10 Actors Who Have Quit Acting (Say It Ain’t So, Brad Pitt!)
Sometimes even actors want to quit their jobs– just like Brad Pitt.
Earlier this week, Brad Pitt announced on 60 Minutes that he plans to—gasp!—quit acting. Not only that, but he’s got his exit strategy all thought out: Lately, he’s been getting more into the producing side of things, so in a mere three years’ time, that’s where he plans to be. There also might be more kids in the future. Wait– more? In addition to the six he and Angelina already have? Yep. “I don’t know that we’re finished,” Brad said when asked how big he imagined his brood would get. Producing and kids? Quite a project, indeed!
Brad, though, is, of course, not the only actor who’s ever quit. In fact, plenty have—including these 10 we’ve assembled right here. Some of them quit for personal reasons; some of them retired due to old age; and some of them… well, we’re not really sure, but hey, it’s their life. Furthermore, not all of them have actually stayed retired . Some of them (rather a lot of them, actually), later “un-quit,” as it were. Which of these examples do you imagine Brad’s quitting pattern will follow? Will he stay retired, like Sean Connery? Or will he un-quit, like Evangeline Lilly? Tell us what you think!
1. Taylor Momsen
Taylor Momsen may have started out as sweet little Cindy Lou Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but somewhere between there and the later seasons of Gossip Girl, she turned into a wild child. After getting into some trouble for her questionable behavior on the Gossip Girl set, her character was scheduled for an indefinite hiatus in 2010. Perhaps it wasn’t a surprise, then, when she told Elle magazine that she’d quit acting to focus on music and her band, The Pretty Reckless. “Hopefully I’ll be able to only do that for the rest of my life,” she said. Let’s just hope she can do it without imploding…
2. Amanda Bynes
Another former child star, Amanda Bynes launched her career during the golden age of ‘90s Nickelodeon, first as a cast member of All That and later as the star of her own show, The Amanda Show. In 2010, though, it seemed she’d had enough—or so she said. She announced on Twitter that she didn’t love acting anymore, so she’d stopped doing it. A month later, though, she changed her mind, and along came Easy A. Go figure.
3. Jamie Lee Curtis
Former scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis told Access Hollywood in 2006, “I’m not an actor anymore. I really don’t imagine I’ll do that again. I’m just focused on my family and just can’t imagine anything that’s going to pull me away from them right now.” She’s actually made a few appearances onscreen since then—namely, 2007’s Beverly Hills Chihuahua and 2010’s You Again—but she’s gone on to become an enormously successful author of children’s books. Now that’s something we can get behind!
4. Ryan Phillippe
After the release of The Lincoln Lawyer last summer and amidst a whirlwind of tabloid coverage about his romantic relationships, Ryan Phillippe told Page Six, “I think I’m going to end my acting career. I’m so introverted. I’m ready to be behind the scenes. I’m 36, but I’ve been doing this for 20 years.” He has yet to make good on this, though; he’s been steadily working in both film and television, including a 10-episode arc on Damages—his first regular TV gig since his breakout appearance on One Life to Live in the early ‘90s.
5. Joaquin Phoenix
Just kidding! Joaquin Phoenix’s “I quit” stunt ended up being just that: A stunt. In what became the biggest hoax of 2008, Joaquin announced that he was quitting acting to focus on a career as a rapper. This, of course, led to the immensely bizarre mockumentary I’m Still Here. And he is, in fact, still here; he’ll be starring in Paul Thomas Anderson’s next film, The Master, due out in 2012.
More actors who quit, including Kal Penn and David Burtka, up next!