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No talent required: Bad acting hall of fame

By Todd Pheifer, Contributing writer
Published On: Jun 15 2011 09:43:59 AM CDT
Updated On: Mar 24 2014 09:22:02 AM CDT
Bored audience in movie theater

iStock / Deklofenak

It seems strange that there are actors and actresses who are poor at their job. After all, isn't this what they do for a living?

The truth is that some people end up on the silver screen without a great deal of obvious talent. Perhaps they fill a particular role or were cast in a movie that doesn't really require the ability to play a believable character.

Yeah, we're looking at you Megan Fox.

Regardless of the reason, there are some people who butcher lines or are simply unable to convince the audience that they are anything but a typecast individual.

Sometimes people can accept this, and other times they wonder why they spent their hard-earned money on a ticket to see a lackluster performance.

With that in mind, here are a few members of the Bad Acting Hall of Fame ...

Terminator 2, Arnold Schwarzenegger

No. 5: Arnold Schwarzenegger

The Terminator turned "Governator" was an action-film fixture throughout the 1980s and 1990s before getting into politics and winning the top job in California.

In fairness to Arnold, action film fans are not exactly looking for Shakespeare when they attend the latest summer blockbuster. However, this doesn't change the fact that Schwarzenegger has been delivering forced lines throughout his acting career.

His signature "I'll be back" has become almost a joke, particularly since he seemed to deliver that line in just about all his films.

The culmination of his poor dialogue was probably his portrayal of Mr. Freeze in the disastrous "Batman & Robin." Unfortunately Schwarzenegger is going to have a hard time convincing audiences that he is a brilliant molecular biologist, as cast in that film.

When in doubt, it may be better to beat up all the characters than deliver interesting dialogue. The next actor certainly thinks so ...

Steven Seagal, Against The Dark

No. 4: Steven Seagal

No one questions Steven Seagal's ability to beat the living daylights out of bad guys.

Many of Seagal's films have displayed great feats of martial arts prowess, but unfortunately they have not been accompanied by phenomenal acting performances.

Seagal was once quoted as saying, "I am hoping that I can be known as a great writer and actor some day, rather than a sex symbol." Fans who have seen his films would probably say that Steven should not hold out too much hope of this happening.

Granted, Steven has probably suffered from being typecast and put into movies that have limited opportunities for theatrical development. However, even associations with highly successful franchises can't manufacture solid acting performances, even for Jedi knights ...

Hayden Christensen, Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars

No. 3: Hayden Christensen

For a franchise as successful as "Star Wars," fans might have thought that quality acting would be at a premium.

Unfortunately, the casting of Hayden Christensen did not exactly enhance the cinematic experience. His performances in "The Clone Wars" and "Revenge of the Sith" were enough to earn him the 2002 and 2005 Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor at the annual Golden Raspberry Awards.

Christensen has appeared in a number of different films, but it is likely that his performance as Anakin Skywalker will forever cement him as a questionable thespian, particularly in the minds of science-fiction fans.

Hayden did become popular because his affiliation with "Star Wars," but plenty of poor performers have been popular over the years. Sometimes, there are a number of people that fall into the same category, and it is hard to choose a clear winner ...

Paris Hilton, The Hottie and the Nottie

No. 2: Jessica Simpson/Britney Spears/Jennifer Lopez/Paris Hilton

When it comes to these ladies, it is hard to pick the worst big screen offender.

There sometimes seems to be a trend in entertainment where singers want to be actors and actors want to be singers. This fits Simpson, Lopez and Spears, as all are pop stars that transitioned from singing to making less-than-stellar films.

Paris Hilton is similar, but she still seems to be famous without having accomplished a great deal in the entertainment world.

As is the case with many other actors and actresses throughout entertainment history, people like these ladies draw fans to theaters because of their media presence. However, they would hardly be described as believable actresses who create wonderful films.

Still, there is one man who probably receives more criticism than anyone else when it comes to movie performances ...

Keanu Reeves, Point Break

No. 1: Keanu Reeves

It isn't as if Keanu is trying to be a poor actor. For whatever reason, Reeves has just come across as someone who is unable to convince the audience of his acting ability.

Keanu is selling, but no one is buying.

Perhaps it was his goofy portrayal of Ted "Theodore" Logan in "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" or his forced performance as FBI agent Johnny Utah in "Point Break."

Reeves has been a part of many commercially successful films including "The Matrix" franchise, but there are enough films that make him appear to be extremely uncomfortable as an actor.

Few films illustrated this more than the Shakespearean film "Much Ado About Nothing," where he stumbles his way through the portrayal of character Don John. It probably isn't Keanu's fault, but for some reason he just doesn't come across as believable on the silver screen.