10 Times Bad Acting Has Worked For A Movie, According To Reddit – Screen Rant

Between a nervous actor playing a nervous character and a caricature that fooled a whole nation, these bad acting examples made their movies better.
There’s nothing worse than bad acting, especially in a great movie, as it immediately pulls viewers out of the immersion. However, though it’s rare, there are times when bad acting has worked to the movie’s advantage and has benefitted the viewing experience.
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Between a nervous actor playing a nervous character, overacting in a very somber movie, and a ridiculous caricature fooling a whole nation, Reddit thinks these examples of bad acting made the movie better. And it just goes to show how collaborative the filmmaking process can be, as there are even examples of actors ad-libbing to cover up others forgetting their lines.
There are a lot of differences between the movie and the book of The Godfather, and one of the most glaring differences is in the depiction of Luca Brasi. In the book, the character is a deadly and remorseless killer, but in the movie, he’s a bumbling idiot. But, as AztecHoodlem points out, casting former wrestler Lenny Montana for the role worked perfectly.
The Redditor mentions that when Luca is “meeting Don Corleone to congratulate him, Montana is acting badly. However, within the context of how it’s framed in the movie, it ends up working.” The whole point of the scene is that Luca is nervous about meeting Vito, so bad acting played a key role.
While in the bar in Deadpool 2, Buck (Randal Reeder,) who is a big, dumb biker, explains the Kubler-Ross Model and the five stages of grief to Wade (Ryan Reynolds). In the movie, Buck forgets the name “Kubler-Ross,” and Wade reminds him of it. Nonesensepoem points out that the commentary track of the movie explains that Reeder forgot the line.
And once Buck has finished his monologue, Reynolds adlibs, “Jesus Christ, Buck. No more speaking lines for you.” The Redditor posits that it contributed to his character’s portrayal and created an opportunity for Reynolds to break the fourth wall again.” It’s a testament to how Reynolds is so great at thinking on his feet and how he was born to play the fourth-wall-breaking antihero.
For the ridiculous and over-the-top Starship Troopers, Director Paul Verhoeven cast a lot of actors with questionable skills. Goldtubb makes a great point that “the entire point of that movie was to satirize Nazi propaganda films, but as a sci-fi action movie.”
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The way actors looked in Nazi Propaganda films was way more important than how talented they were at acting. Not only that, but Verhoeven likes to make his movies intentionally kitschy, and along with intentionally casting bad actors in Starship Troopers, the same could be said for Elizabeth Berkeley’s casting in Verhoeven’s Showgirls.
American Psycho is one of the rare cases where the movie is better than the book, and one of the reasons why is because of Christion Bale’s terrifying performance as Patrick Bateman. Mediarch notes that while Bale wasn’t acting badly, “some of the cast thought Christian Bale was a terrible actor. They just couldn’t tell he was acting ‘off’ on purpose.”
According to The Playlist, Bale explained that Josh Lucas “informed me that all of the other actors thought that I was the worst actor they’d ever seen.” That’s hilarious considering that Bale is one of the most celebrated actors of this generation, is in countless instant classics, and has an Academy Award to show for it.
Most of these cases for bad acting making a movie better are due to other actors ad-libbing off them or because it’s fitting for the character. However, Spansoncrackle simply thinks the bad acting in Bram Stoker’s Dracula is so bad it’s good. The Reddit user posits that “Keanu Reeves makes Coppola’s Dracula 10 times more fun.”
Reeves is an incredible actor who is almost singlehandedly responsible for making so many characters iconic, whether it’s Neo or John Wick, and he’s so committed to every role he takes on. However, it took him a while to hone in on his craft and deduce what elements he was best at, and the 1992 movie captures Keanu at a much earlier stage in his career before he became the action hero he is today.
Jared Leto’s depiction of Paolo Gucci is one of the boldest performances in House of Gucci, but the actor covered in prosthetics and a bald cap was pretty polarizing. The performance comes off as a parody, especially when everything else in the movie is so serious. OofersIII argues that “that performance deserves both an Oscar and a Razzie. It has no place in the movie but it‘s a performance I think about literally every day.”
Though he wasn’t nominated for an Oscar for the role, he was nominated for a Razzie for Worst Supporting Actor. He was also nominated for Worst Screen Combo, which the voting body states is “Jared Leto & either his 17-pound latex face, his geeky clothes, or his ridiculous accent.”
The Terminator is a classic sci-fi thriller, and it turned Arnold Schwarzenegger into a movie star almost overnight. But the former bodybuilder wasn’t cast based on his acting skills. And because he had little to no background in acting, he approaches the role of a cyborg mercenary from the future in a different way than any other actor would, but it works for the movie.
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Deme-kats puts it best by explaining that his “physique mixed with his foreign accent made it possible to create this extraordinary sort of character.” Not only that, but Schwarzenegger has such an inhuman way of reciting dialogue, which works well when playing a cyborg.
This could be considered great acting, as Sacha Baron Cohen managed to fool a whole nation into thinking that he was Borat, a news reporter from Kazakhstan. But it was, in fact, an intentionally terrible impression that isn’t based on any real-life Kazakh. ToyVaren explains that in Borat, Cohen took bad acting and “raised it to an art form.”
The actor has pulled off this approach to acting countless times, as he created Ali G, Bruno, and he even returned as Borat and fooled the whole of the United States all over again. But, more interestingly, the fictional character singlehandedly managed to boost tourism for Kazakhstan.
In 1994, celebrated filmmaker Kevin Smith made his directorial debut, Clerks, which Smith funded himself by selling comic books. The result is one of the most beloved comedies ever, it has become a cult classic, had a just-as-good sequel, and a third movie is currently in production.
However, because it had a microscopic budget of just $17,000, Smith couldn’t exactly cast A-listers. The director cast his friends and non-actors, so some of the performances aren’t all that convincing. But Swarog1020 thinks that “the fact that they were not professional actors adds to the charm of the movie.”
I_CAN_SMELL_U reckons that Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, and by extension the TV show on which it’s based, is full of bad acting. However, they also explain that “Twin Peaks has some pretty ‘bad’ actors, but David Lynch directs them to be extremely over the top, so it’s hard to know if any of them are bad or actually really good.”
Whether the actors are good or bad, when they’re in a Lynch-directed movie, it’s impossible to tell the difference. Just like Patrick Bateman in American Psycho, all of the characters are a little off. But in the world of the David Lynch movie, the characters’ strange behavior and the way they speak is normal behavior. It’s like how strange things that happen in a dream are normal when they’re being dreamt.
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Currently residing in Madrid, Stephen Barker has been a staff writer at Screen Rant since 2020. Since graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University with a bachelor’s degree in Film, Television, and Cultural Studies in 2014, he has written for numerous movie and music websites. Stephen has been obsessed with movies since he first watched Jurassic Park on VHS, and with a deep interest in screenwriting, he loves 70s character-driven movies. But he’s just as much of a defender of Batman & Robin, The Fast and the Furious, and Small Soldiers. Visit Stephen‚Äôs personal blog, Quaranste, where he writes about guilty pleasure movies, his latest musical discoveries, and how he stays creative during global pandemics, or contact him directly: Quaranstine@gmail.com.


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