Every year, thousands of young hopefuls flock to Hollywood hoping to be the next big thing. Most don’t make it very far, but according to some big celebs who were able to take the industry by storm, the so-called Hollywood failures should consider themselves lucky.
“It’s miserable,” Grant said of acting during a recent interview, via Yahoo Movies, while promoting the new film Rewrite. “It’s a very cruel world, no one should go into it. I’m always getting cousins and friends, and daughters and sons of friends… wanting to talk about going into acting and I always say just don’t do it at all. It’s brutal.”
It’s not the first time Grant has said he loathes his chosen profession. He declared his hate way back in 2003. However, the About a Boy actor says he’s totally over Hollywood now. “I’m not out there looking for films,” he said. “On the whole, I’m out of show business.”
Grant’s not the only celeb who has achieved success only to later decide that the Hollywood life wasn’t worth all the fame and fortune. Here’s a list of actors who chose to leave the industry.
1. Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Back in the ’90s, you couldn’t pick up a Tiger Beat or Big Bopper magazine without JTT being on the cover, but the young actor walked away from it all, seemingly at the height of his fame. “I’d been going nonstop since I was 8 years old,” he told the Huffington Post last year of his decision to quit. “I wanted to go to school, to travel and have a bit of a break,” he added, noting that he has “no regrets” about leaving acting.
2. Shia LaBeouf
LaBeouf’s exit from the industry began in 2012, when he announced that he was “so done” with big-budget movies. Earlier this year, LaBeouf publicly declared that he didn’t want to be part of the Hollywood scene at all by wearing a paper bag over his head that read “I Am Not Famous Anymore.” He continued on a short downward spiral, getting into bar fights and logging an arrest, jail time and some rehab. Just recently, LaBeouf told Ellen DeGeneres that his behavior was the result of an “existential crisis,” and according to IMDb, he has a film in pre-production, so there’s a possibility he hasn’t thrown in the towel completely. For now, the Transformers star seems to be content with running his butt off.
— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) September 25, 2014
3. Dave Chappelle
Who didn’t think Chappelle’s Show was hilarious? The comedy program was hugely popular in the mid ’00s, but right when it hit its pinnacle, Chappelle was out. The stand-up comedian virtually disappeared, retreating to Africa and later saying he couldn’t handle the pressure of having so much power. “I felt in a lot of instances I was deliberately being put through stress because when you are a guy who generates money, people have vested interest in controlling you,” Chappelle told Oprah in 2006, via MTV. He also felt that the money being generated wasn’t being handled in a socially responsible way — meaning he wanted the show’s network, Comedy Central, to give more money to charity. Chappelle has since completely quit Hollywood without looking back.
4. Mara Wilson
The actress who portrayed Robin Williams’s adorable youngest daughter in Mrs. Doubtfire renounced movies because, well, basically she hates everything about it. “Here’s something no real celebrity will ever tell you: film acting is not very fun,” Wilson wrote in her personal blog. “Doing the same thing over and over again until, in the director’s eyes, you ‘get it right,’ does not allow very much for creative freedom… The celebrity aspect is nothing short of ridiculous, and auditioning is brutal and dehumanizing. Every time I see a pretty young girl on the subway reading sides for an audition, my only thought is, ‘Man, I’m glad I’m not doing that anymore.’ I never feel nostalgia, just relief.” Wilson is now a writer living in New York City.
There comes a time in every straight woman's life when she's an adult. It usually involves suddenly finding George Clooney attractive.
— Mara “Get Rid of the Nazis” Wilson (@MaraWilson) November 13, 2013
5. Amanda Bynes
Before Bynes started down her current troubled path, way back in 2010, she publicly declared that she would be retiring as an actress. “Being an actress isn’t as fun as it may seem,” Bynes tweeted. “I don’t love acting anymore so I’ve stopped doing it,” she added. “I know that 24 is a young age to retire but you heard it here first I’ve #retired.”