After the Oscars: the breaking of a career
It’s widely thought that winning an Academy Award is the pinnacle of every actor’s career. But to all those who lost out on 28th February – fear not. Online research shows it can sometimes be the breaking, rather than the making, of a career. Here are six once-celebrated silver screen stars who probably wish they hadn’t stepped up onto the hallowed stage, as their careers arguably took a nosedive after walking away with their golden statuette.
Renee Zellweger won universal acclaim for her portrayal of the cigarette-smoking, large pant-wearing heroine in the Bridget Jones’ Diary franchise and a few years later she finally won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2004 for Cold Mountain. After her big win she seemed to disappear from our screens for a few years before popping up again in mediocre films - who has heard of Case 39 and My Own Love Song? In a recent online survey over 23% of people didn’t even know who she was. Poor Renee – and after all that hard work with Hugh Grant.
Tim Robbins won Best Supporting Actor for Mystic River in 2004 at the peak of his career. He was also acclaimed for making movies, earning an Oscar nomination for directing Dead Man Walking. However, after his 2004 win he gave an average performance in War of the Worlds, which was panned by 45% of critics in UK online polls, with most of his other films picking up little or no media attention as an actor nor director. His small cameo in Anchorman has arguably been his highlight since.
Adrien Brody was, at the time, the youngest person ever to win the coveted Best Actor award in 2003 for The Pianist when he was just 27. Most saw this as the start of a glittering career, but his foray into action (in King Kong and Predators) plus man other ill-fated films in between, was more of a damp squib. His low-light was starring in a critically panned comedy with Lindsay Lohan called InAPPropriate Comedy. I haven’t seen it but from the looks of the trailer I’m not sure I really want to.
This is a controversial one, as he has since put on a stunning performance as Frank Underwood in TV’s House of Cards, but as a movie actor Kevin Spacey’s filmography certainly didn’t improve after his 2nd Oscar win in 1999 as Best Actor for American Beauty – a film loved by over 88% of critics, according to online surveys. He was king of the silver screen in the 90s, but his distinctly average roles in subsequent forgettable films (such as Pay It Forward and K-PAX) left a lot to be desired. His move to TV may have thrilled new audiences, but it’s a sad loss for film fans.
After winning her Best Actress Oscar in 2002 for Monster’s Ball, Halle Berry, unfortunately, made some truly terrible films. Some say she put on the worst Bond Girl performance in Die Another Day, not to mention the embarrassing Catwoman which 95% of critics surveyed awarded less than one star to (online research success The Academy actually considered taking her Oscar back after that). She went from winning a Best Actress Oscar to a Worst Actress Razzie in just a few short years. Oh Halle – I’m sure it’s not your fault.
After blonde beauty Kim Basinger won an Oscar in 1998 for L.A. Confidential she took a somewhat surprising three year break from the film industry. Sadly, when she returned, the hype surrounding her had really died down and she chose to give a below-average performance in super-flop I Dreamed Of Africa. She has since faded into Hollywood obscurity and rarely earns money from acting any more. Rumour has it she has now shacked up with her hairdresser, post divorce, and has taken up surfing. Well, if it makes her happy…and at least she’ll always have her famous flowing locks.
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