Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Weasel Pants 747: I really hope that this trope explains Pete Postlethwaite's appearance in Ćon Flux. Seeing him in that ridiculous costume is something I can only hope earned him enough cash to stuff a king-sized mattress.
Air Of Mystery: Although I admit that this is definitely a trope, it sounds really, really elitist. I mean, I know it's entirely subjective, but the whole article just makes it sound like the movies the actors aren't doing are all horrible, while some of them are very popular and considered classics by people. "Roles that seem 'beneath them'" just sounds like this was written to belittle certain movies.

Mega Lan: I admit serious bias, but I edited the So Bad, It's Good to So Bad, It's Horrible for Superman IV. Justification: I could sit through Batman and Robin, but had to shut off Superman IV.

Air Of Mystery: You may not have been in the right frame of mind to watch Superman IV. (If you're so inclined, make a drinking game of it or something.)

Eric DVH: Of COURSE it's elitist, but it isn't subjective at all. Most of the examples even have quotes from the actors dissing their own films.

Air Of Mystery: That's true, but I think it should be geared more to stating that the actors didn't like the movies rather than the movies being "bad". I mean, look at the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar thing in Airplane; not only is the movie considered a classic, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wasn't a Micheal Caine-Laurence Olivier-Alec Guiness type; he was just a basketballer and he didn't star in any other "important" movies. Some of these movies are undeniably bad: (Superman IV, Street Fighter, Inchon) some of them are disputable (Star Wars, Batman, Transformers: The Movie) and some of them are widely accepted as classic, although not of the type known to the "classier" actors (Airplane). What I recommend here is that we outright state in the beginning that while the quality of these movies may vary, the actors themselves didn't have much of an opinion of them and were in them only for the money.
Fast Eddie: Reduced quotes. Please see Administrative Policy.

Rothul: So noted, but please take the time to read the page before just picking your favorite quote. You removed the Trope Namer quote, which rendered the following page a little nonsensical. I just put it back for that reason.
Grimace: A question for any entertainment-savvy tropers out there - all this talk of actors doing big films to help "pay the rent" (eg. Ewan Mc Gregor taking big roles to afford being in little indie films) confuses my brain a wee bit. What kind of expenses are these chaps/chapesses racking up? The idea of having to do a big budget film every few years where they often get paid a few million dollars (or at the least more than most people make in a year) to pay the bills or what-have-you, makes no sense to me whatsoever.

Just for the record, I'm not grumbling. These people have found a way to get paid well for doing what they love, so good on 'em. I'm just curious of the reasoning.

Air Of Mystery: Yes, but they probably want to secure their family's future, give some charity money, buy solid gold humvees...celebrity stuff.

Eric DVH: One other thing enthusiastic actors spend their money on is movies, though privately bankrolled films are often excessively indulgant pet projects.
Nohbody: Is there a counterpart of this trope for other media? For example (the only one that comes to mind immediately, I'm afraid), Robert A. Heinlein's writing career started to pay for debts incurred during a political campaign in 1937, after his medical discharge from the US Navy.

das: It's not quite the same, but yeah, there are many examples of writers, poets, playwrights, etc. doing some work they would never have done if not for the money. On the other hand, there might perhaps be too many; the entire Russian Golden Age of Literature had this to some extent or another, for instance, and don't get me started on medieval court poets. It might turn into a very long list indeed.
Crazyrabbits: Hmmm...I'll need to find a way to organize this page. The idea is really good, but many of the examples are completely scattershot. You've got examples of actors in films, films with entire casts doing work for a paycheck, and lots of natter. I'm going to ruminate on this and see if I can come up with a solution, because the information on this page is amazing.

Crazyrabbits: And...I'm back. Please review the following list.

These examples need more of an explanation.

  • John Carradine, who appeared in hundreds of low-budget movies and was often the only talented actor in the entire cast. To a lesser extent, his son David has carried on his legacy of being in bad movies despite being a decent actor.
  • Tim Curry and James Woods in Scary Movie 2.
  • Speaking of the xXx sequel, Willem Dafoe.
  • Cary Elwes in Ella Enchanted.
  • Nicole Kidman in 2004's allegedly comedic remake of The Stepford Wives and 2005's Bewitched.
  • Gary Oldman embodies this to the point of driving a hard bargain where some people are concerned.
  • Jimmy Stewart as Sheriff Wylie Burp in An American Tail: Fievel Goes West.

The following examples are not applicable under the page definition.

  • The Golden Compass was littered with these, in various degrees. It's possible to accept Ian Mc Kellen as a major role, but Daniel Craig? Derek Jacobi in about a minute's worth of screen time?
    • Not to mention Unexpected Christopher Lee. He had what, one line? Maybe?
    • To be fair, the movie was based on a popular and critically acclaimed novel that had the potential to be very good. It also reportedly suffered badly from Executive Meddling late in the production process. It's quite possible that most of the actors didn't realise how bad it was going to turn out until it was far too late.
  • Dame Judi Dench in The Chronicles of Riddick. The disconnect between Dame Judi and Vin Diesel is so vast that this troper wanted to rename this trope "What the Hell is Judi Dench Doing Here??"
    • More concretely, from the movie's imdb page: "Vin Diesel wanted Judi Dench to play Aereon, and went to great lengths to get her. A long-time fan of Dench, he had her dressing room filled with bouquets of flowers, and also advised her that they could not begin casting the movie until she agreed to accept the role."
    • In one interview Judi Dench stated that she could be very much swayed by finding who she would be working with interesting or enjoyable, so that could have swayed her.
  • Malcolm Mc Dowell seems to take this to an extreme. In spite of being an excellent actor, his presence in a movie is quite often a signal that it will be awful.
    • Consider this: he went from playing Alex De Large in A Clockwork Orange in 1971 to playing the title character in Caligula in 1979. From one of the best films ever made to one of the worst in only eight years.
    • Two words: Tank Girl.

Trogga: It would seem most of those examples would be better suited for WTH, Casting Agency?.

Psyclone: Removed:

  • Comics writer Warren Ellis wrote the recent animated mini series G.I. Joe Resolute and had this to say about it:
    "It went like this. Sam Register phoned me up and said, we’d really like you to write a GI JOE animation, at a PG-13 rating, aimed at an older viewer. I said, I’ve never seen a GI JOE cartoon in my life. The closest I got to a GI JOE comic was drinking with Larry Hama. I’ve never even seen a GI JOE. Couldn’t tell you what they look like if you paid me. I know nothing about GI JOE. It is meaningless in my world."

From reading that article I got the sense that that rant wasn't saying he did this for the money, but rather that he didn't believe he was right for the job. Plus according to that same article, he was on board as soon as he found out it was like Action Man

Prfnoff: The Al Pacino example, as it was written, fit Ham and Cheese better than this trope, so I moved it there.