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Top 10 Actors Who HATED Their TV Characters

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
Well that’s a big disappointment! For this list, we’re looking at actors who’ve made public statements about disliking their character, or wishing they could be done with their contracts for the role. Our list includes “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Hannah Montana,” “You,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Gossip Girl,” and more! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Actors Who Hated Their TV Characters.

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Top 10 Actors Who HATED Their TV Characters

Well that’s a big disappointment! Welcome to MsMojo, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Actors Who Hated Their TV Characters.

For this list, we’re looking at actors who’ve made public statements about disliking their character, or wishing they could be done with their contracts for the role.

#10: Jason Segel as Marshall Eriksen
“How I Met Your Mother” (2005-14)

Though Jason Segel is a successful comedic actor who’s also had promising forays into drama, for most he’ll always be known for playing goofy lawyer Marshall Eriksen on “How I Met Your Mother”. Getting to act in such a major network show that went on for so many seasons seems like a dream for any actor, but in fact Segel resented it. In a 2010 interview with GQ, Segel said that “playing one character for eight years isn't what you're trying to do”. He said that he didn’t feel like he had much more to offer as Marshall, that the predictable gags on the show were getting old, and that he hoped for a more substantial plotline - like a divorce!

#9: Mandy Patinkin as Jason Gideon
“Criminal Minds” (2005-)

Mandy Patinkin famously quit the show he starred on, “Criminal Minds”, in its third season, citing the violent content of the program as the reason for his departure. Patinkin made a strong statement to NY Mag, saying, "The biggest public mistake I ever made was that I chose to do Criminal Minds in the first place”. He said that he hadn’t expected them to be raping and killing women in every episode, and that it was “destructive to [his] soul and personality”. His character quit the BAU due to emotional distress, and was killed off off-screen in season ten.

#8: Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1996-2003)

Sometimes the role that made an actor’s career is the one that they resent the most. Although Sarah Michelle Gellar has acted in a number of films throughout her time in the spotlight, you can’t deny that “Buffy” is her most prominent part to date. The sixth season of the show is notoriously dark, and fans are split on whether they love it or hate it. Gellar, for one, is not a fan, and has said that season six was far from her favorite. She thought that her character’s direction was disingenuous, adding, “I felt it betrayed who she was.”

#7: Angus T. Jones as Jake Harper
“Two and a Half Men” (2003-15)

While Charlie Sheen’s issues with the show were dealt with very publicly, young actor Angus T. Jones who played Jake also had his problems with it. After joining a Seventh-day Adventist church and converting, he no longer supported the program, despite the fact that each episode was giving him a massive pay day. He made a decisive statement, saying “If you watch Two and a Half Men, please stop watching Two and a Half Men. I'm on Two and a Half Men and I don't want to be on it. Please stop watching it and filling your head with filth”. So it’s pretty clear where he stands!

#6: Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg
“You” (2018-)

“You” was one of the most talked about shows of 2018. Penn Badgley, who plays the main character, recognizes that the writers were attempting to create a somewhat relatable figure who audiences would feel conflicted about. At the end of the day though, Badgley said, “he’s a guy who’s capable of stalking, he’s a guy who’s capable of murder, he’s a guy who’s capable of a lot of manipulation and abuse”. The actor says he doesn’t see him as a realistic person, but rather someone who we’re supposed to recognize our darkest parts in.

#5: Shailene Woodley as Amy Juergens
“The Secret Life of the American Teenager” (2008-13)

Before she was a big name movie star, this actress was staring on the ABC family show “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”. The show always received mixed reviews because of the treatment of its main plotline, with the New York Times calling it a "Prime-Time Cautionary Tale". At the end of the show’s run, Shailene Woodley said, “towards the end, morally, the things that we were preaching on that show weren’t really aligned with my own integrity”. Woodley didn’t say what in particular in the show made her feel that way, so fans can only speculate.

#4: Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana
“Hannah Montana” (2006-11)

We’ve all witnessed the wild ride that Miley Cyrus has taken in the years since her stint on the Disney Channel’s “Hannah Montana”. It’s clear that Cyrus made a pretty massive effort to distance herself from the character that made her famous, but not everyone knows the reasons why. She has said that being on the show gave her unrealistic ideas about standards of beauty and caused her to have body image issues. She told Marie Claire, “I was told for so long what a girl is supposed to be from being on that show. I was made to look like someone that I wasn't, which probably caused some body dysmorphia.”

#3: Allison Williams as Marnie Michaels
“Girls” (2012-17)

From the point of its initial release, Lena Dunham’s show “Girls” received plenty of criticism for its portrayal of spoiled and entitled millennial women - even though that was obviously the point. One of the most reprehensible characters on the show is Marnie, Hannah’s friend who makes many questionable decisions throughout her story arc. Actress Allison Williams, who portrays her, said to Buzzfeed, “Marnie would drive me crazy if we were friends in real life”. She went on to detail all of the missteps that Marnie made during the show’s run, stating that it was difficult to be there with her through it all.

#2: Blake Lively as Serena Van Der Woodsen
“Gossip Girl” (2007-12)

Now, Blake Lively is undeniably a Hollywood A-lister, and while she had acted before “Gossip Girl”, most would agree that it was her big break. She has since worried about viewers relating her to her character, mainly because of the dubious behavior that Serena often engaged in. In 2015, she told Allure, “it always felt a little personally compromising — you want to be putting a better message out there”. Getting into the specifics, she added, “I would not be proud to be the person who gave someone the cocaine that made them overdose and then shot someone and slept with someone else’s boyfriend.”

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Alexa Nikolas as Nicole Bristow
“Zoey 101” (2005-08)

David Harewood as Cyborg Superman
“Supergirl” (2015-19)

Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne
“Community” (2009-15)

Denise Crosby as Tasha Yar
“Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987-94)

Evangeline Lilly as Kate Austen
“Lost” (2004-10)

#1: Katherine Heigl as Izzie Stevens
“Grey's Anatomy” (2005-)

Katherine Heigl starred on one of the most popular and longest-running shows of its kind. And yet she often took the opportunity to distance herself from her role and the show itself. She won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2007, but the next year refused to submit her work for consideration, saying that she didn’t think the material she’d been given warranted an award. Ouch! After that, there was frequent speculation about Heigl leaving the show, which she finally did in 2010.

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