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Actors Who Are Making A Big Comeback In 2022

"Whatever happened to that actor?" This familiar question is often heard as actors step away from Hollywood, and sadly, many stars have retired over the past few years, leaving fans desperate for their comeback. Unfortunately, Bruce Willis, one of the world's most popular action stars has announced his retirement from acting this year due to his diagnosis of aphasia. Similarly, Jim Carrey and Brad Pitt have also hinted that they might be retiring from the silver screen.

However, there's some good news, too! 2022 promises to be a year of movie magic, as some actors we haven't seen in a while recently decided that retirement doesn't quite suit them. We're not sure whether it's just the old adage, "There's no business like show business," holding true, but it seems that it's tough to stay away from the glamour of Hollywood. Audiences are in for an exciting year, with several big-name actors poised to make a comeback in 2022.


Actress and comedian Mo'Nique will be returning to screens everywhere with not one, but two, Netflix releases. Audiences will remember Mo'Nique's outstanding performance as Mary in 2009's "Precious," the standout film which earned her an Academy Award for best supporting actress and left audiences stunned by the impressive acting and emotional storyline.

Fans may have noticed that Mo'Nique has been absent since 2016, likely due to her widely publicized disagreement with "Precious" director Lee Daniels. In 2019, the actress also filed a lawsuit against Netflix, charging them with discrimination over their underpayment of her comedy special. Mo'Nique's fight for fair pay for all performers has led to a settlement with Netflix and she's just announced the release of a new comedy special filming in Atlanta.

In addition to the comedy special, she has a new Netflix film, "Demon House," which sees Mo'Nique and Lee Daniels working together again. There's no confirmed release date for the film yet, but plot details hint at a terrifying telling of the Latoya Ammons family possession (a true story that'll keep any horror fan up all night).

Cameron Diaz

Back in 2018, Cameron Diaz announced that she would be retiring from acting. Since her retirement, Diaz has been open about the clarity she has gained since leaving Hollywood. In a 2020 interview with Gwyneth Paltrow on "In Goop Health," Diaz stated that she "felt a lot of peace in my soul, that I was finally taking care of myself."

Fans were obviously disappointed to hear that the "Charlie's Angels" star would be leaving the big screen, but Diaz's retirement wasn't completely unexpected, since her last Hollywood film was the 2014 remake of "Annie."

Jamie Foxx (one of her "Annie" co-stars, who also worked with her in 1999 on "Any Given Sunday") announced that Diaz would be returning to star in "Back in Action" via a recorded phone call he shared on Twitter. Naturally, Foxx invited Tom Brady into the call to give Diaz a few tips on "unretiring."

So far, not a lot is known about the film that's lured Diaz back into acting, but it's been confirmed that Jamie Foxx will be her co-star, and Seth Gordon will direct. Considering the team, we suspect "Back in Action" will probably be a comedy.

Brendan Fraser

The '90s had a lot of great things going for it: We got free pizzas for summer reading, Beanie Babies were going to make all of us rich, and Brendan Fraser was the ultimate heartthrob. The athletic actor wasn't afraid to get silly for a scene and was in several cult classics of the era, including "Encino Man," "George of the Jungle," and "The Mummy."

However, the mid-2000s were a difficult time for Fraser. According to a 2018 interview with GQ, due to the physical demands of his roles, Fraser ended up having multiple surgeries on his back, a knee replacement, and even surgery on his vocal cords. Additionally, Fraser went through both a difficult divorce and the devastating death of his mother, and was allegedly the victim of sexual assault by Philip Berk, former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

After a soft launch that has seen him gradually take on more new projects, Fraser is ready to stage a massive comeback. He'll be starring in the new Martin Scorsese film, "Killers of the Flower Moon," the true story of the Osage murders that launched the FBI. Currently, the project also stars Robert DeNiro, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jesse Plemons.

He's also been linked to several other exciting upcoming projects, including the HBO Max film "Batgirl," where Fraser will actually be playing the villain.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Macaulay Culkin

One of the most famous child actors ever, Macaulay Culkin starred in "Home Alone," "My Girl," and "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York." "Home Alone" was the top-grossing film of 1990 and, for a long time, was the highest-grossing live-action comedy of all time ("The Hangover Part II" now holds that title).

After the global success of "Home Alone" and his atmospheric rise to fame, Culkin stepped back from acting in 1994, a move that also aligned with his parents' separation, the abuse allegations Culkin made against his father, and the removal of his parents from his trust fund, all topics he discussed in a recent interview with Esquire.

He's had a few roles since then, including the satirical "Saved!" and a role in 2019's "Changeland," Seth Green's directorial debut, in which Culkin acted as a favor to his long-time friend. Yet 2021 saw Culkin edging back into the big time with guest roles on "American Horror Story," and "The Righteous Gemstones," leading him towards his first major movie role in almost 20 years with "Rich Flu." Not much is known about "Rich Flu," but we do know it's a thriller about a pandemic, with Rosamund Pike and Daniel Bruhl co-starring.

Jack Gleeson

Good actors make the best villains, though sometimes an actor can be too good at playing the bad guy. Jack Gleeson played the role of Joffrey Baratheon on "Game of Thrones" to great acclaim, and even though there were rumors that fans of the show might have taken their hatred of the character too far, Gleeson later confirmed that wasn't the case.

After his exit from "Game of Thrones" in 2014 Gleeson announced to Entertainment Weekly that he'd be taking a break from acting to pursue other activities, though he wasn't sure yet what that would be.

Looks like show business is pulling him back in, though, as Gleeson returned for a small role in the BBC comedy TV series, "Out of Her Mind" in 2020 and two movie roles in 2022: "Rebecca's Boyfriend" and "In the Land of Saints and Sinners," the latter of which also stars Liam Neeson and Ciaran Hinds, is set in Ireland, and follows a retired assassin getting back into the game.

Hayden Christensen

In 2002, Hayden Christensen got his "big break" as he was cast in the role of Anakin Skywalker in "Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones." Sadly, both "Attack of the Clones" and "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith" were panned by critics.

Hayden Christensen was in for a particularly bad time after the release of the films, despite being heralded as a talented young actor prior to making "Star Wars." In a 2015 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Christensen spoke about the rush of fame he experienced and his decision to purchase a farm near Ontario and take a step back from Hollywood. While viewers may have seen the actor in smaller films over the past decade, 2017's "First Kill" with Bruce Willis and 2018's "Little Italy" with Emma Roberts, leading roles were few and far between.

Fast forward to 2022. "Star Wars" is everywhere, from "The Mandalorian" to the new "Obi-Wan Kenobi," where Christensen staged his own Hollywood comeback. So far, reviews have been mostly positive about Christensen's performance, and it looks like this won't be his last "Star Wars" project — he's also slated to appear in "Ahsoka" next year.

Halle Berry

Halle Berry won the Oscar for best actress in 2002 for her role in "Monster's Ball." To date, she is still the first, and only, black woman to win the award for best actress. In the years that followed, Berry waited to see more big roles come her way and to watch more women of color win that Academy Award — neither happened. According to an interview with Variety, Berry still feels disappointed with Hollywood and its lack of change and its failure to expand diversity in casting. After acting in the "X-Men" franchise, Berry's big movie roles seemed to dwindle.

But that's all over now, and Halle Berry is back. Not only is the award-winning actress back to being in front of the camera, but she's also tried her hand at directing and found she's pretty great at that, too. Halle Berry directed and starred in the 2020 Netflix film, "Bruised." Reviews were mixed, but critics were generally positive about Berry's performance and directing ability.

After the success of "Bruised," Netflix ordered two more films with the actress: "The Mothership," a sci-fi action/adventure film that should be released in 2022, and "Our Man from Jersey," an action film that co-stars Mark Wahlberg and is slated for 2023.

Josh Hartnett

Josh Hartnett went from being a young, relatively unknown actor to a Hollywood A-lister in the space of just a few short years. After appearing in "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later" with Jamie Lee Curtis in 1998, and "The Virgin Suicides" in 1999, he was cast alongside Ben Affleck in Michael Bay's World War II blockbuster "Pearl Harbor" in 2001.

With his leading man looks, he was considered to be the next Leonardo DiCaprio, and was sought after by directors for big-budget films; he was even approached to play Superman, but Hartnett turned it down and the role went to Brandon Routh. His slow removal from the Hollywood machine, the tabloids, and the overwhelming fame, was a deliberate move from the actor. Since then, Hartnett's been candid about his desire to choose projects he's passionate about, and to lead a quieter life outside of the limelight, according to an interview he gave with Variety in 2020.

Recently though, fans might have noticed Harnett's name on some bigger film projects, namely Guy Ritchie's action flick, "Wrath of Man," in 2021, and Christopher Nolan's "Oppenheimer," where he'll be acting alongside an ensemble cast of Hollywood greats: Matt Damon, Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Gary Oldman, Robert Downey, Jr., and Kenneth Branagh, just to name a few.

Lindsay Lohan

The early 2000s belonged to child star Lindsay Lohan, who rose to fame after starring in the 1998 smash hit remake of "The Parent Trap." Lohan was praised for her acting ability and went on to sign a deal with Disney for more films, including a remake of "Freaky Friday" with Jamie Lee Curtis, another massive box office hit for the young actress. Then there was "Mean Girls" in 2004, which became an instant classic.

However, personal struggles with alcoholism and drug use made the next decade a difficult one. Ultimately, Lohan took a break from Hollywood and moved abroad, developing a beach club in Mykonos and a reality TV show (though reports indicate that the beach club has since closed), and now lives in Dubai with her husband, Bader Shammas.

It seems that Lohan is ready to restart her acting career and has signed a deal with Netflix for two new films. These will be Lohan's first feature-length films in three years and her first collaboration with Netflix. Only the first film of the two has been announced so far, but we do have details on "Falling for Christmas," which features Lohan as an heiress who suffers from amnesia after a skiing accident and recuperates with a handsome lodge owner. Incidentally, Lindsay's younger sister, Aliana Lohan will also have a small part in the film.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Chord Overstreet

Lindsay Lohan isn't the only one seeing a buzzy return to the screen this year: Chord Overstreet is co-starring with Lohan in "Falling for Christmas."

The talented performer got his big break as Sam Evans on "Glee," entering the show as a recurring guest star. Originally, Chord Overstreet wasn't sure he wanted to return to the series after Season 3, stating that he'd wanted to focus on other opportunities, but he ultimately returned as a series regular in Season 4, staying with the show through its final season.

Since the final season of "Glee," Overstreet has been more focused on his musical career with his band, OVERSTREET, and releasing an EP in 2019, "Man on the Moon." However, in a 2021 interview with Forbes, Overstreet explained that whenever he'd focus on one aspect of his career, acting or making music, he'd end up missing the other. Sounds like he's missed his time in front of the cameras. Not only is he starring in "Falling for Christmas," but fans can also see him in the 2021 film, "The Swing of Things" with Luke Wilson and Olivia Culpo, and in the Apple TV series, "Acapulco."

Considering the vocal talents of its two leads, perhaps "Falling for Christmas" should be a musical?

Jennifer Ehle

The 1995 BBC miniseries of "Pride and Prejudice" is arguably the best adaptation of the book: The TV series set records during its initial TV run. Much of this success was from the excellent screenplay by Andrew Davies and, of course, the brilliant chemistry between its two leads, Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. (And yes, they did have a relationship in real life, too.)

Jennifer Ehle won a BAFTA TV award for her portrayal of Elizabeth Bennet, and from there went on to star in several Broadway shows and win two Tony awards, one for "The Real Thing" in 2000 (oddly enough, beating her mother, Rosemary Harris, who was nominated for the same category), and another in 2007 for "The Coast of Utopia."

Since then, Ehle has starred in several TV mini-series and had roles in "The King's Speech," "Contagion," and "The Comey Rule" with Jeff Bridges, but hasn't been seen in a big-budget project since 2018's, when she appeared in "Fifty Shades Freed."

Until now, that is: She reportedly has been cast in this year's big drama film, "She Said," which follows the two New York Times journalists who broke the Weinstein story and launched the #MeToo movement.

Sam Worthington

Sam Worthington's big break, "Avatar," is still the highest-grossing film of all time. The James Cameron sci-fi action film was visually stunning, and even Roger Ebert said that the film was "sensational entertainment," and really, who could disagree with that?

Before he was cast in the global sensation, Worthington was a rising indie-film star in Australia, winning an AACTA award for his part in 2004's "Somersault," Australia's highest recognition. Worthington moved to Los Angeles and was cast in "Avatar," which led to his role in "Terminator Salvation," due to Cameron's friendship with the director, McG.

The whole world has been eagerly awaiting the return of "Avatar" and its proposed sequels (production was famously announced and then delayed multiple times) for over 12 years. During that time, Sam Worthington continued to act in a few film roles, such as 2010's "Clash of the Titan," which, while a financial success, was panned by critics and audiences. He recently starred in "Under the Banner of Heaven" alongside Andrew Garfield, playing a radicalized fundamentalist Mormon.

And now, over a decade later, "Avatar: The Way of Water," is finally happening, giving Worthington the opportunity to make a splash again on the big screen.