The life of a movie star can be a complicated one. One day you’re beloved by everyone and the next you’re hopping on a couch in front of a terrified Oprah and nobody can watch any of your movies anymore without laughing for all the wrong reasons. It happens. All too often. Hence, this list. Some of the actors and actresses on this list have lost whatever credibility they had simply because it’s become clear to everybody that they are as good an actor as Helen Keller was an opera singer. Still others have lost all semblance of credibility because their private lives have become so weird and/or ridiculous that it’s become impossible to watch them without thinking of how stupid the whole damn thing has gotten. Whatever the reason, the one thing all of these seven actors and actresses have in common is that none of them have any credibility left.
Photo credit: Tom Cruise image by Featureflash/Shutterstock
7 Steven Seagal
Granted, Steven Seagal has always been pretty ridiculous. Once upon a time, that was part of his charm. But there is the kind of ridiculous that makes people cheer for you while you’re snapping the arm of Tommy Lee Jones or sparring with Gary Busey on a giant battleship and then there is the kind of ridiculous that makes people wonder if you’re legitimately insane because you’re wandering around in a giant dashiki sexually harassing costars a third of your age or fighting pit bulls and crackheads on some shitty reality show. And sadly for Steven Seagal, he crossed the line separating those two shades of ridiculousness a long time ago. Today, if you see his name attached to anything – movie, TV show, a string of misguided and discontinued sex toys – you can be assured that the only thing you’ll want to see snapped is your own neck so you don’t have to spend all your time being tortured by Seagal being, well, Steven Seagal.
Photo credit: Steven Seagal image by Keith Muratori/Shutterstock
6 Kevin Costner
I know it’s hard to believe but once upon a time Kevin Costner was one of the biggest movie stars in the world. It’s true. Following the success of Dances With Wolves and the epic success of his ridiculous version of Robin Hood, it seemed like Costner could do no wrong. Well, other than try to speak with an English accent, but people seemed willing to let that slide. Then came Waterworld. Then The Postman. And then? Well, suddenly the fact that Costner couldn’t really act was a little more difficult to overlook. I mean, seriously, when’s the last time that Costner even showed up in anything the least bit noteworthy? As a leading man, his credibility is not only gone it’s been obliterated and then pissed on by a gang of diseased goats. At best he’s a character actor now, which wouldn’t be so bad if not for the fact that, again, the dude really can’t act. So what’s left? For Costner, I guess all that’s left is sitting in a dark room, drunk, watching Bull Durham over and over again and wondering where it all went wrong. Either that, or swimming in a pile full of money like Scrooge McDuck. So, yeah, we shouldn’t feel bad for Costner. Feel bad for me. I’ve actually watched both Waterworld and The Postman, which I’m pretty sure means that Veteran’s Day was my holiday.
Photo credit: Kevin Costner image by Helga Esteb/Shutterstock
5 Nicolas Cage
Poor Nicolas Cage is a victim of a combination of factors which have sunk the last vestiges of his credibility. First of all, his tendency to overact his ass off has left him a caricature of himself, a manic weirdo who chews so much scenery that even Al Pacino thinks he needs to calm down. Second, the dude has picked some astoundingly awful movies to star in. If you don’t believe me, here is the list of movies that he has starred in over the last decade:
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Christmas Carol: The Movie, Windtalkers, Sonny, Adaptation (the one truly good movie in the whole damn decade), Matchstick Men, National Treasure, Lord of War, The Weather Man, The Ant Bully, World Trade Center, The Wicker Man, Ghost Rider, a cameo in Grindhouse, Next, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Bangkok Dangerous, Knowing, G-Force, The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call, Astro Boy, Kick-Ass, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Season of the Witch, Drive Angry, Seeking Justice, and Trespass.
Jesus! Other than Adaptation, and a handful of half-decent dramas and modest hits, the only movies that Nicolas Cage has starred in over the last decade have been Gigli level bombs or shitty popcorn flicks for Disney. This dude once won an Oscar! Just look at that list again. I shouldn’t even have to continue. But I will, since I’m a professional. Aside from his hilariously awful career choices, the dude’s public image has also been ruined by the fact that he’s, well, weird as hell, he gives his kids dumb comic book names and he’s wasted all of his money on crazy shit like gold plated mustache combs and locks of hair from the original Superman actor. I’m not sure if either of those are actually true, but they might as well be. And to top it all off, now his adult son is running around karate kicking lampposts and getting the shit beaten out of him on the sidewalk by everyone from his personal trainer to his own wife. Add everything I just wrote up and it’s no wonder that everyone laughs when they see Nicolas Cage and his flyaway hair pop up on the big screen.
Photo credit: Nicolas Cage image by cinemafestival/Shutterstock
4 George Lucas
Okay, technically George Lucas isn’t an actor but he still belongs on this list because let’s face it, whenever the dude’s name pops up on the big screen, it either elicits one of two reactions: either there is a sense of excited awe coming from true believer nerd types who refuse to admit that George Lucas has spent the better part of the last decade and a half bending them over and extracting money from their asses like they were some kind of demented ATM machines, or there is barely suppressed laughter and derisive groans from everyone else. This is because Lucas just can’t leave well enough alone and in his endless pursuit for technological perfection (aka money) he has subjected us to everything from Jar-Jar Binks to recut after recut of Star Wars, just because he feels like you should pay another twenty bucks to see nipples on the Ewoks this time or Jabba sing show tunes. His utter willingness to market complete crap has become so obvious and so ridiculous that no one can take him seriously anymore, and so when his name pops up in a trailer, rather than movie magic, the only thing most people are picturing is a giant Jar-Jar Binks gibbering at them like some nightmare from hell. And that’s why he’s on this list.
Photo credit: George Lucas image by s_bukley/Shutterstock
3 Lindsay Lohan
Come on, just look at the picture. I’ve seen meth heads that can pull it together better than that. It’s gotten so bad that reportedly after her Playboy shoot, Hugh Hefner looked at the pictures and basically said “Uh, I think we need a do over here,” and that dude is so old, senile and horny that he’d probably try to bone Anna Nicole Smith’s corpse. To put it another way: Lindsay Lohan is too strung out and beaten up for porn. I don’t need to say anything else, do I?
Photo credit: Lindsay Lohan image by Helga Esteb/Shutterstock
2 Mel Gibson
There is probably not another movie star more toxic than Mel Gibson. This is what happens when you go on an epic bender that sees you repeatedly insult Jews, sexually harass a friggin’ police officer, slap around your baby mama and the baby, demand blow jobs from said slapped around baby mama and then threaten arson. I know that sounds wildly implausible and completely outrageous but for Mel Gibson, that’s just his normal Thursday routine at this point. And everybody knows it. If they made another Lethal Weapon movie I’d be terrified that he’d start making racist comments towards Danny Glover and then would set him on fire, ranting and raving about blow jobs the whole time. Look, I just don’t want to risk a scene which sees Riggs accuse Joe Pesci of killing Jesus before freaking out and punching one of Murtaugh’s kids because they ran out of vodka on the set. And I think I’m not alone in this and that’s why Mel Gibson is so high on this list.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
1 Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise isn’t as toxic as Lindsay Lohan or Mel Gibson, and he can still at least get movies made, so why is he number one on this list? Because he has the unique fortune to not only be responsible for destroying his own credibility with his off the deep end couch jumping Xenu gibbering weirdness, he also destroyed the credibility of Katie Holmes. No matter how ridiculous things have gotten for the other actors on this list at least none of them dragged another actor’s career with them completely into the abyss like Cruise did with poor Katie’s career. Everyone forgets but just prior to her relationship with Cruise, Katie Holmes was starring in the massively successful Batman Begins. A few well-executed couch jumps and an endless array of vacant what the hell happened to me looks on her face later and she’s been reduced to making her comeback in a movie opposite Adam Sandler in drag. As for Cruise himself, well, since he went completely off the deep end, he’s really only had one well received role – as a completely psychotic nutjob of a movie executive in Tropic Thunder. In other words, the only role that people will buy Cruise in anymore is as someone who is completely fucking crazy. That’s not a coincidence. For that, and for completely ruining the credibility of his own wife, Tom Cruise has earned the number one spot on this list. Congrats, Tom. Now please don’t sue me or send a team of lawyers high on Xenu blood to rough me up and pick through my trash looking for ways to ruin my life. Thanks, pal, you’re a peach.
Photo credit: Tom Cruise image by Featureflash/Shutterstock
(Previously published on November 22, 2011.)