Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts 2

Weekend Roundtable: Actors Who’ve Worn Out Their Welcome

Within the entertainment industry is a sad and regrettable tendency for actors who may have started their careers as exciting talents to eventually burn out and lose their audience’s good will. Sometimes this is due to a simple decline in the quality of their work, and other times due to personal scandal poisoning their public image. Our Roundtable this week is about stars we used to like, but now wish would disappear for a while.

Shannon Nutt

I used to think Anne Hathaway was delightful, an up-and-coming actress who was still well grounded and down to Earth.

Then something happened around the time Les Miserables was released. She turned from charming actress to full-blown diva. She was being considered for an Oscar for the film (which she eventually won) and either by personal choice or under the instruction of her agent/management, she started to lobby hard for the trophy, to the point that it became almost unbearable to watch her.

While I have enjoyed a few of her performances since then (The Intern with Robert De Niro is one such example), I’ve lost a lot of respect of her as a person, and still kind of cringe when I see she’s been attached to a film I’d otherwise be looking forward to.

Brian Hoss

One actor that I’ve completely turned on in recent years is Bruce Willis. Outside of the confounding Hudson Hawk, he was basically dynamite going back into the 1980s. He could regularly make otherwise forgettable movies entertaining, and even as recent as six years ago, he had a nice run with The Expendables, RED, and Looper, which seemed to indicate that he could be great for another decade or more. Sadly, sequels like RED 2, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and the especially unnecessary A Good Day to Die Hard sapped the charm right out his retinue. Since then, I cringe to see previews for movies like Death Wish or Glass, and whatever direct-to-video dreck is coming out this week.

M. Enois Duarte

I’ve never been a huge fan of Adam Sandler, but the comedian was insanely popular in the 1990s and I must admit that I enjoy Happy Gilmore and The Waterboy. The Wedding Singer is his best comedic performance, in my opinion. Going into the 21st Century, Sandler utterly surprised me with Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love, which revealed a side of his acting talents I pretty much considered impossible. He followed that performance with more raunchy, immature comedies before demonstrating his dramatic chops again in Spanglish, Reign Over Me, and Funny People.

Sadly, since then, Sandler has completely stopped trying and has fully embraced the immature clown he’s more famous for, making one horribly bad film after another. These days, he spends his time producing Netflix features where he’s allowed to try even less and really put little thought into entertaining his audience – or being remotely funny, for that matter. At the very top of my list of actors who have worn out their welcome is Adam Sandler. He should retire from show business altogether.

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

Would you even notice if the last decade of Al Pacino‘s filmography were to suddenly vanish overnight? His HBO projects aside, everything he’s been a part of for the past ten years has at best met with mixed reception, and at worst are… well, Jack and Jill, Hangman, and Misconduct. It’s okay to say “No”, Al! Instead, Pacino is content to squander his legendary status and continue devolving into caricature for whatever straight-to-VOD project is willing to write him a paycheck.

Josh Zyber

It wasn’t too long ago that Johnny Depp was on top of the world. The first Pirates of the Caribbean movie was a massive blockbuster and his Capt. Jack Sparrow character became an instant pop culture icon. The role even landed him an Oscar nomination. Unfortunately, the following decade and a half saw Depp drive that franchise into the ground with increasingly pointless and lame sequels, and his subsequent acting roles devolved into a string of mannered performances overly burdened by his fondness for goofy makeup and costuming. At the same time, Depp’s personal life fell completely apart owing to crippling drug abuse, out-of-control spending habits, and accusations of domestic abuse from ex-wife Amber Heard. A recent Rolling Stone profile painted him as a pathetic man-child lost in his own head, or what’s left of it after the drugs rotted it away.

These days, Johnny Depp’s presence in a movie is more annoying than appealing. When it was announced that he’d have a major starring role in the Fantastic Beasts sequel, fans who might have been excited by that news in the past petitioned unsuccessfully for his removal. Whether he’s so toxic now to hurt the movie’s box office performance remains to be seen.

Your Turn

Which actors or actresses are you ready to see fade off into obscurity? Tell us in the Comments.


  1. Meryl Streep. I’m done with her. She shows in terrible movies now (ie, anything from Rob Marshall) and coasts through anything that should be excellent (ie, The Post). Despite this, the industry continues to praise and lapse up any performance she offers.

    I was somewhat excited to see what Disney and Emily Blunt could do with the upcoming Mary Poppins Returns – that is, until I saw that Rob Marshall cast her once again. Now I couldn’t care less about it.

    • David Krauss

      Don’t you be hating my Meryl, Luke! 😉

      You have a point about some of her recent appearances (and I’m not quite sure why she’d even want to be in Mary Poppins Returns), but I have to disagree about The Post. I really think she was excellent in that.

    • Timcharger

      I do hear that. People say that Meryl Streep is the most overrated actress. Believe me, everyone knows it. You do know it. I know it. And I had a record-setting, highly rated show. Some say, the most highly-rated ever, an all-time greatest TV show. So I would know about acting. And Meryl is so vicious, so nasty, such a nasty woman. I would grab her by her, never mind, locker room talk. Just locker room talk.

  2. Amityville 315

    Robert DeNiro. He’s gone crazy and he actually believes he’s really contributing something to the world with his acting. Put your make believe in perspective, Bob.

    Jim Carrey – same. Went nuts and jumped he shark a while ago.

    Streep is a plain Jane and her acting is wayyyy overrated.

    Jodie Foster – after Silence of the Lambs, nada.

  3. yamato72

    I just caught the last act of Once Upon a Time in Mexico and although I’m no longer a big fan of the movie, I was amazed at how “normal” Johnny Depp’s acting was. It was refreshing.

  4. Nerp

    George Clooney is in burn out/has been mode and doing Nespresso commercials. His last few directorial efforts have been a mixed bag and I can’t even remember that last good movie he acted in.

    And I hate to mention Mel Gibson since he’s such an easy target but he burned out a long time ago.

  5. William Henley

    I think a lot of the people mentioned by others have already faded. A couple of those mentioned by others are probably prime to make a comeback.

    To me, I am over Alec Baldwin. Never really cared for the guy to begin with, and now he is just annoying.

    I tried googling current actors and stuff, and most of what was being returned were people I never heard of. So eh, whatever.

    I know the image on this page is Johnny Depp, but he was fairly quiet for a few years before coming back as Grindlewald. I was actually surprised, I was expecting the character to be much more over the top – I am actually enjoying his performance. It may have been the one thing I enjoyed about the movie.

  6. Total agreement on Hathaway and Depp. Streep I still enjoy and Pacino in Danny Collins was a good role.
    I’d say Harrison Ford has gotta be about done. He’s shown over and over again that he could care less about acting except to pay the bills. His part in Force Awakens should’ve been it for him.

  7. Joseph Levitt

    Anne Hathaway has the ugliest singing voice I have EVER heard. Johnny Depp was an incredible, versatile actor, who has indeed, worn out his welcome. I would add Susan Sarandon to this list…awful.

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