If you're an actor working in Hollywood, chances are you'll end up starring in at least one flop over the course of your career. Some actors are apologetic or regretful about the bombs they've done, but others refuse to join in the hatefest. Whether they had a good time on set, enjoyed spending the mounds of coin they made, or genuinely believe the movie was good and deserved better, many stars stand firmly behind some of the most notorious bombs in movie history.
John Travolta will go to his grave defending Battlefield Earth even though that film is a giggle-fest of the highest order. Michael Caine has never even seen Jaws: The Revenge, but it paid for his very nice house - so why would he regret doing it? Howard the Duck helped Tim Robbins produce a bunch of plays he wouldn't have been able to do otherwise. These actors have different reasons for defending their flops, but they have one thing in common: They're not apologizing.
- Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures
If you're looking for a big-budget, sci-fi epic that's utterly reviled by critics and audiences alike, then look no further than 2000's Battlefield Earth. This action film adaptation of the L. Ron Hubbard novel of the same name managed an abysmal critics' score of 3% and an audience score of 12% on Rotten Tomatoes. This is backed up by its dreadful box office performance and the fact that it swept the Golden Raspberry Awards that year.
One of the few who seem to dig Battlefield Earth is its star/producer John Travolta. During a 2017 interview with the Daily Beast's Marlow Stern, Travolta was asked if he regretted making the movie. "No way," he replied. "Are you kidding? Why would I ever regret that? I had the power to do whatever I wanted, and I chose to do a book that I thought was worthy of making into a movie. It's a beautiful film."
- Photo: Universal Pictures
After Michael Caine became a Hollywood mainstay in the '60s and '70s, but before he became a go-to supporting actor throughout the '90s and 2000s, the actor hit a bit of a career slump. This downturn saw Caine taking roles in lackluster films because, well, a guy's gotta make a living. One of these pictures was 1987's Jaws: The Revenge. With the all-time great tagline of "This Time It's Personal" and an astonishing 0% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, Jaws: The Revenge is one of the most iconically bad movies of all time.
So, does Caine regret starring in it? Far from it. The actor once said, "I have never seen it but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific." If you could make enough money to purchase a nice house from a few weeks of work (in the Bahamas, no less), it stands to reason you'd feel the same way.
- Photo: New Line Cinema
If starring in a film helps you renovate a decaying castle in Ireland, it's hard to entirely regret that decision. 2000's Dungeons & Dragons, based on the popular role-playing game of the same name, may have been a box office bomb, condemned by critics and audiences alike, but Jeremy Irons - who played the evil Mage Profion - got paid a hefty sum to be in it, so it's all gravy to him.
When reflecting on Dungeons & Dragons, Irons has mentioned that "once in a while you have to risk a bit" - and even though he called shooting the film "a nightmare of a production," he is quick to remind those who ask him about the project that he got paid. Considering Irons has appeared in over 30 movies since Dungeons & Dragons was unleashed upon the world, it's clear he's laughing all the way to the bank.
- Photo: Columbia Pictures
1987's superflop Ishtar is one of the most notorious films in all of Hollywood history. As it fell victim to extensive delays and a ballooning budget, the movie was denounced before it even came out and has gone on to become (arguably unfairly) labeled as one of the worst movies of all time. While it's obvious that both critics and audiences weren't exactly in love with the film, there are many worse movies from 1987 alone (hello again, Jaws: The Revenge).
While the film's production in Morocco was certainly turbulent, star Dustin Hoffman looks back on Ishtar fondly. In a 2009 interview with Ain't It Cool News, Hoffman explained:
The thing I love about [Ishtar] - and I love it with all of its flaws - is that it has a statement to make. And that is: It is far, far better to spend a life being second rate in something that you're passionate about, than to spend a life being first-rate at that which you are not passionate about. I thought that was worth making a movie about.