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09/16/14

Call it a comeback: Why movie stars always are looking for that turnaround role

Being a movie star is hard work and can be quite the taxing occupation, even if you're making millions for every starring role.
The difficult part isn't so much the grueling schedule or commitment and intensity to your work but rather the realistic notion that you can go from A list superstar one week to a direct to DVD punch line within a matter of months.
Plenty of accomplished actors have found themselves into movie star purgatory for one reason or another. Maybe they did plenty on television and had a huge series but only performed admirably at best on the silver screen. Then, there's the actor who had one box office smash after another, only to find themselves struggling to find work and finally capturing that proverbial lightening in a bottle one last time with a breakthrough, comeback role.
You also can't discount the troubled movie star that battles personal demons, drugs or alcohol while they try to get their career back on track.
In any event, some celebrities have been able to complete the turnaround with that one role that pulled them from the depths of obscurity back into the mainstream thanks to the success of the movie or the performance in general.

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One that comes to mind immediately is the ultra talented and often misunderstood Mickey Rourke, who spent most of the 1990s and 2000s doing very little in the acting field, until the intense, hardly mainstream flick "The Wrestler" put a head lock on the hearts of not only professional wrestling fans but audiences in general who couldn't take their eyes of Rourke and his "Randy The Ram" character.
Randy was sad, pathetic and likeable, and that was thanks to Rourke flashing some serious acting chops in a movie that probably was never intended to be a comeback role for the actor. Rourke made his way back into the spotlight with movies like "Expendables" and "Iron Man 2."
The "Iron Man" franchise is responsible for another return to glory, this time from Robert Downey Jr., also known to the world as Tony Stark. No one ever doubted the talent of Downey Jr., but rather questioned if his heart was truthfully in his work or if his personal trials and tribulations would eventually be his demise. Downey Jr., owned the Stark character, which is equal parts smarmy and heroic, a hard combination to pull off, but Downey Jr., does so tremendously.
Downey Jr. is now a bankable, 100 million dollar man at the movies, and he's one of the go to leading men in Hollywood when directors and producers want a guaranteed hit.
And speaking of hits, well, more like "hit men," what about John Travolta and his return to prominence 20 years ago with "Pulp Fiction." Travolta in 2014 finds himself in a bit of an acting slump again, but he became a hit maker as a hit man in "Pulp Fiction." After that movie, Travolta tamed Hollywood with one big hit after another such as "Get Shorty" (he won a Golden Globe for this role) and "Face Off," alongside Nicholas Cage.
Even though Travolta has since cooled as a Hollywood superstar, his "Pulp Fiction" role got him back in the good graces of the critics and general public in the mid 1990s.
Roles such as Travolta's in "Pulp Fiction," along with Rourke and Downey Jr., among others, proves that not only is Hollywood the city that makes stars but also is quite forgiving.

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