Actors Hollywood Stopped Casting In This Past Decade

Life in Hollywood moves incredibly fast, and an actor's popularity can change on a daily basis. Over the course of a decade, a plethora of once-popular stars have fallen out of favor among casting directors and the general public, losing their grip on big screen roles, and instead returning to the small screen, the theatre, or giving up on acting altogether. Selecting the actors that Hollywood stopped casting in the 2010s is no mean feat, especially as so many previous A-list stars have left the limelight or found it difficult to secure roles in the cutthroat industry, especially when new faces are arriving on our screens all the time.

From TV stars who made it big only to slip back to their smaller beginnings, to fully-fledged movie stars whose personal lives got in the way of their burgeoning careers, join us as we take a look at the famous faces who no longer secure the box office offerings or ratings they once did. It's safe to say that it's been one hell of a decade for these celebs.

Tobey Maguire said goodbye to Peter Parker

Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe sprung into action with Robert Downey Jr.'s turn as Iron Man, there was another superhero in town. From 2002 to 2007, Tobey Maguire was Spider-Man, a much-memed role that catapulted him into the public's consciousness. But something happened to Maguire's career over the last decade: A fourth Spider-Man movie starring Maguire was once on the horizon, but Peter Parker's alter ego has since been re-cast with both Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland. Meanwhile, Maguire's cinematic presence in high-profile roles in movies like Seabiscuit and Wonder Boys became a thing of the past.

Perhaps the only exception to Maguire's dry spell was his 2013 performance as Nick Carraway opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby. However, major parts have been few and far between ever since, and the once-prolific actor appears to have turned his hand to producing movies instead. But even his production efforts have been poorly received, with 2012's musical extravaganza Rock of Ages and 2016's The 5th Wave failing to set the box office alight.

As for the actor's personal life, he was sued over his involvement in an illegal poker club, and also split from his jewelry designer wife, Jennifer Meyer, with whom he shares two children. Maguire was spotted holding hands with a model almost twenty years his junior in March 2019, so perhaps the next decade will look a little better for the once in-demand actor.

This actor went from hero to zero

With the release of the Twilight franchise, Taylor Lautner became a household name thanks to his performance as werewolf Jacob Black. When the final movie in the vampire series came out in 2012, Lautner was all but set for superstardom, along with co-stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. However, almost all of his subsequent projects have failed to excite former fans of the New Moon heartthrob. 

While Lautner landed the lead in the 2015 action movie Tracers, the film was described as having a "creaky B-movie plot" by Variety. The actor hasn't taken on any action roles since, suggesting that the flop majorly impacted his career prospects. A couple of small roles in Adam Sandler movies couldn't launch Lautner into a big screen comedy career either. While Netflix's The Ridiculous 6 was widely panned and faced a racism controversy, Lautner's role in Grown Ups 2 as Frat Boy Andy was so small it was uncredited but still managed to land him a Razzy nomination in 2014. When movie studios stopped calling, his promising high-profile appearance in the second season of Scream Queens turned into another failure when the show got canceled

The most success Lautner has had during the 2010s was appearing in the BBC Three sitcom Cuckoo, which garnered great reviews until his 2018 exit. And so it seems, the small screen beckons.

John Cusack's been going straight to video

In the late '90s and early '00s, John Cusack was considered an A-list actor, with leading roles in hits like 1999's Being John Malkovich, 2000's High Fidelity, and 2001's America's Sweethearts confirming his status as a household name. But something happened when 2010 rolled around, and the majority of Cusack's work since has been straight-to-DVD or VOD, skipping the movie theater entirely. Den of Geek even reported in 2016 that Cusack had made a whopping 17 movies in just four years, most of which seemed to be low-rent thrillers and borderline cheap action movies in which you might expect to see Nicolas Cage popping up.

Despite his recent movies failing to generate much excitement, Cusack has thrown himself into a number of passion projects. In addition to serving on the Freedom of the Press Foundation's board of directors, he co-wrote a book about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden with Arundhati Roy called Things That Can and Cannot Be Said. While it appears as though Cusack's big screen charm has all but worn off, a small screen rival could be at hand as we enter the next decade. Having been cast in the 2020 TV show Utopia, created by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn, fans of Cusack might soon be able to enjoy his acting work once more — even if roles in blockbuster movies like 2009's 2012 remain a thing of the past.

Honesty is the best policy for this Hollywood starlet

Jessica Alba's star was once burning bright. After the TV series Dark Angel made her a household name, Alba began landing movie roles in some seriously high-profile flicks, such as 2003's Honey, 2005's Sin City, and Fantastic Four. However, by the time 2010 rolled around, Alba was having less success on the big screen. You probably haven't seen 2014's VOD flick Stretch or the ill-fated Some Kind of Beautiful, and we're guessing you don't really want to. It's also possible that the actress' 2010 interview with Elle magazine rubbed some industry execs the wrong way, when she suggested, "Good actors, never use the script unless it's amazing writing. All the good actors I've worked with, they all say whatever they want to say." Disrespecting screenwriters seems like a wholly terrible idea.

However, Alba has arguably had much more success establishing a career outside of Hollywood. She got married to movie producer Cash Warren in 2008, and has since had three children with her beau: Honor, Haven, and Hayes. Alba also founded The Honest Company, telling Inc., "Everything that touches you and your family — everything in your home — needs to be nontoxic, needs to be effective and beautiful to look at, and needs to be affordable." Unfortunately, the company had to settle two lawsuits regarding its products' ingredients in 2017, which was followed by a drop in valuation below $1 billion. Still, anything close to a billion sounds pretty good to us.

Jessica Simpson dropped movies and music for retail

Singing superstar Jessica Simpson was once destined for movie success, but that dream appeared to die in the past decade. After taking on major roles in the 2005 big screen remake of Dukes of Hazzard and Employee of Month with comedian Dane Cook the following year, Simpson's starlet status quickly faded. 2007's romantic comedy Blonde Ambition, which saw her character move to New York and fall in love with Luke Wilson, was meant to cement the singer's leading lady potential. Instead, the flick spectacularly failed, with TV Guide reporting, "With an opening day gross of $384, it may be one of the lowest grossing theatrical films ever." Meanwhile, 2008's Private Valentine: Blonde & Dangerous reportedly had a worldwide gross of $103,971, according to Box Office Mojo, on a budget of approximately $30 million. Ouch.

However, much like Jessica Alba, Simpson has found major success in the world of retail. Instead of pursuing either a music or movie career, she's spun her popularity into a successful clothing and homeware empire. While the performer's personal net worth is rumored to be around $200 million, the Jessica Simpson Collection "rakes in about $1 billion a year at retail," per Forbes. As a result, it seems unlikely that Simpson is still upset about her failure as a major movie star.

This actress learned that you don't come for Shonda

As Izzie Stevens on Grey's Anatomy, Katherine Heigl was enjoying an award-winning acting career while appearing on one of network television's most popular shows. But when the movie industry came calling, Heigl upset show creator Shonda Rhimes by refusing to nominate herself for an Emmy and making some not cool so remarks about the material she'd been given to work with on the series. A source told The New York Times, the show's "writers and producers were angered by what they considered a slap by Ms. Heigl at the people in the writers' room." Understandably, the actress' days on Grey's Anatomy were numbered after her questionable comments.

2007's Knocked Up and 2008's 27 Dresses were massive hits for Heigl, and suggested that she could carry a big showbiz movie. However, subsequent flicks with the actress in the lead were paltry in comparison. 2012's One for the Money failed to make back its $40 million budget, according to Box Office Mojo, and further attempts to recreate Heigl's early success were equally disappointing. 

Unsurprisingly, Heigl told Vanity Fair in 2016 that she wished she could go back and tell her younger self to "shut up." While stint on Suits following Meghan Markle's exit put Heigl in the spotlight once more, the actress will head back to TV in the 2020 drama Firefly Lane. But as for the big screen, Heigl appears to be dunzo.

Christina Ricci went from child star to cancellation central

Having had a successful career as a child star, making the role of Wednesday in The Addams Family all her own, Christina Ricci seemed to have solidified her place in Hollywood early on. However, the last decade hasn't been all that kind to her movie career, with the actress finding herself relegated to the small screen more often than not to lesser success. 

The short-lived TV show Pan Am was meant to be the next Mad Men, but only lasted one season. She then played the iconic role of Lizzie Borden in a TV movie and follow-up TV series, but the move to television seems to have had a knock-on effect on the rest of Ricci's career. The Casper star took on the lead role in Amazon Prime's Z: The Beginning of Everything, which ran for one season on the streaming platform. Having initially been renewed for a second season, Amazon retracted the renewal. Per The Hollywood Reporter, "The writers room had been busy prepping scripts for season two and the show was already in pre-production, with sources noting about $7 million has already been spent on the now-scrapped season. The move to reverse course comes as Amazon is said to be reducing its spending on originals heading into 2018." 

Sadly, Ricci can't seem to catch a break, and even co-starred with John Cusack in one of his straight-to-video releases in 2018.

This Hollywood actress has a bad reputation

Once a darling of mainstream cinema, Lindsay Lohan's star has most definitely dimmed over the past decade. Big screen hits like 2003's Freaky Friday and 2004's Mean Girls, have been replaced with TV movies and reality shows, and the movies Lohan did manage to make in the 2010s were often plagued with rumors of on-set drama and medical emergencies. Per The New York Times Magazine, "She would make it through Liz and Dick, a Lifetime movie, with the paramedics having to be called only once during the shoot. This was progress." The actress' tumultuous time on Brett Easton Ellis-penned indie movie The Canyons was similarly fraught, with the publication noting, "Lohan canceled the first day but promised she'd be there the next morning, a Sunday. She never showed."

After finding some success on the British series Sick Note, Lohan tried to segue into reality TV with Lindsay Lohan's Beach Club on MTV, which followed the actress and her staff to Mykonos, Greece in 2019. However, the series was canned by the network after just one season, after it was ill-received by critics. The Hollywood Reporter called the show "gendered malice peddled as fun in the sun," while Page Six reported that Lohan's club had also closed down amid the series' cancellation. With neither an upcoming film nor TV show to buoy her, it's unclear what Lohan's next step will be at the time of this writing.

Hollywood knows what this actress didn't do last summer

Former scream queen Jennifer Love Hewitt made a big impact in slasher series I Know What You Did Last Summer. But what once seemed like a promising movie career turned into a small-screen disaster instead. The actress' TV series Ghost Whisperer ran from 2005 to 2010, but Hewitt hasn't had a lot of luck since then. While Lifetime's The Client List had two successful seasons, it was canceled prior to a third, with rumors claiming that Hewitt had been causing trouble behind the scenes: As Deadline reported, "Lifetime and Sony TV were in a creative standoff with star Hewitt over storylines for a potential third season" after "[requesting] that Brian Hallisay, her real-life fiance and father of her baby, also play her character Riley's baby daddy on the show." However, the show's writers and producers — and arguably the fans — wanted heartthrob Colin Egglesfield to play the father, and instead of dealing with Hewitt's demands, the series was promptly trashed.

Hewitt appeared on Criminal Minds from 2014 to 2015, but her performance inspired viewers to create a petition requesting she be fired. She also stepped in to replace Connie Britton on Fox's 9-1-1, but the big screen doesn't appear to be calling these days. Luckily, the star's personal life has fared a little better than her on-screen career, with Hewitt giving birth to her second child in June 2015 with now-husband Hallisay.

Was Freddie Prinze Jr. all that?

The late '90s was a great time for Freddie Prinze Jr.'s career, with the actor starring in hit movies like 1997's I Know What You Did Last Summer (alongside his future-wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar) and 1999's She's All That. But aside from his role in the live-action Scooby Doo franchise, and an unforgettable turn as Ross and Rachel's "manny" in an episode of Friends, the 2000s saw Prinze's acting career slow down

After scoring a role in the hit show 24 in 2010, it seemed that the heartthrob was on the rise once more. However, in 2014, Prinze told ABC News, "I did 24, it was terrible. I hated every moment of it. Kiefer [Sutherland] was the most unprofessional dude in the world. That's not me talking trash, I'd say it to his face, I think everyone that's worked with him has said that." The actor continued, "I just wanted to quit the business after that. So, I just sort of stopped." 

Since then, Prinze has appeared to focus his attention on voiceover work in shows like Star Wars: Rebels and Robot Chicken. Outside of his acting prospects, Prinze has been raising two children with Gellar, and also released a cookbook of recipes "inspired his Puerto Rican heritage and New Mexico upbringing," per Parents.

Crueler intentions for Sarah Michelle Gellar's career

Much like husband Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar knows the ups and downs of Hollywood all too well. Having found fame as the lead character in the hit TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Gellar seemed poised for big screen superstardom. However, early roles in movies such as 1999's Cruel Intentions and 2004's The Grudge never translated into a glossy A-list career. Instead, Gellar returned to the small screen, and has spent most of the 2010s making shows that never quite caught on. While Ringer initially looked to be Gellar's return to the limelight, the show was canceled after just one season, as was sitcom The Crazy Ones, in which she played the late Robin Williams' daughter.

A role in Star Wars: Rebels, alongside her husband, proved that voiceover work is a secure avenue for most actors. But perhaps Gellar's brightest spark over the decade was when she reprised her villainous Cruel Intentions role in the 2016 TV movie of the same name. For now, at least, Gellar is relegated to television, where she first found fame, while she raises her two children with Prinze, Charlotte and Rocky. And just as her husband branched out into cookbooks, Gellar co-founded Foodstirs, a "cooking and lifestyle brand" inspired "by the unbeatable way baking helped them connect with their kids."

This actor's Hollywood prospects got lost in transmission

Matthew Fox had already solidified his status as a beloved actor in Party of Five when he scored the lead role in Lost. After playing Jack in all six seasons of the massively popular show, which ended in 2010, Fox seemed set to hit the big screen with aplomb. However, life didn't quite work out that way, and the actor has had exactly five acting roles over the last decade. Sadly, none of Fox's movie roles have set the world alight, from 2012's war epic Emperor and thriller Alex Cross to the 2015 movies Extinction and Bone Tomahawk.

While Fox's name appears on the credits of Brad Pitt's 2013 apocalypse movie World War Z, the majority of his scenes were cut from the finished movie after it underwent major rewrites. However, Fox told Men's Fitness in 2012 that when it came to working in movies, "The most difficult part was being halfway around the world and being away from my family." And so, the real reason fans haven't seen the Lost star in much of anything in a few years might have a simple enough answer: "For me, whether or not I work again is always gonna depend upon the quality of the opportunities that I get. And if I don't get quality opportunities, you probably won't see much of me. I'll probably be doing something else."