Humans beings are bound to make mistakes. Be it at work or in professional life, we simply can’t stop committing errors. A number of A-listers in Hollywood have taken upon roles in films that they deeply regret signing.
In an interview with Business Insider, Daniel Craig claimed that he’d rather “slash” his wrists than return as James Bond for another film.
Here’s a compilation of some actors who have voiced their distaste for characters they took on.
Emma Stone regrets playing a half-Asian character in Aloha.
The role: Emma played a character of Chinese and Hawaiian descent named Allison Ng
What she said about it later: “I’ve learned on a macro level about the insane history of whitewashing in Hollywood and how prevalent the problem truly is. It’s ignited a conversation that’s very important,” she said in an interview. And in 2019, she yelled “I’m sorry!” to Sandra Oh when she made a joke about it at the Golden Globes.
Gwyneth Paltrow cringes at her fats swimsuit in Shallow Hal.
The role: Gwyneth donned a fats swimsuit to play the character of Rosemary Shanahan
What she said about it later: In 2020, Gwyneth said in an interview with her assistant that the movie was a “disaster.”
Jake Gyllenhaal says it “wasn’t right” for him to star in Prince of Persia.
The role: Jake played the role of Prince Dastan in Disney’s Prince of Persia in 2010
What he said about it later: “I think I learned a lot from that movie in that I spend a lot of time trying to be very thoughtful about the roles that I pick and why I’m picking them… And you’re bound to slip up and be like, ‘That wasn’t right for me,’ or ‘That didn’t fit perfectly,'” he said in a 2019 interview.
Scarlett Johansson backed out of enjoying a trans man in Rub and Tug after going through criticism.
The role: It was announced in 2018 that Scarlett would play a trans man in a film called Rub and Tug.
What she said about it later: “In light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting as Dante Tex Gill, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my participation in the project,” she wrote in a statement. “Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive.”
Zoe Saldana says she by no means ought to have performed Nina Simone.
The role: Zoe, who is of Dominican, Puerto Rican, and Lebanese heritage, was cast to play Nina Simone in a 2016 biopic. She had to wear dark makeup and a prosthetic nose for the role.
What she said about it later: “I should have done everything in my power with the leverage that I had 10 years ago… I should have done everything in my power to cast a Black woman to play an exceptionally perfect Black woman,” she said on Instagram live in 2020.
Rooney Mara regrets accepting the role of Tiger Lily.
The role: She portrayed Tiger Lily in a 2015 adaptation of Peter Pan, who was a Native American character
What she said about it later: “I really hate, hate, hate that I am on that side of the whitewashing conversation. I really do,” she said a year later. “I don’t ever want to be on that side of it again. I can understand why people were upset and frustrated.”
Jimmy Fallon apologized for taking part in Chris Rock on SNL in blackface.
The role: Jimmy wore blackface and did an impersonation of the comedian on Saturday Night Live in 2000
What he said about it later: “In 2000, while on SNL, I made a terrible decision to do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface. There is no excuse for this. I am very sorry for making this unquestionably offensive decision and thank all of you for holding me accountable,” he tweeted.
Hank Azaria stepped down from his longtime position as Apu on The Simpsons.
The role: Hank, a white man, voiced the role of the Indian character Apu on The Simpsons for 30 years
What he said about it later: “Once I realized that that was the way this character was thought of, I just didn’t want to participate in it anymore. It just didn’t feel right,” he told the New York Times last year.
Anne Hathaway apologized to individuals with limb variations for her position in The Witches.
The role: Hathaway took the role of Grand High Witch in 2020’s The Witches, and special effects were used to give her three fingers on each hand.
What she said about it later: “I have recently learned that many people with limb differences, especially children, are in pain because of the portrayal of the Grand High Witch in The Witches… As someone who really believes in inclusivity and really, really detests cruelty, I owe you all an apology for the pain caused. I am sorry. I did not connect limb difference with the GHW when the look of the character was brought to me; if I had, I assure you this never would have happened,” she wrote on Instagram
Jenny Slate decided to cease voicing a biracial character on Big Mouth.
The role: Jenny, who is white, voiced Missy Foreman-Greenwald on Big Mouth for three years, a character who has a white mother and Black father.
What she said about it later: “At the start of the show, I reasoned with myself that it was permissible for me to play ‘Missy’ because her mom is Jewish and white — as am I. But ‘Missy’ is also Black, and Black characters on an animated show should be played by Black people,” she wrote in a statement on her Instagram last year.
Kristen Bell left the animated sequence Central Park, where she performed a biracial character.
The role: Kristen, who is white, was cast to play the role of Molly, who is biracial.
What she said about it later: “This is a time to acknowledge our acts of complicity. Here’s [one] of mine. Playing Molly in Central Park shows a lack of awareness of my pervasive privilege. Casting a mixed-race character [with] a white actress undermines the specificity of the mixed-race and Black American experience,” she tweeted last year.
Alison Brie regrets voicing a Vietnamese American character in BoJack Horseman.
The role: Alison voiced the character of Diane Nguyen, who was a Vietnamese American in the show
What she said about it later: “In hindsight, I wish that I didn’t voice the character of Diane Nguyen. I now understand that people of color should always voice people of color. We missed a great opportunity to represent the Vietnamese American community accurately and respectfully, and for that I am truly sorry,” she wrote on Instagram last year.
Julianne Moore says she’s unsure she would play a lesbian once more after The Kids Are All Right.
The role: Julianne Moore played a lesbian character in the 2010 Oscar-nominated film The Kids Are All Right.
What she said about it later: “I look back and go, ‘Ouch. Wow.’ I don’t know that we would do that today. I don’t know that we would be comfortable. We need to give real representation to people, but I’m grateful for all of the experiences that I’ve had as an actor because my job is to communicate a universality of experience to the world,” she told Variety last year.
Jimmy Kimmel apologized for doing sketches in blackface.
The role: Jimmy wore blackface to impersonate celebrities like Karl Malone and Oprah Winfrey.
What he said about it later: “I have long been reluctant to address this, as I knew doing so would be celebrated as a victory by those who equate apologies with weakness and cheer for leaders who use prejudice to divide us. That delay was a mistake. There is nothing more important to me than your respect, and I apologize to those who were genuinely hurt or offended by the makeup I wore or the words I spoke,” he wrote in a statement last year.
Ed Skrein dropped out of Hellboy after studying that his character is meant to be of Asian descent.
The role: Skrein took up the role of Major Ben Daimio in the 2019 Hellboy reboot. A character with a multiracial Asian heritage.
What he said about it later: “It is clear that representing this character in a culturally accurate way holds significance for people and that to neglect this responsibility would continue a worrying tendency to obscure ethnic minority stories and voices in the arts. I feel it is important to honor and respect that. Therefore I have decided to step down so the role can be cast appropriately,” he wrote in a statement shortly after his casting.
Halle Berry apologized for contemplating the position of a trans man in a film.
The role: Halle said that she was considering taking the role of a trans man in an upcoming, unnamed movie and she was excited to take a “deep dive” into “that world.”
What she said about it later: “Over the weekend I had the opportunity to discuss my consideration of an upcoming role as a transgender man, and I’d like to apologize for those remarks. As a cisgender woman, I now understand that I should not have considered this role and that the transgender community should undeniably have the opportunity to tell their own stories,” she wrote in a statement on Twitter.
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