Whether it be through terrible acting or just because the filmmaker needs someone to just be terrible, cinema is littered with unintentionally annoying characters. Some of these are so excruciating, so incredibly punchable, that they affect the viewer’s overall movie going experience in a negative way.
Many of the characters in the below list are played by performers who would never again be seen on our screens, and that shows the degree to which a bad role can harm an actors career. Because audiences don’t forget, although I’m sure sometimes they really, really wish they could.
Now on to the countdown!
Varuca Salt – Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Sure, she’s meant to be annoying, but Veruca Salt as played by Julie Dawn Cole in the original film took the ‘spoilt brat’ persona to excruciating new heights. Even as a kid I remember wishing she’d meet her demise as quickly as possible, only to have to wait until almost the final reel for her to get the boot.
Willie Scott – Indiana Jones and the Temple Of Doom (1984)
This is the kind of “damsel in distress role” that Hollywood used to do a lot of, but after the strong, sassy Marion we saw in Raiders of the Lost Ark, it was disappointing to see Indy go to to toe with this ditsy blonde who spends roughly 75% of Temple of Doom’s running time screaming and making funny faces.
A cynical man would theorise that the reason Kate Capshaw was able to get away with so much is because Spielberg was smitten with her, and by the bearded ones own admission he did let the film get away from him a little bit at times. But hey, at least we have that awesome mine cart chase at the end to make up for it right!?
Goldmember – Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)
Yesh, he’s got a weird dutch accent, we get it, hardy har har. This is a character that might’ve been funny in a handful of scenes, but to add him as a main player in Mike Meyers final instalment of the spy spoof franchise was completely unnecessary. He’s not quite Love Guru levels of unfunny, but its not far off.
Bella Swan – The Twilight Saga (2008 – 2012)
A character that angered an entire army of female fans simply for the fact she couldn’t choose between a creepy stalker and a roided up teenage canine, the real reasons why Bella Swan is the worst go far deeper than that. To be fair, Kristen Stewart has since proven her acting talent, but there were times in the Twilight films when her distracting lip biting and incessant whining were enough to make you wish Edward would just drain her life force already.
Juno McGuff – Juno (2007)
Its not that Ellen Page wasn’t effective in this role, its just that Juno is the kind of person that if you met in real life, you’d probably take the fire exit just to avoid being stuck in a lift with her, such is the relentless sarcasm and monotonous tone of her voice.
Lex – Jurassic Park (2009)
The spoilt granddaughter of Richard Hammond pretty much proves her uselessness in a mere five minutes of screen time, in which she A) Waves a light around thus attracting the attention of a hungry T-Rex, B) Screams in terror at said T-Rex thus attracting more attention, and C) carelessly chokes Dr. Ian Malcolm while he attempts to save her life by repelling down a wall in the pouring rain and also dodge a car thats about to fall and kill them both.
Basically, if it weren’t for Lex, the tragic events on Isla Numblar could’ve been avoided, or at least made a hell of a lot less traumatic for all involved.
Fabienne – Pulp Fiction (2009)
Fabienne is yet another example of someone who unnecessarily puts the life of a main character at risk due to a seemingly thoughtless action. In this case its leaving Butch’s favourite possession, the watch his father hid up his ass for years, in an apartment she knew full well would be monitored by one Marsellus Wallace, a powerful man prone to odd murder, whom Butch very recently pissed off. Did I mention Butch “specifically reminded” her to not forget said object? “Bed side table, on the Kangaroo!”
Anakin Skywalker – The Star Wars Prequels (1999 – 2005)
Its hard deciding which iteration of Anakin was worse: the whiny kid with zero charisma who Qui-Gon seems to like for no apparent reason, or the whiny grown up with zero charisma who Padme seems to like for no apparent reason. Cursed with some of the most awkward lines of dialogue you’re ever likely to hear outside of a film by Tommy Wiseau, “actors” Jake Loyd and Hayden Christensen’s careers were cursed from the moment fans realised just how not-‘Darth Vadery’ young Darth Vader turned out to be.
So bad was Loyd’s experience with the role, his life’s been in a downward spiral ever since, and Christensen has been largely absent from the public eye until a recent announcement that he would appear at this years Star Wars Celebration. No doubt Lucasfilm will be hoping fans show the actor some mercy, which is far more than the character ever deserved.
Mutt Williams – Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
Don’t get me wrong, I love ‘The Buff’ (as he’s affectionately known in these parts), but the character of Mutt Williams is 99% of the reason why the fourth instalment in the Indiana Jones series is so heavily derided. And thats really saying something in a film that also has a Gopher, a nuclear-proof fridge, and Danny Houston popping up every five minutes yelling “Jonesey!!”
From the moment this so called “Greaser” shows up you just want to punch him in his smug face, and its not until later you realise why Dr. Jones doesn’t do just that: he’s Mutt’s daddy you see. Well just coz you said it doesn’t mean we have to accept it George Lucas! #NotMyIndy
Jar Jar Binks – Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace (1999)
Are yousa surprised to see dissa top our list? I’m guessing not, because despite almost eighteen years having passed since the release of The Phantom Menace, Jar Jar Binks is still just as hated as ever. You’d think he’d shot JFK the way internet forums continue to use his name in vain; but if you were to compare our history to that of the Star Wars universe, he may as well have given the gun to Lee Harvey Oswald. Because after all Jar Jar was the one who gave Chancellor Palpatine the emergency powers he needed to effectively wipe out the Jedi and take control of the Galaxy.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is Jar Jar isn’t just the most annoying character in cinema history, he’s actually also one of the most evil; a fact that was recently picked up on in the Star Wars novel Aftermath, in which his true fate was finally revealed, and it almost made us feel sorry for him…almost.Thats all folks! So what characters had you sinking ever lower into your seat at the cinema?
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