Horribly Miscast

  • A Walk in the Clouds - Keanu Reeves*
  • The World Is Not Enough - Denise Richards (sophisticated Nuclear Physicist? I think not!)
  • The Saint - Elizabeth Shue (see above)
  • The Hunt for the Red October - Sean Connery
  • Aliens 4 - Winona Ryder
  • The Man with the Iron Mask - Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Mission to Mars - The Alien
  • Entrapment - Sean Connery
Author Comments: 

Once again, I find that this is my forum to vent. I hate it when I'm watching a movie, and I can just see that the actor doesn't mesh with the part. What were the casting directors thinking? I know that the stars agents are usually trying to keep their client from being typecast, but sometimes it's just not worth it! I sense the beginnings of a list...

*Okay, so Keanu Reeves isn't exactly suited to play any dramatic role (I don't mind him in action), but this one was a decent movie, tanked by a blind and deaf casting director.

Well, it didn't happen, but I heard that Sylvester Stallone was originally wanted to star in Beverly Hills Cop. A disaster avoided. (Btw, I think any role other than "Ted" counts as a casting error for Keanu Reeves.)

I thought Jack Lemmon was horribly miscast as a sentry in Kenneth Branagh's HAMLET.

Unfortunately, I have yet to see that version, but I can definitely see the potential for disaster!

My wife and I had a rare toddlerless dinner out last night, and we got to discussing your lists. Here's what we came up with:

  • A couple Russian roles, Sean Connery as the Russian sub commander in The Hunt for Red October and John Malkovich as the Russian card player in Rounders. This of course promped me to joke that Malkovich was miscast in Being John Malkovich.
  • Sofia Coppola in Godfather III
  • Meg Ryan in Restoration
  • Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic (bring it on!)
  • Winona Ryder in Alien 4.
  • Everybody except Anne Heche in Six Days, Seven Nights.

yeah, specialy if you're familiar with her thing with ellen degeneris. i just couldn't get it out of my mind while i whatched six days, seven nights, it ruined the movie for me... harrison ford + a lesbian.... no way man!!!

Actually, you misread me. Everyone except Anne Heche. I thought she was great. I thought Harrison Ford, as much as I enjoy him, was too old.

As I understood it, Ryder was to have had the part in Godfather III that was mutilated by Sofia Coppula. She (Ryder) had some sort of illness just before filming began. Francis Ford was forced to cast his daughter. Unfortunately even a stellar performance by Winona wouldn't have rescued III.

Wow, my list was part of the conversation on a toddlerless night! Amazing! Anyway, I think that Sean Connery and Winona Ryder are great additions. Leonardo, though, was only slightly miscast. They could have done better, but they also could have done much much worse. I think that he was far more off base in "The Man with the Iron Mask."

Ooh yeah. Good catch. I had completely forgotten about The Man in the Iron Mask. That movie was positively awash with miscast characters. It also had the dubious honor of containing one of the most unintentionally funny scenes I've ever seen:

<SPOILER - highlight to read>

Gabriel Byrne lies dying, looks up at his friends, and says something like, "it's the death I've always desired." Yeah, I often yearn for the day when my own child mortally stabs me in the back. :)


In another list JIM mentioned the Casablanca line,
"The Germans wore gray, you wore blue" and suggests that only Bogie could have pulled it off. Somewhere I read that the part of Rick in this great film was originally cast for Ronald Reagan. Maybe this qualifies as the greatest miscast that wasn't.

I saw Mission to Mars over the weekend. Not a bad movie, even sometimes going a step further than most Sci-Fi movies do (although never far enough for me). The alien, however, should have looked far less Disney "A Bugs Life" computer generated.

Alright man... Denise Richards I agree with.
Elisabeth Shue I do not. I thought Shue did a fine job embodying her scientific character. She had that frazzled genius look about her. And she was also beautiful. So? Lots of really smart women are also beautiful.
Denise Richards was also completely vapid, Shue was not. I mean, "If I don't get that bomb back they'll have my ass!" ?????!!!! Granted, that was also the writing but please. Shue would not have allowed herself to deliver such a line.
Anyway, did you check out the CHEMISTRY in The Saint????? it was a HOT HOT movie. Shue and Kilmer were a great duo.

Perhaps my opinion has been tainted. I just can't seem to like her in anything after seeing "Leaving Las Vegas." I just seem to remember her panting and weezing throughout the movie (which was a plot device, although I still can't figure out the point of it).

May I suggest an addition --- Sean Connery in "Entrapment". TOO FUCKING OLD. I am so sick of people saying he's not. In the scene where he denies Zeta-Jones loving with the line "There are certain... circumstances..." everyone in the audience laughed and literally shouted out "Viagra! VIagra!" It was pretty sad. Ewan Macgregor would've been just the Scott to take on the role and Jones, even if she does prefer older men.

I haven't seen "Entrapment" yet so I'm hesitant to add it on the basis that I have no idea how the movie played out. I totally agree with you, however. I saw the beginning of some terrible movie with Clint Eastwood recently where he was supposedly bedding every young thing around. I shut it off. It was too ridiculous to watch.

Finally saw it...must agree and add.

I believe Keanu Reeves worst miscast is actually in Dangerous Liasons, a movie I happen to love. I just feel like he's just popped out of his phone booth in some strange sequal to Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey.

A Walk In The Clouds is possibly the best role I've seen Keanu in. Thats a great little movie! Plus Connery in Hunt For Red October is almost oscar caliber work. Almost. The rest of these I'm right there with you on.

Oh, A Walk in the Clouds would have been a great movie, had he not been in it. He was just so bland...it made me want to tear my hair out.

As for Sean Connery in Hunt, I agree that the performance was good, but he just doesn't pull off a Russian. It was like watching Kevin Costner try to do an English accent in Robin Hood.