We take a look at 10 stars of recent films that may have a little trouble following up the roles that made them famous.

Entering One-Hit Wonder Territory

on June 17, 2008 by Bob Garver

Most actors never have a great role. A lucky few have one great role after another. But some have ONLY one great role - even if they play it multiple times in sequels - and then their careers just fade away. Here is a look at ten actors from recent films who are likely to fit into the third category.

Ben Barnes (a.k.a. Prince Caspian in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian )

Barnes' performance in the title role of Caspian has been met with criticism and the film itself has underperformed at the box office. Giving a mediocre performance in a film that doesn't catch on is a sure fire way to hinder a young career.

Miley Cyrus - (a.k.a. Hannah Montana in Hannah Montana 3-D )

Cyrus had better be making smart decisions with all that Hannah Montana money, because the craze over the franchise will run its course soon enough. Surely she’s made enough cash to retire at age 16, which is good because everything about her screams “future has-been.” Want proof? When was the last time you heard anything positive about that other overexposed Disney Channel star, Hilary “Lizzy McGuire” Duff?

Al Gore - (a.k.a. himself in An Inconvenient Truth )

Obviously, Gore didn’t do An Inconvenient Truth to become a movie star so finding a follow-up is not going to be a priority for him. But if he does do another filmed lecture series, it will not have the same success. An Inconvenient Truth was a hard sell and it got lucky. Audiences aren’t likely to say, “Let’s go see the new Al Gore movie!” with the same excitement they would for most projects.

Paris Hilton - (a.k.a. basically herself in House of Wax )

Everybody knew that House of Wax was going to be a mediocre horror movie, but it still sold a lot of tickets because people wanted to see the spoiled hotel heiress get killed. Now they’ve seen it and they don’t need to pay to see it again. The monumental failure that was The Hottie and the Nottie proved that her name won’t sell any more tickets.

The Jackass Crew (a.k.a. Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, et al. in the Jackass movies)

Does this one even need explaining? Constantly getting hit in the crotch does not an impressive resume make. Knoxville is the only one who has even been given the opportunity to ruin other movies, and The Dukes of Hazzard was going to be a dud with or without him.

Christopher Mintz-Plasse (a.k.a. Fogell in Superbad )

You probably forgot that there was a character in Superbad named Fogell. That’s because he’s probably best referred to by the name on his fake ID: McLovin. Everyone who has seen the film calls the character McLovin and unfortunately they do the same with the actor. For up-and-coming thesps like Mintz-Plasse, the sad truth is that being known by a character’s name (in this case, the character’s fake name) generally does not result in a long, healthy career.

Patton Oswalt (a.k.a. the voice of Remy in Ratatouille )

This is another case where a character is remembered by the wrong name. Most people just refer to Remy, the rat with a knack for the culinary arts, as “Ratatouille.” It’s hard to picture Oswalt jumping into meaty live-action roles based on his voicing of a lovable rodent. He’ll get more animation roles and remain a successful bit player, but Remy will most likely end up being the highlight of his career.

Shaobo Qin (a.k.a. Yen in the Ocean’s series)

Yen is probably the most interesting member of the Ocean’s team. He’s the acrobat who hides in impossible positions and does the jobs that require jumping around. His broken English is also good for the occasional one-liner. Yet Qin’s performance falls into such a specific niche that it’s hard to picture him in any other films.

Deep Roy - (a.k.a. every Oompa Loompa in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory )

Roy’s performance as the entire Oompa Loompa army was probably the best thing about Tim Burton’s version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. If a part that juicy comes along again, he should get it in a snap. But at 4’4’’, his options are painfully limited.

Daniel Radcliffe - (a.k.a. Harry Potter in the Harry Potter series)

Radcliffe has made it known that he’s deliberately trying to avoid becoming a one-hit wonder. To show off his range, he’s taking darker and darker roles in other productions. But this strategy is having exactly the effect he doesn’t want. Most people look at these roles and say, “Ha! Look at Harry Potter trying to be all serious.”

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