Robert Pattinson for 'Mission: Blacklist'? Five Actors Wrong for the Roles

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British actor Robert Pattinson at the premiere of Water for Elephants in 2011.
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British actor Robert Pattinson at the premiere of Water for Elephants in 2011.

The decision to cast Robert Pattinson as Saddam Hussein interrogator Eric Maddox in "Mission: Blacklist" is under fire, with critics unsure whether he has the chops to pull it off. They may not be wrong; other actors have stepped into roles they never should have taken. Here are five of them.

Angelina Jolie: "A Mighty Heart"

When Angelina Jolie decided to take on the role of slain journalist Daniel Pearl's wife, Mariane, in "A Mighty Heart," it raised the issue of a Caucasian actress portraying a multi-racial woman. No problem, she'd just let makeup take care of it.

That's always a bad way to go. The fact is that Jolie can do beautiful adventurer, as in "Laura Croft: Tomb Raider." She can do beautiful spy, as she did in "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" and "Salt." She can also do crazy, as in "Girl, Interrupted" and her marriage to Billy Bob Thornton.

What she cannot do is a role that requires enough range to be something beyond beautiful and tough. A friend of Daniel Pearl's, Asra Q. Nomani, put it this way: "For me, watching the movie was like having people enter my home, rearrange the furniture and reprogram my memory."

Kevin Costner: "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves"

Ah, the disappearing and reappearing accent. The sense that he was stumbling through the script, and the nagging sensation his costars were also feeling that that their lead was something less than leading them.

Sometimes actors are cast because they are absolutely right for the role, while other times they are cast because they're hot at the time. Costner was hot at the time. Whether Pattinson fits this category, we'll have to wait for "Mission: Blacklist" to see.

Audrey Hepburn: "My Fair Lady"

This spot on the list comes with a lot of love; I still adore Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle, questionable cockney accent or not. But Julie Andrews -- who played Eliza on Broadway, garnering a Tony nod -- should have had the chance to bring Eliza to film.

Keanu Reeves: "A Walk in the Clouds"

Sure, some could say the worst casting of Reeves was as Siddhartha in "Little Buddha," or as a Shakespearean character in the comedy "Much Ado About Nothing." But the end of many an unconditional crush on Keanu Reeves came with "A Walk in the Clouds."

Cast as a romantic lead with a poetic soul, the dialogue, filtered through Reeves, became first wooden, and then comical. It is the acting that keeps a romantic story on the right side of melodrama; sometimes even a strong director can't pull back the unraveling poor casting choices can cause.

Vincent D'Onofrio - "Happy Accidents"

So you're probably saying, "I've never heard of this movie." And I'm telling you, it's because it stars Vincent D'Onofrio as a romantic lead.

An actor beginning to gain foothold is no excuse for poor casting. "Happy Accidents" took an interesting romantic comedy premise and placed someone just the wrong side of creepy in the male role. Instead of a sweet story, there was always a hint of the unsettling in the film, no matter how the flick tried to stay away from that possibility.

Most actors come with their own overtones, and those overtones show, regardless of the part. The actors who completely melt into a character are rare. They're people like Meryl Streep; Morgan Freeman; or the unbelievable Albert Finney, an English actor so convincing as a Southerner in "Big Fish," I had no idea he hailed from Europe.

Vincent D'Onofrio? Nope. Robert Pattinson? We'll see.

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