Your Favorite Stars Reveal Their Biggest Career Regrets


It’s practically tradition in Hollywood for some actors to trash the works they’ve starred in. Some of their reasoning is understandable; there’s the need to pay rent, and the fact that movies can go through a lot of changes after actors have signed their contracts. Regardless of the excuse, it’s always entertaining to hear the rich and famous talk about things they wish they could have done differently.

Get ready to hear lots of celebrities lament the opportunities that launched their careers. On the one hand, fame is a heavy burden, and many of those that covet it would likely try to give it back within a day. On the other hand, these celebrities are generously compensated for the jobs they supposedly hate, and sometimes they even sign on to do more of it after their complaints. So which of these career regrets do you sympathize with?

Robert Pattinson Regretted Twilight 

Robert Pattinson

In recent times, Robert Pattinson has backtracked on a lot of his negative comments about the Twilight franchise that made him famous. Still, his loathing for the career-making series was so apparent to fans at one point that some dedicated whole blogs to the moments Robert expressed his disdain. At one point Robert told Moviefone he wouldn’t watch the film if he hadn’t been in it because “[he] would just mindlessly hate it.” He also spoke about the fandom to Interview magazine and said; “Sometimes I ask myself what these masses of people do the whole day. They sit in front of their computers and comment on anything having even remotely to do with Twilight. Day and Night.” Yikes. Robert’s views on Twilight seem to have softened in recent years at least. What’s that saying about biting the hand that feeds you?

Justin Timberlake Regrets That Superbowl Performance

Justin Timberlake

They say hindsight is 20/20. Justin Timberlake has apparently had a lot of time to think about his Superbowl performance. No, not the performance of 2018, though that one didn’t exactly get rave reviews. We mean that infamous 2004 performance with Janet Jackson. There have been few moments in live television history where the patriarchy reared its head as strongly as it did after Janet and Justin’s halftime performance. To this day, people continue to debate whether Janet’s “wardrobe malfunction” was planned or not. What most people do agree on, is that she had to deal with most of the fallout. Billboard reported that in the aftermath, Janet’s single was pulled from many radio stations, and she eventually had to issue an apology for the incident. Justin spoke lightheartedly about the incident initially but expressed regret years later. In a 2006 interview, he said; “If you consider it 50-50, then I probably got 10 percent of the blame.” He apparently wished he’d done a better job of coming to Janet’s defense.

George Clooney Was Not Fond Of His Performance As Bruce Wayne

George Clooney
Karwai Tang/WireImage

The public’s opinions on the media we all consume can be pretty polarizing. That’s why it’s so remarkable so many people agreed on George Clooney’s 1997 film Batman and Robin being a catastrophe. On The Graham Norton Show he said; “Let me just say that I’d actually thought I’d destroyed the franchise until somebody else brought it back years later and changed it. I thought at the time that this was going to be a very good career move. It wasn’t.” While George has at times made light of the failure, it seems it was a good learning experience for him. He told The Hollywood Reporter;  “Up until that moment, I was an actor only concerned with finding work. After the failure of that film creatively, I understood that I needed to take control of the films I made, not just the role. So perhaps not a regret, but more of a blessing in disguise?

Britney Spears Regrets Her Reality Show

Britney Spears
Hello Mag

Back in 2005, Britney Spears was married to Kevin Federline. The couple chose to share the ins and outs of their life on their reality show Chaotic, and apparently, it’s one of Britney’s greatest regrets.  Britney told The Telegraph;  “I would never do something like that again. That was probably the worst thing I’ve done in my career.” While reality shows can be career-launching for some – ahem, Kardashians – Britney is certainly not the first celebrity to regret sharing her private life with a television audience. While it’s perfectly understandable that she’d want some semblance of privacy, we know many people would be disappointed at the near-confirmation that Britney is probably never doing another reality show.

Miley Cyrus Isn’t A Fan Of Her Wrecking Ball Music Video

Miley Cyrus
Entertainment Tonight

Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball marked a pretty pivotal moment in her career. While she struggled to break out of the Disney mold and into the world of adulthood, the public continuously criticized her clothes, her habits, and her general image. The Wrecking Ball music video was one of the moments where Miley’s response to the unending scrutiny was to just keep being Miley. Now that the singer has “mellowed out,” she apparently doesn’t look back too fondly on the music video. She told the Zach Sang show;  “Swinging around naked on a wrecking ball lives forever. I’m never living that down. I will always be the naked girl on a wrecking ball… My worst nightmare is that being played at my funeral.” It’d certainly make for an entertaining funeral.

Mariah Carey Regrets The Movie Glitter 

Mariah Carey
Chicago Sun Times

Mariah Carey’s 2001 film Glitter was a double failure: critics despised it and it tanked at the box office. An appearance on Watch What Happens Live gave Mariah an opportunity to give a bit more insight into what went wrong with the film; “There was no script darling…and it was released on 9/11.” That one sentence certainly made the source of Glitter’s failure crystal clear. Mariah went on to share that for years after the film was made, she wouldn’t let people talk about it in front of her. So apparently, she’s made progress.

Jessica Alba Did Not Like The Director For Silver Surfer

Jessica Alba

You may remember the days of Jessica Alba being in Fantastic Four. If you look back on the movies fondly, you might not want to bring it up to her. In a very candid interview with Elle, Jessica admitted that her experience on Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer made her want to quit acting. Mostly, it was the fault of the director Tim Story; “I remember when I was dying in Silver Surfer. The director was like, ‘It looks too real. It looks too painful. Can you be prettier when you cry? Cry pretty, Jessica.’ He was like, ‘Don’t do that thing with your face. Just make it flat. We can CGI the tears in.” Oy vey.

Katherine Heigl Regrets…A Lot

Katherine Heigl

There was a point in time when Katherine Heigl had it made. She was starring in blockbusters seemingly nonstop, all the while working on one of the longest running and most successful shows in television history: Grey’s Anatomy. Initially, Katherine said she regretted her role in a very successful film she starred in; Knocked Up. She told Vanity Fair;  “It was a little sexist. It paints the women as shrews, as humorless, and uptight.” After one too many complaints about the projects that made her famous, Katherine found many of those opportunities falling away, and her regrets seemed to change too. Years later, she’s expressed regret about some of her tactlessness. She told the mag; “[I should have just said], ‘Shut up, Katie.” While Katherine’s career exile seems a bit unfair – she’s clearly not the first actor to criticize the projects she’s starred in- it didn’t seem to help that her perspective on these works was an unpopular opinion.

Kate Winslet Is Not A Fan Of Her Titanic Performance

Kate Winslet
The Independent

Speaking of unpopular opinion, apparently, Kate Winslet was not a fan of her performance as Rose in the legendary film Titanic. She told The Telegraph; “Every single scene, I’m like ‘Really, really? You did it like that? Oh my God… even my American accent, I can’t listen to it. It’s awful… I have a hard time watching any of my performances, but watching Titanic I was just like, ‘Oh God, I want to do that again.'” Despite her criticism, Kate seems to know how to toe the line to avoid upsetting coworkers. Kate generally speaks of her experience on the film fondly; making it clear that although she is critical of her own work, she is not bashing any directors, writers, or costars. Certainly, a good way to avoid getting ostracized from Hollywood!

Rooney Mara Regrets Her Complicity In Whitewashing

Rooney Mara

After starring in a film that garnered a great deal of controversy from the start; Rooney Mara expressed regret for portraying Tiger Lily in Pan. In the novel the film is based off; Peter and Wendy; the character Rooney plays is Native American. In addition to Rooney’s casting, all the main characters in the film were played by white actors. Though the director Joe Wright defended the casting, Rooney eventually expressed regret for her part. She told The Telegraph; “I really hate, hate, hate that I am on that side of the whitewashing conversation. I really do. I don’t ever want to be on that side of it again. I can understand why people were upset and frustrated.”

Daniel Craig Regrets…Being Famous?

Daniel Craig

Like Pattinson, Daniel Craig has also had some less than positive things to say about the role he’s best known for, James Bond. And while it’s true that many of Daniel’s comments suggest he only did the films because he was bonded by contract, it seems that Daniel’s real hatred is for one of the films’ side effects: fame. He often complains about his lack of anonymity, saying this about fans;   “They [smartphones] are the f***ing bane of my life. I get people who just take pictures of me with their camera phone while I’m having dinner. I want to get violent and I can’t. They think it’s their right to take a photo of me and I find that incredibly intrusive. But every phone has a camera on it, so how do we stop it? We can’t.” Of course, these days, privacy is dead for everyone, not just celebrities. We don’t know, maybe Daniel Craig just regrets his whole life?!

Shia Labeouf Regrets His Comments About A Famous Director

Shia Labeouf

At this point, Shia Labeouf is better known for his strange antics than his acting. One of those highly publicized moments came when he criticized Steven Spielberg…the highest grossing film director in history. Shia worked with Steven multiple times, and after wrapping up one of the Indiana Jones films, Shia told Variety that Spielberg was “less a director than he is a f*cking company…Spielberg’s sets are very different. Everything has been so meticulously planned. You got to get this line out in 37 seconds. ” It didn’t take long for Shia to express his regret on the comments he made about the director. Perhaps it’s because they know each other personally, or simply because he didn’t want to jeopardize his career; but Shia eventually backtracked and said he’d been too harsh in his criticism of the director; “[he] gave me a lot of opportunities…” Hopefully, he hasn’t burned that bridge…

Will Smith Thought After Earth Was “Painful”

Will Smith
Defender Network

Hopefully Jaden doesn’t take it too personally, but it turns out that Will Smith was not a fan of one of the movies they starred in together. Thankfully it wasn’t Pursuit of Happiness, but instead, After Earth, which you probably didn’t see anyway. Will explained to Variety that the experience was actually worse because his son was involved, which is understandable considering how much pressure it must have added to the experience. He told Esquire; “That was a valuable lesson for me a few years ago with After Earth. That was the most painful failure in my career.” On the bright side, Will says he learned to stop obsessing over numbers at the box office after the experience; “You can’t win enough, you can’t have enough money, you can’t succeed enough. There is not enough. The only thing that will ever satiate that existential thirst is love.”

Carrie Fisher Regrets Her Iconic Role

Carrie Fisher
David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

It’s a role that many would have died to play, but we suppose you have to be careful what you wish for because Carrie Fisher apparently regretted her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars films. In an interview with Matt Lauer in 2008, Carrie confessed that things would have been different if she’d known how big the film was going to be; “I would never have done it. All I did when I was really famous was wait for it to end.” While it may be hard to imagine what Carrie’s life would have been like if she had never taken on Star Wars, there’s a fair chance she would have never had the legacy she does now, and perhaps that’s what she wanted.

Viola Davis Wanted More From The Help 

Viola Davis

When it came out, The Help was widely acclaimed. These days, people have reevaluated the film, and one could argue that it was 2011’s Green Book. Viola is certainly among those people, and while the film did earn her a Best Actress Oscar nomination, she has since gone on to admit that it did not capture the voices it was meant to. Viola told The New York Times that the experience of making the film was great and she loved everyone she worked with, however; “[she] just felt that at the end of the day that it wasn’t the voices of the maids that were heard. I know Aibileen. I know Minny. They’re my grandma. They’re my mom. And I know that if you do a movie where the whole premise is, I want to know what it feels like to work for white people and to bring up children in 1963… I never heard that in the course of the movie.” Interestingly, the book also received similar criticisms.


References:, VultureBillboard, ENews, Syfy,  The Telegraph, Vanity Fair, Variety, IndieWire, EW, Variety, The Telegraph, USA Today, NPR, Life & Style Mag, InStyle


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