Why did that actor/actress do this movie?

Last night, one of the cable channels did a two-fer – Taxi Driver and The Brave One with Jodie Foster. I’d never seen Taxi Driver before and my principle impression was “Holy cow! That’s what Robert DeNiro looked like 30 years ago?” So very young… A dated movie, but rooted in the sleaze of 70’s New York.

And then, the completely unnecessary “The Brave One” with Jodie Foster. Sadly, I had seen this movie before, but the first time, it was Charles Bronson in the lead. Woman gets brutalized and fiance gets murdered by thugs, so she buys a gun and goes all vigilante on the streets. The scene where she nails her first victim is an obvious homage to Taxi Driver – she’s in a convenience store, sees a crime and shoots the perp (who, as in all vengeance porn of this type, is clearly human trash who needs killin’). Of course, you have that staple of vigilante movies, the subway low-lives who terrorize people until they pick on the wrong person (FYI: that’s the one with the gun.) And curiously, even though the bad guys are in all ways completely and utterly devoid of morality, remorse, or human feeling, they are also devoid of Glocks, something you’d expect in 2007 NYC. So in the climactic scene, instead of returning fire like you’d expect from gangbangers, the bad guys run like little girls and our heroine manages to hunt them down (in their own familiar building) and put them down like the rabid dogs they are.

So yeah, this movie sucked in almost all ways. Granted, random crime can strike at any time and New York is always going to be one of the sleaze capitals of the world, but it’s come a long way since the Sodom and Gomorrah of the late 70’s. So it’s not clear why this movie needed to be made.
It’s also shot in Murk O’Vision, as if no one in New York ever feels the need to turn on the lights. The reviews that I’ve read (e.g. Ebert) are all slightly apologetic, as if the reviewers are reluctant to straight out pan a movie that Jodie Foster is appearing in, but you can tell that even their faint praise is causing them to die a little inside.

So, the tl;dr is:

How did Jodie Foster get dragged into this piece of cinematic dreck?

What other movies have you seen where an actor or actress is clearly doing it because someone has pictures (filthy, filthy pictures) that they’d rather not be made public?

Well mentioning Michael Caine in Jaws 4: The Revenge is like shooting fish in a barrel and he has freely admitted he did it for the money.

I love both Al Pacino and Morgan Freeman but they’ve both been in some horrendous movies they clearly did for the paychecks.

This could be asked of Cuba Gooding, Jr. Clearly his agent hates him. I don’t know what happened around 2002-2003, but he went from “mostly decent roles” to “What happened to HIM?” in a hurry, thanks to Snow Dogs and Boat Trip. Now look at him - his 2009 output consisted of a TV movie and FOUR direct-to-DVD roles.

Also, Nicolas Cage.

It’s always an amusing shock to see James Earl Jones playing the bad guy snake man in Conan The Barbarian, with his awesome long straight hairdo.

Ahh, the subject of many Cafe Society threads. :smiley:

In Cage’s case, it certainly appears that he takes a ton of work in order to support his ridiculous lifestyle (serial purchasing of houses, cars, boats, artwork, jets, etc.)

I can’t answer specifically for why Jodie Foster did that movie, but typically the answer is money. It is also sometimes the case that a script looks better on paper than the finished movie. It could also be that the actor’s ego makes them see a role as something that could be flattering to them or get them accolades.

As for other examples, I think Tiptoes takes the cake. I can’t understand why any of the big names were in this movie, but especially Gary Oldman.

My question is why Jodie Foster got sucked into both starring in AND directing the Beaver. What the hell?

I’ve heard she really likes beavers.

Sometimes it’s a contractual thing, such as when the studio agrees to fund the actor’s pet project in exchange for which he (or she) will appear in two other films of the studio’s choosing.

And sometimes the movie sounds much better as a concept or as a screenplay than it does as a finished movie.


Well done!!!

I think a lot of actors wind up in horrible movies just because they like acting and working in films. Better to be acting in a stinker than sitting at home being dignifed.

She didn’t. She’s listed as an Executive Producer. Sometimes that’s just a vanity credit, but more likely it means that she was actively involved in putting the movie together. Considering she’s been turning herself into a producer/director over the last decade, she probably was a major force behind the film.

And why should she have thought it was going to suck? (If it did: I haven’t seen it.) It has a major name director and writers with 20 years worth of credits. She’d played that role successfully in Flightplan and The Panic Room, so why wouldn’t she think it would work again?

So it didn’t work. Well, most movies don’t work. That includes major movies that make hundreds of millions in box office grosses, too. You can’t normally tell that ahead of time. Some movies look great on the page but can’t be filmed. Sometimes the director isn’t right, or the cast isn’t, or the wrong person is on the wrong drugs, or the editing gets screwed up. There are a million good reasons why any movie fails, so many that it’s always a surprise that any of them work.

But I guarantee that Jodie Foster walked into this movie with her eyes wide open.

Sometimes actors treat their job as, well, a job. Olivier was in The Betsy, for example.

Jeremy Irons in the Dungeons and Dragons movie is the poster child for this. Serious thespian, oscar winner. WTF?

Most of the movies done on Mystery Science Theater 3000 have no recognizable talent in them, but one movie in particular that they did, the 1970s Charlie’s Angels ripoff Angels’ Revenge, has a pretty remarkable stable of, um, actors: Alan Hale Jr., Arthur Godfrey, Jack Palance, Jim Backus, Peter Lawford, Neville Brand, and Pat Buttram are the most recognizable. Granted, many of these guys were kind of washed up at the time, but still, that’s a pretty heavy concentration of has-been celebrities.

To be fair, he obviously was having fun. I’ve seen termites who chewed less scenery.

Keanu Reeves starred in The Watcher because he was more or less tricked and/or threatened into it. The movie producers approached him with a script, offering scale pay (minimum wage for actors) for a “small but integral supporting role”. Reeves decided to do it. Once he’d signed a contract, however, the producers completely rewrote the script so that Reeves role was the main character.

Reeves tried to back out, but the producers threatened him with a long, protracted lawsuit from hell, so he apparently just did the role for peanuts.

While it’s hard to top the joke answer, the real answer is that supposedly The Beaver is some kind of brilliant screenplay that topped “The Black List” (a list of the best unproduced screenplays) in 2008.

Other movies making the list that year included Cop Out and Going the Distance.

If the OP thinks the answer to the question is anything other than “the money,” then they are living in Cloud Cuckoo-Land. That’s the reason for just about anything in Hollywood.

Did you know that he got his start appearing on TV shows made for very young children?