You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere! Stars Who’ve Threatened To Quit The Business
Even celebrities want to quit their day job every now and again. These 15 stars have threatened to walk away from it all, but truth be told, we don’t think they’re going anywhere.
R&B singer Chris Brown knows his fans and the media hang on to every move, word and tweet, so when the “Don’t Judge Me” singer took to his twitter page recently, he must’ve known it’d start a fire storm. Hinting at retiring from music, Brown tweeted that his upcoming “X” album will probably be his last. He later said, “Being famous is amazing when it’s for ur music and talent. I’m tired of being famous for a mistake I made when I was 18. I’m cool & over it!” Brown has faced a backlash ever since he brutally attacked his then girlfriend Rihanna in February 2009.
Johnny Depp has always walked to the beat of his own drum. The eccentric actor is best known for playing kooky characters, but that could all be coming to an end soon. While promoting his latest movie The Lone Ranger, Depp hinted that he will be moving on eventually. “I wouldn’t say that I’m dropping out any second,” he said. “But I would say it’s probably not too far away.” He also added, “At a certain point, you start thinking, and when you add up the amount of dialogue that you say per year, for example, and you realize that you’ve said written words more than you’ve actually had a chance to say your own words, you start thinking of that as a kind of insane option for a human being.”
Jay Z burst into the rap game in 1996 with “Can’t Knock The Hustle” and no one couldn’t. After consistently dominating the game for almost a decade, the Brooklyn rapper announced in 2003 that “The Black Album” would be his last. Jay Z had other business ventures that took up his time, including being the head of Def Jam Records but the mic and the booth always called him. “I believed it for two years,” he said in an interview after his hiatus ended in 2006. “But something, when you love it, is always tugging at you and itching, and I was putting it off. I started fumbling around to see if it felt good.”
Former child star Amanda Bynes was a millionaire before she could drive. The “All That” star decided in 2010, at the age of 24, that she was retiring and tweeted, “I don’t love acting anymore, so I’ve stopped doing it.” That declaration lasted a month. Bynes later clarified that she was merely taking a break. Ever the flip-flopper, Bynes declared she retired from acting once again and is instead focusing on becoming a rapper and fashion designer. Her new careers will have to wait. Bynes is currently hospitalized under a mental health evaluation hold.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
When you have six children, being a parent is a full-time job. After becoming one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood, Brad Pitt and his partner Angelina Jolie have both hinted that their focus will eventually shift away from acting. In 2011, Pitt admitted he’s interested in being behind the scenes. “I am really enjoying the producing side and development of stories and putting those pieces together. Getting stories to the plate that might have had a tougher times otherwise.” A year earlier, Jolie revealed that although she discovered herself and made a boatload of money because of acting, she will soon leave the limelight for good.
Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs
Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs was never really an artist but he did release several rap albums. In 2004, the hit maker and founder of Bad Boy Records announced that he was stepping away from the mic. “I don’t want nobody to just go crazy or nothing,” Diddy said. “It’s not going to be as dramatic or traumatic as Jay Z retiring.” The retirement never came. In 2006, Diddy released the much-delayed “Press Play.” Four years later, he started his own group with Danity Kane’s Dawn Richard and Kalena Harper for the 2010 “Last Train To Paris.”
Actress Nicole Kidman has been in the movie business since she was 16 years old and has starred in over 60 films. In 2008, the Australian beauty admitted that she no longer had the acting bug. “I have to say I’m not that interested in making films any more,” Kidman said. “I know I’m not meant to say that, but that’s where it is for me now. I’m 41 years old and very happy being in Tennessee with my baby and with my husband. I obviously have creative blood in me and it needs to come out in some way, but I just don’t have that burning desire any more. I’m not saying I’m never going to work again, but I’m at peace with whatever happens.” Kidman has starred in a dozen movies since then.
When Hollywood hunk Ryan Gosling confessed earlier this year that he was giving acting a rest, fans of the star were heartbroken. Starting out at a pre-teen on Disney’s “The Mickey Mouse Club,” Gosling is on a mission to discover himself. “I’ve been doing it too much,” the 32-year-old hunky actor said in an interview. “I’ve lost perspective on what I’m doing. I think it’s good for me to take a break and reassess why I’m doing it and how I’m doing it. And I think this is probably a good way to learn about that. I need a break from myself as much as I imagine the audience does.”
Mary-Louise Parker has starred in over 30 movies but she will be best remembered as the green slinging mother and widow on Showtime’s popular television show “Weeds.” But last month after being a victim of online bullying, the star has had enough. “I’m not really into it anymore. I’m almost done acting, I think,” Parker said, admitting she is tired of reading “hatred” directed toward her online. “It’s sport for some people; it’s fun to get on at night and unleash their own self-loathing by attacking someone else who they think has a happier life. And there’s more of that than there is whatever praise people think you’re getting.”
Alec Baldwin quits twitter every other month, but the “30 Rock” star actually threatened to quit acting for good. Baldwin has never been a fan of the media or the unwanted attention that comes with being a Hollywood star. His run-ins with the paparazzi are infamous. Earlier this month, Baldwin expressed his desire to retire to give his unborn daughter a normal life. “I have one dream in my life, and that is that this daughter I’m having—she comes to me about seven or eight years from now and she says, ‘Daddy, Susie’s mom says you used to be on TV. Daddy, is that true?’ She has no knowledge of me as a public person. That would be heaven for me.”
Acting certainly runs in Joaquin Phoenix’s blood. Joining his sibling in the family business, Phoenix got his start before he was ten years old. But in 2008, Phoenix said he was leaving acting behind to focus on a more serious career: rapping. “This will be my last performance as an actor,” said the star. “I’m not doing films anymore…I’ve been through that. I’ve done it. I’m dead serious.” He further raised suspicion while appearing erratic on the “Late Show with David Letterman.” The Gladiator star finally revealed his questionable behavior was actually for a mockumentary he was filming about a former actor trying to pursue a rap career. I’m Still Here was released in 2010.
When you star in one of the biggest blockbuster franchises in history, where do you go from there? Emma Watson was faced with that question. The Harry Potter actress took some time off once the franchise wrapped up and even contemplated not returning to the big screen. “I basically took two years out and stepped as far away from it as I could,” Watson said in an interview. “I took time to really try and figure out who I was and what I wanted to do. I even considered not being an actress.” Watson most recently starred in Sofia Coppola’s Bling Ring.
Actress Taylor Momsen was in the entertainment industry for over a decade and has starred in both movies and television but in 2011, the “Gossip Girl” star made a switch. Ready to follow her true passion, Momsen traded the camera for the stage by becoming the frontman of her own rock band, Pretty Reckless. “I quit acting, actually,” Momsen said in an interview. “I quit “Gossip Girl” and now tour and am in a band and that’s pretty much all I want to do. Hopefully I’ll be able to only do that for the rest of my life.” So far she’s kept her word.
Actress Michelle Williams has enjoyed a successful career starring in mainly independent movies. Although that gives her an outlet to flex her creative muscles in artistic films, the single mother of one is still contemplating retirement. “I often dream of quitting acting,” Williams said in an interview. “Walking away and becoming a laundress or a sous chef or maybe writing other people’s love letters for a living.”
CW’s “Gossip Girl” may have a negative affect on some of the actors on the show. Even though the widely popular drama series made Meester an even bigger star, she threatened to leave the show and acting for good because it almost interfered with the role of her life. Meester wanted more than anything to star in the 2010 film Country Strong. “I threatened everybody in my life, including my manager, my agent and everybody that I worked with” said Meester. “I was like, ‘If I can’t do this, if we can’t work out the schedule, I’m moving to Costa Rica,” she said. “I’m never going to work again. I’m turning off my phone!” she said. “I was bluffing, of course, but it worked.”