These Actors Were Supposed to be the Next Big Thing… But Weren’t!

September 22, 2022
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Hollywood has seen its fair share of “it” actors over the years. the current flavor, if you will. It was anticipated that actors would be the upcoming big thing at the box office for many years, if not decades.

However, we repeatedly learn that achieving fame is much simpler than maintaining it. Hollywood veterans like Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise, and Julia Roberts are few and far between, but flashes in the pan whose names you can’t recall right now are frequently seen at D-list events in the Hollywood Hills.

Some actors appeared to have it all figured out, only to fall short in the end for a variety of reasons, ranging from stars who almost made it big to those who sort of made it but couldn’t quite achieve A-list status.

Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Deschanel’s ardent admirers will tell you that she isn’t all that different from a sweet indie pixie princess. Deschanel rose to fame in television after first becoming known for her work in movies with the show New Girl. It was clear that she would typically play a part like this one.

After working in supporting roles for almost ten years, the actress now devotes most of her time to raising her two children. The actress has appeared in a few commercials here and there, but she appears to be happy with her current, simpler lifestyle.

Gretchen Mol

Gretchen Mol

Gretchen Mol was a rising star who landed significant roles in movies like Donnie Brasco and Rounders. The actress was widely publicized. She would appear on the cover of Vanity Fair, earning the title “It Girl of the Nineties.”

Nobody is exactly sure what happened, but Mol seemingly vanished from the face of the planet. Though fans will always be left in the dark, some fans believe the media exaggerated her talent.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

The next big thing appeared to be Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He would work on blockbuster films like 500 Days of Summer and Inception. Despite his talent, the actor just didn’t seem committed to breaking into Hollywood’s leading man.

Since 2016, Gordon-Levitt has been able to act in a short independent film and do some voice over work. Fans are hoping to witness the actor’s triumphant return pretty soon.

Tiffani Amber Thiessen

Tiffani Amber Thiessen

Tiffani Amber Thiessen, the raven-haired bombshell of the 1990s, attracted admirers on televisions all over the nation. She became a member of Hollywood royalty thanks to Saved By The Bell, graced the covers of almost all magazines, and won the hearts of millions of men all over the world.

The actress was initially considered for the role of Rachel on the popular television show Friends. She unfortunately fell short of landing the role of a lifetime and was beaten out by Jennifer Aniston. Since then, she has only remained in minor, forgettable roles in soap operas.

Andie MacDowell

Andie MacDowell

Andie MacDowell, an actress, appeared in practically every romantic comedy that was produced in the 1990s. Before her star began to fade, this Southern belle appeared in Groundhog Day with Bill Murray and a number of other well-known movies.

Fortunately for fans, MacDowell has passed the torch to Margaret Qualley, who stars in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood as well as a number of cutting-edge independent movies. What Hollywood has in store for the aspiring starlet should be interesting.

Adrien Brody

Adrien Brody

Adrien Brody currently holds the record for being the Academy Awards’ youngest male actor to ever win an Oscar. The pressure that can come with receiving early praise may be too much for some actors. Brody completely abandoned the grid after playing the iconic role of The Pianist.

Fans were curious about where he went; some thought he started painting, and other rumors were circulating. He did, fortunately, return for a supporting part in Peaky Blinders. It’s difficult to predict whether the actor will ever enjoy the same level of fame that he did in his early career.

January Jones

January Jones

The Mad Men actress who is best known to fans as Betty Draper was never able to advance much past that role. Even though her roles on The Last Man On Earth broadened her range, she hasn’t received much praise for them.

Former cast members and crew members claimed that Jones was aloof and conceited. Evidently, her initial dream featured the iconic character of Violet Sanford from Coyote Ugly. Her career may have stalled as a result of her apparent difficult attitude.

Nicole Scherzinger

Nicole Scherzinger

Nicole Scherzinger, who was formerly best known as a member of The Pussycat Dolls, is no stranger to fame. The actress hoped to play a lifeguard in the 2017 Baywatch movie, but she was not given a role. Fans’ anticipation was dampened before it even started.

Despite the actress’s talent, some people simply do not translate to the big screen. Who knows, though? Perhaps this talented beauty hasn’t yet given fans their last glimpse.

Clive Owen

Clive Owen

With roles in films like Closer, Inside Man, and Derailed, Clive Owen did, in fact, become well-known for a while. The actor excelled in action roles and maintained his all-around good looks. Unfortunately, the actor would mostly only appear in niche movies.

Hollywood, even at its best, can be harsh. Although Owen had the potential to succeed, he fell short. But on the other hand, it’s never too late to realize your aspirations.

Colin Farrell

Colin Farrell

Colin Farrell is another well-known actor from the other side of the Atlantic. Farrell had more than enough experience thanks to his roles in blockbuster films like Daredevil, Phone Booth, and Minority Report. Even his comedic part in Horrible Bosses was flawless.

The actor would never achieve the level of fame of a Brad Pitt due to a few box office failures and a problem with substance abuse. But Farrell will play The Penguin in the upcoming The Batman, returning to the spotlight after a brief absence.

Heather Graham

Heather Graham

The leading lady in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me could have been this blonde bombshell who had the good looks and comedic chops. Graham demonstrated her versatility by playing roles in both Boogie Nights and Say It Isn’t So. That range would still be insufficient.

But even with all that potential, nothing would work out. Over a decade of adversity would pass before the actress was finally relegated to Hollywood’s back burner. It’s unfortunate that, despite such a promising beginning, she was never able to advance her career in show business.

Milla Jovovich

Milla Jovovich

Since The Fifth Element became so popular, fans have believed Milla Jovovich will soon become Hollywood’s newest darling. With a strong performance in Resident Evil, she proved them wrong, but things didn’t work out.

The actress’s star power almost immediately diminished. Before she could really take any action to stop it, her window of opportunity seemed to have passed. That is simply the way things are at times.

Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Jonathan Taylor Thomas is well known for his parts in the television series Man of the House, Wild America, and Home Improvement. He achieved great success at a young age, which earned him the reputation of being the nation’s teen heartthrob for girls.

Then, everything was different. In his decision to further his education, Jonathan Taylor Thomas attended some of the top universities in the world. He attended Columbia, Harvard, and even Scotland’s St. Andrew’s University. JTT spoke in an interview with People magazine about finishing his studies and concentrating on writing and directing. He made the decision that working behind the camera piqued his interest more.

Hayden Christensen

Hayden Christensen

When Hayden Christensen started acting, he was 12 years old. He was cast in the movie In the Mouth of Madness at the age of 13, which led to a recurring role for him in the Goosebumps TV series. He would also take pleasure in appearing on The Virgin Suicides and Are You Afraid of the Dark.

For the young actor, getting the role of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode II was a dream come true. Although the weak writing didn’t help, audiences and critics berated his performance in the role. His career stagnated after Star Wars.

Claire Forlani

Claire Forlani

In addition to being stunning, Claire Forlani demonstrated her strength on screen. Fans were disappointed to learn that she wouldn’t live long even then. Like a shooting star, the British bombshell would eventually fade away.

She had a lot of lead roles, but it wasn’t enough to establish her in the business. She would make every effort to continue, but all that would be left would be failing TV shows. Her most recent, promising, but transient role was on the HBO drama Dexter.

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