The movie industry is a results-oriented business heavily influenced by momentum. With a few surprise hits and the buzz that always accompanies success, actors and actress can suddenly find themselves fielding offers for the most hyped upcoming projects and demanding truly ridiculous salaries. Barring death, arrest or in certain eras, exposed communist tendencies, the A-lister will remain at the top of the heap for as long as he or she produces quality projects and gets box office support from the general public.
Unfortunately, just as with athletics, there is a serious downside to being in an industry so obsessed with stat sheets. When the ball starts rolling downhill, it can be extremely difficult to stop. In just a year or two, Hollywood’s biggest names can go from naming their salaries and determining their futures to playing supporting roles like concerned wife and goofy co-worker in bigger budget movies or leading roles in indies hardly anyone will ever see. That’s why it’s of the utmost importance for actors and actresses to stem negative tides by putting themselves in positions to succeed with other talented people, even if it means taking a few swings in gritty, exciting supporting roles to remind everyone how talented they are. Take Alec Baldwin. He may have flamed out as a leading man, but through repeatedly making wise choices, he’s become beloved, rich and respected by his peers.
With a little bad luck and a few bad choices, losing streaks can and will happen to anyone. Even Tom Hanks hit a dry spell in the early 90s (Joe vs The Volcano and Bonfire Of The Vanities back to back), but he willed himself out of it with the help of A League Of Their Own. That’s what all of the men and women on this list need: their own A League Of Their Own. They need some success, some momentum in the right direction. In short, they need to remind everyone why we liked them so much in the first place.
Here are some of Hollywood’s best and brightest who really, really need a hit.
Uma ThurmanThanks to her iconic role in Pulp Fiction, a handful of very well received performances and her high profile former relationships with Ethan Hawke and Gary Oldman, Uma Thurman is still very much a famous actress. Unfortunately, she hasn’t been the leading lady in anything that could be considered a hit since Kill Bill Volume 2 all the way back in 2004. Even worse, she hasn’t really contributed anything to any films any of us actually enjoy in the time since, apart from the mediocre remake of The Producers, the forgettable Super Ex-Girlfriend, a bit part in The Lightning Thief and a pretty good five episode arc on the infuriating since cancelled musical series Smash. If you take those away, we’re down to leads in films like Playing For Keeps, Motherhood, Ceremony, Bel Ami and various TV movies.
Uma is more than capable of contributing a major role to a likeable film with a big budget, but she’s really not particularly good at carrying comedic weight or being the woman the audience is meant to relate to. She should focus her efforts on picking up a supporting part that allows her to steal a few scenes as an intimidating and eccentric woman no one can take their eyes off of.