21 Actors Who Were Set To Be THE Next Big Thing And Then Surprisingly "Fizzled Out," Sometimes For Dark Reasons

Recently, redditor u/UnlikelyFig2822 posed the question, "Which up-and-coming Hollywood actors fizzled out?" to the people of r/popculturechat. Here are their top responses:

1."Taylor Lautner disappeared from the screen after the Twilight movies ended."

Close-up of Taylor


"He’s been in the public recently commenting about the backlash he got for committing the crime of aging like a normal person."


Summit Entertainment

2."Was always surprised Sam Claflin didn’t have a bigger career after Hunger Games. I always mixed him up with Alex Pettyfer back in that era. He was recently great in Peaky Blinders and Daisy Jones, though, so hopefully he’ll get more projects!"

Close-up of Sam wearing a thick, colorful necklace

3."Alex Pettyfer! He starred in Beastly and Magic Mike but allegedly had issues with Channing Tatum on the set of Magic Mike. His movie I Am Number Four flopped, and rumors were swirling that he was difficult to work with on set."

Close-up of Alex wearing a hoodie
Warner Bros.

4."I think if you ask the average person, Liam Hemsworth's most notable role was as Miley Cyrus’s boyfriend, husband, and then ex. A close second is Gale in The Hunger Games. I feel like in the beginning, he was marketed as a new heartthrob, but he’s just very…blah. Nothing particularly charismatic about him on- or offscreen."

Close-up of Liam

5."Shailene Woodley was supposed to be the next Jennifer Lawrence, but her career tanked right alongside Divergent when the YA adaptation bubble burst."

Close-up of Shailene

6."Larisa Oleynik! She just kind of disappeared. I think she was in Mad Men for a hot second?"

Close-up of Larisa
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

7."Sara Paxton. They put her in everything in an effort to make her the next big thing."

Close-up of Sara


"Aquamarine will forever be my favorite mermaid movie."


20th Century Fox

8."I thought Mia Wasikowska was gaining traction in the early 2010s, but I haven’t seen her in much since."

Close-up of Mia


"I loved her in Stoker. That movie is overlooked in general, though."



9."Skeet Ulrich had crazy hype after Scream, and then he completely fizzled out."

Close-up of Skeet licking a bloody finger
Dimension Films

10."I've always liked Taylor Kitsch as an actor. He seems to have worked semi-steadily, so I wonder if the 'fizzle' is partly of his own choosing? He was in Lone Survivor, True Detective Season 2, Waco, The Terminal List, and now Painkiller."

Close-up of Taylor with warriors behind him


"It may have something to do with John Carter being one of the biggest bombs of all time. It may have forced him to do smaller projects."



11."Dane DeHaan. Someone in another thread today mentioned how every young up-and-coming white male actor always gets compared to Leonardo DiCaprio. I remember when Dane was starting out and had been in Chronicle and The Place Beyond the Pines; he got compared to Leo around then. After The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and that Valerian movie with Cara Delevingne, he fizzled out. He was recently in Oppenheimer and he was good in it, despite not being in the movie much. It made me wish he had become a bigger star."

Close-up of Dane

12."This was over a decade ago, but Brandon Routh was supposed to be huge — like, the next Tom Cruise — but I haven’t heard much about him since Superman Returns."

Close-up of Brandon as Superman
Warner Bros.

13."No one mentioned Theo James yet?? Glad he’s getting more attention after White Lotus Season 2!"

Close-up of Theo

14."I’d like to argue for Hayden Christensen. After Star Wars, we barely saw him in anything because he had so much backlash over the role, even though now he’s remembered quite fondly. He’s had a career revival lately with his performance in the Obi-Wan Kenobi show, so I hope he’ll be seen and cast a lot more now."

Close-up of Hayden

15."I loved AnnaSophia Robb, but I haven't heard much about her since The Carrie Diaries."

Close-up of AnnaSophia


"Ah, she was in Bridge to Terabithia! I remember, even when I was a kid, thinking she was the most beautiful girl on the planet. I desperately wanted to be her 🥲."



16."Josh Hartnett had a great run and then just vanished. I saw an interview not too long ago where he said he felt magazines overhyped him and disrupted his career."

Close-up of Josh


"Wasn’t he just in Oppenheimer? But yes, he used to be everywhere."


"He was in the new season of Black Mirror, and he was sooo good in it too!"



17."Eliza Dushku — I thought she was going to be huge, but she kind of disappeared!"

Close-up of Eliza pointing a weapon


"Read up on her and why. Evil bastards in power holding roles over your head in exchange for sex. Her story is much darker, though. I'm glad she's doing well and happy now."



18."Wentworth Miller. Apparently he struggled really hard with depression and living in the closet, and Prison Break didn’t help. He had to break from acting to get a good frame of mind again."

Close-up of Wentworth with a wire fence behind him

19."Maybe it's me living under a rock, but I feel like Felicity Jones was on track to be super A-list but then just disappeared."

Close-up of Felicity

20."Josh Hutcherson disappeared after Hunger Games. I was wondering what happened to his career after the last movie, but someone told me they read in an interview that it was his choice. I guess he decided to take a break for a few years. Apparently, he's living in Spain with his girlfriend, but he's having a bit of comeback this year with a new movie — a horror one, I think.

Close-up of Josh

21.Finally: "Isla Fisher. I feel like she was making bank in her 30s, and now she's at that age when Hollywood won't work with her because she's not a bubbly young thing, but not quite old enough to play an older woman. Obviously, women aren't allowed to age in Hollywood 🙄."

Close-up of Isla wearing a scarf around her neck

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Now it's your turn! Who was an up-and-coming actor you think "fizzled out"? Tell us in the comments below!