Despite what they might say during the press tour, only a few stars truly enjoy the movies they started in. Not every shoot was a dream come true, and not every castmate was perfect. While shooting a movie or a TV show usually doesn’t affect them, these actors had no choice but to stay for some surprising reasons.
Keanu Reeves Starred in The Watcher Because His Signature Was Forged
In the early ’90s, Keanu Reeves was playing street hockey with his friend Joe Charbanic when he made a verbal agreement to cameo in Charbanic’s movie, hoping his name would help secure financing. Years later, post-The Matrix, Reeves was the world’s biggest star, and the film, The Watcher, was made. To Reeves’s annoyance, it was substantially rewritten to make his character the movie’s center. Reeves also claimed a friend – presumably Charbanic – forged his signature on the contract. Since he couldn’t prove it and didn’t want to get sued, he just did the movie. After his one-year NDA expired, he spoke freely about how much he hated it.
Ryan Reynolds Was ‘Blackmailed’ into Starring in X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Most fans will call out the X-Men Origins: Wolverine production team for what they have done to Wade Wilson. From giving him laser eyes and sword hands to sewing his mouth shut. Ryan Reynolds revealed that he was blackmailed into being in that stinker in the first place. The actor knew Origins’ Deadpool was the “wrong version” and even told the studio as much. Unbothered, Fox told him, “Play Deadpool in this movie, or we’ll get someone else to.” Feeling “a little blackmailed” but not wanting to lose the role altogether, Reynolds suffered, so he could later shoot the two movies that got it right.
Whoopi Goldberg Was Sued into Starring in Theodore Rex
Not many people know that Whoopi Goldberg started in the 1995’s buddy cop movie Theodore Rex. Goldberg plays futuristic tough-as-nails police detective Katie Coltraine, who gets paired with a bumbling human-sized Tyrannosaurus named Theodore Rex.
The original script had a white male lead, but the producers decided to go after Goldberg, then at the height of her ’90s fame. She made a verbal commitment to start but later wanted to back out, probably realizing its awfulness. A lawsuit and countersuit ensued, and Goldberg eventually starred in the movie to avoid having to pay $20 million. It flopped, and Goldberg was nominated for a Worst Actress Razzie.
Mike Myers Starred in The Cat in the Hat Because He Flaked on Doing Another Movie
Remember Dieter, Mike Myers’s German talk show host character from SNL? Sure, you don’t. For whatever reason, Universal decided to give him a movie. When Myers himself couldn’t write a script he was satisfied with, he was sued – by both Universal and production company Imagine Entertainment. To settle both lawsuits, Myers agreed to do another movie for them instead. That movie was The Cat in the Hat. Despite Myers’s lifelong Dr. Seuss fandom, the film stank – and, apparently, so did his attitude. Co-star Amy Hill called him a “diva” and a “little hermit” and revealed he had a designated on-set chocolate holder.
Natalie Portman Had to Star in Thor: The Dark World Despite Marvel Firing Her Director
Before Eternals, Marvel’s lowest-rated movie was Thor: The Dark World. It wasn’t awful – but as Chris Hemsworth put it, “meh.” One person who saw it coming was original director Patty Jenkins. Slated to be the first woman to helm a superhero film, she was afraid the failure would be blamed on her, so she bailed just three months in. Natalie Portman, who played Jane Foster and pushed for Jenkins to get the role, was completely blindsided. Her contract, however, was ironclad, so she was forced to stay. The happy ending? Jenkins still became the first woman to direct a superhero movie – Wonder Woman.
Emily Blunt Wasn’t Black Widow so that She Could Star in Gulliver’s Travels
Scarlett Johansson finally got the sendoff she deserved in 2020’s Black Widow movie, probably capping off the career of one of the MCU’s most popular characters. Honestly, we can’t imagine anyone else playing Natasha – which makes it much weirder to discover Marvel’s first choice was Emily Blunt. She became a star after The Devil Wears Prada, but that movie’s contract stipulated that she had to do another film for 20th Century Fox. That movie, the awful flop Gulliver’s Travels, forced Blunt to bow out of playing Black Widow, something she still agonizes over today, calling it “a bit of a heartbreaker.”
Alec Baldwin Knew After a Week He Wanted to Ditch Rock of Ages
Alec Baldwin’s well-known for his comedy on shows like 30 Rock, but he should be equally famous for his sixth sense. In 2012, Baldwin joined Rock of Ages’ A-lister ensemble cast, which included Tom Cruise. The jukebox musical was a Broadway smash, but a Hollywood flop – and Baldwin called it a week in. Oh God, what have I done? he recalled thinking. He asked to be replaced “if possible,” but it didn’t work. Baldwin, who played nightclub owner Dennis Dupree, said he wanted to do the movie to work with Cruise and director Adam Shankman. Still, it ended up being “horrible” and a “complete disaster.”