Due to horror, depression, and criticism of appearance, some Hollywood actors voluntarily left the American television drama. Overview of the ten stars that left Hollywood voluntarily.
‘I started to realize that I had to act a certain way or that I would lose my career otherwise,’ explained Josh Hartnett, 42, last week when asked why he decided to leave Hollywood years earlier. And he’s not the only actor who chose to pull the plug on a successful career.
1. Jack Gleeson (28)
Most people only know Jack Gleeson as the young and cruel King Joffrey from ‘Game of Thrones’, but he has been acting since seven. And when his character died, he saw it as the perfect opportunity to completely step out of the world.
“I just didn’t like it as much as I used to,” he explained that decision. “When you earn your living with something, your relationship changes with it. It’s not that I hate acting. It’s just not what I want to do.”
Gleeson went on to study and chose theology and philosophy courses. According to The Herald Sun, he would now work in a small theater company.
2. Mara Wilson (33)
She was barely six years old when she landed her first film role, in ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ and nine when she was ten in her biggest hit ‘Matilda’. Viewers and critics loved her, but Mara Wilson struggled to find her niche in the movie industry. The most important reason? Her appearance.
“The way I saw it, I had three options,” she later wrote about it in her biography. “character roles for young women. Or accept myself and give up the idea of a Hollywood career altogether.” And Mara chose the latter option. She went to college and sincerely enjoyed it. “My life has improved a lot since I left Hollywood,” she said.
3. Frankie Muniz (35)
In the 1990s, Frankie Muniz was one of the most popular child stars, courtesy of ‘Malcolm in The Middle’, ‘Big Fat Liar’ and ‘Agent Cody Banks’. But Frankie had other dreams. When the series ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ ended in 2006, the actor chose a racing driver career. He was signed with Jensen Motorsport and participated in several championships.
But in 2009, he was seriously injured in a crash. And the health problems didn’t end there. At the age of 26, he had a mini-stroke, and his memory regularly fails him. “I barely remember anything about ‘Malcolm in the Middle’,” he said recently. “It’s almost as if I am not. It makes me sad.” Today Muniz has his store in Arizona: Outrageous Oils & Vinegar.
4. Macaulay Culkin (40)
In 1994 Macaulay Culkin, a child star from ‘Home Alone’ and ‘Richie Rich’, decided that he had had enough of Hollywood. That had everything to do with his father, he explained on the podcast ‘WTF with Marc Maron’.
“My father was jealous of me. He threatened me and said, for example, “Do it right, or I’ll hit you.” He was a bad man, and he physically and mentally abused me. I can show you all my scars if you want. Before I was ten years old, I excelled at everything he had ever tried to do in his life.”
That is why Macaulay decided to ‘divorce’ his father in 1994 and to declare his independence. “That was one of the best things that ever happened to me because it allowed me to leave the industry,” he said. “I wanted to pause and decided, ‘Okay guys, I’m done.”
5. Cameron Diaz (48)
For years, in 2014, Cameron Diaz, one of the most in-demand actresses in Hollywood, decided to put an end to her career. “When I turned 40, I decided I wanted to start living my life again, but in a different way,” she explained that decision.
“For years, I worked myself to death from morning to night, and that ate me. Once I decided to quit acting and focus on my personal life and my relationships with family and friends, Benji suddenly came into my life. That felt so good right away that we got married pretty soon after,” said Cameron, who married Benjamin ‘Benji’ Madden in 2015.
When asked how Diaz feels after saying goodbye to a glorious Hollywood career, she replied: “I’m at peace with it. For the first time in my life, I really took care of myself instead of rushing through life. It’s a huge relief, as crazy as that may sound to some people. It is very intense always to have to live in ‘the spotlight’ and live up to that ideal picture. ” Now that she has also become a mother of daughter Raddix, Hollywood seems to have been completely forgotten.
6. Brendan Fraser (52)
With hits like ‘The Mummy’, ‘George of the Jungle’ and ‘Crash’, Brendan Fraser was one of the most in-demand stars in the late nineties and early 2000s. But apparently, overnight, Fraser only ran into flops each other, after which he also simply chose to stop acting.
For various reasons, he told GQ in 2018. He had a lot of medical problems because he had done all the stunts himself during his career. “I think I was just trying too hard in that area,” he said. “By the third ‘Mummy’ movie (which came out in 2008, ed.) I hung together with tape and ice packs.”
On a personal level, Fraser also suffered some blows. Then his marriage to Afton Smith – with whom he has three sons – hit the rocks in 2007, the actor found himself in difficult financial waters. The actor also admitted that he was struggling with depression after being assaulted in 2003 by the former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).
The man in question, a Philip Berk, is said to have touched him at the Beverly Hills Hotel. “I felt sick. I felt like a little kid again. There was a lump in my throat, and I thought I was going to cry,” he said in an interview.
7. Meg Ryan (59)
There was a period when Meg Ryan was called ‘America’s Sweetheart’, and she landed one lead after another in a rom-com. But Meg had had enough and turned her back on Hollywood. “I was more curious about the other things life can give you,” she said in The New York Times in 2019. “I wanted to live more. I was burned out. I felt like I didn’t know enough about myself… the world to be able to reflect it as an actor. I felt isolated.”
And she explained, “Have you ever been in a car – a really expensive car – that has a beautiful inside? You can’t complain about it. But you also can’t hear what’s going on outside because there’s so much metal. There is so much standing between you and everything else. When you are young and famous, you have a disadvantage: you don’t know who is telling you the truth. I’m not complaining – there are so many advantages to being famous – but there are also very important disadvantages for your brain, yourself, your soul.”
8. Daniel Day-Lewis (63)
He’d decided to take a break from Hollywood twice before, but when Daniel Day-Lewis announced in 2017 that the movie ‘Phantom Tread’ would be his last, it seemed to be final. “I don’t know exactly why,” he said a few months later.
“But the feeling crept into my mind, and it stayed. I hate to use the word ‘artist’, but it felt like the artist’s responsibility was hanging over me. I have to believe in the value of what I do. The work may seem essential, irresistible. And if the public believes it, then that should be good enough for me. But lately, that has not been the case anymore.”
And so far, Day-Lewis has kept his word: there are no more new projects planned for him.
9. Kim Basinger (67)
After roles in Bond films ‘Never Say Never Again’, ‘LA Confidential’ and ‘9 1/2 Weeks’ Kim Basinger seemed to be making it all the way in Hollywood. But the fair-haired beauty developed agoraphobia due to the constant attention of the press.
“When I went to Hollywood, I could wear a bikini, but I felt miserable because people looked at me,” she said. “That’s why I started to wear baggy clothes. I could only watch other girls get the big roles and the prizes. That led to my agoraphobia.”
And she continued, “I couldn’t leave my house for six months. I cried every day.“ That is why the actress decided to turn her back on Hollywood and live almost as a hermit. “She rarely leaves her house,” it was said to her surroundings. “She’s a prisoner of her own fears.”
10. Gene Hackman (91)
In 2004, when he was 74 years old, Gene Hackman decided it was time to retire. “The straw that broke the bucket was a stress test,” he explained years ago.
“The doctor told me my heart was not in the best condition and that I should avoid stress.” And so he devoted himself to a quiet life with his wife Betsy. However, Hackman found another pastime: writing books, together with his neighbor Daniel Lenihan.
“It’s very relaxing,” he said. “I don’t see myself as a great writer, but I enjoy the process.” He has absolutely no desire to return to the silver screen. “The industry is just very stressful, I think. The compromises you have to make in movies are just part of it.”