No matter how many great performances an actor can give, one bad movie or one unfortunate scandal can destroy their career. Unfortunately people have the habit of judging talented people on their mistakes instead of their triumphs. For these five actors and actresses in particular, their triumphs need to be noticed.
Do you guys remember Holes? Do you guys remember Disturbia? Shia LaBeouf has shown us time and time again that he can act. Not only can he act, he can act really, really well. When I bring up the name Shia LaBeouf, most people instantly bring up either the sub-par Transformers movies, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, or Shia's various viral internet moments like "Actual Cannibal Shia LaBeouf" and "Just Do It." It's true, right now Shia is an internet joke. That doesn't mean that he has lost his acting chops.
Two years ago, an amazing war movie came out called Fury, starring Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal, Michael Pena, and of course, Shia LaBeouf. Every actor in that movie brings their very best in an intense and emotional action movie, including Shia. He gives a great stand-out performance in an all-star cast, and that wasn't too long ago.
Shia Labeouf has also given some fun and intense performances in Eagle Eye and Lawless. He shouldn't just be a viral joke. Sure, I love watching his internet content, but it's important that people still know that he's a talented actor. American Honey looks like it can be another great role for him, and I hope to see his career go on for a long time.
Hayden Christensen is a great example how one bad role can tank your career. You'd think it would be a blessing to star in two Star Wars movies, but when they are prequel movies, it's more of a curse. Most people know Hayden solely as Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. I'm not going to defend that role. It simply wasn't good.
However, I hate it when an actor is harshly judged on a single performance. If you watch the movie Jumper, you can see Hayden in a fun role where he teleports around with Jamie Bell while fighting Samuel L. Jackson. Or, if you want something a little more dramatic, watch the movie Shattered Glass, where Hayden plays a journalist who fabricates story for publicity. He does a magnificent job in that movie, and I think that he could shock us all if he is cast in some bigger dramatic roles.
It baffles me that four years after the last Twilight movie, people still refer to Kristen Stewart as "the girl with no emotions." Sure, she was blank-faced in the movie, but as a man who read all four books and watched all five movies, I think that complaint can be directed more towards the character than the actress. Especially since Stewart had proven to us over the last four years that she has serious acting talent.
For those who don't believe me, check out Adventureland, American Ultra, and Cafe Society. What do all three have in common? Well, she co-stars with Jesse Eisenberg in all three, but that's not the point I'm trying to make. In all three she does a fantastic acting job. She's not blank-faced at all. She showcases happiness, sadness, excitement, and anger just like any normal person. Don't use the Twilight as a representation of her career. She's a talented actress who deserves a lot more success in her career.
At this point, I just feel bad for Garrett Hedlund. He's a great actor, as we've seen in almost every movie he's in, yet most of his notable films are critically panned. Take Eragon for example. It was a horrendous adaptation of a YA fantasy novel, but Hedlund played a great conflicted character. He was also the lead in Tron: Legacy (which was really fun but received poor reviews), and he played James Hook in Pan (where Captain Hook was basically written as Han Solo).
Sure, he's been in good movies as well. He was Johnny Five in Inside Llewyn Davis, which was a fantastic film, but Hedlund didn't get much screen-time. Hedlund really deserves more exposure in some better movies. No matter how well he acts in bad movies, he'll still be known as "the guy from bad movies" unless his luck improves. Just make him Green Arrow in the DCEU. That'll work.
Mel Gibson was an all-star actor and director for decades. He was the original Mad Max, he starred in the Lethal Weapon franchise, and he directed and starred in the Oscar-winning movie Braveheart. Even with that kind of resume, Gibson's career took a big hit when he was the center of a scandal with leaked tapes. Now instead of an amazing actor and director, he's labeled a racist. Mel addressed these claims years ago, where he defended himself.
"I've never treated anyone badly or in a discriminatory way based on their gender, race, religion, or sexuality — period. I don't blame some people for thinking that though, from the garbage they heard on those leaked tapes, which have been edited. You have to put it all in the proper context of being in an irrationally, heated discussion at the height of a breakdown, trying to get out of a really unhealthy relationship"
The fact of the matter is that everybody says things that they regret. We don't know what exactly happened in the situation. We weren't there, so it's unfair for so many people to persecute him over what happened in that situation. How about we give him a second chance to prove himself? He's stepped back in as a director for the upcoming Hacksaw Ridge, and the movie looks fantastic! He's also starred in Blood Father, a lesser-known movie that came out this year. And guess what? It has amazing reviews. Scandal aside, Mel Gibson has proven himself as an amazing actor and director, and I think it's time for everyone to give him a second chance.
Fellow film fans, let us not be quick to judge. Just because someone has been in a bad movie or just because they've done some things that they regret doesn't mean that they can't still be a good actor. Doesn't everyone deserve a second chance?