Scooping an Academy Award is pretty much the best feeling there is as an actor. It’s recognition that you are at the top of your craft, and that you must surely rank as one of the best actors in the world. Scooping an Oscar is meant to be the pinnacle of an actor’s career, and something that will set them off on the road to greatness, but what about when it isn’t?
There are some actors who scoop this most prestigious of awards, and then disappear into the sunset just as quickly. For these actors, winning the Oscar actually scheduled a career blip so bad, you’ll ask yourself how they ever managed to win the Academy Award in the first place. Here are some of the top actors to fall foul of the Oscar curse – some of them you may not even have heard of!
Cuba Gooding Jr.
Once upon a time, Cuba Gooding Jr. had Hollywood at his feet. After capturing the iconic golden statue for his wonderful role in Jerry Maguire – not to mention a memorable Oscar speech – Cuba’s career took an alarming nosedive. He had flop after flop, with movies like Snow Dogs, and Radio tarnishing his legacy. He has had a mini-resurgence in recent years, with a role in the Oscar-nominated Seema, and TV series American Horror Story.
Remember when Halle Berry won an Oscar? No? Phew, we thought it was just us! But, amazingly, the X-Men star did scoop the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Marc Forster’s 2001 movie Monster’s Ball. To date, she is the only black woman to have won the award; though instead of kickstarting her career it seems to have set it on a downward trajectory. A string of flops threatened to derail her career, but we hope she’ll be back on the right track sooner rather than later.
Gwyneth Paltrow was once one of the brightest young talents in Hollywood, with a slew of great movies under her belt. But, after winning the Oscar for Shakespeare in Love in 1999, she had a little trouble finding work, and her career did seem to plummet somewhat. Movies like The Royal Tenenbaums showed flickers of greatness here and there, but it was generally poor scripts that proved her undoing. In recent times her marriage to Coldplay frontman Chris Martin seemed a further distraction – though now they are divorced she might regain career focus once more.
This might seem harsh because Brody has had a decent career since controversially scooping the Oscar for The Pianist in 2002. You’d think being the youngest ever winner of the Best Actor Oscar would have catapulted him to superstardom. But, with the exception of some highlight here and there – King Kong, The Darjeeling Express, and The Grand Budapest Hotel – he has never quite reached those lofty heights since.
These are just some of the big named stars who seemed as though they would take the world by storm following their Oscar wins, but it never quite happened. To be fair to them, some of them have had a resurgence in recent years, and are looking to make a comeback. But it’s still strange to think how quickly (and easily) people’s careers can go off the rails in Hollywood these days.