From Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, to Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence – there has never been any shortage of ‘beauty with brains’ in the tinsel town of Hollywood. Kate Winslet’s turn as ‘Rose’ in ‘Titanic’ was the starting point of a hugely successful career. Even unconventionally beautiful actresses (think: Halle Berry) have managed to wow audiences with their performances. However, not all Hollywood hotties have managed to bring the two attributes together.
Judging from Rihanna’s first few movies, it looks like Hollywood has got yet another pop star/hotbod who cannot act at all. Rose McGowan and Drew Barrymore (apart from a couple of roles here and there) have not done much more in their careers than pout and flutter their pretty eyelashes. Emma Roberts is one from the younger brigade who has, as yet, showcased no great acting skills. Thankfully, we have Meryl Streep still going strong, Amy Adams keeping people falling in love with her, Emma Watson moving out of her ‘Hermione’ image, and Shailene Woodley impressing with her second outing (‘Divergent’) itself. After all, dumb beauties can be tolerated for only so long – you need to see some intelligence and spark on the big screen too!
We have here listed some glamorous, beautiful actresses (some of them have even won awards!) who can’t act to save their lives:
1. Malin Akerman
No one really noticed this blonde Swedish bombshell in ‘27 Dresses’ and ‘The Heartbreak Kid’. She did manage to show some spark as ‘Silk Spectre II’ in ‘Watchmen’ – but followed that up with turkeys like ‘Couples Retreat’ and ‘Wanderlust’. Judging from her expressionless, wooden performances – we can state with confidence that she should have stuck with her musical career. Akerman currently plays the main role in a sitcom called ‘Trophy Wife’ – a title which, ironically, fits her perfectly.
2. Janet Jackson
Another case of a moderately successful pop star misled into thinking that she could become an actress too. The in-your-face sexual overtones in Jackson’s first music album (‘Janet’) were just what teens were looking for. What followed next was not quite the stuff fans had bargained for though – with Janet either whining or trying to sound soulful while reciting dreary verses in ‘Poetic Justice’.
A slightly better performance in ‘The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps’ followed, but the ‘wannabe actress’ was back to her cringeworthy self in the two ‘Why Did I Get Married?’ films. With depression, manic obsessions, and a sad excuse of a brother to deal with, Janet Jackson always had too much on her platter to properly concentrate on acting as well. Terrible actress, who did not get much chance to improve!
3. Kristen Stewart
If acting was a pendulum between sighing heavily, and…well…sighing more heavily, Stewart would have been a multiple Oscar-winner by now. Her ‘Bella’-act in the otherwise-successful ‘Twilight’ franchise has got to be one of the most consistently expressionless feats in the history of Hollywood. ‘Welcome To The Rileys’ (2010) remains Stewart’s finest onscreen performance till date – and even that is not a patch on the recent works of many of her contemporaries. Unfortunately for her, a gorgeous face and forever puckered lips cannot serve as substitutes to emotions.
When Beyonce sang ‘Crazy In Love’, she became the darling of music-fans worldwide overnight. Then came her hamming act in ‘Austin Powers in Goldmember’. Not taking a hint from the criticism directed at her performance, Beyonce went ahead to do forgettable flicks like ‘The Pink Panther’ (at least it has some fans!), ‘Dreamgirls’ and ‘Obsessed’ (the last one being an absolute howler). ‘Epic’ (2013) finally highlighted where Beyonce was going wrong with her film career. As long as she was not seen on screen, her voiceovers were good enough.
5. Jennifer Aniston
Back in the ‘90s, most guys had a big crush on ‘Rachel’ – the character played by Aniston – in the cult hit sitcom, ‘Friends’. The breathtakingly pretty lass proved with ‘The Good Girl’, that acting prowess was not something she lacked. Either due to a lack of interest, or overconfidence, or an inability to adapt to different roles – Aniston has become increasingly repetitive in her most recent ventures. Her mere presence added charm to flicks like ‘Horrible Bosses’ and ‘We’re The Millers’, but her performances had nothing to do with these films’ commercial success.
6. Sarah Jessica Parker
Ah, an actress who thought that copy-pasting her ‘Sex & The City’ act would be equally appreciated in every film. Thanks to her extremely limited acting capacities, Parker has been stereotyped for roles of snooty, high-society ladies only. Unfortunately, she failed to excel in her comfort zone as well, with ‘Sex & The City 2’ turning out to be an assault on viewers’ senses. Flash that smile of yours at media events Sarah, you simply do not have the range and versatility to make it big in Hollywood. What’s the point of doing one bad film after another?
7. Paula Patton
Drop-dead good looks meet deadpan expressions in Paula Patton. Three years have gone by since the release of ‘Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol’ – Patton’s biggest hit, in which she was the weakest link (remember that horribly revealing dress near the climax?). The few hardcore movie buffs who watched ‘Baggage Claim’ last year would confirm that Patton has lost all her acting abilities by now. The question is – did she ever know how to act?
8. Jennifer Lopez
Blame ‘My Little Girl’, which released in 1986, for making the incredibly hot JLo want to try her luck as a full-time Hollywood leading lady. ‘Maid In Manhattan’ (2002) is the only film where Lopez has shone till date – and that too, because she had a really author-backed role. The only other flick of note in her acting career has been ‘Shall We Dance?’ – where, understandably, Richard Gere, stole all the limelight. JLo never quite managed to make viewers go ‘Baby, I Love U’ over her!
9. Lindsay Lohan
The sheer charm of films like ‘Freaky Friday’ and, to a lesser extent, ‘Mean Girls’ masked what a lousy actress this pretty damsel was. Lohan mistook the initial box-office success as a mark of her acting prowess – and an assembly line of bad films followed. Things came to a head with the emphatic flop ‘I Know Who Killed Me’ – where Lohan’s performance was crowned by a Razzie award. The lovely lady also showed how to mess up a perfectly well-written characterization of Elizabeth Taylor, in the critically panned ‘Liz & Dick’.
10. Melissa Joan Hart
If looks could kill, Melissa could make the heart of many men go weak. Most of her TV outings (particularly ‘Sabrina, the Teenage Witch’) were raging successes – and no one could have predicted that her big-screen acting career would be an unmitigated disaster. To be fair, Melissa has not got any big-budget productions to work in either – with most of her movies being direct-to-television. In all her roles, she smiles, and then she smiles some more – and casting directors evidently have not been impressed. Pretty face, little else!
11. Megan Fox
We would love to dismiss ‘Jennifer’s Body’ as that one mistake even the best of actors commit – but Megan Fox’s chequered career does not give us that chance. Signing movies with titles like ‘Whore’ and ‘Passion Play’ did not quite create a positive image about Fox in the industry – and the incredibly sexy actress showed in ‘Friends With Kids’ and ‘This Is 40’ that she has never been, and will never be, anything more than eye-candy.
12. Kim Kardashian
Oh dear Lord, where do we even start on this…erm…well-endowed Holly hottie? Kardashian’s first (some would say ‘only’) claim to fame was a leaked intimate tape with former beau Ray J. ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ kept her in the limelight- but her movie choices were so bad that people soon got it that she was never going to be an A-grade actress. The reviews to ‘Drop Dead Diva’ and ‘Deep In the Valley’ were scathing. Of course, by winning a Golden Raspberry for her act in ‘Disaster Movie’, Kardashian had given an early indicator of the acting ‘talents’ she possessed.
13. Keira Knightley
Think of the phrase ‘breathtakingly beautiful’, and chances are high that the image of Keira Knightley will immediately come to your mind. It’s a pity that the same won’t occur if you hear the words ‘brilliant actress’. Her latest flick ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’ has sunk without a trace – and it was her ethereal beauty, rather than her suave acting, that got her over the line in brilliant films like ‘The Duchess’ and ‘Anna Karenina’. Give Knightley big, glamorous sets, and glitzy, regal costumes – and she will steal your hearts. Watch her in any of her not-so-big movies, and your time and money will be ill-spent.
14. Katherine Heigl
‘Knocked Up’ (2007) was only a flash in the pan, as far as Heigl’s – often referred to as a rom-com specialist – Hollywood forays are concerned. Things went steadily downwards, both with her choice of films and her performances, from then on. Heigl was unbearable in 2012’s ‘One For The Money’, and deservedly bagged a Razzie for it. Now 35, Heigl is a steady presence in tabloids, celebrity mobile apps and media events – but her film career has hit a dead end. Thankfully.
15. Gabrielle Union
Dusky, smoldering beauty? Check. Inhibition-free in front of the camera? Check. Successful model? Totally. Acting abilities? None Found! Gabrielle Union did a dumb cheerleading act in ‘Bring It On’ and a rather forgettable role in ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ – but those were nearly a decade and a half back, and during this time, she has made viewers suffer with one lackluster performance after another. Signing absolute turkeys like ‘Meet Dave’ and ‘Good Deeds’ has not helped matters either.
16. Cameron Diaz
Not many manage to star opposite Tom Cruise and yet deliver one of the biggest duds of recent times, but Diaz did that with ‘Knight And Day’. The sad thing about Diaz is that, she has it in her to perform when she wants – and has as many as 4 nominations for the Golden Globe awards to show for it. Diaz comes across as unpredictable – and that only can explain why she signed ‘The Counselor’ and ‘The Green Hornet’ (and many such ‘gems’). Oh, and the Charlie’s Angels movies? C’mon, they were all about an adrenalin-pumping girl gang – no serious acting was required for it!
17. Meagan Good
The Fox was bad, and the Good is worse. The name ‘Megan/Meagan’ and Hollywood are probably not perfect fits – since this pretty lady’s ambitions to make a mark at Hollywood have also fallen flat. Good has dared to bare in her films, in social events and award ceremonies – and evidently believes that her, well, assets will do the talking in films. When her career started taking a nosedive, Good dabbled in horror flicks too (‘One Missed Call’, ‘Saw V’) – and no one noticed her in them either. Sultry sirens need not make good actresses – Meagan Good is the living example of that!
18. Sienna Miller
‘Factory Girl’, ‘Alfie’, ‘Layer Cake’ – all of them had Sienna Miller in them, in incredibly steamy scenes. For a while it was fun to see the blonde bombshell taking onscreen boldness to new heights. It became all too boring soon though – and Miller’s fan count (nothing to write home about at the first place!) started dropping. Miller made viewers sit up and take notice with her role as ‘Caitlin’ in ‘The Edge Of Love’ – but has fallen back to her insipid roles in even stupider films. Her upcoming ‘American Sniper’ does not look promising either.
19. Paris Hilton
By now, we have all come to realize that good looks and a soaring oomph-quotient are the only things that keep Paris Hilton in the news. By mid-2000s, when the scandalous ‘One Night In Paris’ was doing the rounds, offers for regular films had dried up for Hilton, and she had to settle for either TV movies or direct-to-video films. Speaking of which, her performance in ‘Bottom’s Up’ was the stuff of nightmares.
20. Bo Derek
You won’t be able to take your eyes off that hourglass figure. And then, when Bo Derek would start to speak, the magic spell would be broken. Her debut flick, ‘Orca’, was a stinker – as was most of her follow-up efforts. After ‘10’, each of her films was worse than her previous one, and her banal performances irked even hardcore fans (not that there were many of them). Not every actress in Hollywood can ‘brag’ about getting a nomination for the Golden Raspberry awards – but Derek managed this feat thrice, winning it the first time with the ridiculously bad ‘Tarzan, The Ape Man’.
Author’s Bio: Ross Smythe is a professional mobile app developer at Teknowledge Mobile Studio. He is a huge movie-buff as well, and often analyzes films and star performances on the web. In this piece, he lists out some really pretty actresses, who, sadly, are deficient in the acting department.