8 Times Celebrity Casting Went Horribly Wrong
Society6 Minutes Read

8 Times Celebrity Casting Went Horribly Wrong

byBetsy BarkerSeptember 23, 2021

If you’re planning on investing millions of dollars into the production of a movie, you’ll want to make every move you can to get as many people interested in your production as possible – and casting is one of the most effective ways of going about this. 

Of course, there are certain actors out there that will always draw attention from audiences, especially in the right roles. However, when producers and directors are looking to really build some hype for their big opening date, they’ll often opt to think outside of the box with their casting choices – and hire someone who isn’t particularly recognised for their acting prowess at all. 

In some cases, this is a winning decision – think Harry Styles in Dunkirk or Lady Gaga in A Star Is Born. However, the more common outcome is that celebrity castings end up creating hype for all the wrong reasons.

Here are eight examples of occasions when celebrity castings have gone horribly wrong. 

Paris Hilton In Almost Every Role She’s Played

There’s no doubting that Paris Hilton is an incredibly talented woman. Having carved a successful career as a reality TV star, DJ and, of course, an entrepreneur with several profitable businesses, she’s got a number of different strings to her bow. 

Perhaps that’s why so many were unsurprised when Paris attempted to make it as an actress on not one, not two but an incredible seventeen separate occasions – each time bringing about some less favourable reviews. Even more surprisingly, the characters are often written to behave so similar to Paris herself that there’s very little acting even involved. 

Still, it’s no secret that Paris knows how to court attention, so there’s every chance her acting roles are simply a ploy to get people talking – and look, it’s worked! 

Kourtney Kardashian In He’s All That

Given Kourtney seems to be doing just fine making a living from simply being Kourtney Kardashian, we doubt her recent appearance in Netflix’s newest teen rom-com He’s All That represented an acting debut that she’s been looking to make for years – but it didn’t make her deadpan performance any less uncomfortable to watch. 

Of course, we’re not saying Kourtney displayed a complete lack of talent. She appeared on screen for a grand total of two minutes in a badly written reboot starring TikTok star Addison Rae and still somehow managed to make the whole thing worse – in many ways, that’s a skill.

Jason Derulo In Cats

We know that Jason’s best performances always come within the first few seconds of his music videos whilst he’s passionately singing his own name, but fans were still excited to see how he’d do when his role as Rum Tum Tugger was announced for 2019’s Cats

Unfortunately, an actor is only as good as the production they star in and Cats was widely regarded to be one of the worst films of all time. From deeply unsettling animation to deeply unfunny jokes, Cats was pretty much doomed to fail no matter who made up the cast. Having said that, Jason’s performance was arguably still a low-light in an already terrible movie…

Jessica Simpson In The Dukes Of Hazzard

Let’s be honest: Jessica Simpson’s casting as Daisy Duke didn’t exactly come about because of her acting skills. 

From the way her character is written to the way her character is dressed, it’s clear that 00s pin-up Jessica’s turn as a sexed-up Daisy Duke in the 2005 The Dukes Of Hazzard reboot was nothing more than a way to get people watching. Unsurprisingly, her performance fell flat – though we’re pretty sure very few viewers, particularly its target demographic of beer-chugging, chortling men, didn’t really notice. 

Ashton Kutcher In Jobs 

We know what you’re thinking and yes, we know that Ashton Kutcher was already an actor. 

However, a successful career in comedy acting does not an Oscar-winner make. When Ashton was announced to have been cast as Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a long-awaited biopic, the resemblance between the two was certainly striking to get people excited. However, a successful portrayal of a real-life figure is down to much more than simply looking like them – and the longer you watch Ashton’s uninspiring performance as Jobs, the less you even see that.

Taylor Swift In Valentine’s Day

We feel pretty bad that Taylor, like Jason Derulo, got wrapped up in the mess that was Cats – especially considering it had been less than a decade since her last appearance in a bona fide box office flop. 

Taylor Swift was just one of several big stars cast in Valentine’s Day, a half-hearted attempt to recreate the commercial success of Christmas favourite Love Actually – and one that undeniably failed. 

Whilst near enough every performance in this film was genuinely difficult to watch, presumably because everyone involved had already caught onto the fact that the end product would be horrible, Taylor stuck out as being particularly bad. However, we can’t say we blame her – her appearance in the film was quite clearly the result of the casting team looking to capitalise on her popularity as a musician in an attempt to get anyone (literally just anybody) to watch and enjoy this movie. 

Shane Dawson In Not Cool

Long before there were TikTok stars looking to break into acting, plenty of YouTubers had tried and failed. However, few had failed quite as spectacularly as #cancelled comedian/beauty guru/racist Shane Dawson. 

Having been given the financial backing to write and direct his own movie, Not Cool, Shane made the decision that he’d also take on the main role. Given that the project was ultimately a 90-minute long compilation of the very laziest in predictable ‘edgy’ humour, we doubt any actor could have saved it, but we can’t help but feel that having Shane in the starring role was the straw that broke this incredibly unfunny camel’s back.

Justin Bieber In CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Justin Bieber was at the height of tween stardom in 2011, so the announcement that he’d be portraying a serial bomber in a particularly heavy episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation was already a surprise to everybody. 

Even more surprising, however, was his performance. In character as Jason McCann, Justin Bieber delivered the majority of his lines as though he was reading them off the forehead of whichever other cast member he was looking at at the time. In fact, Justin’s best performance as Jason came at the very end – when the character was shot multiple times by police. 

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Ashton Kutcher
celebrity casting
Jessica Simpson
Justin Bieber
Kourtney Kardashian
Paris Hilton
Shane Dawson