17 Amazing Actors Who Couldn’t Save Terrible Dialogue
Gary Oldman is truly one of the best actors of our generation. I mean, the man has won an Oscar and a Golden Globe, and he’s been nominated for an Emmy. But one role most people my age remember him for is the Harry Potter films.
Oldman was great as Sirius Black, and in my opinion, Prisoner of Azkaban is one of the best Harry Potter films. But every single time I hear this line Oldman utters, I laugh. It’s become a meme to me at this point. The line? “This heart is where you truly live, this heart!!!!”
I think Oscar Isaac is incredibly talented, and I’m not the only one — he’s been nominated for three Golden Globes and won one. And I thought he did a great job in The Force Awakens — he had great chemistry with the other actors, and though there were a few dumb lines, Isaac was still perfection.
But by the time we got to The Rise of Skywalker…his character had been diminished and he was given the great, great honor of saying the worst line to ever come out of Star Wars (yes, even including “I don’t like sand”): “Somehow, Palpatine returned.”
The poor man did his best, but I can’t help but feel the frustration he portrayed in character was at least partially due to his frustration with the flimsy explanation.
Not *quite* as bad, but Ewan McGregor (who has won a Golden Globe and an Emmy) had his fair share of rough lines in the prequels, many of which were made much more awkward with context. Like “hello there” and his line about “killing younglings” (which Ewan himself couldn’t even make it through without laughing).
But I gotta go with his most meme-worthy line as his worst: “It’s over, Anakin. I have the high ground.” What does this mean??? Why does being slightly higher up mean he’s won? McGregor makes it sound so final, but that almost makes it worse. Why the heck is it over???
Hugh Grant has won a BAFTA and a Golden Globe — and for his work on The Undoing, he was nominated for an Emmy, a Golden Globe, and a SAG award.
The show earned critical acclaim, but one line in the script just was not up to par. The line was: “I didn’t kill the family dog. We never had a dog. I killed the family sister.” It’s such a weird way to word a huge reveal, and it almost makes it funny.
I can’t find the scene online, but it’s during the fifth episode — you can watch the show on HBO.
Sam Heughan was nominated for a BAFTA for his work on Outlander, and he’s a huge reason why the show has been so successful.
But I’m sorry, no one, not even Heughan, could make “your honeypot is bare” — referring to his wife waxing off her pubic hair — sound good. And “to rid yourself of such a lovely forest…” I cannot.
Halle Berry became an Oscar winner for the 2001 film Monster’s Ball, but a year prior, she’d appeared in X-Men as the iconic comic book character, Storm.
And…welp, she had a line that was less than stellar. Although according to Joss Whedon, who had worked on the script but said almost all his work was later thrown out except for a couple lines (including this one), it was just delivered wrong. (Frankly, I don’t know about that.)
Sorry, Halle — I gotta nominate another one here, and I think y’all already know what it’s gonna be from: Catwoman.
The whole script could be in this post, but I’ll just bring up my favorite. It’s SO cheesy.
Maybe this one is too easy, but I had to mention something from Twilight. Many of the actors from the films went on to do great things, like Robert Pattinson. His roles in The Lighthouse and The Batman were met with critical acclaim — the boy can act!
Honestly, I thought he was decent in Twilight, too. He nailed the self-hating vampire thing. But even Robert couldn’t make this line work.
Shailene Woodley proved herself an excellent actor in 2011 when she appeared in The Descendants, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe.
At the same time, she was also starring in the teen drama, The Secret Life of the American Teenager…and she had some pretty bad lines. I think the worst, though, has got to be this one…especially in conjunction with her costar Ken Baumann’s response.
After Selena, J.Lo’s talent as an actor was obvious. She found lots of success in a few more great rom coms…and then she appeared in one of the worst films of all time.
I’m talking, of course, about Gigli. In the film, Lopez said a line that I’m not sure anyone who saw the film could ever forget: “Gobble gobble.” Not in reference to Thanksgiving or turkeys. In reference to oral sex. This is an actress who has been nominated for two Golden Globes.
A lot of these examples involve acclaimed actors in non-acclaimed projects — but sometimes, even the very show or film an actor won an award for acting in can also give them a line of dialogue so terrible, you wonder how it even made it to the screen. Like on Glee. Remember when Chris Colfer won an Emmy for his work on the show?
Colfer was obviously great on Glee, but not all his lines were winners. Remember when he had to ask Tina, “Did you vapo-rape my ex-boyfriend?” with a straight face?
Amy Adams is one of my favorite actors, and she’s certainly one of the most talented and celebrated actors to have never won an Oscar (she’s been nominated SIX times). But Man of Steel was not her best movie.
I think her character’s worst line has got to be, “But what if I have to tinkle?” Amy, I’m so sorry. You’re worth more than this.
I can’t find the scene on YouTube, but you can watch Amy saying the line here.
Morbius is a giant meme, but its star, Jared Leto, was once a celebrated actor. He’s literally won an Oscar.
Say what you will about Leto’s acting skills, but you gotta admit they’re pretty good if he can say, “Pretty little stinky pinkie” with a straight face. However, not good enough to make the line actually work.
I can’t help myself — I’ve got to nominate another Jared Leto one, this time from Suicide Squad. He’s got a few lines that are great contenders, but I think I’ve got to go with Joker calling Harley, “The fire in my loins. The itch in my crotch.” Though, a special shoutout to the deleted scene where he says, “If you weren’t so crazy, I’d think you were insane.”
Two-time Oscar and four-time Golden Globe nominee, Margot Robbie, fared much better in the film, but she still had her fair share of cringy lines. My favorite? This line, which feels like a middle schooler wrote it on their Tumblr account in 2010.
Saoirse Ronan (who has been nominated for four Oscars) is an incredible actor, and she’s been in a number of incredible films. The Host is not one of them.
Now, this line makes a little more sense with context (she’s trying to get Melanie — the girl whose body and mind she’s mostly taken over — to get angry and show herself), but…it’s still incredibly awkward. Like, imagine Saoirse reading this in the script. Oof.
And finally…I’ve been holding this in for a long time, and right now I’m finally going to speak my truth and say it. First, let me just preface this by saying that I loved Game of Thrones, and Peter Dinklage was possibly the best actor on the show (who totally deserved his Emmys!). Tyrion was a great character, and he had a number of iconic lines.
But one of his iconic lines…”I drink and I know things” is a stupid line. I’m sorry. Dinklage did his best, but there’s no good way to say it.
What’s a movie or TV line you hate that not even an award-winning actor could save? Let us know in the comments!