7 Actors That Just Didn’t Happen

Matt Dekneef

Every year a new actor hits the scene that has everyone hyperventilating. It’s like the Kentucky Derby all year here in Hollywood and everyone’s placing their bets on the most hyped thoroughbred. However, some just never cross the finish line…

That said, here are the stars that never made the A-list, despite monumental expectations. 

1. Sam Worthington

After securing the lead role in James Cameron’s Avatar, the highest-grossing film of all time, Sam was one, if not the, most in-demand actor of the year. But his draw dimmed vastly when the Aussie star joined two other huge projects that didn’t “wow” moviegoers the same way Cameron’s did: Terminator: Salvation and Clash of the Titans.

2. Josh Hartnett

Circa 2000, everyone was smitten with Josh and his squinty, charismatic glare. He always seemed to be filmed in a soft, glowing filter…that sort of just faded away in time. For evaluation’s sake, consider that he starred in seven movies in 2001 alone and these days, viewers are lucky to recognize him at all. He’s still on the industry’s radar, taking on smaller indie roles like August—he’s just not interested in A-list fame.

3. James Van Der Beek

James made girls swoon as Dawson on “Dawson’s Creek.” But when that creek dried up, we rarely saw him. In 2002, he acted in the cult adaptation The Rules of Attraction and then all but vanished after. He came back into the zeitgeist with his satirical portrayal of himself in “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23.”

4. Taylor Lautner

Taylor has barely stepped out from the Twilight franchise’s shadow, but there doesn’t appear to be a light at the end of the tunnel just yet. The actor made some forays into leading man projects like the action film Abduction, but it greatly underwhelmed audiences at the box office. He still raked in a lot of money last year thanks to the paranormal teen series, but we can’t stay kids forever.

5. Taylor Kitsch

Unfortunately, Taylor starred in one of the biggest flops of the decade, Disney’s John Carter, overshadowing the natural appeal he brings to smaller projects like TV’s “Friday Night Lights.” Since then, it’s just been a string of disappointing films, from Battleship to Savages.

6. Tom Welling

Following a 10-season run on “Smallville,” Tom was poised to be the next big thing. But for whatever reason, he didn’t land many roles outside the small screen.

7. Skeet Ulrich

Johnny Depp’s doppelganger Skeet never seemed to make it past the ‘90s with any of his projects. After catching everyone’s attention, most notably in Scream and The Craft, he went on to take smaller roles that never truly let him shine. He’s since appeared in cult shows “Jericho” and “Law & Order.”

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