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What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career change?

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What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career change?

Old 10-13-12, 04:31 AM
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What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career change?

I thought of this question with the release of Argo. Ben Affleck's career change by becoming one of the best directors in Hollywood really came as a surprise. I never saw it coming, especially based on the movies he starred in before becoming a director.

In the opposite direction, I never expected Robert DeNiro's acting career to become such a disappointment. The actor who exemplified hard work and taking challenging roles simply gave up 15 years ago and decided to just take the money and run with very little effort.

So who has surprised/shocked you?

Last edited by Jaymole; 10-13-12 at 04:38 AM.
Old 10-13-12, 05:33 AM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

Eddie Murphy - Started out his career as a fearless, controversial comedian, and made some great movies. After a few flops, he started with the bland Nutty Professor and Donkey stuff. Any movie other than those are barely a blip on the radar.

On the other side, who would've figured that Robert Downey Jr. would be an A-List star at this point in his career?
Old 10-13-12, 07:35 AM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

^Robert Downey Jr. is about as surprising as it gets. Not only that he resurrected his career to become one of Hollywood's A-listers but just the fact that he's still alive is pretty amazing considering the path he was on in the 90s!
Old 10-13-12, 09:55 AM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

Affleck aside for now, Bill Murray...started funny and comical and has now come into his own in the dramatic realm. love him.
Old 10-13-12, 10:21 AM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

Bobcat Goldthwait

From acting doofus to one of the darkest directors I've seen since Todd Solondz started making movies.
Old 10-13-12, 10:52 AM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

Old 10-13-12, 11:33 AM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

Francis Ford Coppola. Made some of the best films of all time, then hit a rough patch and made some bad films, but he's back on top again in terms of his finances that he's dedicated the rest of his life to making personal 'art films' that he is funding himself. He's already done 3 of them: Youth Without Youth, Tetro, and Twixt.
Old 10-13-12, 11:58 AM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned already but George Lucas took a turn for the worst. After starting his career out great with films like American Graffiti, the Star Wars trilogy, and working with Spielberg on Indiana Jones he's become loathed by some fans for the prequel Star Wars trilogy and constant tinkering to the original Star Wars trilogy. Plus I think it's reasonable to say that he was a big part of the reason why Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull wasn't quite up to par with the original three.

Ben Affleck is definitely a surprise for the better I agree. He went from starring in mediocre movies for the most part to being a great director. In my opinion he's three for three great films with the films he's directed.
Old 10-13-12, 12:12 PM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

Ben Affleck was the first to come to my mind.
Old 10-13-12, 02:09 PM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

Liam Neeson. I mean, who would have thought he would become an action star in his late 50s, and be believable at it?

Alan Alda did a remarkable job of reinventing himself from one of the most recognizable stars in the world to being a versatile character actor.

Denzel Washington has also undergone a change. Most of his career was spent playing morally upright good guys and authority figures. I could believe him as a military officer more than most actors. But then he did Training Day, against the advice of everyone around him, including his wife. Bingo, an Oscar, and it seemed to free him to start playing more dubious character. Look at his characters before TD and after. Huge difference.

Last edited by Traxan; 10-13-12 at 02:59 PM.
Old 10-13-12, 04:56 PM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

William Friedkin has distanced himself from big budget films and does more indie type stuff.
Old 10-13-12, 05:31 PM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

Ben Affleck is a good choice. Went from being in dick and fart movies and shit like Bongwater to being one of Hollywood's best directors.
Old 10-13-12, 06:21 PM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

Originally Posted by Charlie Goose View Post
Eddie Murphy - Started out his career as a fearless, controversial comedian, and made some great movies. After a few flops, he started with the bland Nutty Professor and Donkey stuff. Any movie other than those are barely a blip on the radar.

On the other side, who would've figured that Robert Downey Jr. would be an A-List star at this point in his career?
2 excellent examples here.
Old 10-13-12, 10:52 PM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

Originally Posted by tommyp007 View Post
2 excellent examples here.
Yeah, agreed. I also like the Ben Affleck pick. I've only seen town but I was really impressed that he directed it.

I never thought I would like Leonardo Dicaprio or Justin Timberlake but I think they are both really good actors now and I'm amazed that I look forward to their films.
Old 10-14-12, 07:17 AM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

Jeremy Renner started out as a stoner kid and now is a buff action star.
Old 10-14-12, 07:31 AM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

Come on guys, Affleck did win an Oscar 14 years ago for off camera work.

Jackie Earle Haley stands out for me, probably just as much for showing up at all again, let alone being great.
Old 10-14-12, 08:44 AM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

Kevin Smith - was hoping Red State would redeem his downward spiral but it was a big disappointment.
Old 10-14-12, 09:25 AM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

Tom Waits started playing in all kinds of good movies. And his music has always been great.
Old 10-14-12, 11:13 AM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

Tom Hanks and Jason Bateman.
Old 10-14-12, 03:44 PM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

John Travolta--from sit-com actor to credible movie actor to bad-ass movie actor to Battlefield Earth to sit-com actor (Wild Hogs) to movie musical actor to...
Old 10-14-12, 04:00 PM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

Tom Hanks

One year it was a comedy star doing the famous line: "There's no crying in baseball!"

Next year it was: "I have AIDS" (Oscar)

The year after that, it was: "Life is like a box of chocolates" (Oscar)

Four years after that he becomes the biggest WWII enthusiast in the world.
Old 10-14-12, 04:17 PM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

Originally Posted by Traxan View Post
Denzel Washington has also undergone a change. Most of his career was spent playing morally upright good guys and authority figures. I could believe him as a military officer more than most actors. But then he did Training Day, against the advice of everyone around him, including his wife. Bingo, an Oscar, and it seemed to free him to start playing more dubious character. Look at his characters before TD and after. Huge difference.
I still think he excels in good guy roles over bad guy roles, TD was everything and more but the role itself is honestly not so interesting. He just has it as a good guy better than a bad guy. Now, this is NOT a slant because frankly we live in the age of badguys/gray characters being the heroes a times, while the goodguys are lame/boring shitheads, where frankly it takes a lot more consumate skill to make a good guy be COOL (without resorting to any shadyness to add that fact) in his own wholesome way which takes a lot more effort than playing the fan fav badguy. This has been done in movies like Public Enemies and Day of the Jackal for example, and Denzel has done it too in things like Inside Man and The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 where he was waaay better than his foes.
Old 10-14-12, 05:41 PM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

Edward Burns. Dude's written and directed many non-commercial films, but been in some VERY commercial films. I never really cared for him as an actor, but then I watched Brothers McMullen for the first time and was blown away by how cool the film is story/direction wise. He's also not bad starring in his own material.
Old 10-16-12, 03:36 PM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

Christian Bale. After Empire of the Sun he didn't really do anything that good IMO. Wasn't until much later he got some good roles.
Old 10-16-12, 03:41 PM
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Re: What actor/director has surprised/shocked you (good or bad) with their career cha

Joseph Gordon-Leavitt and Shia LeBeouf they went from being kind of the weird comic relief kids to big budget action movie leads. In what universe does that happen?

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