Weekend Roundtable: Actors Who Shouldn’t Act Anymore

The topic for this week’s Roundtable came pretty easily once I realized that irritating and wholly unfunny “comedian” Danny McBride has both a new movie in theaters and one from earlier this year debuting on video this week. Let’s talk about actors and actresses who just plain need to be stopped from torturing us with their terrible performances.

Josh Zyber

Having just ranted about Danny McBride, I also want to throw out a special dishonorable mention for January Jones. This dead-behind-the-eyes starlet deserves to have her SAG card revoked after ‘X-Men: First Class’, in which she spent the entire movie standing in the background of scenes, staring vapidly into space while real actors talked in front of her. Her performance in that movie is embarrassing. It’s certainly no wonder that her character disappears for about half the movie and isn’t seen again until the very end. No doubt, director Matthew Vaughn was forced to cut most of her scenes in editing. Too bad he couldn’t excise her completely from the film.

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

Dan Fogler is without fail the worst thing about every movie he’s in. Considering how terrible those flicks would’ve been anyway (‘Fanboys‘, ‘Take Me Home Tonight‘ and ‘Good Luck Chuck‘, to rattle off a few), that’s kinda saying a lot. When casting directors need a fat, hypothetically funny dude but don’t have the budget for Jack Black or Jonah Hill, they settle for Fogler. He’s one of those comedians who has deluded himself into thinking that the louder he is, the funnier he gets. He mugs at the camera at every possible opportunity and manically flails around, like six Dane Cooks stitched together, always confusing “Bigger! More! More!” with something resembling comedy. On one hand, I love reviewing his movies since it’s kinda fun to seethe with hatred and let myself tear off on a rant. But… ack. Seriously, I have no idea why people keep hiring the guy. Dan Fogler is toxic.

Wayne Rowe

When Josh first posed this question, the top two actors who came to mind were Russell Brand and Tom Cruise. But then I recalled a funny story that a pal told me. There’s this awesome local video rental store near me. How it’s still in business is beyond me. Regardless, the owner is a bit of a character. When my friend Jim saw the “Upcoming Movies” list about a month or so ago, it listed ‘Season of the Witch‘. When Jim asked about it, the owner said: “Ugh, don’t even bother. In fact, if he makes one more movie I’m going to put a warning label on all his flicks.” My friend: “What’s the warning label going to say?” Owner: “Warning: Contains Nicolas Cage.”

Nate Boss

As much as I want to say Ken Jeong and his shtick, I have to go with Brendan Fraser. ‘Furry Vengeance‘ may have clinched his pick. (The raccoon was cute. Everything else – including Jeong – was garbage.) But let’s not forget the forgettable ‘Extraordinary Measures‘. Let’s also remember ‘Inkheart‘, the third ‘Mummy‘ flick that served no purpose whatsoever, or the already-forgotten misery porn ‘The Air I Breathe‘. All are fine examples of how difficult it was to sit through Fraser’s “films.” He also embodies one of the low points of the shitsploitation/Academy Award winning ‘Crash‘, replete with the most monotone performance I’ve ever seen or heard. ‘Monkeybone’, ‘Dudley Do-Right’, ‘George of the Jungle’… those three don’t even need explanations. Fraser is a fun action adventure lead, but he’s a horrible actor – over the top in the worst of moments, unbelievable in any emotive scene. His career should end. And maybe he can take Jeong with him to whatever cinematic hell awaits.

Mike Attebery

There is nothing likable about Gwyneth Paltrow. While her mother, Blythe Danner, has genuine warmth and a certain spark, Paltrow has never been appealing. She just seems stuck up and, frankly, pretty lazy. I have no idea how she ever won her Oscar. I probably don’t wanna know what was required. All I know is that she has to go. Watch her scenes at the end of the first ‘Iron Man. Lifeless. Phoning it in (literally). She needs to return to London, maybe sink her claws into another rock star (Mr. Coldplay doesn’t seem to have worked out so great), or go back to that Goopy thing of hers. I don’t care what she does, just so long as she stays outta the movies!

M. Enois Duarte

With so many to choose from (Ashton Kutcher, Ben Affleck, Jessica Alba and Kristen Stewart, to name a few), I have to say Channing Tatum is simply one of the worst actors working today. Whether he’s a member of the Roman legion or a captain in the new G.I. Joe team, he plays the exact same character in everything – a good ol’ Southern boy with street cred. Despite his name sounding like a dirty private part or some perverted sexual position, this guy continues to be handed roles which require more than he could ever give. He’s clearly incapable of creating a different persona appropriate to the material or delivering a line with genuine dramatic effect. Can we please stop treating him like an actor and just put him back to work inside a Walmart where he belongs?

[Ed.: Yes, yes, and a thousand times yes! Who “discovered” this monkey, anyway? –JZ]

Luke Hickman

This one is easy: Taylor Lautner. The kid is atrocious, embarrassing even. As a child actor in ‘The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl’, he was utterly bland. In ‘Valentine’s Day‘, he was almost as bad as Taylor Swift. His acting style is on the same level as the talentless teens who appear in made-for-Disney Channel movies. He is one hundred percent laughable in the ‘Twilight’ movies, and continues to look so in the previews for his new action thriller ‘Abduction’. The world would be a better place if Lautner would simply disappear.

We know that you must have some actors who you wish could be forcibly retired. Tell us about them in the Comments.


  1. javier

    I can’t stand Ben Stilled! I have avoided his movies for years, besides Reality Bites. Oh and Zackey Galifinakis….really can’t stand that guy!

  2. I’m gonna nominate Stan Lee, Stephen King, and Quentin Tarantino. Yeah, we all get that you guys like to cameo in every movie you have anything to do with but you are fucking awful. Stan just pops on screen and immediately I’m taken out of the movie, it was sort of cute the first time, now I dread it. Stephen should never EVER speak, he’s supposed to be this horror icon but he talks like an oompa loompa (his role in Creepshow was awesome though.) And QT, while occasionally tolerable (Death Proof, Pulp Fiction) is never the best choice for the roles he plays. He’s not threatening or macho, he’s a huge nerd. The only reason those roles are memorable is because he always writes himself hilarious dialogue (Chartreuse, dead nigger storage) but it’s hard to deny that an actual actor would have been twice as effective delivering the lines, and maybe even looked the part.

    • Alex

      I do have to disagree with one instance of Stephen King. He recently did a guest spot on “Sons of Anarchy” as a for-hire crime-scene “cleaner.” He was eery, creepy, and hilarious all at once.

      By no means is he a great actor, but for one shining moment, he was a treat.

  3. John Grady

    Any child actor that tries to act way older and more mature then they are, I can’t stand.

    The kid that plays Mika? in Heroes sets a burning rage in my chest.

  4. paramedic0112

    Jason Statham, Vin Diesel, The Rock. Best Vin Diesel performance: Getting shot in Saving Private Ryan. Also, who said it was ok for Statham to try to fill Charles Bronson’s shoes? The guy has the personality of a sleeping turtle.

    • I can’t agree with you on Statham. As long as he keeps kicking asses, they can make as many Statham vehicle movies they want IMO. Until the day comes that he stars opposite Renee Zellwegger in a rom-com or some shit.

  5. I thought Dan Fogler was great in Fanboys and Balls of Fury. Just because a lot of his other films were just no good, doeas not mean he is not an entertaining actor.