You ever see a casting announcement and just think: what? Maybe you go see that movie out of pure interest, or maybe you’re so put off by the very notion of that actor in that role that you miss it all together. Either way, it’s enough to get us talking – so we’re looking at the worst pieces of miscasting we’ve seen (recently), and why they turned what could have been solid films into total nightmares. What are your worst examples of casting gone wrong? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Adrien Brody – Predators
When you think a motley, macho action hero, where does your mind go first? Arnie? Sylvester Stallone? Bruce Willis? I’d bet that Adrien Brody doesn’t come anywhere near the top of that list, and yet, that’s exactly what he was cast as in the 2010 Predator sequel. Best known for his award-winning performance in the sensitive, quiet The Pianist, Brody is so woefully the wrong choice for the lead role in this grizzled action flick that it throws the entire movie off-balance; he feels both parodic and far too earnest, never striking an easy balance between the two, and speaks almost entirely in trailer taglines and a grunty mumble that does little to convince that he should spend much time outside his prestige character actor bubble in future.
2. Dakota Johnson – Suspiria
Look, so I have my problems with Dakota Johnson, so maybe I’m not being entirely unbiased in my assessment of her in this role – but really, it’s her performance that helps send the sinking Suspiria ship down to the depths of cinematic sequel seas. She struggles to bring any depth to even the lighter of her roles, and centreing her in the middle of this story that purports to have some actual meat to it throws the whole thing off-balance. She’s a complete cipher in a story that needs her to bring some actual meat to the role, utterly empty and almost unfailingly uninteresting. Where there should be mystery in her character, the only real mystery that remains is how she got cast in the first place – and why a film trying to turn a schlock classic into a modern masterpiece would put someone more suited to slasher silliness in the leading role.
3. Ryan Gosling – La La Land
Ah, yes, Ryan Gosling: the birth of many a great debate between me and my co-editor. Is he good? Is he bad? We’re duking it out for life. But one thing that we can agree on is that he wasn’t the right choice for Damien Chazelle’s musical magnum opus. The character Gosling plays, Sebastian, toes the line of intensely annoying anyway – his jazz supremacist attitude and snarky outlook render him borderline awful, but throw in Gosling’s over-serious attitude and gurningly inhuman attempts at love and romance, and he becomes utterly unwatchable. What this role need was someone with a little more natural charm – where Gosling can bring the humour when it comes to darker, less likeable roles, or the drama when it comes to bleaker romance like Blue Valentine, leaning on him for a loveable romantic hero just doesn’t work. Oh, and I hate his dancing, there I said it.
Who’s casting left a bad taste in your mouth? What unlikely actors worked for roles you thought they’d bomb in? Let us know in the comments below! If you enjoyed this article and want to see more stuff like it, please consider supporting us on Patreon. You can check out more of my work on my personal blog, The Cutprice Guignol!
By Louise MacGregor
(header image via CinemaBlend)