Hollywood is a weird place. I can say this with authority as I’ve been there on two separate occasions and once I spent a lot of time drinking. It’s built on piles of money all devoted to the seemingly arbitrary art of film, to making new Fast and Furious movies, and giving Yoda a solo movie. If a movie is awful, people lament how those millions could have fed the hungry but if it’s great, it can make you dream again. It’ll make you remember why you love stories and movies to begin with. It’s a hell of a thing. And so is what it does to the talent involved. One minute you’re nominated for an Academy Award, the next you’re in a direct-to-DVD sequel to a Tim Allen movie. In honor of such cruel twists of fortune, here are 5 guys who were on top of their game once. And then the game ended and no one told them.
Don’t you dare argue that Christian Slater has had a successful career. He’s had an admirable career, even a good career, but he was 100% poised to be huge and it never happened. Back in 1988 Slater was in Heathers and, at the time, it was awesome. It hurts to watch it now but he was this weird little sketchy Jack Nicholson dude and people loved him. He then made about a dozen movies in a row that were so 1990s they hurt and people loved them. Then a small handful of things happened and one of them was called Kuffs. Another was Untamed Heart. And then Broken Arrow.
Even True Romance, Slater’s best movie, couldn’t save him from the missteps he’d started to make. Hard Rain. Very Bad Things. 3000 Miles to Graceland. You’d be forgiven if you thought Slater was big in the early 90s and then vanished before reappearing just a few years ago when in fact he’s been working steadily since the mid 80s and has had at least one movie out every year since 1988 and in fact usually more than one. Did you know that? Of course you didn’t because you stopped caring after True Romance, just like everyone else.
Cuba Gooding Jr.
Cuba Gooding Jr has been an actor in 72 movies. I’m not even joking. He was even in one called Lies and Illusions in 2009 with Christian Slater which of course you didn’t know and probably neither of them remembers. But of those 72, how many can you name that aren’t Jerry Maguire? I offer you no chance to answer because you’ll jut Google it and be all “he was in Pearl Harbor” when we all know everyone is biologically incapable of remembering a Michael Bay movie so none of us know that he was in Pearl Harbor, not really.
After making a Tom Cruise movie even more delightful than Renee Rellwegger did, Cuba went on to do absolutely nothing worth mentioning ever again. I looked him up on the IMDB and everything is so lame I’m not even going to bother mentioning anything else.
I know, right? I’m pretending Skeet had potential. So he showed up one day and looked like a sort of homeless version of the bastard child of Johnny Depp and Gavin Rossdale and that seemed to be his selling point. You may not remember but he was in Scream which of course starred Rose McGowan’s nipples. He even got to be a Newton Boy and was in As Good as It Gets which was literally as good as it got since he then starred in Chill factor with Cuba Gooding Jr. I swear I didn’t plan this out ahead of time, it’s just a nefarious coincidence that these guys keep working together.
Freddie Prinze Jr.
There was literally a time in human history when the words “Freddie Prinze Jr.” were not the punch line to a joke. In fact, he was kind of popular and shit for a while, before he started to look like Tom Hanks in Philadelphia. He starred in a handful of movies about knowing what someone did last summer and the worst teen rom com ever, She’s All That. You literally become dumber if you’re in the room while that movie is playing, it’s been proven by science. That’s also where his career started circling the drain.
After She’s All That he hopped on the turd that was Wing Commander and then Scooby Doo . As Fred. Did anyone ever want to see blonde Freddie Prinze Jr. in a neckerchief? Then he inexplicably had his own sitcom and that was probably the last time anyone saw hi, the day they changed the channel in a panic. Know what he does now? He produces WWE wrestling, I shit you not.
If you don’t remember, Edward Furlong was the kid from Terminator 2. That was his first role, and the movie was huge and awesome and still is. Oddly, he was even pretty good in it. It was literally the best way anyone could have started their career in acting. He so blew it.
Yeah, he had a stint in American History X and some people enjoyed Pecker but man, did anyone start so high to fall so low ever in film history with the possible exception of that kid from the Star Wars prequels?