The goal for pretty much any actor is to have a sustainable career at being a box office star for years and years. It doesn’t always happen that way, though, and most never reach that type of success. Then, there’s that rare breed of actors that have one character that takes off while never being able to match that level again in their careers. Here are a few of those (adult, not children) actors that had one-hit wonder characters.
After being selected to play a younger Darth Vader for “Star Wars” episodes two and three, the future seemed bright for Hayden Christensen’s career. However, he had just two films that received more than $15 million at the box office ever since with “Jumper” ($80 million) and “Takers” ($57 million), and has had just a handful of roles since 2010.
Speaking of “Star Wars”, Hamill played Darth Vader’s son Luke Skywalker in the film series that has grossed billions of dollars. However, he hasn’t had a starring role that earned big bucks at the box office outside of that character. Hamill has had plenty of cameos in notable films and has had a fine career as a voice actor, but his highest grossing starring role outside of “Star Wars” was “Corvette Summer” with just $15.5 million made.
It’s always big news when someone is cast to play Superman, and Routh got the call for 2006’s “Superman Returns”. It was sort of the forgotten film of the series, but did gross $200 million at the box office. He had small roles in “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” and “Zack and Miri”, but that’s about it. His two other films released in theaters combined for just $3 million in ticket sales.
A nationwide search was held to find the role of Tracy Turnblad for the 2007 remake of “Hairspray”. Nikki Blonsky was chosen for the character, and it marked her first movie, earning $155.6 million at the box office. Many thought this would open the door for her career, but it just wasn’t to be (at least not on the big screen). Since then, Blonsky has only had a couple of small independent films that have grossed just over $44,000 combined.
In 2002, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” became an international hit, with Nia Vardalos leading the way in the ensemble cast. The most made $241 million in North America, and the 2016 sequel didn’t fare as well, but still had nearly $60 million. Outside of those two films, though, Vardalos hasn’t had much of a movie career. She starred in both “My Life in Ruins” and “Connie and Carla” that both only grossed around $8 million, and had an independent movie, as well. For the most part, she’s been busy on television, especially in the voice acting department.