The 11 worst biopic castings of all time

Hugh Hefner and Jared Leto.

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Hugh Hefner and Jared Leto.
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AP; Getty

Shortly after Hugh Hefner’s death in September, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Jared Leto would be playing the media mogul in a biopic about his life.

“Jared is an old friend,” the biopic’s director Brett Ratner told THR. “When he heard I got the rights to Hef’s story, he told me, ‘I want to play him. I want to understand him.’ And I really believe Jared can do it. He’s one of the great actors of today.”

Immediately after news of Leto’s casting was announced it began to receive some criticism online.

Here are a couple reactions to Leto’s casting:

It’s easy to be skeptical of Leto’s casting when there have been so many lousy biopic castings in the past. Even renowned actors like Kevin Spacey and Naomi Watts have starred in colossal biopic flops.

It’s too soon to evaluate whether or not Leto’s portrayal of Hefner will do the late playboy justice, but hopefully he won’t make the same mistakes as his biopic predecessors.

Here are the 11 worst biopic castings of all time, in no particular order:


Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor

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YouTube/Lifetime

“Liz and Dick” was meant to tell the story of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s romance, but instead it amounted to no more than a cheaply crafted, made-for-TV-movie with subpar casting.

Lohan was unable to carry the role of Taylor, and instead played a less charming version of herself while wearing a series of unflattering acrylic wigs.


Kevin Spacey as Bobby Darin

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Lionsgate

Spacey directed and starred in the Bobby Darin biopic “Beyond the Sea,” chronicling the short life of the famed crooner.

But the film had one glaring issue: Spacey’s age.

Darin was 37 when he died, and Spacey was 45 when he portrayed the singer…when he was 20.

It was confusing.


Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs

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Sundance

Kutcher’s portrayal of Steve Jobs in “Jobs” fell short of truly representing the tech mogul, and it’s incredibly hard to take the “Punk’d” creator seriously in the role – despite his spot-on resemblance to Jobs.


Jennifer Love Hewitt as Audrey Hepburn

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YouTube/ABC

Love Hewitt vaguely resembles cinema icon Audrey Hepburn, but her bubbly disposition and inability to truly capture Hepburn’s accent ultimately prevent her portrayal of Hepburn from being believable.


Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone

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Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone in “Nina.”
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RLJ Entertainment

“Nina,” the film about legendary chanteuse Nina Simone, drummed up a lot of controversy when photos of Saldana portraying Simone surfaced, revealing that the actress’ skin tone was made noticeably darker.

The film was slammed by critics for being racially insensitive.


Penn Badgley as Jeff Buckley

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Smuggler Films

In “Greetings from Tim Buckley,” Badgley played famous musician Jeff Buckley as he dealt with the loss of his estranged father Tim Buckley.

Anyone who has ever seen Buckley give an interview will be able to quickly identify that the only thing about Badgley’s portrayal of the late musician that rings true is his haircut.


Demetrius Shipp Jr. as Tupac

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Lionsgate

“All Eyez on Me,” starring Demetrius Shipp Jr. as Tupac Shakur missed the mark with his portrayal of Tupac.

Although Shipp Jr. bares a striking resemblance to the late rapper, he delivered nothing more than his likeness in one of the biggest flops of this summer.


Leonardo DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover

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Warner Bros.

DiCaprio’s depiction of the first director of the FBI in “J. Edgar” was unremarkable, and the heavy overuse of prosthetics to age DiCaprio are unintentionally comical.


Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning as Joan Jett and Cherrie Currie

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Riverroad entertainment

Stewart and and Fanning portrayed two of the most iconic women in rock n’ roll history in “The Runaways,” but both of their performances were disappointingly timid and unconvincing.


Naomi Watts as Princess Diana

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YouTube.com/BeckerFilmGroup

“Diana” told the story of the last two years of Princess Diana’s life while in the thrall of her love affair with Hasnat Khan.

The film was slammed by critics, and even Watts herself remarked that she regretted taking on the role, and said she knew the film was a “sinking ship.”


Colin Farrell as Alexander the Great

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YouTube/Warner Bros.

Director Oliver Stone missed the mark when he decided to make his film about Alexander the Great, “Alexander.”

Farell’s portrayal of the ancient leader with his bewildering bleach blonde locks and cheesy costumes are just one of the reasons that “Alexander” remains one of the worst biopics of all time.