George Griffiths names and shames his top 3 post Oscar flops…

Cross-Media editor for Redbrick Film, English with Creative Writing second year. Also likes Style by Taylor Swift.

For many actors, earning an Oscar can be seen as the ultimate career goal; the pinnacle for any actor worth their salt. And for many of the people who actually do walk away clutching that little gold statuette that is what it remains – the pinnacle of their career. Sadly, for the (undoubtedly talented) people who are indeed lucky enough to win an Oscar…they may find that instead of leading their career down many diverse and equally critically acclaimed paths (see the career of Oscar women du jour Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence), that they have, accidentally, peaked with their Oscar-winning performance. Below is Redbrick’s top three unlucky actors whose careers have flopped post Oscar win.


cat halleHalle Berry made history when she became the first (and so far only) woman of colour to win an Academy Award for a leading role for her performance in Monster’s Ball. Surely a historic achievement would only be the start to her stellar career? Unfortunately, her turn in Catwoman more or less killed her career as a viable commercial actress, which is a small price to pay considering half of her on-screen time was via CGI. However, you can catch Halle doing her best to salvage what little lines she has in the ever-expanding X-Men franchise, in which she plays the role of Storm, who utters approximately 5 important lines per movie but, hey, she controls the weather and her hairs white so we’ll let her off this once. She’s now made the move to TV with her leading role in the serial Extant, but let’s be honest here, it’s no Game of Thrones.


Carlize AonIf there’s one thing the Academy loves more than a good old racial bias scandal, it’s a role where an actor plays a real-life person. Extra points if they have some shocking physical deformity/disability. Charlize Theron ticked both these boxes when she portrayed serial killer Alieen Wurnos in the spine-tingling Monster in 2003. She then, somehow, decided that it would be a good idea to star in Aeon Flux, a candidate for worst film ever. Talk about a Monster. Poor Charlize had to resort to fronting perfume campaigns to pay the rent, until  her career was resurrected by being a monumental revelation in Snow White and the Huntsman.  She then decided to star in the (actually not that bad) Prometheus and the offensively un-funny A Million Ways to Die in West. But we won’t talk about that.


Let’s not forget that some Oscar-winning men have also made some monumentally tragic acting choices post-Oscar and Cuba (who scooped the Academy Award for his work in Jerry Maguire) went on to star in the“family-friendly” Snow Dogs, and Daddy Day Camp . Two stone-cold, modern classics right there.. And let’s not forget his role in the so-bad-it’s-still-actually-really-bad comedy, Norbit.  However, it seems good old Cuba is hitching his star to a select few wagons nowadays, and has featured in the Oscar nominated Selma.

There are actually many, many more actors who have peaked with their Oscar-winning role who have actually somehow managed to stay quite culturally relevant given their roles they’ve chosen. Looking at you Gwyneth Paltrow. However, future Oscar winners, do not lose hope. You only have to look at the careers of Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence and Angelina Jolie to see that an Oscar can both be a career stepping stone or the diving board from which you plummet back into the swimming pool of great acting.

George Griffiths