi movies...and then .....nothing.

That is a travesty.
post #37 of 83
She was Delia, yeah. (Dahlia, as the movie called her.) Which means she was playing a maniacal bag lady.
post #38 of 83
Whatever happened to that Colin Farrell guy?
post #39 of 83
Unger is interviewed on the disc for the new director's cut of PAYBACK. Still way hot.
post #40 of 83
Some of you guys think these things without doing any research. Biehn, fer instance, turned down the lead role in The Abyss to play the creep. Some people are wary of the spotlight, but as I was trying to imply earlier, more often than not people have a couple film window to be the next big thing. When they don't hit, then it's that much harder to topline a film, unless you're going to go an actorly route.

Also, I'm sure that all Weller was offered after Robocop was genre work (even before with Buckaroo Bonzai and that Rat movie). Then again, that's where he will always have a home.
post #41 of 83
Whatever happened to Jason Lee? After THE CROW I thought that dude was going places.
post #42 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beageal
If we're accepting people who work but never got the big stardom they deserve, I'll offer up Elias Koteas. He's a great actor and charismatic like no other (Casey Jones, people). But then, he was the only tolerable thing about Shooter and he had a good role in Zodiac, plus Atom Egoyan will always hire the guy, so he hardly disappeared.
I'm a big fan of this guy, every time I see him in something, even if it's one of the Ninja Turtle movies, I find myself compelled to point at the scream and shout 'Casey Jones!!'

And yeah, he was about the only part of Shooter I enjoyed, his big moment out on the snowy mountain slopes with Mark Wahlberg was hysterical.. the whole thing had me in tears from giggling. Yes, giggling. "You don't have a shot!" *BANG* there goes the hand.. *BANG* there goes the arm. Classic.

Will also have to heartily agree with Michael Biehn and Guy Pearce.. before The Last King of Scotland I would have wanted Whitaker's name on this list, but that was a pretty huge role for him and got him the attention/awards he deserved.
post #43 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by R-Lu
Whatever happened to Jason Lee? After THE CROW I thought that dude was going places.
Brandon Lee. Although the sarcasm works better this way.
post #44 of 83
Guy Pearce and Elias Koteas haven't gone anywhere, and they'll keep working for a long time.

They're hardly in Sean Young or Gretchen Mol territory.
post #45 of 83
After Eddie and the Cruisers, Michael Pare was supposed to be on his way to super-stardom. Guess that got lost along with Eddie's tapes.
post #46 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobClark
Whatever happened to that Colin Farrell guy?
I was going to post this same thing. I borrowed the name of his character from his breakthrough role in Tigerland and he never fulfilled on the promise shown there. He was great in Phone Booth and very decent in other stuff. He just never became a big star like Will Smith or just a master of his craft like Norton or Bale, like I thought he would be. The guy had a ton of potential and the right directors, but it never clicked. Early word about his performance in Woody Allen's upcoming Match Point is overwhelmingly positive, so we'll see. I think the guy just likes drinking and fucking more than he likes his work.
post #47 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bozz
I think the guy just likes drinking and fucking more than he likes his work.
Uh...who the hell doesn't?

Give it another year or so, and you could probably add Rachel McAdams to this list. I remember reading about her getting a part on an article that ran here recently, but the role didn't sound all that great...
post #48 of 83
Fred Ward? Tremors and Remo Williams should have rocketed him straight to the stratosphere. I kid. Or do I?

The cast of Night Court? I know John Larroquette's (a spokesperson for irritable bowel syndrome) on Boston Legal now and Markie Post was a guest on Scrubs a few times (ironically as Elliott's mom), but where'd everybody else go? I was sure John L could have made a great character actor or dramatic lead ala Bill Murray. Not surprised Harry Anderson sunk into obscurity now that I think about it.

EDIT: I was sure Kevin Pollack (Usual Suspects) and Charles Fleischer would make it big based on their stand-up acts alone. HBO's One Night Stand comedy specials had me believe the world would be their oyster. I was so young and naive.

EDIT #2: Isn't the Lifetime channel where middle-aged ex-TV actresses go to let their careers die (like a Hollywood hospice)? You may find a few of the thread's suggestions (current or future) in those pastures, or on their way there.

EDIT #3: ALF? Where's my favorite Melmackian hiding these days? "Where are they now" article on the cast of ALF.
post #49 of 83
Cuba Gooding Junior. Seriously. What happened to that guy? I know he still gets work but he seems to be mimicking the wrong phase of Eddie Murphy's career. Or at least taking the projects even Eddie won't touch.

The thing that sunk Colin Farell was the same thing that sunk Jude Law. Over exposure. Especially true in Jude's case where he had like 6 movies come out in 4 months. None of them hits.

It's tough to make a long career in Hollywood. You really have to be on top of your game when it comes to choosing that next role. Another that could easily have been piled onto this list was George Clooney. Who could have guessed that he would bounce back after Batman and Robin with O' Brother Where Art Thou? (or was it "Out of Sight"?)
post #50 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynamotv
Another that could easily have been piled onto this list was George Clooney. Who could have guessed that he would bounce back after Batman and Robin with O' Brother Where Art Thou? (or was it "Out of Sight"?)
Clooney (like Eastwood) was smart and got involved in endeavors behind the camera as well. Helped to broaden his experience and influence. That kind of clout will only help you get better projects, especially when you can orchestrate, nurture, and steer them.
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