Which foreign stars have made bad choices in Hollywood? Check out today's Ask the Critic question, and post your own

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
October 04, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

Which foreign stars have made bad choices in Hollywood?

What foreign movie star has made the worst choices upon arriving in Hollywood? — Ben Attwell

You cite Gong Li as your pick, so I’m going to narrow the category to ”non-native English speaker.” And while I agree with you that Miami Vice and Memoirs of a Geisha don’t do the smashing star of The Story of Qiu Ju any favors, I’m inclined to cut her slack: Try emoting in just-learned Mandarin and see how well you do. Knock-your-socks-off martial artistry is a stroll in the park for Ziyi Zhang, Chow Yun Fat, Jet Li, or even Jackie Chan compared with mastering the English language.

Moving from East to West, I’d add Emmanuelle Beart and Penelope Cruz to the list of stars who traded soul for Hollywood salary. (Back in Spain working with Pedro Almodóvar in the upcoming Volver, Cruz regains her cred.) But it’s also worth noting three who have chosen their American work well: Swedes Stellan Skarsgaard and Peter Stormare, and ER‘s Croatian Dr. McDreamy, Goran Visnjic.

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