Keanu Reeves

Like John Wick Saved Keanu Reeves, These 10 Actors Saved Their Whole Career With 1 Movie

Building a prolific career in the film industry is a tall order, to say the least, and the stars who do make it to the top always get to enjoy their success from above everyone else. But it’s just as easy to be forgotten if not tread carefully to which Keanu Reeves is a prime example of this as he was almost forgotten after his iconic depiction of Neo in The Matrix franchise.

Keanu Reeves in and as John Wick
Keanu Reeves as John Wick in a still from John Wick: Chapter 4

But after he donned the classic black suit of the world’s greatest assassin in another iconic John Wick franchise, the star saw a surge in popularity and recognition in the business and around the globe like never before, which can easily be connected to the fact that the first film saved his career. Therefore, mentioned below are some stars that went through the same career stall, until that one film changed their lives forever.

1: Michelle Yeoh [Everything Everywhere All At Once; 2022]

Michelle Yeoh in a still from Everything Everywhere All at Once

Kicking off things with one of the most recent incidents, the award-winning film Everything Everywhere All at Once, actress Michelle Yeoh saw herself in the limelight once more as Evelyn Wang, the main lead of the movie. Taking a look back at her career, she reached the pinnacle of her career when she starred in director Ang Lee’s Oscar-Winning film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, after which she was seen doing minor roles in many films until she bagged the Academy Award for Best Leading Actress thanks to this film.

You may also like: Michelle Yeoh Flips Off the Industry With Her Oscar Win After Hollywood Labels Angelina Jolie as First Female Action Movie Star

2: Ke Huy Quan [Everything Everywhere All At Once; 2022]

Ke Huy Quan in a still from Everything Everywhere All at Once

Yet another career was saved by A24 Pictures when they brought in actor Ke Huy Quan as the supporting actor alongside Yeoh’s main character in Everything Everywhere All at Once. Once known as a successful child actor, best known for his portrayal of Short Round alongside Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom along with playing the role of Data in Richard Donner’s The Goonies, Quan faded into oblivion until he signed up for this film. This gave him the stage to revive himself, which he did by winning the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

You may also like: “I was waiting for the phone to ring”: Ke Huy Quan Always Regretted Retiring From Acting Before Winning Oscars For Everything Everywhere All at Once

3: Brendan Fraser [The Whale; 2022]

Brendan Fraser in a still from The Whale

The year 2022 saw the revival of many forgotten stars from the old times, and one of them was none other than Brendan Fraser, who made a comeback in the industry after several years of anguish to star in Darren Aronofsky’s masterpiece The Whale. 

After dealing with a highly destructive divorce and suffering harassment in the industry, the star was lost in the shadows, until he was scouted to become the main lead of the movie. And to prove why he was one of the biggest stars in his heyday, he gave such an exceptional performance that was honored with the Oscar for Best Leading Actor.

You may also like: “He stopped breathing”: Brendan Fraser Nearly Died for a $4 Million Paycheck in 1999 Cult-Classic, Had to be Resuscitated

4: Michael Keaton [Birdman; 2014]

Michael Keaton in a still from Birdman

Best known for playing the role of the iconic Batman in 1989’s Tim Burton superhero classic Batman, actor Michael Keaton was seen here and there in many films but was always on the sidelines when it came to those projects, until 2014.

In that year, we saw him return to the forefront of a major film titled Birdman, which had a story so similar to Keaton’s own career that it was almost ridiculous. Directed by Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu, the performances by the Spiderman: Homecoming star and the plot helped the film receive the Oscar for Best Picture in 2014

You may also like: “He killed a criminal in front of his child”: Director Spills the Secrets of Michael Keaton’s Batman From ‘The Flash’

5: Marlon Brando [The Godfather; 1972]

Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone in a still from The Godfather

While he was destined for greatness as people liked to talk about after watching his films in the 50s and 60s, Hollywood legend Marlon Brando wouldn’t realize that destiny until he was scouted to portray the mafioso don Vito Corleone in 1972’s The Godfather, a film that is widely regarded as the holy grail of cinema. Despite being known for his tendency to be a pain to work with, people could not deny just how exceptional his performances were, especially since his last couple of films were nothing but flops.

You may also like: Marlon Brando’s Unforgettable Intro in ‘The Godfather’ Was Almost Ruined Because of a Stray Cat on Set

6: Ryan Reynolds [Deadpool; 2016]

Ryan Reynolds in and as Deadpool

While he is regarded as one of the biggest stars in the world today, there was a time there was almost a negative connotation associated with Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds, and it was all thanks to his film Green Lantern. This DC film is widely regarded as one of the worst films in the world, which didn’t help the star receive admiration from the industry or the people. But when he squeezed himself into the red suit of the motormouth assassin in Deadpool, things turned around so much that it became one of the biggest superhero film series in the world, and saved his career as well.

You may also like: “I represented the death of the superhero for a while”: Hollywood Was Afraid to Hire Ryan Reynolds After His $200 Million Box Office Disaster

7: Paul Bettany [Avengers: Age Of Ultron; 2014]

Paul Bettany as Vision in a still from Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Before becoming the cybernetic being that transcended humanity in 2014’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron, English actor Paul Bettany was in a tight spot when he was doing nothing but blockbuster letdowns like Legion and Priest. Along with that, there were also the roles that he did as a supporting actor which didn’t pan out too well for his career and made it seems like things were just going to get worse from here. But thankfully, he excelled at his performance as Vision, and the rest is history.

You may also like: “The whole thing is a mess”: Elizabeth Olsen Reveals Paul Bettany Became Furious After Kissing Scene in WandaVision, Left Her Humiliated

8: Chris Evans [Captain America: The First Avenger; 2011]

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers in a still from Captain America: The First Avenger
Chris Evans as Steve Rogers in a still from Captain America: The First Avenger

Yet another MCU star who was saved by the grace of Marvel Studios, Chris Evans has now become almost synonymous with the name of Captain America, the superhero from the pages of Marvel Comics who the stars portrayed in the franchise. But before he became the star-spangled face of hope, he was seen as Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four films, until they ceased and the star failed in his attempts to revive his career from the fame of being the Human Torch. Then, the chance to enter the infant MCU came to him, which he took, and now, became the face of the franchise.

You may also like: “I hate to say it”: Robert Downey Jr Asked Chris Evans to “Man Up” After He Started Panicking Over a Small Thing

9: Liam Neeson [Taken: 2008]

Liam Neeson in a still from Taken
Liam Neeson in a still from Taken

While he was famous for his performances in many drama and comedy projects in the past, Irish actor Liam Neeson is considered to be one of the best action stars in today’s time, all due to his absolutely bada*s performance in 2008’s Taken. Taking a different route from his previous projects, most of which were in the aforementioned genres, the star needed a stable footing to make himself a name within the action heroes, and this film proved to be that pivotal moment of his career.

You may also like: “I didn’t get Knocked out, but I was beat”: A Scary 10 Minute Fight Pushed DC Star Liam Neeson Closer to Hollywood

10: Robert Downey Jr. [Iron Man; 2008]

Robert Downey Jr. in and as Iron Man
Robert Downey Jr. in and as Iron Man

Probably one of the biggest comeback stories of all time, the tale of how Robert Downey Jr. overcame his troubled past that was riddled with drug abuse and multiple law offenses and became one of the biggest stars in the Hollywood industry feels nothing short of unbelievable. And the film that helped him reach the top of superstardom and save his almost extinct career was none other than 2008’s Iron Man, a film which not only brought back the actor from a dark fate but also started the journey of the MCU for years to come.

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