15 Movies That Saved An Actor’s Career

POSTED BY , UPDATED ON September 14th, 2018


7. Sylvester Stallone (Rocky Balboa)

Sylvester Stallone Rocky Balboa

Image Source: nme.com

It was gloomy to witness how the Rocky franchise was being milked like a cash cow. After Rocky V received miserable reviews, it was time for Sylvester Stallone to give the character a much-needed break and explore other options.

Unfortunately, the majority of his movies after Rocky V received mixed to negative reviews. The contentious circumstances of his acting career forced Stallone to go back to the drawing board and star in another Rocky installment titled Rocky Balboa. The movie unexpectedly became a hit and much like his motivating character, Stallone would taste triumph in real-life as well.


6. Tom Cruise (Tropic Thunder)

Tom Cruise Tropic Thunder

Image Source: cbsnews.com

A time had come in the life of Tom Cruise when he was making headlines for all the wrong reasons. While still a bankable star whose movies were performing extraordinarily well at the box office, the actor was becoming more known for his connections with the Church of Scientology and the notorious incident of him jumping on the couch on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

In 2006, Paramount Pictures canceled their 14-year professional relationship with the actor and it signaled a possible career decline for Cruise. Two years later, the actor dumbfounded the audience with the most outrageous role of his career by starring as Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder and Cruise re-entered the good books of Hollywood.


5. Mickey Rourke (Sin City)

Mickey Rourke Sin City

Image Source: viralture.com

Proclaiming that he has no respect for himself as an actor, Mickey Rourke decided to revisit his glory days as a boxer so, in 1991, he became a professional boxer again and held a record of six wins, two draws, and no losses.

However, his revitalized boxing career came at a hefty price of various injuries involving broken ribs, toe, cheekbone, and nose. His tenure as a boxer coupled with injuries forced him to miss several acting gigs.

When Rourke would return to acting, not everything was going as he would hope to until he starred in Sin City. The movie served as a relaunching pad for his career and he would go on to star in several acclaimed movies such as The Wrestler and Iron Man 2.


4. Paul Bettany (Avengers 2)

Paul Bettany Avengers 2 1

Image Source: movieweb.com

Having steady roles in numerous average movies and the voice role of J.A.R.V.I.S. in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Paul Bettany was just another actor you could walk by without even realizing that he is a Hollywood veteran.

One day, he received a call from an unnamed producer who informed him that his career was over. Frustrated and wondering what the future might hold for him, Bettany received another phone call moments later by Joss Whedon who offered him the role of Vision and the rest is history.


3. Michael Keaton (Birdman)

Michael Keaton Birdman

Image Source: nbcphiladelphia.com

Once his career stalled after enjoying remarkable success as Batman, Michael Keaton would hardly get any sort of notable roles. It was a far cry from portraying iconic characters such as Beetlejuice and Batman and the actor would be demoted to B-movies.

Once he starred in Birdman that mirrored his real-life imagery of a down-on-his-luck actor who is persistent to revive his A-list status, Keaton would refresh his career, earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and eventually star in critically acclaimed movies such as Spotlight and Spider-Man: Homecoming.


2. Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)

Christoph Waltz Inglourious Basterds

Image Source: indiewire.com

Before starring as Col. Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds, Christoph Waltz had a rich action experience worth thirty-two years yet he still had not become a major name in the industry. Though he enjoyed moderate success in Europe, it was not until he was cast in Inglourious Basterds by Quentin Tarantino that he entered the big leagues.

Waltz won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the role and would go on to star in several big budget movies such as The Legend of Tarzan, Django Unchained and Spectre.


1. Marlon Brando (The Godfather)

Marlon Brando The Godfather

Image Source: thoughtcatalog.com

Often hailed as the greatest actor of all time, it is rather surprising that Marlon Brando experienced a decade of flops. Many even predicted that he could never bounce back to superstardom. When Paramount Pictures were casting roles for The Godfather, director Francis Ford Coppola and author Mario Puzo strongly advocated for Brando to star as Don Vito Corleone.

Due to Brando’s recent flops and his troubled reputation as a difficult actor to work with, then-president of Paramount told Coppola that,

“Marlon Brando will never appear in this motion picture.”

After numerous pleads from Coppola, Brando was reluctantly given a chance for a screen test. Impressed by his performance, the actor was awarded the role and would not only become a Hollywood icon once again but would win his second Academy Award for Best Actor.


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