Ah, what a beautiful fame! When we look at people we know and love, especially in the entertainment world, it can happen that we feel a pinch (or a little more) of envy: they are beautiful, rich, talented and famous, and it seems they have the whole world at their feet. We see them there now in the midst of their success, and we have a feeling that they have always been as high as we perceive them. Often and willingly, however, this is not the case: even the most awarded actors have worked their way up, sometimes lasting years and characterized, like everyone else’s, by ups and downs. Sometimes, even from very low. Because although stars of the caliber of Jennifer Aniston or Leonardo Di Caprio are now renowned and appreciated all over the world, their careers have not always been on the rise.
In fact, some are start off on the wrong foot, with some incredible box office flops. Are you curious to know which ones? It’s time to find out!
1 – Julia Roberts (Fire School, 1987)
Let’s start immediately with a bang with one of the best known actresses and paid currently in business, Julia Roberts. The role of her that made her famous in 1990, that of the protagonist of Pretty Woman Vivian Ward is still very present in our memoirs, but that was not the actress’s first interpretation. Her film debut had in fact been three years before her, when Julia Roberts had appeared in the very unknown film Firehousetranslated into Italian as Firefighters school. It’s about the typical eighties comedy in which the sensuality of the female characters – in this case firefighters who defend the city from crime – was not accompanied by any plot worthy of note. In this context that has little to do with what were then the real successes of Julia Roberts, the actress played a very small uncredited rolebut that was enough for her to grab a place in this ranking of careers that started with a flop.
2 – Amy Adams (Dead Beautiful, 1999)
The sweet face of Amy Adams is known around the world for interpretations such as that of the protagonist Giselle in As if by magic or of Lois Lane in several movies from the DC universe. His beginnings, however, were not as rosy as the great successes that he has contributed to making such over the years. His first appearance on the big screen dates back to 1999, with comedy Beautiful to die foralso known by its original name Drop Dead Gorgeous. The story told is a critique of the world of beauty pageants, the air you breathe and the way they are faced by some of the competitors, with a mother and daughter really willing to do anything to win. The result, however, is a film that has never convinced too much, and which has proved to be a flop at the box office. A single merit, however, is recognized to him, that of having been Amy Adams’ stepping stonewho with her secondary role of Leslie Miller can’t be said to have found success, but she certainly took the first step into the magical and complicated world of Hollywood.
3 – Denzel Washington (Carbon Copy, 1981)
Did you know that the career of Denzel Washington, winner of two Academy Awards, started with a resounding failure at the box office? Let’s talk about the movie Carbon Copy“known” in Italy with the incredible and horrible title Chicken is eaten with your hands. At the center of the plot is Walter Whitney, a business executive who discovers he has a black son – precisely Denzel Washington – eager to make a connection with him. The film was received in a rather detached way, receiving some positive reviews for the message it intended to spread but above all many negative criticisms for its making, considered surreal and even embarrassing by the The New York Times. The Hollywood career of Denzel Washington, who also previously appeared in two television rolestherefore, did not start off on the right foot, but fortunately this initial flop did not affect the subsequent roles of an actor who has demonstrated his incredible talent on numerous occasions.
4 – Jennifer Aniston (Leprechaun, 1993)
We come to sixth place in this ranking with an actress who was protagonist of numerous films and TV series (and what a TV series!), but who, like all of his colleagues included in this piece, had a stormy start to his career to say the least. Jennifer Aniston’s film debut dates back to exactly thirty years ago, when she was chosen to play the young Tory Redding in what has since become the first chapter of the horror film series Leprechaun. The plot refers to the famous Irish legendary figure, the leprechaun, this time in a rather evil version and ready to do anything to recover the gold that she believes has been stolen from him by the family of the character played by Jennifer Aniston. In short, no great message on the horizon in a film which, despite having had its sequels, has never been considered a great work failing both to scare and to make people smile the spectators. Not a great screen debut for Jennifer Aniston who however, just a year later, got the role of her that consecrated her: that of Rachel Green in Friends.
5 – Arnold Schwarzenegger (Ercole a New York, 1969)
Bodybuilder, actor, film producer, entrepreneur and even politician: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career is multifaceted to say the least, even if his various professions they have always been somehow connected to each other. First of all, those of bodybuilder and actor: it was in fact his own thanks to its physicality that Schwarzenegger landed many of his film roles, even his first ever as Hercules, the protagonist of Ercole a New York. The story told by the film that first brought the actor to the big screen is very simple and based, as can be imagined from the title, on the choice of young Hercules to descend from Mount Olympus to experience the mortal world in New York. And to help him in his enterprise there are obviously his muscles and his incredible strength. This film experience, for which he was dubbed due to his strong accent and credited as Arnold Strong due to the difficulty in pronouncing his surname, was not a direct launch for Arnold Schwarzenegger into the Olympus of cinema, but the fact remains that allowed him to get noticed in one type of role for which he has continued to be more than recognized over the years.
6 – Brad Pitt (Endgame, 1987)
We’ve talked about Jennifer Aniston before, but actually too her ex-husband Brad Pitt deserves a place on this list of actors whose careers began with box office failures. The flop in question dates back to 1987 and is The end of the gamea crime drama in which a young detective played by Charlie Sheen goes undercover to foil a criminal group active in car theft. Brad Pitt plays a waiter in the film, a role for which he was not credited and did not utter a single line. It even seems that he had problems on his own set after trying to insert dialogue here and there for his character. In short, it cannot be said that it was a great launch for Brad Pitt, also considering the fact that The end of the game it was neither a success with audiences nor critics. But in the following years, between Thelma & Louise, Fight Club and the many other cults in which he took part, the actor has definitely taken his revenge.
7 – Margot Robbie (Vigilante, 2008)
Since the announcement was made that Greta Gerwig would make the film BarbieMargot Robbie’s name continues to be spoken anywhere and by anyone. The actress achieved international success in 2013 thanks to her role in The Wolf of Wall Street, but his career had already begun a few years earlier. Specifically, in 2008 with the film Vigilante. It’s about an action film produced in Australia – homeland of the actress as well as the country where she began her career -, whose protagonist is a businessman ready to take revenge on the criminals who raped and killed his fiancée. Vigilante was un flop locally and of course it didn’t go beyond the borders of Australia, but fortunately this experience did not stop the extraordinary Margot Robbie, who with her talent reached the big screens all over the world. And we can’t wait to see her as the most famous doll ever.
8 – Scarlett Johansson (Parents Wanted, 1994)
The girl with the Pearl Earring, Lost in Translation e Story of a marriage are just a few of the films that helped make Scarlett Johansson one of the most famous actresses and appreciated in Hollywood. But not everyone knows that even her successful career actually began way back in 1994 as a child actress with a film that was a big box office flop, Parents wanted. The role of Scarlett Johansson in the story of North, a child played by Elijah Wood looking for a new set of parents with whom to live, is actually secondary, but the character of Laura Nelson was still for the actress – who was ten years old at the time – the first experience on the set. And, even if Parents wanted received mostly negative reviews, also earning very littlehas however kickstarted the career of an actress who has given us decidedly noteworthy interpretations over the years.
9 – Leonardo DiCaprio (Critters 3, 1991)
To conclude this list of actors and actresses who made their debut with a flop at the box office we cannot avoid talking about Leonardo Di Caprio. His career, characterized by numerous cult titles and as many Oscar nominations (but not as many victories), began its ascent thanks to Titanic in 1997, but originated a full six years earlier with a film that did not have not even remotely similar: Critters 3. The third chapter of this horror film saga centered on little monsters very similar to the Gremlins sees Josh, the character played by Leonardo Di Caprio, among the protagonists who they fight to save their skin. No particularly innovative plot and absolutely no success for the film, which however cannot be forgotten by the public even if only for the fact that it was the first cinematic experience of one of the most well-known and loved actors out there. And therefore, although it is absolutely nothing special, we can only thank him and at least give him that credit.