20 Actors Who Were Perfectly Cast In Movie Roles, And 20 Actors Who Were Horribly Cast And Almost Ruined The Movie

·16 min read

We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which actors were perfectly *and* horribly cast in movie roles (to get a full picture of character portrayals in film). Here's what they had to say.

Warning: Potential movie spoilers ahead! 🚨

Note: Some submissions were pulled from various Reddit threads by users u/TrickDragonFruit1, u/MikeBrando23, and u/[deleted].

1.Horribly cast: Cameron Diaz as Jenny Everdeane in Gangs of New York (2002)

Jenny telling Amsterdam: "You look stunned and poorly, sir"

"Cameron Diaz in Gangs of New York seems like the obvious choice, considering she shared the screen with Daniel Day-Lewis."


"Gangs of New York would be one of my favorite movies if not for Cameron Diaz. Don't get me wrong, I think she's great in just about everything else, but she couldn't keep up with Daniel Day-Lewis and Leonardo DiCaprio."


"Her Irish accent would change from scene to scene β€” at least she tried?"


Buena Vista Pictures

2.Perfectly cast: Daniel Kaluuya as Chris Washington in Get Out (2017)

Missy interrogating Chris while he cries and sits nervously in the leather chair, before going to The Sunken Place

"Kaluuya's portrayal was brilliant throughout the whole movie. From the terror he experienced in The Sunken Place to the momentary helplessness when the cop car arrived in the final scene β€” he was brilliant in that role."


Universal Pictures / Monkeypaw Productions

3.Horribly cast: Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Batman threatening Superman: "Do you bleed? You will"

"He was too talkative and personable as Batman β€” did he do alright as playboy Bruce? Sure β€” but when he was supposed to be Batman in Bruce's clothes? Eh. Batman wasn't suppose to be buddy-buddy with The League; he was supposed to be there out of necessity. I will never understand why everyone thinks he was a great Bruce Wayne β€” I think Affleck is down there with George Clooney as one of the worst."


Warner Bros. Pictures

4.Perfectly cast: Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne in Gone Girl (2014)

Amy's monologue while driving in her car: "Nick Dunne took my pride and my dignity and my hope and my money. He took and took from me until I no longer existed. That's murder"

"Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne in Gone Girl β€” she perfectly embodied the Amy from the book and somehow added even more depth to the character. She was truly excellent and deserved the Oscar IMO."


"I forgot how absolutely perfect Rosamund was β€” there wasn't a single moment in her performance that was short of perfection, if you ask me. The moment where Amy's fixated watching Nick do the TV interview, and she had the faintest hint of a smirk at his reference to the woodshed, told you absolutely everything that was going through her head in that scene. Brilliant."


"I don't like horror movies, but Amy Dunne scared the fuck outta me β€” I can't help but watch anytime I see the movie come on."


20th Century Fox

5.Horribly cast: Topher Grace as Eddie Brock/Venom in Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Venom telling Flint: "I wanna kill the spider, you wanna kill the spider — together, he doesn't stand a chance. Interested?"

"He straight-up shouldn't have been in that movie, or at the very least, his character shouldn't have become Venom in that movie. Sandman and Harry Osborne were already enough."


Sony Pictures Releasing

6.Perfectly cast: Awkwafina as Billi Wang in The Farewell (2019)

Billi telling her mom in the back party room how frustrated and sad she was when they moved to the States

"People are so nervous whenever a comedian tackles a serious role, but Awkwafina absolutely killed it in The Farewell. She delivered amazing monologues with such depth, and she cried in all the right places β€” no wonder she won the Golden Globe for Best Actress!"


"I will die on the hill that Awkwafina deserved an Oscar nod for her performance in The Farewell."



7.Horribly cast: James Corden as...well, any character in any movie he's been in

Corden in "Cats," "Into the Woods," and "The Prom"

"He's a dreadful actor in everything (even in the TV show Gavin & Stacey he was painful to watch). He's just an all-around, less-than-average comedian who happens to have a lot of charisma."


"Someone once said that James Corden is the exact opposite of Samuel L. Jackson β€” Jackson makes everything he stars in better, whereas Corden makes everything he stars in worse."


Universal Pictures / Disney / Netflix

8.Perfectly cast: Lupita Nyong'o as Adelaide Wilson/Red in Us (2019)

The end of "Us," Adelaide driving the car and having a flashback to when she was a child

"She played two different characters with such ease that you had to remind yourself there wasn't a separate performer. Whether she was Adelaide or Red, her commitment to the role was so brilliant that she portrayed the quiet, vindictive smiles and sheer terror with equal aplomb. Also, a special mention to her vocal skills β€” she actually did the raspy grunts as Adelaide herself. UNREAL."


"Lupita Nyong'o was made for that film and played both parts perfectly. Not only was she great at acting with her co-stars, but she was also great at acting by HERSELF!"


Universal Pictures / Monkeypaw Productions

9.Horribly cast: Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher in Jack Reacher (2012)

Cruise in three separate stills from "Jack Reacher," with tough expressions on his face while wearing a leather jacket

"Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher β€” Jack Reacher was supposed to be, like, a 6'8" mountain of destruction. Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson would have been miles better."


"Tom Cruise was supposed to be this 'buff' and mesmerizing character that women would swoon over him β€” it felt so forced watching him try to be suave."


Paramount Pictures

10.Perfectly cast: Angelina Jolie as Lisa Rowe in Girl, Interrupted (1999)

Lisa asking Susanna: "Scribble,. scribble, scribble, — written anything about me yet?"

"Only Angelina Jolie could play a role so passionate, smart, and sexy at the same time. Girl, Interrupted is one of my favorite movies, mostly because of Lisa Rowe's character."


Columbia Pictures

11.Horribly cast: Jared Leto as the Joker in Suicide Squad (2016)

The Joker telling Capt Griggs: "I can tell you meant that — you're gonna be my friend"

"His performance came off as a wannabe Heath Ledger Joker to me β€” a lot of his performance felt improvisational too. So even if they ditched the tattoos and grill and went with a more traditional look, Leto still came off as hammy."


"It’s like he wasn’t even trying to play the Joker β€” just an edgy 'gangster' trying to play what he thought the Joker was supposed to be (with only Heath in The Dark Knight to go off on)."


Warner Bros. Pictures

12.Perfectly cast: Ana de Armas as Marta Cabrera in Knives Out (2019)

Marta revealing to everyone that Hugh was the one who killed Harlan

"I thought Ana de Armas was really amazing in Knives Out! She perfectly captured emotions by only using facial expressions, and I was impressed by how I could go from rooting for her to questioning her motives and then back to rooting for her. She’s an amazing onscreen crier, too, like when she realized she switched the medications and started to panic."


"Ana de Armas's role as Marta Cabrera was so memorable and such a standout performance. Not a lot of people talk about her, but she's an extremely talented actor."



13.Horribly cast: Anne Hathaway as Mirana, the White Queen in Alice in Wonderland (2010)

The White Queen telling Alice: "Alice, you cannot live your life to please others — the choice must be yours"

"I don’t know if it was just me, but Anne Hathaway’s White Queen in Alice in Wonderland always just seemed incredibly off. I couldn’t stop thinking about how awkward she was in that role (granted the movie was terrible, but man, did she seem out of place)."



14.Perfectly cast: Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in the Indiana Jones franchise

Ford in "Raiders of the Lost Ark"

"Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones β€” he pulled off the intellectual college professor part of the role just as well as the action hero portion. He was as believable as a competent brawler as he was when it was clear that he only succeeded due to a lucky hit or dodge. I know they considered Tom Selleck for the role, but they totally made the right choice in Harrison Ford β€” I can't imagine anyone else pulling it off and doing justice to all of the facets of the character."



15.Horribly cast: Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

Keanu Reeves in three separate frames in "Bram Stoker's Dracula"

"Keanu Reeves in Bram Stoker's Dracula was horrible casting for an otherwise great film. He tried so hard that he came across like a plank of Californian wood in the middle of an English tea room β€” I really like Keanu Reeves, but he can’t do an accent."


"Absolutely Keanu Reeves in Bram Stoker’s Dracula β€” I love the man, but that accent was something else. If he hadn’t been in the film, I’m almost certain there’d be no debate that this was the best and most faithful Dracula adaptation."


Columbia Pictures

16.Perfectly cast: Keanu Reeves as Neo in the Matrix franchise

Neo telling Trinity: "I know you can hear me. I'm not letting go. I can't. I love you too damn much"

"Definitely Keanu as Neo β€” he was perfect for this role. I can't imagine what Neo would've been like if Will Smith had not passed on the role."


Warner Bros. Pictures

17.Horribly cast: Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange in the MCU

Dr. Strange telling Thor in "Thor: Ragnarock:" You can handle him from here"

"Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange, and I say this as someone who liked pre-2014 Cumberbatch β€” that was a cash-cow casting."



18.Perfectly cast: Toni Collette as Annie Graham in Hereditary (2018)

Annie yelling at her kid with great passion for being mean to her

"The screaming and crying she did in that movie were phenomenal, and I don't think anyone else in the world could have done that performance as heartbreakingly perfect! She was terrifying, depressing, and disturbing, and I could not look away!!!"



19.Horribly cast: Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Freddie questioning Brian's rhythm to "We Will Rock You" in the studio

"All Rami Malek gets is praise for that role, but he had absolutely none of Freddie Mercury's charisma β€” not even a little bit. Even a two-minute interview with the real Freddie had more energy than Rami did in that entire movie."


20th Century Fox

20.Perfectly cast: Angela Bassett as Tina Turner in What's Love Got to Do With It (1993)

Tina standing up to Ike in her dressing room just before she performs as a solo act for the first time: "Let me tell you what I'm gonna do: I've got a room full of people who have come to see me. You hear me, Ike? Come to see me"

"Angela Bassett as Tina Turner β€” she played the role so well, at times it felt like I was genuinely watching a documentary."


"This movie is honestly pretty hard for me to watch at times, but oh my god, Angela Bassett was perfect as Tina Turner. She danced just like her, and she tackled the very dark and serious scenes so well β€” I can't believe she didn't win an Oscar for this role. Like, come ON."

β€”Kayla Yandoli

Buena Vista Pictures

21.Horribly cast: Cara Delevingne as Laureline and Dane DeHaan as Valerian in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

Three stills of Delevingne and DeHaan in "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets"

"They single-handedly killed that movie with their cringey acting."


"The casting was the one thing that really let that movie down β€” it pretty much had everything, but there was zero chemistry between Cara and Dane. I thought I was watching two random people trying to act like they were in love in some high school play."


EuropaCorp Distribution

22.Perfectly cast: Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in the MCU

Fury to Peter Parker: "I saw you at the funeral, but I didn't think that was a good time to exchange numbers;" Parker: "No, that would've been really inappropriate;" Fury: "That's what I just said;" Parker: "Right"

"I have to emphasize the casting of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury β€” he's played the version of himself from Marvel’s Ultimate universe, where they wrote Nick Fury as if he was Samuel L Jackson. So, he was literally cast as himself for the Marvel Cinematic Universe."



23.Horribly cast: Mila Kunis as Jupiter Jones in Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Jupiter telling Caine she loves dogs like she loves him, and feeling embarrassed about it

"That movie had so many bizarre performances that it might seem unfair to single Mila Kunis out, but she was the lead and she brought nothing to the role. If they had cast someone with a bit more charisma and personality, the movie might have worked in a weird way β€” it could have been silly and fun instead of silly and awkward."


Warner Bros. Pictures

24.Perfectly cast: Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Hannibal trapped in his prison cell, describing how he ate a man's liver with beans and wine

"Anthony Hopkins was perfectly deceptive and quintessentially creepy, not to mention the rapport between him and Jodie Foster as Clarice. It was arguably the best relationship between two antithetical characters β€” you can’t help but love it."


"I love Anthony Hopkins, and he did a phenomenal job as Hannibal β€” I have to say that I thought nobody could have portrayed this character as good as him until I saw Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal in the TV show. Both did an incredibly convincing job!"


Orion Pictures

25.Horribly cast: Matthew Goode as Ozymandias in Watchmen (2009)

Goode as Ozymandias in "Watchmen" wearing a bright-colored blazer

"Matthew Goode as Ozymandias in Watchmen, and I really like Matthew Goode! The character should have been portrayed by Chris Evans or Chris Hemsworth β€” he should have been an absolute unit. In the comics, he’s beautiful and brilliant and athletic and perfect and popular. But in the movie, he’s pretty overtly slimy and evil β€” Ozy was the one thing that kept the movie from being perfect."


Warner Bros. Pictures

26.Perfectly cast: Michelle Yeoh as Eleanor Sung-Young in Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Eleanor telling the racist hotel manager in the beginning of "Crazy Rich Asians:" "Do get a mop. The floor is wet"

"She was so cool and elegant and smiled so graciously in the first scene, and then marched right back in like she owned the place (which she did). Her character had such a simmering fear and anger that was rarely obvious, but the way her shoulders and face moved every time she was upset was phenomenal. Michelle Yeoh is an amazing actor and was perfectly cast in this movie."


Warner Bros. Pictures

27.Horribly cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin (1997)

Mr. Freeze talking to himself, saying: "In this universe, there's only one absolute: Everything freezes"

"Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze is probably on top of the list. As someone who grew up on Batman: The Animated Series and was blown away by Heart of Ice, I couldn't wait for the big-screen version β€” and then we got...well, what we got."


Warner Bros. Pictures

28.Perfectly cast: Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia/General Leia Organa in the Star Wars franchise

Fisher in "A New Hope," saying: "Will somebody get this big walking carpet out of my way?;" Fisher in Return of the Jedi with Harrison Ford, saying "I love you; I know;" Fisher in "The Force Awakens" saying, "May the force be with you"

"I couldn't imagine anyone else in that role but Carrie Fisher. We talk about how society expects women to impossibly balance between strong and sexy, independent and approachable, assertive and likable...but Carrie Fisher managed that as Leia in a way few actors could pull off."


"I wholeheartedly agree with Carrie Fisher β€” she was perfect as Leia. I always thought they could maybe cast someone better for Luke, but Carrie as Leia was incredible."



29.Horribly cast: Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

Scott telling Ramona: "I feel like I'm on drugs when I'm with you. Not that I do drugs, unless you do drugs, in which case I do drugs all the time"

"Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim β€” I love him, but anyone who has read the comic can tell you that Scott Pilgrim is nothing like his movie counterpart. He's more of an attractive doof with no shame than an awkward, shy nerd."


"YES! I guess people who liked the movie didn't read the comic, and don't know how good the movie could have been if Scott Pilgrim's character reflected the comic."


Universal Pictures

30.Perfectly cast: Regina Hall as Brenda Meeks in the Scary Movie franchise

Brenda watching the news and telling Cindy a white girl fell down the well

"Regina Hall's comedic timing was unmatched by anyone else, and she brought everything to that role, which made her the most likable character in the series. No one else could've done as iconic an acting job for Brenda Meeks."


"She really does have the comedic timing in these movies!"


Dimension Films

31.Horribly cast: Natalie Portman as Lena in Annihilation (2018)

Portman in three separate shots in "Annihilation"

"I'm biased to the book because the book was πŸ”₯. But, putting that aside, I thought the movie was really decent and everyone did a really good job, like in the interrogation scene where the bear creature came in. However, no matter what scene Portman was in, I think she fell flat compared to everyone else's performances β€” it was unfortunately more noticeable because she was the lead character."


Paramount Pictures

32.Perfectly cast: Matthew Lillard as Shaggy in Scooby-Doo (2002)

Shaggy telling Daphne, Fred, and Velma that the group is like a banana split: "Daphne, you're the pastrami and bubblegum flavored ice cream"

"He literally damaged his voice to be able to play Shaggy. Like, how can you not like someone who has that kind of passion for the character?"


"I think they got the whole gang pretty spot-on, but this might be from the bias of an at-the-time 7-year-old."


Warner Bros. Pictures

33.Horribly cast: Emma Watson as Belle in Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Belle yelling to Beast: "I'd starve before I ever ate with you"

"There have been so many movie musical castings that have sacrificed singing ability for star power, and it's always been a mistake."



34.Perfectly cast: Patrick Stewart as Professor X in the X-Men franchise

Professor X telling Magento that he's looking for hope

"My friends and I used to talk about Patrick Stewart being a perfect Prof X years before the first movie was made. When news made its way to us that he was selected for the role, I specifically remember thinking, Oh, thank god β€” they didn’t fuck that up."


"Sir Patrick Stewart is a goddamned national treasure, of all nations."


20th Century Fox / Marvel

35.Horribly cast: Charlie Hunnam as Raleigh Becket in Pacific Rim (2013)

Raleigh telling Mako: "You look good"

"Charlie Hunnam wasn't a great actor in Pacific Rim. It often he felt like he was forcing his lines out."


Warner Bros. Pictures

36.Perfectly cast: Jennifer Hudson as Effie White in Dreamgirls (2006)

Effie singing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" to Curtis

"I don't think there's a better movie musical performance than Jennifer Hudson's 'And I Am Telling You' from Dreamgirls. She gives 150% in this scene, singing her whole heart and soul out, making Effie White one of the most memorable characters in movie history. There's a reason she won the Oscar for this role!!!"


DreamWorks Pictures

37.Horribly cast: Emily Blunt as Kate Macer in Sicario (2015)

Blunt as KAte Macer in "Sicario" shooting a gun, smoking, and taking a shower to wash blood off of herself

"Emily Blunt in Sicario β€” I would pay big money to the casting team if they had successfully found a real-life female FBI agent with empathetic wide-doe eyes. I've never seen anyone look so unbelievable in a role as Blunt did here."



38.Perfectly cast: Kara Hayward as Suzy Bishop in Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Suzy telling Laura: "We're in love. We just want to be together. What's wrong with that?"

"The whole cast was on point, but Kara Hayward was a really excellent pick. Not many young women get to play roles that are alternately intense, bizarre, funny, awkward, confident, anxious, and lovestruck, but she did it exceptionally well. It felt so natural and real in such an odd and idiosyncratic world that only Wes Anderson could create."


Focus Features

39.Horribly cast: Nat Wolff as Light Turner/Kira in Death Note (2017)

Kira scared in the classroom, screaming: "Help! Help me! What the fuck?!"

"That kid was not playing that character β€” they needed someone who barely showed emotion and felt better than everyone. Instead, they just picked a random kid and directed him to play an average American high school protagonist. He was closer to Peter Parker than Andrew Garfield was in the Spider-Man movies β€” in fact, if you flipped those two actors in those roles, you might have ended up with better movies."



40.And perfectly cast: Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight (2008)

The Joker telling Batman: "You see, their morals, it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be"

"Never have I ever been more wrong about someone playing a role β€” when I heard that they cast him, I was like, 'The guy from A Knight's Tale? No. It'll never work.' It was one of the best acting performances I've ever seen."


"The Joker is one of my absolute favorite characters from any universe, and it all started with Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. The nuance he added to the depths of that character was too intriguing β€” he was much more than just a sadistic clown who disrupted a city."


"Heath's performance and The Dark Knight changed my opinion of what movies could even be, much less superhero genre movies."


Warner Bros. Pictures

Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Which actors do *you* think were either perfectly or horribly cast in a movie role? Let us know in the comments below!