The Weirdest Movie Casting Decisions

There are times when Hollywood takes career credibility a little too far

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New space survival movie Gravity has been getting critics jostling for superlatives and is already being hailed as a shoe-in for best picture at next year's Oscars.

It’s great, no doubt: gripping, visually stunning, a reminder of what 3D is for, hell, a reminder of what cinema is for, in the face of its upstart little brother TV.

Bullock is solid and believable as the uptight space newbie Dr. Ryan Stone.

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And Clooney is Clooney: charming, lovable, funny, roguish and those eyes glinting as they always do, even in the stratosphere.

Consequently, he makes the most unlikely astronaut since Laika the Soviet space dog.

When we think of astronauts, we think of even tempers, conservatism, focus.

George Clooney’s Matt Kowalski whizzes around on his jetpack wisecracking, recounting old drinking anecdotes and dropping classic Clooney-esque one-liners like: “So where do you pitch your tent?” and “You should see the sun shining on the Ganges. It's amazing.”

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Of course, Clooney pulls it off as he always does. But there are plenty of examples when it didn't end so well:

We know, James Bond films constantly require us to suspend disbelief. But Denise Richards as a world-leading nuclear scientist responsible for dismantling nuclear warheads? In hotpants?


If you’re making a cliché-heavy Northern British drama, it’s inevitable you’re going to turn to Bean at some point in proceedings. One problem here is that he’s 15 years older than the up and coming footballer he portrays. The other problem is that it’s clear he can’t play football for toffee.

The weedy-voiced, mild-mannered Norton is the go to man to play a meek and jaded office worker. Except in Spike Lee’s otherwise brilliant 25th Hour he’s supposed to be a badass drug dealer. The goatee and shades are not enough to pull it off.


Steven Seagal is many things. A mass caterer is not one of them. At least he plays it with conviction though: "Get my pies out of the oven!"



You’re a filmmaker looking to cast a West Ham football hooligan. Who do you call on? Why the doe-eyed lightweight, curly-haired boy man who just played a hobbit of course. ‘Ave it!

Ok, so maybe it’s part of the joke that the gawky looking 5ft 8’ Stiller is a long way off being the most handsome man in the world. But even in comedy, you can only suspend disbelief so far.


We’re not saying beautiful women can’t be janitors ok, just that our credibility metre is showing a pretty clear reading: Not Buying It.

 

Wise-cracking extroverts who do a nice line in funny voices is not the typical social worker profile but hey this was the Eighties. Sample line: "Yeah, well, ya' better have a spatula where we're goin' cause my ass is frozen to this yak."

 


Keanu Reeves playing anyone with average intelligence is a stretch, but the decision to cast him as Siddhārtha Gautama, the spiritual father of Buddhism and the only man to reach nirvana is enough to make us want to find a cave and meditate for a very long time.

What do you think?

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