From Hartnett to Hudson, we offer advice to 22 floundering Tinseltown talents
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Career high points: "Beverly Hills Cop", "Dreamgirls"
Career low points: "Dr. Doolittle 2", "Meet Dave"
How to fix it: There's a common theme here with many of the people on this list, that the best way to repair a career is to relinquish some control to collaborators. Tom Cruise is Tom Cruise because he continually takes chances on directors, picking them because they seem like they will be a challenge or because they do something he's never done before, and it's kept him relevant and allowed him to pull himself out of career tailspin repeatedly. Eddie Murphy's so controlling that he doesn't even shoot wide shots in public for his movies anymore, preferring to have his head digital added to a stand-in's body. His best recent work was in "Dreamgirls," where he trusted Bill Condon, and that trust paid off in a major way. He needs to do more of that, and he should look closely at how Alan Alda, his "Tower Heist" co-star, reinvented himself after "M*A*S*H*" as a world-class prick, something that's served him well for decades now. Murphy could have a very different career in drama if he was willing to go dark, and the right director could finally get him some of that critical acclaim he says he doesn't care about, but which he so obviously does.
- Drew McWeeny